The Season

In the Book of Revelation Chapter 18 we read about the coming judgment of a nation/kingdom/people referred to as Mystery Babylon the Great.
Here are those beginning verses,

2. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.
3. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.
4. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.
5. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.

This begins with the announcement that Babylon has fallen. This fallen state happened because of their sins. We read further about that fallen state; it's become a habitation of devils, I would assume literally and metaphorically. The cultural social cohesion of this place collapsing into literal evil.

We read it becomes a home to every foul spirit, again literal and metaphorical in nature. These foul spirits are a reflection of the hearts of those living there; anger, deceit, bitterness, malice, theft, lies, murders, adulteries and sexual abominations, all of the vices of wickedness manifesting themselves in its cultural and social collapse.

This wickedness doesn't remain localized or regional but spreads outward across the borders to reach all the world. We read that the kings or rulers of nations committed fornication with this nation, again literal and metaphorical. Through lies and deceit rulers and merchants of the world became rich from the abundance of this nation's delicacies and merchandise.

International trade is one of the hallmarks in identifying who this Mystery Babylon is. Not only trade but the other identifiers, the public evil of this place as well as its abundance of goods and services, its dealing in pleasures, both sexual and non-sexual.

Then in verse 4 we read "And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues."
Here we can see that believers and those of faith do indeed reside in this place. In what state I'm not sure, but reflecting on the cultural and social conditions that exists one would assume the faithful are not in a very amicable environment where they can worship freely.
Believers are told to leave, to flee from this nation because judgment and plagues are coming.

In our day, today, in my mind there's only one nation on earth that can even come close to matching the descriptions defining Mystery Babylon and that is the United States.
This country has collapsed, both spiritually, culturally, and socially, matching the wickedness which describes Mystery Babylon.
Our political and economic situations reflecting similar relationships describing Mystery Babylon. Our major exports are dollars and pornography. Money and sex are two main features of America’s modern exceptionalism which are also highlighted in Mystery Babylon.
All of those vices mentioned in Scripture about Mystery Babylon are reflected in American culture and exported around the world.

Those few faithful remaining in this place are called to leave, I wonder how many will heed that call?

The fallen state isn't an overnight phenomenon, it takes some time but when the cup is full judgment is issued and no time will be left.
I do pray that the Spirit will give whomever this foreshadowing, that judgment is coming, that there is a call going out. That call maybe faint right now for some, but that call will continue to become louder as more eyes and hearts are opened.

11:11

Jeremiah 11:11. thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will bring evil upon them, which they shall not be able to escape; and though they shall cry unto me, I will not hearken unto them.

US CBDC, Some Thoughts

Let’s start with verification of the US’s approach to digital coins. Just a note, a CBDC is Central Bank Digital Coin. It’s going to be a Central banks version of Bitcoin based on what they refer to as blockchain.

Executive Order 14067 (/executive-order/14067) of March 9, 2022 Ensuring Responsible Development of Digital Assets

Here we have a quietly signed Executive Order that gives certain entities in government orders to study, formulate, and execute that plan to force the use of digital assets into our economy, people, and nation. This can be seen in section 4.b.

(b) Within 180 days of the date of this order, the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Commerce, the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Director of National Intelligence, and the heads of other relevant agencies, shall submit to the President a report on the future of money and payment systems, including the conditions that drive broad adoption of digital assets; the extent to which technological innovation may influence these outcomes; and the implications for the United States financial system, the modernization of and changes to payment systems, economic growth, financial inclusion, and national security. This report shall be coordinated through the interagency process described in section 3 of this order.

These people want this and need control of digital assets, why? For no other reason than control. Digital assets or coins are the final steps into their much vaunted Great Reset. There was a story a few months ago that stated 94% of the world’s central banks are moving to CBDC’s. So whether you believe it or not, you’re going to be forced into this new financial system or you’ll be forced to move to the periphery of society and exist as best you can or you’ll be ridiculed and jailed for some imagined violation of their new system.

Governments will know everything you do with their CBDC’s, if you are a compliant citizen then you’ll receive some type of reward, if you’re not and to independent your money will be restricted. Some will think this isn’t going to happen when it already is. In China they deny jobs and travel to people with low social credit scores, in the US and Europe you’re deplatformed if you go against the Governments narrative. Across the world critical medical services are denied to people who remain unvaxxed.

