There is little doubt that ISIS believes that its fight against the West is one that is religious in nature. ISIS is seeking to defeat the Christian West. So that they have targeted Church leaders in the past is not that surprising. We also should not be surprised that they now are calling on those loyal to Islam to attack Churches this Christmas.
The Islamic State has published a list containing the names and addresses of thousands of churches in the United States, Canada, France, and the Netherlands, encouraging followers to attack them during the Christmas and New Year’s holiday season.
Vocativ reports the list came from a user on an ISIS-linked channel called “Secrets of Jihadis” on the secure messaging site Telegram. Other posts on this channel have included instructions for making explosives and carrying out massacres.
The list of churches was accompanied by a message urging the “sons of Islam” to target them for terrorist attacks, along with “well-known hotels, crowded coffee shops, streets, markets and public places.”
For many this cause a sense of fear. They will barely be able to listen or sing in worship on Sunday, especially when we consider that there is an unknown amount of zealots just waiting for this kind of push to fight for Allah.
If this is not a call for the exercise of our First Amendment rights, I do not think there is one. We should all be prepared for the worst. It is not a lack of faith to prepare to defend oneself.
Nehemiah 4:9 reads
But we prayed to our God, and because of them we set up a guard against them day and night.
So while Nehemiah trusted in the God of Heaven, he set a guard to protect the people from the agents of Satan. I recommend that pastors do the same for their people.