In Syria and Iraq, Christians are being persecuted by the Islamic State (or ISIS) militants. These Christians have choices: either pay a tax to acknowledge Islam’s dominance over them, be killed, convert, or leave so they are no longer a threat.
They are being targeted simply because they are different, much like the early Christians in Rome who were persecuted because the Romans thought they were “bad” for society, and later because the church was a threat to Jewish identity.
It seems that we can forget to appreciate the magnitude of these sacrifices that happened so long ago. However, presently we are witnessing the martyrdom of many Christians in Iraq and Syria. Their blood is no less sacred than those lives lost in New Testament times.
History shows us, however, that the Church thrived despite the horrific attempt to destroy it. In fact, it emboldened early Christians to spread the gospel wherever they went, further spreading the faith – the opposite of what was intended.
Undoubtedly the Church will survive in Iraq and Syria and throughout the world because the Lord promised that He would not abandon it. Yet we must take notice of this latest attempt to curtail religious freedom.
When Christians anywhere in the world suffer the loss of their religious liberties, we must take notice and partner with them in mind and prayer. As you know, the Stewardship Foundation is founded on four major tenets, one of which is religious liberty. So it is to advance our faith that we partner with organizations that promote the Christian faith. We are currently working with:
- Priests and Sisters of the Holy Cross who are looking to expand to Ohio,
- Lighthouse Treasure Ministries that provide financial support for seminarians seeking ordination, and
- Franciscan Sisters, T.O.R. whose contemplative spirituality is making a tremendous impact at Steubenville University and the full time soup kitchen they hope to staff to provide frontline support for the poor in their community.
We are happy to announce that in the last quarter, three pregnancy centers in three States have requested the Stewardship Foundation’s assistance in their efforts to pursue major funding.
As you can see, there is much work to be done in shoring up the kingdom of God. We invite you to partner with us in your prayer and your financial support as we assist these and other amazing ministries who are on the front lines living God’s word in their actions and daily lives.
And please join us in fervent prayer for safety, protection and witness of our fellow Christians in Iraq, Syria and throughout the Middle East.