The Christian persecution happening in Iraq has really made me think. I am not naive to the reality of religious persecution in many other places, including here in America, but the media is focusing on Iraq so that's where my mind is specifically. As a communication major in college, something one professor said regarding the media has always stuck in my mind: "The media doesn't tell us what to think, but tells us what to think about." Now, it could easily be argued certain media channels are more bias towards certain viewpoints over others. That's why I try to read/watch a variety of media outlets to get different viewpoints to make my own conclusions.
Okay, I'm not turing this into a post all about the media. The point is, out of all the issues and events in the world, good or bad, the media is focusing heavily on Iraq and the persecution against Christians. So, through the relatively little knowledge I do have on everything that's happening, the media has caused me to think about this issue more in depth.
I'm also currently doing a Bible study on the book of Daniel by Beth Moore (amazing!!!) with a group of friends. One particular lesson of the study made us deeply question our willingness to be loyal to God even when faced with a fire, like a real life, literal FIRE right in front of us. Would we hold true to our faith and declare ourselves daughters of Christ even if it meant we'd have to walk into the fire?
It is so difficult for me to even comprehend what that would be like. Yet it is reality for far too many people in the world. In my little American suburb, my worst hardships in life are NOTHING compared to something like that. I am ashamed to even call them "hardships."
In the past, I have been guilty of emotionally distancing myself from stories in the news like this. It may seem from thousands of miles away I am disconnected to the persecution, the hate, the torture, and the pain for being identified as a Christian. Then I read this blog post last week after a friend shared it on Instagram. Candace, the author of the blog, wrote inspiring words which have ignited a new flame in me (no pun intended). While I can't physically put myself in their shoes, I am grateful to live in a country where I can do something - I can offer persistent PRAYER openly and freely. I pray for my brothers and sisters in Christ facing persecution, not just in Iraq, but all over the world.