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When Islamic State overruns a village in Syria or Iraq, or even a city of two million people such as Mosul, many will flee, creating a huge flow of refugees to surrounding areas.

But a few Christian pastors have made the courageous decision to stay behind and minister to Christians and Muslims. ‘They all know they’re at risk, especially if they’re a visible leader,’ says Steve Vanvalkenburg, Middle East director for Christian Aid Mission.

He recently received a heartbreaking report from Aleppo, Syria, that underscores the danger. Pastor Imad, who chose to remain for the purpose of sharing Christ, was shot in the head by extremists two weeks ago. His wife has disappeared, likely kidnapped. They both came to Christ from Muslim backgrounds.

Vanvalkenburg doesn’t begrudge those who leave, often to protect their families, but he has great esteem for those who make the conscious decision to remain behind.

‘They stay because they have an opportunity to share Christ like never before. For years they’ve prayed for a spiritual breakthrough and now they are seeing it. Their friends and neighbours have never been so open to the Gospel.’

Source: Assist News Service

Prayer Points

  • Praise God for making Himself known during this time of violence and unrest.
  • Praise Him for the courageous men and women who stay, to faithfully preach the Gospel; pray for their protection.
  • Pray to our Lord who knows and sees all, for the wife of Pastor Imad and others like her. Ask God to thwart the plans of IS and bring an end to the brutality.