Here we also have a glimpse of their projected timeline as contained in Section 4

(d) The Attorney General, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury and the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, shall:
(i) within 180 days of the date of this order, provide to the President through the APNSA and APEP an assessment of whether legislative changes would be necessary to issue a United States CBDC, should it be deemed appropriate and in the national interest; and
(ii) within 210 days of the date of this order, provide to the President through the APNSA and the APEP a corresponding legislative proposal, based on consideration of the report submitted by the Secretary of the Treasury under section 4(b) of this order and any materials developed by the Chairman of the Federal Reserve consistent with section 4(c) of this order.

So 210 days from March 9th…. this corresponds to the end of their fiscal year in October.

For the citizens to accept US CBDC’S those in power have to create an environment where they’ll be accepted and accessible to the masses of mindless drones. The only way to do this is a manufactured crisis, the one way to push this is a financial and economic collapse of the current monetary and economic systems, then from the ashes and chaos from their manufactured crisis they submit their fix, the CBDC’s.

Some may think this could be acceptable and millions will willingly accept this not knowing its the foreshadowing of something much darker, that being a quote from Revelation 13:
16. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:
17. And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
18. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.

CBDC’s are going to be implemented regardless of what you think, they’re going to be one of the cornerstones of the new economic orders, some refer to this reallocation as the Economic Beast System of that leader called the Antichrist.

The Endtimes environment will have a three tiered system; religious, political, and economic. CBDC’s or the coming Mark will be part of all three of those systems. The mark will be used for religious identification and acceptance of their political and economic authority and it will be required to participate in their system.

These are my thoughts based on my understanding of prophecy and current events.

Thanks and God bless.

Scripture of the Day

Revelation 6

1. And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see.
2. And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.
3. And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see.
4. And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.
5. And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand.
6. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.
7. And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see.
8. And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.

I believe sooner than later these four seals are going to be opened and our proverbial hell on earth will start. Scholars will argue until they are blue in the face concerning the matter of the horsemen, suffice to say one quarter of the earths population will die during this beginning Salvo of God’s judgment on the wickedness of mankind.

One thing to notice though is although these seals represent God’s judgment they are caused by man vs man. War caused by mankind, we keep hearing and are experiencing food shortages globally caused by mankind, the death and destruction coming from these seals are because of mankind’s own evil and hubris.

So prep up, it’s going to be a rocky road soon enough.

Scripture of the Day

2 Timothy 2

3. Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
4. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.
5. And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.
6. The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits.
7. Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.
8. Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel:
9. Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound.
10. Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.

…NOT THIS OL’ MAN….

This is for those virtue signaling folks feeling they’ve just done something really great by getting that jab and feel the need to post it everywhere. I don’t think they’ll care to read facts, rather choosing to let their God of fear guide their decision. In my mind, from doing months of research on the topic and researching sources, there’s no way on God’s green earth this ol’ man will ever get this hellacious concoction put in my body. I actually pity those who out of ignorance believed all of the advertised fear porn produced by government & their media cronies. But that’s for God to judge not me, although I do reserve the right to judge and to determine what I think is right from wrong as we are directed in Corinthians, and I do think getting this stuff put in your body out of fear is wrong.

Exclusive: 57 leading scientists, doctors, and public policy experts call for IMMEDIATE HALT to Covid vaccine programs

This may be the most important document ever written about the Covid-19 vaccines.

by JD RuckerMay 8, 2021 in HealthcareNewsScience

SARS-CoV-2 mass vaccination: Urgent questions on vaccine safety that demand answers from international health agencies, regulatory authorities, governments and vaccine developers

((( And followed by the list of doctors. )))

