International (MNN) — Coalition forces have regained control of a prison in northeast Syria after ISIS prisoners organized a breakout. Prisoners disabled security cameras and then rioted, but officials say no one escaped.
This prison riot occurred in Syria, but the threat exists everywhere ISIS does. Last week, the Islamic State called on followers worldwide to exploit security gaps caused by the coronavirus. See our full coronavirus coverage here.
“There’s so much work that has to go into containing this coronavirus. In the midst of chaos like this, this is the perfect scenario for terrorist groups to slip in and do some damage,” Uncharted Ministries’ Tom Doyle explains.
“Once the world spotlight is off, they feel free to move and come up with another plan to unleash on humanity. We have to be ready for more.”
Typically, Doyle says, terrorists increase their attacks on believers during the Easter holiday – which is just around the corner.
ISIS prisoners aren’t the only concern
Every spring, believers around the world gather to commemorate Christ’s death and resurrection. Whether it’s called Easter Sunday or Resurrection Sunday, persecution typically spikes on this holiday, and in the days leading up to it.
“From Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday is like our ‘hot zone’ for Christians around the world,” Doyle says. “This is what Satan does: he attacks Christians during Passion Week…he hates Resurrection Day, so believers pay the price.”
In 2013, Islamic militants issued threats to believers in Tanzania during the Easter holiday. Syrian threatened to “fill the streets with Christian blood” in 2014, and the Pakistani Christian community paid with their lives in 2016. The following year saw a failed attempt to replicate the violent attack, and in 2019, a triple-bombing in Sri Lanka claimed hundreds of lives.
This year, with government resources and manpower focused on coronavirus containment, believers may be on their own for protection.
“In dangerous hot zones like the Middle East, North Korea – places like that where believers are routinely persecuted – there’s not going to be a lot of help or protection for them,” Doyle says.
Whether believers face threats from terrorists or COVID-19, your prayers on their behalf are essential. “Ask God to use this (pandemic) for His glory, that millions would come to faith in Christ through this. [Pray] that He would stop this virus, and that He would push back the evil that’s going to be leveled against Christians,” Doyle requests.
Use this free resource from our sister ministry, Prayercast, to pray over the global pandemic.
“God is bringing us to our knees, to get flat on our faces and just cry out to Him.”
Header image courtesy of Wikipedia.