Organizers of a rally in Dallas to support Christians under siege from ISIS warn the Islamic jihadist army must be stopped now, because it won’t be satisfied with conquering only Iraq.
“They’re after the whole world. They’re doing this to Iraq, but if they succeed, they’ll expand and they’ll even reach here,” said Pastor Jalil Dawood, a native of Iraq who now leads the Arabic Church of Dallas.
WND has reported the atrocities inflicted by ISIS, or Islamic State, militants on Christians. They are being ordered to convert to Islam, pay a Muslim tax or be executed.
As Christians are forced to flee their homes and cities, ISIS fighters stake out the edge of towns, stripping believers of their vehicles, property and money.
Dawood is part of the planning team for the rally, Sept. 14 at 4:30 p.m. in front of Dallas City Hall.
Activist Carole Novielli said she is organizing the rally to build support for Iraq’s persecuted Christians because their plight “broke my heart.”
“I was watching the crisis unfold a few weeks ago and was urged by the Lord to speak out in a public way,” she told WND.
Novielli has started a Facebook group to generate publicity.
“As I watched the news unfolding in Iraq and heard the tragic stories of men along with women and children being taken into captivity, slaughtered, I was both angered and grieved,” she said. “To be honest, I didn’t want to see anymore; I wanted to close my eyes. The world has just gotten too horrible, and now this was in my back yard, because these are my brothers and sisters in Christ.
“I know persecution exists in many parts of the world, Iran, Cuba, South Korea, China, and many Muslim countries, but watching a place that spoke the language of Jesus purge the country of everything of my Lord — human, historical and symbolic — just broke my heart,” Novielli said.
“People are being killed and persecuted,” Dawood said. “There’s a lot of rape, suffering because of their faith in the Lord Jesus. It’s a conflict between two parties, and the Christians are the victims. The only reason they’re the victims is because they’re Christians.”
Novielli said what prompted her to act was wondering how she would react if the persecution was happening to her.
“I put myself in their place. What if I had to leave everything I owned; to watch my family and countrymen be slaughtered? What if I were to become virtually homeless, starved and destitute because of my faith? What would I want others to do for me?
“Well, that list is long, but there was one thing I knew I could do and that was to speak out and show them support. They may not hear our message; they may not see our banners or read our words, but God does,” Novielli said.
Dawood noted the Christians in Iraq have no militia or weapons with which to fight.
“They have nothing material, so they’re relying on the Lord. And they’re relying on the locals who protect them as much as possible,” he said.
Dawood said Islam is a “missionary religion in one sense.”
“But Islam depends on force, military actions and violence to win converts,” Dawood said. “When they don’t have power, they speak of peace. When they have power, they speak of dominating and controlling.”
He warned of the explosive expansion of violence that could be looming.
“People think it’s far away; people aren’t doing anything. They might mention it; they might pray about it, which is wonderful. But beyond that, action like writing to your senator, writing to your president, you know, trying to get them to send help, it’s not happening.
“There needs to be action. We need to be proactive. Today it’s them; tomorrow it’s going to be us,” Dawood said.
He emphasized Christians cannot be passive, because “this is an enemy that will not stop.”
“This is an enemy that wants to take over territory that has much of the world’s oil reserves, and this is a group that wants to expand beyond their borders,” he said.