Roxana Bruno1, Peter McCullough2, Teresa Forcades i Vila3, Alexandra Henrion-Caude4, Teresa García-Gasca5, Galina P. Zaitzeva6, Sally Priester7, María J. Martínez Albarracín8, Alejandro Sousa-Escandon9, Fernando López Mirones10, Bartomeu Payeras Cifre11, Almudena Zaragoza Velilla10, Leopoldo M. Borini1, Mario Mas1, Ramiro Salazar1, Edgardo Schinder1, Eduardo A Yahbes1, Marcela Witt1, Mariana Salmeron1, Patricia Fernández1, Miriam M. Marchesini1, Alberto J. Kajihara1, Marisol V. de la Riva1, Patricia J. Chimeno1, Paola A. Grellet1, Matelda Lisdero1, Pamela Mas1, Abelardo J. Gatica Baudo12, Elisabeth Retamoza12, Oscar Botta13, Chinda C. Brandolino13, Javier Sciuto14, Mario Cabrera Avivar14, Mauricio Castillo15, Patricio Villarroel15, Emilia P. Poblete Rojas15, Bárbara Aguayo15, Dan I. Macías Flores15, Jose V. Rossell16, Julio C. Sarmiento17, Victor Andrade-Sotomayor17, Wilfredo R. Stokes Baltazar18, Virna Cedeño Escobar19, Ulises Arrúa20, Atilio Farina del Río21, Tatiana Campos Esquivel22, Patricia Callisperis23, María Eugenia Barrientos24, Karina Acevedo-Whitehouse5,*

1Epidemiólogos Argentinos Metadisciplinarios. República Argentina.
2Baylor University Medical Center. Dallas, Texas, USA.
3Monestir de Sant Benet de Montserrat, Montserrat, Spain
4INSERM U781 Hôpital Necker-Enfants Malades, Université Paris Descartes-Sorbonne Cité, Institut Imagine, Paris, France.
5School of Natural Sciences. Autonomous University of Querétaro, Querétaro, Mexico.
6Retired Professor of Medical Immunology. Universidad de Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico.
7Médicos por la Verdad Puerto Rico. Ashford Medical Center. San Juan, Puerto Rico.
8Retired Professor of Clinical Diagnostic Processes. University of Murcia, Murcia, Spain
9Urologist Hospital Comarcal de Monforte, University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain.
10Biólogos por la Verdad, Spain.
11Retired Biologist. University of Barcelona. Specialized in Microbiology. Barcelona, Spain.
12Center for Integrative Medicine MICAEL (Medicina Integrativa Centro Antroposófico Educando en Libertad). Mendoza, República Argentina.
13Médicos por la Verdad Argentina. República Argentina. ´
14Médicos por la Verdad Uruguay. República Oriental del Uruguay.
15Médicos por la Libertad Chile. República de Chile.
16Physician, orthopedic specialist. República de Chile.
17Médicos por la Verdad Perú. República del Perú.
18Médicos por la Verdad Guatemala. República de Guatemala.
19Concepto Azul S.A. Ecuador.
20Médicos por la Verdad Brasil. Brasil.
21Médicos por la Verdad Paraguay.
22Médicos por la Costa Rica.
23Médicos por la Verdad Bolivia.
24Médicos por la Verdad El Salvador.
* Correspondence: Karina Acevedo-Whitehouse, karina.acevedo.whitehouse@uaq.mx

Abstract

Since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, the race for testing new platforms designed to confer immunity against SARS-CoV-2, has been rampant and unprecedented, leading to emergency authorization of various vaccines. Despite progress on early multidrug therapy for COVID-19 patients, the current mandate is to immunize the world population as quickly as possible. The lack of thorough testing in animals prior to clinical trials, and authorization based on safety data generated during trials that lasted less than 3.5 months, raise questions regarding the safety of these vaccines. The recently identified role of SARS-CoV-2 glycoprotein Spike for inducing endothelial damage characteristic of COVID-19, even in absence of infection, is extremely relevant given that most of the authorized vaccines induce the production of Spike glycoprotein in the recipients. Given the high rate of occurrence of adverse effects, and the wide range of types of adverse effects that have been reported to date, as well as the potential for vaccine-driven disease enhancement, Th2-immunopathology, autoimmunity, and immune evasion, there is a need for a better understanding of the benefits and risks of mass vaccination, particularly in the groups that were excluded in the clinical trials. Despite calls for caution, the risks of SARS-CoV-2 vaccination have been minimized or ignored by health organizations and government authorities. We appeal to the need for a pluralistic dialogue in the context of health policies, emphasizing critical questions that require urgent answers if we wish to avoid a global erosion of public confidence in science and public health.

