Persecution Magazine, September 2015
International Christian Concern
“They wanted to know who was Muslim among us. We Christians had crosses and pictures of Jesus, so we really couldn’t hide it,” he said in an interview.
They were held for nearly a month before ISIS brutally executed many of them, broadcasting it to the world in a video published on social media. Nael and others were forced to witness the brutality firsthand, wondering when they would be called.
On April 7, as the jihadists were moving camp, Nael and four others seized an opportunity and were able to escape, surviving four days in the desert before meeting someone who was able to help them on to Tripoli and eventually safely across to Europe.
Islamic jihadists are just one of the dangers that refugees face. As the total numbers surge to record highs, the number of deaths is also increasing. Through the first half of 2015, the number of deaths of people crossing the Mediterranean was nearly 18 times what it was in 2014. Most boats used to make the crossings are overcrowded and piloted by unexperienced captains, putting them at greater risk for capsizing in the often dangerous waters.
The dangers and risks of making the journey are great, but as was poetically captured by the words of Somali-British poet Warsan Shire, “You have to understand that no one puts their children in a boat unless the water is safer than the land.”
For far too many Christians around the world, the land — land they have lived on for thousands of years — has indeed become more treacherous than the dangers they may face at sea...