(Austin, Texas) — The evidence is in, and it’s chilling — the Islamic State is intentionally waging a war of genocide against Christians in Iraq and Syria.
The jihadists are systematically trying to exterminate the Christian population in both countries by forcing followers of Jesus Christ to convert to their brand of Apocalyptic Islam or enslaving them, murdering them, starving them, and/or driving them out of the region.
This is the case I began to lay out during a presentation at Life Austin Church here in the Texas capital on Thursday night. It was part of a series of messages I’m delivering across the U.S. on radio, TV and in churches as part of The First Hostage book tour.
For the moment, ISIS is focusing their genocidal campaign on the populations of Iraq and Syria. But this is only the beginning. According to their Apocalyptic Islamic eschatology, ISIS leaders want expand their genocidal campaign throughout Jordan, Lebanon, Israel, Egypt and the rest of the region in order to broaden their Islamic kingdom or caliphate and hasten the coming of the Mahdi, who they believe will then establish a worldwide caliphate.
Consider the trend lines:
- The number of Christians in Syria has dropped from 1.25 million to 500,000 in recent years, according to analyses by Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) and the American Center for Law & Justice (ACLJ).
“When hundreds of thousands of Christians – men, women and children – are killed, this isn’t war — this is genocide,” argues World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder. “And we Jews know what happens when the world is silent to genocide.”
Lauder has urged Jews and Christians to join forces against genocide. “Together, we must speak as one and tell the world: no more discrimination, no more terror, no more death, and no more silence!” I absolutely agree.
While ISIS is engaged in the slaughter of Christians because they believe it is fulfilling Islamic End Times prophecy, they actually unknowingly fulfilling Biblical prophecy about the last days.
The Lord Jesus Christ prophesied in John 16:3 that “an hour is coming for everyone who kills you to think that he is offering service to God.”
Christ also prophesied that believers will see “wars and rumors of war,” the rise of “lawlessness” and vastly increased persecution in the last days before He returns to set up His Kingdom. The Lord Jesus specifically warned that the enemies of the Cross “will deliver you to tribulation” in the End Times “and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name. At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another. Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many.” (see Matthew 24) These are exactly the trends we’re seeing emerge in the epicenter.
But let’s be clear: it’s not just Christians who are facing the ISIS genocide. Sunni and Shia Muslims who don’t share the ISIS theology and eschatology are also facing this jihadist rampage. So are Yazidis and other minorities. And, of course, ISIS is threatening to exterminate the Jews of Israel soon.
“Palestine will not be your land or your home,” ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi told the Jews of Israel in an audio message in December. “It will be a graveyard for you. Allah has gathered you in Palestine so that the Muslims may kill you.”
In August of 2014, just after I finished writing my first novel about ISIS (The Third Target), I began publicly warning that “we are watching genocidal conditions emerging in the epicenter” as the ISIS jihadist rampage accelerated.
The situation has worsened dramatically since then.
“These terrorist groups have desecrated all human values. They have committed the most heinous criminal terrorist acts against the Iraqi people whether Shi’ite, Sunni, Christians, Turkmen, Shabak or Yazidis,” Iraq’s U.N. Ambassador Mohamed Ali Alhakim said. “These are in fact crimes of genocide committed against humanity that must be held accountable before international justice.”
Now, just this week, the U.N. has issued a report documenting the magnitude of the horror. Consider the numbers just in Iraq:
- 18,802 civilians were killed in Iraq between January 2014 and October 2015
- 36,245 civilians have been wounded during this same period
- some 3,500 have been seized as slaves by ISIS
- 3.2 million civilians have been displaced from their homes and villages, on the run for their very lives
“The violence suffered by civilians in Iraq remains staggering,” the report states. “The so-called ‘Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’ (ISIL) continues to commit systematic and widespread violence and abuses of international human rights law and humanitarian law. These acts may, in some instances, amount to war crimes, crimes against humanity, and possibly genocide.”
The U.N. report “details numerous examples of killings by ISIL in gruesome public spectacles, including by shooting, beheading, bulldozing, burning alive and throwing people off the top of buildings. There are also reports of the murder of child soldiers who fled fighting on the frontlines in Anbar. Information received and verified suggests that between 800 and 900 children in Mosul had been abducted by ISIL for religious education and military training….ISIL [also] continued to subject women and children to sexual violence, particularly in the form of sexual slavery.”
- at least 250,000 people have been killed in Syria
- 6.6 million people in Syria have been displaced from their homes and villages and are on the run for their lives
- 13.5 million need humanitarian assistance,” reported Reuters on January 15, 2016.
- First, the President and Congress must publicly acknowledge that the Islamic State is engaged in genocide.
- Second, it is time for Congress to formally declare war against ISIS.
- Third, we need to elect a new Commander-in-Chief ready, willing and able to neutralize the ISIS threat, as well as the Iranian nuclear threat before it’s too late.
any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; [and] forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.
- Order The First Hostage today — a new political thriller (#9 on the Publishers Weekly best-seller list) about ISIS launching a chemical weapons attack against Israel, Jordan and the United States — it’s now available in hardcover, e-book and audio formats.
- FACT SHEET: The Iranian leadership’s Apocalyptic Beliefs
- FACT SHEET: The Islamic State’s Apocalyptic Beliefs
- What the next US president will need to know about Iran and Islamic State. (my column in The Jerusalem Post)
- What’s the difference between Apocalyptic Islamic eschatology & Biblical eschatology? And why does it matter? (Video & sermon notes)
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- Order THE THIRD TARGET today , the first in this new series — now out in paperback — the New York Times best-selling novel about ISIS capturing chemical weapons in Syria and plotting genocidal attacks.
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