Link to entire Article is here. I’ll only highlight a few quotes that stood out for me….

Guess the covid cultists missed this one too, …Another critical issue to consider given the global scale of SARS-CoV-2 vaccination is autoimmunity. SARS-CoV-2 has numerous immunogenic proteins, and all but one of its immunogenic epitopes have similarities to human proteins [27]. These may act as a source of antigens, leading to autoimmunity [28

Yeah, guess those who worship fear aren’t concerned about this either, ….It has now been proposed that vaccination with ChAdOx1-nCov-19 can result in immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT) mediated by platelet-activating antibodies against Platelet factor-4, which clinically mimics autoimmune heparin-induced thrombocytopenia [29]. Unfortunately, the risk was overlooked when authorizing these vaccines….

Yeah well, I suppose all of those virtue signalling wokefolk won’t be to happy to read this part either, ….SARS-CoV-2 is a fast-evolving RNA virus that has so far produced more than 40,000 variants [32,33] some of which affect the antigenic domain of Spike glycoprotein [34,35]. Given the high mutation rates, vaccine-induced synthesis of high levels of anti-SARS-CoV-2-Spike antibodies could theoretically lead to suboptimal responses against subsequent infections by other variants in vaccinated individuals [36], a phenomenon known as “original antigenic sin” [37] or antigenic priming [38]. ….. yeah that kinda sucks, guess taking the mRNA shot lowers their resistant to those 40000+ variants, “coughs” –>suboptimal responses against subsequent infections by other variants in vaccinated individuals [36],.so wokefolk, you may want to check out potential methods of body disposals ’cause you’re more likely to die from this than the non-jabbers, jus’ sayin.

Oh yeah, something else for those fearporn loving mindless wokefolk, about children getting the vax,…There is a lack of scientific justification for subjecting healthy children to experimental vaccines, given that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that they have a 99.997% survival rate if infected with SARS-CoV-2. Not only is COVID-19 irrelevant as a threat to this age group, but there is no reliable evidence to support vaccine efficacy or effectiveness in this population or to rule out harmful side effects of these experimental vaccines.... not sure wokefolk wanna hear that, truth doesn’t seem to be able to penetrate their shell of fear.

Also, at the end these questions need to be asked,

  • Is it known whether cross-reactive antibodies from previous coronavirus infections or vaccine206 induced antibodies may influence the risk of unintended pathogenesis following vaccination with COVID-19?
  • Has the specific risk of ADE, immunopathology, autoimmunity, and serious adverse reactions been clearly disclosed to vaccine recipients to meet the medical ethics standard of patient understanding for informed consent? If not, what are the reasons, and how could it be implemented?
  • What is the rationale for administering the vaccine to every individual when the risk of dying from COVID-19 is not equal across age groups and clinical conditions and when the phase 3 trials excluded the elderly, children and frequent specific conditions?
  • What are the legal rights of patients if they are harmed by a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine? Who will cover the costs of medical treatment? If claims were to be settled with public money, has the public been made aware that the vaccine manufacturers have been granted immunity, and their responsibility to compensate those harmed by the vaccine has been transferred to the tax-payers?

So some thought should be given if you haven’t gotten the jab yet, and moreso if you’ve already done so because out of believing the fearporn you’re allowing yourself to be an experimental piece of meat for big pharma, possibly exposing yourself and others to more danger that some virus that has a 99% + survival rate is most groups. So enjoy the butthurt when truth slaps your hind quarters.

Sin & Wickedness, where to now?

Standing on the eve of a new world, one where sin & wickedness will become mainstream unlike anything we’ve known before, with war & death looming over the horizon, economic collapse & hunger along with desolation of societal norms, the immediate future of this age or epoch of humanity seems to be reaching its endtime scenario.

I predicate these ideas on not only scripture but mainline news articles. Not stories from the fake news but from those sources the MSM ignores, sources which can be verified from various other sources. Examples such as the nations around the world are prepping for war & economic collapse. Ideas such as the Great Reset being touted as the solution to all that ails the world.

