I can not imagine what it must be like to see your own son brutally tortured in front of your eyes; his fingers being hacked off one by one. What floods of anguish do you feel as your twelve-year-old child is crucified next to you? What words are there that could possibly describe the range of emotions that sweep through your soul as you, father and son, side by side, die an agonizing death for refusing to deny the name of Jesus.
On August 28th, 2015, 11 workers of the Christian Aid Mission were brutally executed for refusing to renounce their faith and return to Islam. Three men and a 12 twelve-year-old boy were beaten and tortured before a crowd and then were publically executed. Two women were among the slain, and they were publicly raped before being beheaded. The remaining six men were also beheaded. The bodies were hung on crosses and left up for two days.
All twelve people stayed behind when ISIS took over the town and surrounding areas. Ignoring advice to retreat to safety, they stayed to spread the message of Christ among those who were caught in the crossfire. In spite of the danger, they continued to give hope to those who had none.
As shocking as this whole story is, the most shocking thing of all is that no one has heard of it. None of the major news outlets carried the story. No one is raising a cry of outrage. These twelve souls slip into eternity, not amidst a roar of the voices of the world calling for justice, but rather a whisper. As T.S. Eliot says, “Not with a bang but a whimper.” Their blood cries out for justice, but where will justice come from?
When he opened up the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne. They cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” They were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer until the number of their fellow servants and their brothers should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been. Revelation 6:9-11 ESV
At any time, any one of these martyrs could have saved themselves by surrendering to their captor’s demands and denying the name of Jesus. To the man, woman, and child, they chose to face death with the name of Jesus on their lips.
Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains of imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. …Of whom the world was not worthy… Hebrews 11:35-38
You can read the original story here.