Thought for the Week
Perhaps surprisingly this isn’t a letter about the independence referendum!
While we Scots can get obsessed with our domestic politics, their importance pales to insignificance when we look at the wider world around us.
Gaza, Syria, Iraq: the atrocious violence of the Middle-East must continue to shock us.
All of it is terrible, but as a Church we’ve been particularly distressed by the ordeal of the Christians of Northern Iraq who have been suffering systematic persecution, eviction, and death at the hands of the extremist jihadists of ISIS. In recent days we’ve heard reports of further atrocities and even the beheading of children.
Iraqi Christians were forced to flee the northern city of Mosul under threat of forced conversion or execution have spoken of their terror as churches were turned into mosques and their homes and property confiscated. Christians were given a stark choice: convert to Islam, pay a religious tax, or face death.
In the 1990s there were two million Christians in Iraq – reports say there are now only 200,000. There are now none in Mosul. This ancient people, who’ve been there 2000 years , are now in danger of total destruction.
Yet, hope comes when we insist that they are not alone. St Paul wrote to the Corinthians “if one part of the body suffers, all suffer together.”
He was speaking of the worldwide Church, which is the Body of Christ in the world. And one good thing is that Christians are reminded that we have brothers and sisters all over the world, and that their tears must be ours, and we must pray for them, and call for international action to end their suffering. Please join us in that prayer. Alistair May, Stonelaw Parish Church.