Christian persecution growing exponentially around the world, the religious cultism of Wokeism spreading its tentacles into every aspect of our lives, the lists could go on with Islamic violence, corruption across all levels of western societies, sin & wickedness rolling across the landscape like a darkening fog, clouding all lying within it.

Seeing, we need to see with the Spirit, we need to ask the Father to help us to see the world we are now facing. Some will say “..I’m not going to worry, God will provide..”… Indeed, DON’T worry, but understand when GOD is providing. HE warns us across the ages through Scriptures to prepare both spiritually and physically for wicked times, meaning more than just praying.

Ezekiel 38:7 “Be prepared, and prepare yourself, you and all your companies that are assembled about you, and be a guard for them.

Psalm 23:5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You have anointed my head with oil;
My cup overflows.

1 Peter 1:13 Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Ezekiel 12:3 Therefore, son of man, prepare for yourself baggage for exile and go into exile by day in their sight; even go into exile from your place to another place in their sight. Perhaps they will understand though they are a rebellious house.

Preparing for our physical needs can be nearly as important as preparing for our spiritual needs. As evil continues to engulf our world please seriously consider that this new reality isn’t going to be conducive to the old views of faith & church. Persecution is coming to a neighborhood near you. War & desolation looms on the horizon, people of faith need to prepare with food storage, having plans in place to evacuate or bug out if necessary, have plans to be able to worship in private locations, and on & on. Jesus warned us about coming persecution, He never told us to voluntarily lay our head on the block and wait for evil to lop it off.

We are told to endure:

Matthew 24;12. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
13. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

2 Timothy 4:4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
5. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.

Mark 13:13. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

Enduring in both soul & body, how are you going to be able to reach out to someone with the Good News of Jesus if you’re dead? Yes you may be with the Lord but there may have been that one person left that only you could have reached out to with God’s plan of salvation before that unsaved person dies. We need to prepare out heart, our mind, our body, and spirit for the days coming, if we don’t & miss those times when our Savior is pointing out preps then we’ll be at a loss when we are faced with evil times.

So watch and prepare, make plans & watch.

.

Bizarre EU Funded Comic Book Predicted Pandemic, With Globalists As Saviours

Complete story here.

A strange comic book that was commissioned for publication by the European Union in 2012 eerily predicted almost exactly what has unfolded with the Covid-19 global pandemic. However, in this propaganda laced presentation of the outbreak, unelected globalist bureaucrats save the planet.

The comic book, titled ‘Infected’, was a production of the European Commission’s international cooperation and development arm. It was not intended for widespread public consumption, but instead to be distributed inside EU institutions. Only a few hundred of the comic books were made.

The EU’s description of the strange publication states that “While the story may be fictional, it is nevertheless intertwined with some factual information.”

The graphic novel depicts scientists inside a lab in China experimenting with deadly pathogens.

Scripture of the Day

Galatians 2


17. But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.
18. For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor.
19. For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.
20. I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
21. I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

Scripture of the Day

Romans 2

1. Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.
2. But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things.
3. And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?
4. Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?
5. But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;
6. Who will render to every man according to his deeds:
7. To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:
8. But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,
9. Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;
10. But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:
11. For there is no respect of persons with God.

Scripture of the Day

2nd Timothy 3

1. This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3. Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
4. Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
5. Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
6. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,
7. Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

Pray for Widow and Children of Murdered Christian in Libya

Learn more at http://www.OpenDoorsUSA.org/PrayerApp

We recently received news of a Christian believer named Golibe* who was murdered while rushing another wounded Christian man to the hospital in Libya. During their journey, the men were stopped at a checkpoint. Golibe got into a verbal argument with one of the soldiers there. While the wounded Christian man survived, reports suggest the soldier pointed his gun at Golibe’s head and shot him without any hesitation.

Golibe was a married father of eight children.

Sadly, the situation for other Christians in equally difficult. An armed conflict started in Libya—which is #4 on the World Watch List—at the beginning of April, which aims to take control over the country’s capital of Tripoli. The conflict has already caused several civilian casualties because of shelling and aerial bombardments. Because of the intense fighting, tens of thousands of Libyans have fled their houses and have been displaced to other regions.

Pray for the widow of Golibe and his eight children and that the expat-church in Libya continues to be able to support her.

