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ENGLAND: Extreme Love for God’s Word

ENGLAND: Extreme Love for God’s Word

In the sixteenth century, King Philip II took a hard line against those who would try to interpret Scripture for themselves. Anyone found studying the Bible during this time was hanged, burned at the stake, drowned, torn in pieces, or buried alive. The inquisitors from the king were sent to inspect the house of the mayor of Brugge to see if any Bible studies were taking place there. In their search, they discovered a Bible. All present denied knowing anything about it. Then a young maidservant came in. When asked about the Bible, she declared, “I am reading it!”

The mayor sought to defend her saying, “Oh, no, she doesn’t know how to read.” But the maidservant did not wish to be defended by a lie. “It is true, this book is mine. I am reading from it, and it is more precious to me than anything!” She was sentenced to die by suffocation, sealed in the city wall. Just before her execution, she was asked by an official, “So young and beautiful and yet to die?” She replied, “My Saviour died for me. I will also die for him.”

When finally one single brick remained to complete the wall, she was told again, “Repent! Just say a single word of repentance!”
Instead she voiced her single desire to be with Jesus and added, “O Lord, forgive my killers!”

To some it is simply a book—a best-seller for years running at that. To others it is merely a family tradition—given at weddings, births, and funerals. Still to others, it is God’s holy and inspired Word. These believers cling to the words as if they were letters from a lover, pouring over them again and again. What do they see in the truth of God’s Word? What makes them willing to risk death to read it? Ask God for the answer. If its truths remain a mystery to you, ask God to open your eyes to see his words more clearly. Without his help, the words will remain marks on a page. But God can bring them to life.

Taken from Voice of the Martyrs book Extreme Devotion:

SYRIA: Islamic State Executes Three Christians

SYRIA: Islamic State Executes Three Christians

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reports that three Christians, who were part of a group of 200 held captive by Islamic State (IS) since February, have been executed.

The terrorist group released a video on 8 October showing Dr Abdel-Maseeh Aniyah, Ashur Rustam Abraham and Bassam Issa Michael in orange jumpsuits.  The men were ordered to confirm their names before being shot dead. IS have threatened to execute the remaining hostages if their ransoms are not paid.

The men had been held since 24 February, when IS abducted 253 Assyrian Christians following dawn raids on their settlements in the northeast of Syria. While the group has periodically released elderly prisoners, reports indicate that 202 people remain in captivity. According to news reports, IS is demanding ransoms of around $50,000 per hostage for the release of each prisoner. In March, 23 Christians were released after paying a religious tax.

Syrian Christians have been targeted by militant Islamist jihadi groups since the outbreak of the civil war in 2011, with many killed or forced to flee their homes. In many cases, those who have remained, often the elderly and disabled, have been ordered to either convert to Islam or pay a religious tax (jizya).

Source: Christian Solidarity Worldwide

Prayer Points

  • Pray that those who have lost loved ones will be filled with the joy that comes from knowing that they will see them again at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 4:15-18).
  • Pray for the end of the reign of violence perpetrated by Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
  • Ask the Lord to comfort the other hostages. Pray the Lord will hear their cries and deliver them from their captors.

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