5th Sunday after Pentecost
Christians Take a Beatin’ and Keep on Preachin’
Text: Jeremiah 19:14-20:6
Jowaneh Benjamin knew it was unsafe. But she would not renounce her Christian faith, even though she was an Assyrian Christian in Baghdad. It was not without cost. One evening Jowaneh’s two daughters were driving home from work when they were ambushed by Muslim militants. One was dragged out of the car and shot eleven times. The other was murdered in the backseat. A few days later her husband died from grief and a broken heart. Not long after another daughter was kidnapped by Muslims and left for dead in an alleyway. Jowaneh fled as a refugee for two years until coming to Chicago. But she did not renounce her faith.
Muhammad Idiris was traveling to see his mother in Mogadishu, Somalia this last year. A fellow passenger recognized that he was a convert to Christianity from Islam and asked if he thought Muhammad was a true prophet of God. Idiris replied, “If I thought so, I would have believed in him instead of the Messiah.” The traveler later reported Idiris to authorities. He was arrested and on July 1, 2010 he was publicly executed in a make-shift soccer stadium in front of hundreds of spectators (including children).
It seems unreal doesn’t it? We know about the Spanish Inquisition and Christians burned at the stake. We know about the Crusades about a thousand years ago and the battles for the Holy Land between Christians and Muslims. We know about the Romans throwing Christians to the lions and the gladiators 2,000 years ago. But today? Read the rest of this entry