Greetings in the name of Christ:
As so many have no doubt seen and heard, the ancient Christian community in that part of Iraq and Syria controlled by ISIS has been told to convert to Islam, leave, pay a massive tax that no one can come up with or die. And from pictures that have made the rounds on Facebook, the killings have begun. This is an attack on one of the oldest continuous Christian communities in the world. Would you take a moment right now to join with me, my brothers and sisters in The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, in a prayer to our heavenly Father on their behalf and on behalf of all throughout the world who suffer for the precious name of Jesus?
All-merciful Father, You gave Your Son into the flesh to experience hatred and violence and to conquer them with His unfailing love. Remember in compassion Your children, our sisters and brothers in Iraq and elsewhere, who suffer now for the sake of Christ. Strengthen them for a good confession, and give them grace to entrust themselves entirely into Your loving care, knowing that You will never leave them or forsake them and that death is no match for the life that You have given in Your Son and Spirit. According to Your wisdom, bring an end to the bloodshed and violence. Open the hearts of Your people in all places to stand with these hurting members of Christ’s body and provide any earthly aid we can to them. We ask it all in the name of Him whose cross is the triumph over all hatred, violence and death and whose resurrection is our everlasting hope, even Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
For a bulletin insert, hymn suggestions and additional reading on the subject, go to www.lcms.org/president/persecution.
With you, under the saving blood,
The Rev. Matthew C. Harrison
President, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod