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Not to flee: Fasting and prayers have kept Christians thus far steadfast in the face of ISIS horrors


Syrian Christians

Syrian Christians resort to fasting and prayers amid extreme violence and life-threatening situations.

A Syrian Christian minister Joseph Sleman while talking with an audience at a religious freedom summit said, “There are many “satans” in the world, but “there’s a lot right now in Syria and Iraq.”

This summit was hosted by the Catholic University of America, in Washington, D.C.
while the Baylor University was the co-sponsor. Joseph Sleman and his wife Hannah attended this summit and portrayed a very real picture of the awfulness perpetrated by the Islamic State against Christians in Syria who were already battered by a years-long civil war.

“The blood is shouting from this land,” Hannah said. Nevertheless, it was from Syria that the Gospel of Christ reached various parts of the world by the evangelistic mission of Saint Paul the apostle, and that “we believe that God can do it again,” the Syrian couple stated.

“The only hope that we have is Jesus,” Hannah said. She went on to explain that it is the prayer and fasting which have sustained the Christians in Syria way longer than it was expected that Syrian Christians would survive to endure. “We believe that the power of the Lord is working a lot in our country,” she said.

Also read: Middle East is danger to lose its ancient Christian communities, an Iraqi priest says

Mr and Mrs. Joseph Sleman originate from Syria but later on were relocated to the United States when Joseph decided to acquire higher education in Biblical theology. It has been years now that the Christian couple has been ministering to refugees in Syria. Christians who have been battered either by war in Iraq or Civil war in Syria have received valuable help from this couple.

They told the audience that, “Fathers say goodbye to their families when they leave the house, knowing it could be the last time they do so. Parents cry after their children leave the house for school in the morning.”

Joseph and Hannah narrated their own life threatening experience when they were struck in their neighbourhood amidst shelling of mortar rounds for an hour. They started praying while on their knees during that hour of ordeal. “Many children died that day,” Joseph said, adding that “many families face the same things every day.”

Islamic State militants can slaughter whole villages in just hours, Joseph explained. They are disreputable for not only mass killings but for rape on top. Because of extreme atrocities ISIS has committed with the Christians that even some of the local Christians planned to kill themselves and their families rather than falling into the hands of the ISIS jihadists. Hannah told that one of her Christian friend fixed explosives in various locations at his house that in case the Islamic State took over the area, the explosives may be blown so that the ISIS intruders along with the Christian family would be killed.