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Terrorism Threatens Religious Liberty and Security

July 19, 2006

Islamists are striving to "liberate" and "reclaim" "Islamic lands"
previously under Islamic rule, such as the former Ottoman Empire.
Furthermore they are campaigning both politically and militarily to
expand Islamic territory to bring the world ultimately under
Islamic domination. Their strategy involves ideological
indoctrination, dawa (Islamic proselytism), jihad (Islamic holy
war) and international as well as domestic Islamic terrorism.
Islamic terrorism is one of the greatest threats to openness and
religious liberty in the world today. Needless to say, not all
Muslims are militant or Islamist. Whilst multitudes of Muslims do
support the Islamist agenda, it is often only because the
totalitarian Islamic regimes they live under secure their
allegiance by removing their rights and liberties and imprisoning
them in fear and ignorance. Moreover liberal and "reformist"
Muslims who genuinely promote secularism, peaceful co-existence,
openness and religious liberty are regarded by fundamentalist
Islamists as apostates and infidels, deserving of death.

Terrorism is a form of unconventional warfare using or threatening
violence to generate fear, terror and hardship. Its ultimate aim is
to achieve compliance with specific political, religious,
ideological or personal demands. Its real target is not the victim
of the terrorist act but the state or group to which that person
belongs. Islamists employ terrorism when they know they cannot win
politically or militarily, although sometimes it is purely for
publicity or popularity. Through terrorism they aim to make
resistance to Islamic demands politically or personally
unsustainable. The act of terror triggers a battle of wills. There
will be a winner and a loser - there can never be a tied result.
Capitulating to terrorist demands may give temporary respite from
terror but it actually delivers victory to the terrorists.
Believing they have the group or state hostage or retreating, they
are emboldened to simply move on to the next item on their agenda.

Islamic terrorism could not occur without ideological
indoctrination (primarily through madrassahs and mosques),
recruitment, military training, and logistics including funding and
arming. Since the 1970s Saudi Arabia has been disseminating
Wahhabist Islamic material through the Middle East, Asia, Africa
and the West. This material is fundamentally Islamist: pro-Sharia,
pro-jihad, and virulently anti-Semitic and anti-Christian. This has
been a primary source worldwide of Wahhabist ideology and Islamic
radicalisation. The Islamic Revolution in Iran (1979) further
radicalised and militarised the Shiites, whilst the Afghan jihad
against the Russians (ended 1992) did the same with the Sunnis.
Altogether this has led to the weakening of Arab and Persian
nationalism (which was largely secular and progressive in nature)
and the global resurgence of militant Islamism.

All Christians who believe in the principle of religious liberty -
that all people should be free to believe, practise their faith,
and even change their religion (Universal Declaration of Human
Rights article 18) - should pray that the ideology of militant
Islamism will fail and that the path to jihad and terror will be
disrupted at every level. May God frustrate the ways of the wicked
(Psalm 146:9b).

PLEASE PRAY SPECIFICALLY FOR -

* God to disrupt the cycle of Islamic terror, expose evil,
restrain ideology, and halt the supply of funds and weapons
and deployment of often brainwashed and exploited youths. "...
in order that man, who is of the earth, may terrify no more."
(from Psalm 10:14-18)

* Christians who are victims of domestic and international Islamic
terrorism: may the peace of God that transcends all
understanding guard their hearts and minds in Christ Jesus
(Philippians 4:7), enabling them to graciously shine like stars
(2:15,16) in the midst of darkness, attracting many to the one
who is their strength and peace - Jesus.

* the Holy Spirit to embolden and drive the Church of Jesus Christ
to preach the Spirit-empowered gospel of life to great effect in
all the world. "For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but
a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline." (2 Timothy
1:7)

"Let the [false] prophet who has a dream tell his dream, but let
the one who has my word speak it faithfully. For what has straw to
do with grain?" declares the LORD. "Is not my word like fire,"
declares the LORD, "and like a hammer that breaks a rock in
pieces?"(Jeremiah 23:28,29 NIV)

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SUMMARY TO USE IN BULLETINS UNABLE TO RUN THE WHOLE ARTICLE:
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TERRORISM THREATENS RELIGIOUS LIBERTY AND SECURITY

Terrorism is a form of unconventional warfare using or threatening
violence to generate fear, terror and hardship. It aims ultimately
to get compliance with specific political, religious, ideological
or personal demands. When Islamists know they cannot win
concessions or territorial expansion militarily or politically they
use terrorism to make governments give in to their Islamist
demands. Governments capitulate when, due to terror, resistance to
the Islamic demands becomes politically unsustainable. The fallacy
in capitulating is it emboldens terrorists who, sensing weakness
and tasting victory, then move on to the next item on their agenda.
Islamic terrorism, which seeks the end of religious liberty, could
not continue without ideological indoctrination, military training,
recruitment, funds and weapons. Pray that God will disrupt terror
"that man, who is of the earth, may terrify no more". Ps 10:18

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The WEA Religious Liberty Commission sponsors this
RL Prayer List to help individuals and groups pray
specifically and regularly for religious liberty
issues, and in particular to uphold the Church
where it is suffering persecution.

RL Prayer is moderated by Ron Clough, a commissioner
of the WEA RLC and convenor of the Australian EA RLC.
Elizabeth Kendal researched and authored this message.