WARNING: GRAPHIC VIDEO
She was dressed in black literally from head to toe. Because of the lack of information that is so often allowed out of an Islamic Republic we don’t know if she is married or has children or how old she is. Her crime isn’t known. (Speculation is that she wore trousers.) We don’t even know her name.
Her punishment however is plain for everyone to see. It’s all captured on video and posted on the web. It’s hard to watch, but I think we must. It’s too easy to look away, to not think about.
She is surrounded by police and by standers and no one intervenes while she is beaten. She is flogged 53 times. At one point she grabs the whip to try and stop the beating. She is told she must accept her beating or spend 2 years in prison. At another point she desperately cries out for her mom. She’s terrified, in excruciating pain, surrounded by people but all alone.
The police? They laugh and beat her more.
Two years earlier, in 2008.
She was 23 years old when she was convicted of adultery before a Sharia court. She was buried up to her neck, and then pelted stones until she died in front of an audience of a thousand people. They were sitting in a football stadium gathered around like they were watching a game. The only game they saw was her begging for her life.
The reality that later came out is she was a 13 year old girl who had been raped.
(see story here http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/7708169.stm )
This didn’t happen in the tribal areas of Pakistan or Afghanistan.
It happened in Africa.
It’s not that Pakistan or Afghanistan are less important, and I do NOT want to imply that. It’s just that so many of my friends are so passionate about Africa don’t understand the threat that radical Islam is posing to the “least of these” in not just the Middle East but in Africa, in Europe, and yes even in our own Country. There is a very purposeful, strategic and successful push from Islam to take over the entire continent of Africa. Sudan, Somalia, Egypt, etc have already been infiltrated and overcome in varying degrees. Kenya, Zimbabwe, Uganda and many other nations are being actively targeted.
They are starting with the children, with the poor. In a nation where the average lifespan is under 40 years we are potentially just a couple of decades away from an entire turn over in the religion in the population.
The problem of radical Islam is a real one. And while we’re sitting around in America debating whether or not Islam is a religion of peace there is a woman in northern Sudan who was beaten 53 times, a 13 year old girl in Somalia who was brutally murdered who probably could have answered that question, if they were only allowed to talk.
These are truly the least of these that Jesus spoke of in Matthew 25. He didn’t give us a pass from helping them based upon their oppressors being scary or not. In fact, in the context of Matthew 24 and 25 it was specifically persecuted followers of Christ that He was speaking of.
We look at this and my tendency is to say this is too great, to dire, what can we do? And because we don’t know what to do, we don’t do anything. Fear paralyzes. Confusion disorganizes. But not Jesus, He said “go and do likewise”
That was in reference to someone who was beaten, robbed and left for dead. When we encounter someone(s) who have been beaten, robbed, left for dead. We are to bring relief. I know this was a parable Jesus was speaking of in Luke 10, but what if the idea of the person in need of help could also be taken literal and not just metaphorical. We have seen a people, albeit on youtube, but we have seen it. I believe that what we saw the “good” Samaritan do in Luke 10, that we must go and do likewise. That is after all what Jesus said.
I’m blessed at Conduit. I’m surrounded by a group of folks who are passionate about doing something. In a world full of folks looking the other way. In a world that is full of “slacktivists” (People who retweet and move on with their lives, thinking they actually did something) I’m surrounded with people who are actually doing something with their money, with their prayers, with their lives to make a difference in this world.
We are the hands and feet of Jesus, and we know this in Haiti. We are serving a group of people quite literally with food, clothing, education and most importantly Jesus. We are doing it in Togo, Africa. We are doing it in our own back yard.
But what of those being of those being oppressed, marginalized, tortured and murdered by radical Islamists using their own Sharia law as the justification. The Bible not only speaks of giving money to the poor, it also speaks of justice for the poor. We know what it looks like to feed and clothe them. What does it look like to fight for justice?
That’s the very question we’re going to ask in the coming weeks at Conduit Church. As a church we have been silent on this issue, but not any more. What does it look like in Africa. What does it look like in Israel? What does it look like in our own back yard?
As a church I’d ask you to keep this matter in prayer. I believe we need to move, but we need clarity and direction. I know we’re supposed to move forward in this area, go on the offense, but we need to be led of the Spirit in how we proceed. Would you pray? And if the Lord speaks anything to you please let me know?