Please pray Golibe’s widow and her children will be comforted by the Lord. Pray they have strength to be able to forgive Golibe’s murderer whose family has asked for forgiveness.

Pray that the violence in the country will end without further casualties and that stability will come to the country.

*Representative names and photos are sometimes used to protect identity.

Life under ISIS: Raqqa’s Christians tell their story

The handful of Christians remaining in Raqqa tell me what life was like under ISIS – and how they still need help to survive.

The churches of Raqqa lie in ruins following the defeat of ISIS. But remarkably the city’s Christian community has survived.

Before the Syrian conflict began in 2011, Raqqa was home to hundreds of Christian families. Today there are a mere 30 or so individuals, almost all men.

It’s not just the churches that have been reduced to rubble. The rest of the city was largely destroyed in the operation to oust ISIS. In October 2017, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), backed by Western air power, seized Raqqa from the militants. Although the fighting has ended, the atmosphere remains tense. The Kurdish-led SDF remains in charge, and reconstruction is slowly underway, though ISIS still operates underground.

Anyone who has followed the news over the last few years will be familiar with the crimes of ISIS. They include beheadings, crucifixions and the subjection of non-Muslim women to sexual slavery. Throughout this reign of terror, a small number of Christians remained in the city. They did their best to avoid incurring the wrath of ISIS.

Raqqa’s Christians tell me that, before ISIS took over, the city had been an ideal place to live. They had good relations with their Muslim neighbours. Unlike in other cities in Syria, such as Damascus and Aleppo, Christians did not live in separate neighbourhoods from Muslims, but were spread throughout the city and were fully integrated into the social fabric. They spoke Raqqa’s unique dialect of Arabic. Some of the Christian presence in Raqqa dates to the Armenian Genocide of 1915-1917, when Arab residents of the city protected Armenian Christians from the Ottoman government, and others moved from other parts of Syria as the city grew during the 20th century.

After ISIS took over, the Church of the Forty Martyrs – used by both the Armenian Catholic and the Syriac Orthodox communities – became an Islamic court and a centre for the hisbah, or morality police. Just around the corner, the Greek Catholic Bishara Church became a field hospital. Residents say that both churches were deliberately destroyed by ISIS. But an air strike also hit the Bishara Church, leveling it entirely.

An empty shell of cement and rebar is all that remains of the Church of the Forty Martyrs. It looks out on Harun al-Rashid park, a sad reminder of the city’s recent history.

When ISIS took over, Christians went from being equal citizens to lower than zero, as one Christian from Raqqa told me. (Everyone interviewed for this article – five Christians currently in Raqqa and two living elsewhere in Syria – asked that their names not be used, as the security situation remains uncertain.) When ISIS first seized power, about 100 Christians – mostly men whose families had fled elsewhere – remained. Over the next four years that number steadily decreased.

ISIS viewed the Christians as infidels and repeatedly tried to convert them to Islam. Their approach was strikingly different from that of the first Muslim rulers of Raqqa in around 640 AD. In one version of the conquest of Raqqa, told by the 9th century historian al-Baladhuri, an agreement was reached guaranteeing the safety of the Christian community’s members, churches and money, albeit with certain restrictions. These were, by today’s standards, fairly stringent and included the payment of a jizya tax (levied on non-Muslims) and a ban on displaying crosses or building new churches.

ISIS most certainly did not read this agreement – which might have theoretically bound them as Islamic rulers of Raqqa – when they destroyed the city’s churches. ISIS members would visit the homes of Christians and talk to them about Islam. They would also gather Christians for meetings every month or so and provide lectures by converts from Christianity. (One was French and one a former Coptic Christian, recalled one resident.) ISIS reinstated the jizya tax, which had long ceased to be imposed. The amount paid differed depending on the family’s economic situation.

Christians could not – and did not dare – celebrate feasts such as Easter and Christmas. One resident said people would sometimes discreetly pass by their Christian neighbours’ homes and wish them a happy holiday. But even this was not common as people wanted to avoid attracting attention.

So if you were a Christian from Raqqa, why stay? Most of the people I interviewed said that they knew ISIS’s rule would end soon. They were simply waiting for the storm to pass, and noted that if Christians left, then their homes and businesses were stolen by ISIS. Those who fled risked losing everything they had.

