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Try to imagine this: your home where you have lived all your life and where your family has lived for generations becomes a Dante’s Inferno of terror and death. Syria is one of the most ancient and significant nations on earth. It figures prominently in the Bible. It has been home to Christians for millennia and prophecy speaks of Damascus in the last days.
Syria has also been ruled by the Assad family and brutally so. But the Christians were so well integrated into society that the awkward compliment was given to President Bashar Al- Assad, “at least he left us alone”.
2011: Civil War Erupts
A civil war began in 2011, aided and assisted by outside nations including the United States that also ushered in the brutal and vicious Islamic States of Iraq and Syria. This was to be the geographic Caliphate that would spread throughout the world. The savagery of the Islamic State was spread throughout the region as fighters from around the world joined in jihad. Their intentional acts of conquest were broadcast via internet to intimidate all who stood in their way. Beheadings, obscene executions and other horrors were committed and shown to a horrified and numbed world. In Syria the victims of many of these atrocities were the Christians of Syria.
Why Did This Happen?
The rise of ISIS was a result of the Iraq War or 2003, the continued war in Afghanistan and overall instability in the region culminating in the “Arab Spring” of 2011 and downfall of Libya, Egyptian and other states’ leaders. A violent branch of Islam moved into the vacuum created by many forces and antagonism between Islamic sects. No one was quite prepared for the horrific violence that was a major part of ISIS’ strategy; the Christians simply could not believe what was happening or prepare for what followed so quickly.
Who Came To Their Rescue And How Did They Survive And Escape?
Those who could escape did so, usually with the clothes on their backs and joined refugees, in the millions, fleeing to neighboring countries and Europe. The United Nations and the US State Department refused to prioritize Christians in Syria for refugee status and even some Christian refugee groups refused to help their brothers and sisters in Syria as these families were targeted for death because of their faith. Many escaped by sea to a dangerous voyage in any type of craft they could find. They were abandoned by the world and their own religion. Many tried to flee to UN camps but were faced with persecution. Many went overland to countries where they are at least tolerated. Many were brutally martyred in ways that mirror the times of Nero and the other Roman Emperors. Today there less than half the number of believers left in Syria than there were in 2010 and persecution continues according to a survey and report by The Church in Need.
It Can’t Happen Here? Don’t Bet On It. What Can You Do To Prepare?
There is now an overt attempt by mass media and hostile groups to isolate Christians as bigots and hate mongers. Talk shows, commentators and organized groups denounce believers as enemies. Government leaders and celebrities who defend their beliefs are mocked and criticized for this. Law suits are common against those who refuse to follow trends that are counter to their faith. The martyrdom is in the mass media, courts and social media. Public opinion can be swayed by lies and propaganda as in Germany in the 1930’s where the Goebbels strategy of telling the same lies until they are accepted as fact was a major art of the Nazi agenda.
Prepare And Be Situationally Aware
There will probably come a time when economic pressure, social ostracizing by even best friends and neighbors will become a daily stress. Responsible people should have a plan and work with likeminded persons to be ready to leave. Until then become unobtrusive without compromise, a “gray person”. Do not go out of your way to attract attention but do not surrender your principles. A planned relocation site may be possible. Using reliable websites and non-mass media news sources will provide a means of knowing what may be going on. Even the open discussion of a “deep state” coup and an actual civil war should be watched with care for signs of a buildup. Syrian believers were overtaken by the violence of the ISIS conquest and now the ongoing civil war still has multiple militia groups and a serious Iranian presence to deal with as Christians are still persecuted.
Iran Vows To Exterminate The “Great Satan” – The U.S. Should Remain On Edge
The Iranians have vowed to exterminate the “Great Satan “the United States, and the “Little Satan”, Israel. Christians are included in both. Iranian political infiltration into US politics and media cannot be underestimated.
Times Have Changed
Society has become severely divided and both sides have lost common ground. Christian believers have become a focal point of radical groups who on their own numbers lack the strength to dominate. But the last eight years saw a coalition build that has assembled these groups into a new ideology that is directly opposed to most American Constitutional values and God-given rights.
Survival Means Adaptation And Sometimes Avoiding Conflict Entirely
Survival means adaptation to new conditions and sometimes removing yourself from the conflict is the winning strategy. An ancient church in Syria has seen terrible persecution by violent hostile groups. It happened too fast for them to plan an escape and many have been brutally martyred.
As a nation, and especially for those Christians and Jews targetted by Radical Islamists, we need to learn from this to be alert, aware and prepared for the worst that people can do. We have more information resources on hand than the Christians of Syria. Wise and responsible people will watch and be ready to move and survive if and when the unthinkable becomes a grim reality in America.
Radicals have bombed us at home, have shot us at home, and even if things seem to quiet down, they are still coming…