Saturday, January 10, 2015

The Mystery Of The Cross Around My Neck

The Eastern Orthodox Church Cross

By Pamela Rae Schuffert presenting investigative journalism from a Biblical Christian perspective-

To many people I encounter here in America, the cross I now wear around my neck is  intriguing because of it's unusual design.  

However, the beautiful cross above is an example of the kind of cross worn by Christians of the Eastern Orthodox branch of Christianity. This type of cross also adorns the spire of their churches and cathedrals as well.

Above is an example of the Orthodox cross atop a church spire. Note also the Islamic crescent moon beneath it, symbolizing Christianity's triumph over Islamic conquest against the Church throughout the centuries

The Syriac Orthodox Church in Iraq has has been suffering terrible persecution at the brutal hands of Islamic terrorists who are fighting for domination under the banner of ISIS. 
Orthodox church burned by ISIS forces

Some of their Orthodox bishops have been kidnapped by ISIS forces, and presumed murdered. Their churches have been desecrated and destroyed. Such Christians have suffered intensely under recent Islamic attacks carried by ISIS. 

But Christians of other church denominations have equally suffered as well.

Most Christians in America cannot begin to comprehend the horrors that these precious fellow Christians have been enduring because of Islamic persecution there.

I have been following many reports from different sources, all revealing shocking accounts of Islamic jihadist carnage, rape, beheading and dismemberment that has spared neither man nor woman, child nor elderly, nor Church leaders.

Grim photographs depicting even little children having been beheaded by ISIS mercenaries have been flooding the Internet throughout recent months. 

One eyewitness account revealed that in one city that was mass beheading of the children in front of their parents, simply because they were Christians. Heads were then impaled on public fenceposts as a warning to others not to resist Islam and ISIS.

After spending several months of research on this important subject, and viewing numerous photographs illustrating the true horrors of these Islamic terrorist rampages against Christian and other non-Moslem targets, my heart has been deeply moved and impacted by the sheer immensity of this wanton destruction of Christianity in the Middle East.
Distraught Christian refugees seeking shelter 
from ISIS in the Middle East

After spending much time praying for the besieged Christians in the regions under attack by ISIS, I decided to openly wear my Eastern Orthodox cross daily as both a reminder to pray in solidarity with them, and to share their plight with others who comment on this cross.

Can we as Western Christians decide to deeply relate to these suffering and endangered Christians of the Middle East? The Bible emphasizes that the Body of Christ is ONE with one another. And if one member suffers, we all suffer together worldwide with that member. 

When reading such reports, it becomes painfully clear that such persecuted Christians remain endangered to this hour, and desperately need our genuine love and our prayers and support in practical ways.
Canon Andrew White on the front lines for Jesus

Recently, Anglican Church Canon Andrew White, beloved by all who know him, published photographs on FACEBOOK illustrating the plight of these now-refugee families living in miserable tent cities in the heart of winter there. CLICK on link with his name above to view these shocking photographs of Christians refugees trying to survive this winter.

Snow covers their tents. Harsh winds blow through the flimsy fabric. Many do not have enough blankets or warm clothing. There are reports now emerging that some women are giving birth, only to have their newborn child perish from the cold and lack of proper nourishment and clothing and medical care.

And while many Christians throughout North American enjoyed Christmas in peace and plenty, these Christian refugees from Islamic persecution suffered in the cold and abject poverty and fear.

God has clearly put the challenge their crisis represents  before the Body of Christ worldwide. 

UNITED we stand. But DIVIDED and uncaring, we then fall to the enemy, and allow others to fall as well.

Let us take the time to stand united in the Body of Christ with God's precious Christian people under attack by ISIS Islamic terrorists in the Middle East. 

Intercessory prayer and fasting costs us nothing. It is the least we can do for our endangered brethren in Christ under persecution. But there is more we must do if their life-threatening is to be alleviated. "Faith without works is dead."
We must remember that PRAYER is asking GOD to do something. But many times in response to our prayers, God is asking US to do something as well. God works through His people. We are His voice and His hands of mercy and compassion to a lost and  dying world. 

If WE as Christians fail to understand this, and fail to manifest His love in practical ways, the critically needed work simply will not get done. 

For those of you who can afford to give financially, there are Christian outreaches that are doing a wonderful job of helping to deliver and supply these refugees with warm blankets, heaters, clothing and other essential survival supplies at this time.

Canon Andrew White making an impassioned plea 
for greater support for Christian victims of ISIS 
in Iraq and the Middle East

Canon Andrew White, called THE VICAR OF BAGHDAD until forced to flee from invading ISIS forces who put a price on his head, is doing a wonderful work of supporting endangered Christian refugees. The name of his relief organization is The Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East. CLICK HERE to go to his relief agency.

Franklin Graham of SAMARITAN'S PURSE has been doing a wonderful work to supply heaters to those living in tent cities. CLICK HERE to go to this website to donate and learn more about how you can help!
SAMARITAN'S PURSE supplying heaters for Christian refugees

While there are undoubtedly many other excellent organizations providing support for Christian refugees in the Middle East, these are the two I have researched and discovered are doing an excellent job of providing assistance to our endangered brethren.

THANK YOU for taking the time to be concerned for our persecuted fellow Christians facing immediate crisis  in the refugee camps. And remember: the mercy you sow TODAY, is the very same mercy you shall reap in your time of sorrow and crisis someday. 

Our love towards the Body of Christ under attack, ensures the continuation of the triumphant Body of Christ during this troubled generation. It is the enemy's intention to blot out the Christian faith worldwide. 

By God's grace, we must never allow this to happen. We must stand in solidarity with the Christians threatened with extinction NOW.
A bleak Christmas in refugee tent cities

"Inasmuch as you have this for the least of these my brethren, 
You have done it unto Me."

~Matthew 25:40~

-Pamela Rae Schuffert on behalf of His endangered brethren worldwide-

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