Syria (GAiN) — Editor’s Note: This is a story written by Global Aid Network USA sharing how the Islamic State is advancing.
Despite international attempts to check the advancement of the Islamic State in northern Iraq and Syria, the terrorist group’s power continues to grow. To solidify their control in conquered territories, leaders have established courts to enforce Islamic law, schools to perpetuate their sect, and consumer agencies to certify adherence to strict food standards. Meanwhile, they continue to seek expansion in the east and south, where government forces appear vulnerable.
In the cities controlled by IS, enemies include anyone who is not part of their specific sect of Sunni Islam, but they reserve their most brutal treatment for Sunni Muslims suspected of working with the Iraqi government and Muslims who have converted to Christianity.
Punishments include beating, amputation, crucifixion, and beheading. And these measures exclude no one–not even women and children. The photos coming out of northern Iraq are too gruesome to share.
To fund their expansion and rule, IS receives huge sums of money from extremist Islamic charities, wealthy individuals in the Gulf, oil fields they’ve commandeered, and resources plundered in Syria. They also gain immense wealth from fleeing residents. Each city overrun by IS puts hundreds of families to flight. While IS militants do allow most residents to leave, they strip them of all possessions and money and have been known to cut off fingers to remove rings and pull gold teeth before granting passage.
Unlike banking institutions in the West, funds deposited in one Iraqi bank are not available in another except by wire transfer. When the IS takes physical control of a bank, all of the funds become theirs. So, when a family flees, they leave with nothing; everything they leave behind is forever lost.
While the IS gains resources through violence, ministries like Global Aid Network USA (GAiN) struggle to serve victims with limited supplies of food, medicine, clothing, and other basic necessities.
GAiN needs help. They need contributions in order to give refugees hope. GAiN says, “Jesus taught His disciples (and us) a critical lesson about ministry. The Lord does not deny that He has called us to engage a mission too great for our own resources. Our gifts will always fall short of the need. Even so, the Lord grants us the opportunity to share what little we have. And when we’re faithful to add our portion, God is faithful to multiply our offering so that it will be sufficient. Indeed, more than enough.”
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Pray that GAiN will have increasing opportunities to help refugees find the eternal hope of Christ which surpasses circumstances.