There is so much news in Israel and beyond, but I am not in a place to keep up with it as I once had. Still, the new caliphate is something to which we MUST pay attention. They are not playing.
In the statement, Isis said Christians who wanted to remain in the “caliphate” declared earlier this month in parts of Iraq and Syria must agree to abide by terms of a “dhimma” contract – a historic practice under which non-Muslims were protected in Muslim lands in return for a special levy known as “jizya“. “We offer them three choices: Islam; the dhimma contract – involving payment of jizya; if they refuse this they will have nothing but the sword,” the announcement said.
Mosul is ancient Ninevah, once the capital of Assyria, the city where Jonah reluctantly went to preach repentance. Some say Thomas preached Jesus as Messiah there, and it did become one of the first Christian communities. (Listen to Canon Andrew White — Vicar of Baghdad — speak about Iraq’s godly heritage).
When the Islamic State leader said they could even take Rome (with Muslim unity), he didn’t mean Italy. He meant the perceived capital of Christianity (and it doesn’t matter if you’re not Roman Catholic). The newly renamed Caliph Ibrahim is seriously nation building with a vision for an empire.
This about more than a persecuted church far from you. This guy’s dream is to pose these three options to you, follower of Jesus: convert, pay protection tax or die. In his dream, the run-away option is available until Islam conquers the planet.
This is a time to get close to God and to listen for what to do and to pray for those suffering persecution right now.
I have a lot more to say about the Islamic State, but there is much to process and research. Hopefully I’ll be able to share more soon.