Christians who stayed, however, were allowed to leave for short visits to other areas. They had to present a request to an ISIS official who would approve a visit for a specific length of time. If they overstayed, their possessions would be confiscated.
One resident said he received a call while outside ISIS territory telling him not to bother coming back: the group had taken his house and he would not be able to go back to it, even though he had not exceeded his allotted time.

While the Christians of Raqqa were doing their best to keep their heads down and survive, an international military campaign was underway to defeat ISIS in both Syria and Iraq, as well as Libya and other countries where the group had established a presence. As the campaign to liberate Raqqa moved forward, air strikes intensified and became more unpredictable.

One resident said that for the first few years of ISIS’s rule, air strikes were generally directed at specific targets and were limited in scope. But as the Western-backed SDF approached, they became more frequent and less accurate. It was difficult to distinguish ISIS members from civilians, because the terrorists avoided large crowds, and because all residents were required to follow ISIS’s strict dress codes: beards and Islamic robes for men, full covering for women with no skin or hair showing.

As coalition forces approached, the Syriac Military Council, a Christian-led unit of the SDF, began using its networks within the community to identify how many Christian residents were left in the city and where they were located. As circumstances allowed, they were smuggled to safety. The Syriac Military Council saved many Muslim civilians too.

ISIS was keen to use civilians as human shields, so those working to rescue civilians would wait until coalition airplanes were flying overhead, which usually sent ISIS fighters into hiding to avoid getting hit by bombs. Civilians would then run to safety with the SDF.

Now, more than a year after ISIS’s defeat in the city, a handful of Christian residents have returned to Raqqa. Everyone I spoke to in the city said the security situation is good thanks to the efforts of the SDF. The main barrier to more Christians returning is the destruction of homes and businesses, not the remaining ISIS cells which have attempted to upset the improving security situation in the city.

Local Christians complain there has been no support for the community from inside Syria or abroad. They say that they have received little help from the respective churches which have congregants in the city or from international organisations which have worked to help Christian communities elsewhere rebuild in the wake of ISIS.

More than anything else, this prevents more Christians from returning to the city and rebuilding their lives alongside their Muslim neighbours. Will that support be forthcoming? Will the global Christian community help their brethren in Raqqa to rise from the rubble?

Samuel Sweeney is a former US congressional staffer and is now a writer and translator based in the Middle East. He has a master’s degree in Islamic-Christian Relations from l’Université Saint-Joseph in Beirut

Pray with Nigerian Believers after Another Deadly Attack

Learn more at http://www.OpenDoorsUSA.org/PrayerApp

Friends, Open Doors has just received a call for prayer from Nigeria. During the evening of April 29, a group of armed Boko Haram members invaded the Christian community of Kuda which is in the Madagali area of northeastern Nigeria.

The terrorists surrounded the community around 8pm and went door to door, killing as many as 25 people, according to a VOA report.

When community members and security agents were preparing for the burial of the slain the next day, Boko Haram members were spotted approaching for a second attack on the community. The funeral preparations were abandoned as the bereaved believers, sympathizers from neighboring communities and security agents fled. Since the attack many more villagers have fled the town.

Christian leaders in the area told Open Doors, “We are in danger, we have no one to fight for us to end this killing of our people.”

Field workers with Open Doors asked supporters to:

Please pray for the Lord’s grace to be on the church in Madagali area as they face this renewed instability.

Pray for the Holy Spirit to be at work in the lives of all those affected.

Pray that security will be restored soon.

*Representative names and photos are sometimes used to protect identity.

Scripture of the Day

1st Thessalonians 2
9. For ye remember, brethren, our labour and travail: for labouring night and day, because we would not be chargeable unto any of you, we preached unto you the gospel of God.
10. Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily and justly and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe:
11. As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children,
12. That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.
13. For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.
14. For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews:
15. Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men:
16. Forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved, to fill up their sins alway: for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost.
17. But we, brethren, being taken from you for a short time in presence, not in heart, endeavoured the more abundantly to see your face with great desire.
18. Wherefore we would have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again; but Satan hindered us.
19. For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?
20. For ye are our glory and joy.