Two days ago a headline appeared in the Open Doors Website: Syria-Christians Caught in Escalating Conflict” The report went on to say “As conflict escalates in northern Syria, 40,000 to 50,000 Christians are caught up in its midst. Bomb explosions have left people injured and reduced houses, shops and schools to rubble. Christians must make the difficult choice between remaining in their homes or fleeing. Since war broke out in 2011, violence and conflict have been a staple in Syria. But the conflict is worsening in northern Syria as Turkish troops attack Kurdish-led forces.
Pastor George leads a church in one of the cities affected by bombings. His church has been providing shelter to believers who have lost their homes because of the attacks. He said, “We as a church decided to support whoever decides to stay by all means possible. “Christians are leaving now in big numbers… Every day there are more than 10 buses taking people towards other cities.” One of the families that Pastor George and his church are caring for is Fadi’s. Fadi is a husband and father of two. He and his wife were injured, and their house and shop destroyed, when bombs struck. Fadi’s wife may never walk again. Pastor George described the aftermath of the bombings as “a horrifying scene.” Open Doors church partners are on the ground, assessing and responding to immediate needs and caring for those affected by the fighting.”
Since President Trump has withdrawn American forces from Northern Syria not only are the Kurds facing a possible genocide at the hands of the Turks but also the Christians as well. President trump’s decision to do this has caused growing ripples within Christendom even among those within evangelical circles who have supported President Trump. It would seem that his professed support of persecuted religious minorities, especially Christians in repressive regimes, has taken a backward step. Not only does it seem he has abandoned the Kurdish people but also the Christians. He plans to ‘up the ante’ on the economic sanctions against Turkey but will this be enough to halt Turkey’s expansionist policy in view of establishing a resurrected Turkish Ottoman Empire in the Middle-East?
While President Trump has said that it is time for America to stop fighting the wars of others, he cannot escape the fact that when America withdraws its troops from any middle-eastern region, the enemy move in. Islam is waging a global Jihad. US Vice-President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo are in Turkey to meet with the Turkish President as the US scramble to mitigate the fallout of a US withdrawal from northern Syria. If they can they will try to persuade President Erdogan to halt the incursion and even withdraw Turkish forces from the region, something that he most likely will not do in the short or long term. He has agreed to halt the incursion for a few days only if the Kurds withdraw from the region. What lasting impact this visit will have remains to be seen.
The Man from Turkey has made it clear that he will not back down. If he does it will only be a temporary setback for him as his agenda to establish a resurrected Turkish Ottoman Empire with himself as the Supreme Caliph of the whole Islamic world has not changed. Christian persecution is increasing at an alarming rate within Islamic countries and is coming to the western democracies as we see laws now being passed in our parliaments to restrict Christians and to do away with the Judeo-Christian heritage that gave us our freedoms in the western democracies.
Jeremiah was God’s prophet in the last days of the Kingdom of Judah and while the Babylonians were closing in the people of Israel were having a party and listening to popular prophets and thinking that because they had the Temple with its structured system of worship and sacrifices and offerings that they were undefeatable. Jeremiah the prophet refused to go along with the popular prophets prophesying kingdom dominion, prosperity and having it good in this world and that the people would never see the sword. As Jeremiah writes; “They have lied about the LORD and said, “He will not do anything; harm will not come to us; we will not see sword or famine. The prophets are but wind, for the LORD’s word is not in them. So let their own words be done to them.” (Jeremiah 5:12-13)
God also says through the prophet; “They (the false prophets) have dressed the wound of My people with very little care, saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace at all.”(Jeremiah 6:14) God continues; “They dress the wounds of the daughter of My people with very little care, saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace.” (Jeremiah 8:11) Today within western Christendom (Europe, England and Australia) we see the same sorts of things happening in Christendom that were going on in Judah in Jeremiah’s time just before Jerusalem fell to the Babylonians.
Jeremiah could not sit in the circle of the merrymakers as he himself declares; “I did not sit in the company (circle) of merrymakers, nor did I rejoice; under the weight of your hand I sat alone, for you had filled me with indignation.” (Jeremiah 15:17) God was angry with the way the false prophets and teachers were telling His people what they wanted to hear and not what they needed to hear. Undoubtedly the false prophets were good at “scratching itching ears!” (2 Timothy 4:3-4) Today the LORD is angry at the myriad of false prophets and teachers hitting the airwaves, spruiking on television and over the internet “peddling the Word of God for profit!”
Islam is the modern ‘Babylonian’ Empire and they are closing in for the kill on the western church. As we see Christian persecution growing globally and as the Middle-eastern Churches are being systematically decimated by Islam let us be aware that political leaders do not always make the right choices. President Trump has said he will support and protect religious minorities but what he has done in Northern Syria is to in effect abandon the 40,000 to 50,000 Christians living there to a possible genocide at the hands of the Turks, in the same vein as the Armenian genocide perpetrated by the Turkish Ottoman Empire last century.
Where will the Christians flee to? Who will take them in? Many are seeking to escape but will they find refuge as the Turkish forces penetrate Northern Syria, undoubtedly heading for the Golan Heights to invade Israel from the North as scripture reveals. (Ezekiel 38:1-6, 15) (Daniel 11:40) The Christians in Northern Syria are presently surrounded on all sides by Islamic countries that persecute Christians. Even though Syria seems to be coming to the aid of the Kurds Christians are not treated well in Syria and will suffer none the less at the hands of Islam no matter who controls the region.
President Trump has made some very wise and good decisions during his term in office especially concerning Israel but this decision concerning the Kurds could see unleashed an era of terror in the whole Middle-Eastern region and even beyond that, a reign of terror never previously experienced. (Matthew 24:21-22) Right at its epicentre will be the Christians that President Trump has promised to protect.
P.S. A ceasefire and pause in Turkey’s military operation for 120 hours has been brokered by Vice President Mile Pence and the negotiating team. President Erdogan has said he will cease hostilities permanently if the YPG withdraw from the 20 mile safe zone on the border between Syria and Turkey. In five days we will see what happens but ultimately it may be that we will see an invasion of Syria by Turkey and then an incursion into Israel. For now it seems that there is a peaceful solution which is of course the best solution in that it will save the loss of thousands of lives in the region. We must also keep in mind what Daniel the prophet wrote concerning the coming Antichrist that “His power will be great, but it will not be his own. He will cause terrible destruction and succeed in whatever he does. He will destroy the mighty men along with the holy people. Through his craft and by his hand, he will cause deceit to prosper, and in his own mind he will make himself great. In a time of peace (or by peace) he will destroy many, and he will even stand against the Prince of princes. Yet he will be broken off, but not by human hands. The vision of the evenings and the mornings that has been spoken is true. Now you must seal up the vision, for it concerns the distant future.” (Daniel 8:24-26)