A new symbol for Christianity has emerged in recent weeks. It is the Arabic letter nūn. I am hesitant to use it, because there may be a sense in which it is becoming “cool”. But those who are marked by it in Iraq cannot view it as a cool symbol.
The Arabic letter nūn (ن) is equivalent to our letter N. It stands for Nasrani, which means Nazarene – a reference to the fact that Jesus was a Nazarene; from Nazareth. The insurgents in northern Iraq, known as the Islamic State (IS), are painting this symbol in red on the houses of Christians in Iraq.
Time could be wasted discussing whether members of churches such as the Chaldean Catholic Church are genuine Christians. Now is not the time so to debate this matter. The point at issue is that IS are identifying such people as followers of Christ, making their houses, and then murdering them. It has been reported that they are murdering children. We certainly have photographic evidence of adults from the Christian community being crucified. Just let that c word sink in for a moment. Crucifixion has been widely regarded as the cruelest and most painful form of execution ever. It was the method used to kill our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It was used on some of Jesus’ followers in differing forms – notably Peter and Andrew.
It surely cannot be denied that these people are suffering grievously. And it is notable that, whatever their theology, they are suffering for the Name of the Lord Jesus. They need our prayers. More than that, they need our action. They need us to pressurize our governments to help them; perhaps to evacuate them and take them to safety. Perhaps those Christians in western nations, like myself, who have argued against indiscriminate immigration into our respective countries could demonstrate the Christian basis for our stand by telling our elected representatives that an exception should be made for these persecuted Iraqi Christians, and that we would welcome them with open arms into our nations.
Western Christians have become too soft. Too many of us expect that we will be “raptured” before the Big Trouble comes. The plight of the Iraqi Christians gives the lie to this errant doctrine. How can you tell your Iraqi brethren that God will rescue them from the Big Trouble, so that they do not suffer? I tell you this – the Big Trouble will only be bigger than this Iraqi persecution in scope and reach, not in terms of severity of suffering.
Action and Prayer
We need to pray for our Iraqi brethren. We also need to take action. Please visit the website linked below, to find out what can be done to help these people.
Also, consider using a graphic on your social media, such as the cross and nūn that I have created below.