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[Darris McNeely] The world is watching, horrified at events that are taking place in the Middle East and particularly in the nation of Iraq with the proclamation of an Islamic caliphate by a group that a few weeks ago we were calling – a group called Isis, signifying an Islamic state. Now, they're calling themselves just "I.S." for Islamic State – a group of terrorists who have taken over a very large portion of what has been modern day Iraq and the state of Syria as well. And they have proclaimed an Islamic caliphate and they are claiming themselves, with their leader, to be a legitimate, bona fide state now – a newly created state, in their mind at least, unrecognized by others there in the Middle East. And what they have been doing in recent weeks has astonished and stunned many, as they have bombed religious sites that date back more than 1500 to 1900 years. One of the latest things that they have done is begin to drive out people who are members of Christian groups, Christian sects, in Iraq, in a Muslim state, and forcing them to flee to other protected areas. There's one report of upwards of 50,000 people being trapped right now in a mountainous area as they have fled their home from this I.S. group, for their own safety. Essentially what they have been told is, you either convert to Islam or we will kill you. And many have chosen not to go that route to convert, and they have fled, and now they face a massive humanitarian crisis.
In looking at this, it is easy to realize and think it is just way off, it doesn't concern us, we have religious freedom, we have freedom to worship God as we choose in the United States and other western nations – which is true. But we should not fail to take note of what is taking place over there with a proclaimed state now persecuting a minority within their boundaries, and killing and uprooting it and creating these problems. Bible prophecy talks about an end time political power – not the one we're looking at right now in Iraq, a larger one, a more pervasive one yet to appear – who, it says in Revelation:13:7, "will make war with the saints." Revelation:13:7. Now that is to come. But what we're looking at right now at least is a forerunner, in a sense, of later events and something we should take note of – certainly just how precious our own personal freedoms are guaranteed by whatever state we live in, again in the western world. But also, pray "Thy kingdom come" and to help and to have a certain amount of sympathy for others who are trapped right now in a very, very precarious situation, contending for their own faith as it is.
The Bible portrays a greater time coming ahead for all of us, and it should give us all pause to consider the fragility of our present world, and certainly to pray "Thy kingdom come."
For BT Daily , I'm Darris McNeely. Join us next time.
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