Jerusalem (ODM/MNN) — ISIS has given notice that they plan to clean house in Jerusalem.
The trouble is, when ISIS does it, it is rarely bloodless. Open Doors USA spokeswoman Emily Fuentes explains, “Believers have received a threat that the Islamic State has said that they want to carry out an attack specifically against Christians by the end of Ramadan (July 18).”
A group calling itself the “Islamic State in Palestine” distributed leaflets marked with the black flag insignia of the Islamic State. Inside was a chilling warning. “They want to make this an Islamic State region as well and rid it of Christians, so it’s the first major threat like this in this area.”
Threats have typically been made by the media savvy group on social media platforms and video, but old-school paper? Fuentes cautions, “It does need to be taken seriously because we’ve seen what they can do,” then amends slightly, “However, in a lot of regions, sometimes these threats will in fact remain threats.”
While Christians are the primary target of this threat, they are not the only target. Reuters says an earlier ISIS video promised cleansing of those who aren’t adhering to Sharia law, which would include Hamas and Fatah.
ISIS’ fervor seems to be attractive to hundreds of thousands who’ve joined the Caliphate since the group’s dramatic rise to power. The money doesn’t hurt, either. “They are in almost all of North Africa, a good section of sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia, and now some Southeast Asian countries, too.” They’ve even franchised through Nigeria’s Boko Haram, now calling itself the “Islamic State of West Africa Province.” Fuentes says, “Multiple terrorist groups have sworn allegiance to them, so they’re spreading rapidly, and it’s in a very large amount of the world now.”
Christians in Jerusalem are asking for prayers for justice against those responsible for the threats, cooperation and peace between different religious groups in Jerusalem, and that ISIS would not gain sway among Muslims in Palestine. “Share their stories so more can be praying. They know the impact of a body of Christ praying around the world,” encourages Fuentes, because “it’s important for us to be a people whose faith is in action: not just words, but deeds [too].”
On the advocacy front, she says you can sign the petition calling for a Special Envoy to the Middle East to be appointed. [Click here for the link to sign the petition.]
On the giving front, Open Doors, along with their partnering churches, are offering food packs to the refugees who’ve fled ISIS from other nations. $50 feeds a family for a month. (Click here for a link to give.)
Finally, believers ask you to ask God to grant them wisdom and peace, as the threat of the unknown hangs over their heads. “Believers are asking that we pray for them to stand strong in the face of persecution.”