Nazareth Restaurant attack: a grace reminder

By February 16, 2016
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USA (MNN) — A federal investigation is underway this week following a possible “lone wolf” terror attack at the Nazareth Restaurant & Deli in Columbus, Ohio.

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Mohamed Barry
(Photo obtained via LinkedIn)

Mohamed Barry, a 30-year-old Guinea native who immigrated to the U.S. as a child, wounded four people with a machete before being chased and killed by police. In 2012, Barry showed up on the FBI’s radar when he “express[ed] radical Islamic views,” NBC4 reports.

All four victims survived the attack. While one has been treated and released, three are still in the hospital. Owner of the Nazareth Restaurant & Deli, Hany Baransi, says his facility was targeted by Barry.

“Is it a random attack? Yes, but it wasn’t a random attack like you’re walking in the street and there are 10 shops and you pick one,” Baransi told The Tower.

“It was a random attack [in so far] that I was one of the Israelis [picked] between all of the Israelis that are around here. It was a terrorist attack.”

Though authorities stressed Barry’s motives were unknown, Columbus Deputy Chief Michael Woods told the Associated Press, “[A] lone individual, machete, going into a public place, committing an assault on people that he apparently does not know: those are the things that give us concern, and those are things we wanted to answer right away.”

A search orchestrated by the FBI and Columbus police is underway for Barry’s motive and whether any foreign terrorist groups were involved. Meanwhile, Baransi and his staff are trying to return to normal.

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(Photo credit: Nazareth Restaurant & Deli via Facebook)

The Nazareth Restaurant & Deli, closed immediately following Barry’s attack on Thursday evening, re-opened with limited services yesterday. According to local news source Fox 28, signs and cards with the words “Nazareth Strong” lined the entrance and walls.

“We are Israelis. We are resilient, we fight back,” said Baransi.

Events like these often fuel anti-Muslim hate speech, but Frontiers USA’s Perry LaHaie offers a different perspective.

According to God’s Word, we’re all sinners. Muslims are simply people, just like you and me, who need to know Christ.

“But for the grace of God, I could end up being like that ([ike Barry],” says LaHaie. “Jesus came to me at my worst…and that just put in me a desire to share God’s grace with others.”

After learning about unreached and unengaged people groups–people who have never heard the Gospel, and people who have no way to hear about the salvation Christ offers, LaHaie searched for a way to get involved in the Great Commission.

In time, he encountered Frontiers USA and decided to join their quest to reach the world’s 1,108 unreached and unengaged Muslim people groups.

“I am a singer, songwriter, and worship leader, and so I do this thing called a Song, Stories and Nations Concert,” LaHaie explains.

(Photo courtesy of Frontiers)

(Photo courtesy of Frontiers)

“I share stories about how God is working in the Muslim world, and then I challenge people to join God in what He’s doing to bring the Gospel to Muslims.”

The first step of each journey, no matter how long or where it’s headed, should always be prayer. This week on Instagram, join the Frontiers USA team as they pray for unengaged Muslim people groups in six key regions: the Arab Gulf, Afghanistan and Pakistan, northeast Africa, the Caucuses, South Asia, and Indonesia.

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