Matthew 16:18 (King James Version)
And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
Christians in Syria have suffered at the hands of ISIS because they have refused to denounce their faith. They’ve endured being robbed at checkpoints, many have been tortured, raped or sold to the sex slave market. On August 28 in a village near Aleppo, Syria, twelve Christians were brutally murdered including a 12-year-old boy and his ministry leading father. The verses selected are mine. SB
And I say to you, everyone who confesses Me before men, the Son of Man will confess him also before the angels of God (Luke 12,:8,NASB).
'These are the words of Jesus Christ the Son of God.
Christian Aid wrote,
“The relatives said ISIS militants on Aug. 7 captured the Christian workers in a village whose name is withheld for security reasons. On Aug. 28, the militants asked if they had renounced Islam for Christianity. When the Christians said that they had, the rebels asked if they wanted to return to Islam. The Christians said they would never renounce Christ.
The 41-year-old team leader, his young son and two ministry members in their 20s were questioned at one village site where ISIS militants had summoned a crowd. The team leader presided over nine house churches he had helped to establish.
His son was two months away from his 13th birthday.
In front of the team leader and relatives in the crowd, the Islamic extremists cut off the fingertips of the boy and severely beat him, telling his father they would stop the torture only if he, the father, returned to Islam. When the team leader refused, relatives said, the ISIS militants also tortured and beat him and the two other ministry workers. The three men and the boy then met their deaths in crucifixion.”“All were badly brutalized and then crucified,” the ministry leader said. “They were left on their crosses for two days. No one was allowed to remove them.”
'Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life,( Revelation 2:9, NASB).
The ministry director had asked the ministry leaders to leave for their safety, but they all insisted on staying. They felt like God wanted them to stay and share the gospel.
“The martyrs died beside signs the ISIS militants had put up identifying them as “infidels.”Eight other ministry team members, including two women, were taken to another site in the village that day (Aug. 28) and were asked the same questions before a crowd. The women, ages 29 and 33, tried to tell the ISIS militants they were only sharing the peace and love of Christ and asked what they had done wrong to deserve the abuse. The Islamic extremists then publicly raped the women, who continued to pray during the ordeal, leading the ISIS militants to beat them all the more furiously.
As the two women and the six men knelt before they were beheaded, they were all praying. “Villagers said some were praying in the name of Jesus, others said some were praying the Lord’s prayer, and others said some of them lifted their heads to commend their spirits to Jesus,” the ministry director said. “One of the women looked up and seemed to be almost smiling as she said, ‘Jesus!'”
And He was saying to them all, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me (Luke 9:3, NASB).
After they were beheaded, their bodies were hung on crosses, the ministry director said, his voice breaking. He had trained all of the workers for their evangelistic ministry, and he had baptized the team leader and some of the others.”
Syrian Christians and indigenous missionaries are in great danger every day. Pray for surviving families, for the work of the gospel and for the safety and hope of Christians and missionaries. By Esther Laurie is a staff writer at Church Leaders.com.