It is supposed to be Peace on Earth, Good Will Toward Men. Treat others like you would like to be treated. There are hundreds of sayings giving the same message that we have heard over and over again yet there continues to be a human decision to give pain and suffering for political or religious reasons. Why? When each year politics go on and people find the need to pray or worship something. It is ironic that politics made one world leader feel the need to kill another world leader who just happened to be the leader of a place where Christianity is as old a place on earth.
I am talking about Iraq and George Bush and Saddam Hussein. Christians there trace their history to the first century. Today their existence is threatened by the terrorist group that calls itself Islamic State. More than 125,000 Christians, men, women and children have been forced from their homes over the last 10 months. During Saddam’s reign of almost 30 years as dictator he never allow such terrorism to exist in his own country. ISIS stormed into Iraq’s second largest city, Mosil last summer and pushed their way to neighboring cities and towns across this region known as the Ninnvin Plains. It is a vast areas that has been home to Christians since the first century after Christ.
Much of which took 2,000 years to build has been lost in a matter of months. Putting aside your cheer leading need to take sides with certain religions, history has been lost. Beautiful buildings have been destroyed. Even through the World Wars, somehow soldiers on any side had the common sense to miss the targets of some of the most historic and beautiful structures on earth. Is this what the human race has become? Ignorant worriers that seek and destroy? No wonder they kill reporters. They don’t want to be scolded for their bullying bad behavior. How did Saddam keep order in that region? The Monastery of Saint Matthew in Mesopotamia is one of the oldest on earth.
Their services are done in Aramaic which was the language of Jesus and have been doing it since the 4th century. The monks are among the last people on earth to still speak that language. Should even ancient languages be torn from civilization? All cultural aspects removed to terrorists? As it is there are only 7 monks left there. The Monastery was founded in the year 363. It has survived the Persian and Ottoman Empires, Mongol Invaders and Kurdish Conquests. Today it is threatened by ISIS who seem to be the most ignorant and barbaric of all and wave their flags only 4 miles away. They are expecting the worst. Where is the United Nations Intervention in this?
ISIS has taken over all the neighboring towns. For the first time in nearly 2,000 years, there are no Christians left inside Mosul. 10,000 people fled the city. ISIS is bombing buildings that contain books that have been preserved for thousands of years. ISIS seeks to erase Christianity from the landscape. Can they really succeed and pretend such a religion never existed? They are working quickly in their quest. Crucifixes are being torn from buildings. They have attacked Sunni Muslim Shrines that they consider idolatrous. In recent months they have accelerated their campaign to destroy more ancient sites, like the 3,000 year old ruins of Nimrud. They shattered artifacts in Mozul’s Museum and burned hundreds of ancient books at Mozul’s Library and University.
Like the Nazi’s marked Jewish homes these terrorists have a symbol they mark on Christian homes. When they put the ancient symbol on your home in red, you either convert to Islam, pay an extortion tax or be killed by a sword. Some convert and then their daughters as young as 10 years old are told to leave the family to be married. Someone please somewhere make these terrorists spend their time doing good for someone rather than dictate their beliefs on others. Should we pray?