Recently VOM's primary media spokesperson, Todd Nettleton, recorded a radio interview with Martha Manikas-Foster of Family Life Radio about what Christians in the Middle East are facing, and why so many are willing to risk death in order to flee to western Europe or someplace else considered "safe" for them.
The resulting report aired earlier this week, and was also posted on the Family Life web site. Here is a portion of it. Click on the link at the bottom to listen to the full radio report.
Millions of people. On foot, in boats, crossing borders, crossing the sea. Every day it seems a different country opens its doors—or closes its gates—to refugees. These are Syrians and Iraqis fleeing the self-proclaimed Islamic State as it carves out for itself a caliphate. This is where it hopes Sharia Law will rule. Where it plans for everyone to live under its preferred form of Islam.
How desperate must those fleeing be to risk boarding tiny boats to cross the Mediterranean Sea? What choices do Christians have under the Islamic State? What happens to former Muslims who have bent the knee to Jesus?
My conversation with Todd Nettleton is a help toward understanding. Nettleton is the director of media and public relations for the advocacy group The Voice of the Martyrs. We talk about the conditions that push people out of their homes, and he shares how we can pray for the Christians being persecuted—as well as the people persecuting them.
“One of the amazing, challenging things to me is that they don’t say, ‘Pray that the persecution will stop.’ Or, ‘Pray that the suffering will stop.’” Nettleton says. “What they say is, ‘Will you pray that we’ll be faithful in spite of the persecution?’”
You can listen to our 15-minute interview here.