“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbour and hate your enemy.’But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” Matthew 5:43-44
Pray for Christians in Libya
On Sunday 19 April, the media network of the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS) released a new video via social media showing the executions of groups of Ethiopian Christians. IS states in the video that the victims are “worshippers of the cross belonging to the hostile Ethiopian church.”
Open Doors workers in Ethiopia report that the news of the killings, accompanied by gruesome images, has shocked the country. “Many people have expressed anger and frustration about the incident,” said an Open Doors contact.
The Ethiopian government’s communications minister Redwan Hussein told AFP, “We strongly condemn such atrocities, whether they are Ethiopians or not.” Local workers in Ethiopia are trying to identify the victims and see if they can get in contact with family members.
Several media outlets including Associated Press, Reuters, BBC and the Libya Herald have commented on the almost half hour video still circulating online. In it, IS tries to justify why Christians are being executed. An IS speaker says that Christians living in IS-controlled territories are treated well as long as they obey the Islamic rule including paying special taxes.
The video demonstrates what happens to those who choose not to pay taxes or convert to Islam. Switching quickly between scenes of lines of dark-skinned men being marched to their execution spots, the video shows a masked man brandishing a gun. He delivers a message, saying, “You won’t have safety, even in your dreams, until you embrace Islam.”
The video ends with the execution of the captives. The men in the desert are shot in the head; those along the beach are beheaded.
This is a shocking incident and an eerie reminder of similar killings of Egyptian Christians in Libya inFebruary. We as the body of Christ, must respond in prayer, love and forgiveness.
Sources: Open Doors, World Watch Monitor, BBC, Reuters, Associated PressVisit our blog! Find us on:
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