WHITESBORO — A local pastor calls the persecution of Christians at the hands of ISIS and other terrorists, “a problem bigger than any one denomination and one that needs God’s help.”

North Hills Baptist Church pastor Tim Robinson invites more than 600 churches in Cooke, Grayson, Wise, Denton, and Fannin counties to join a special multi-denominational prayer service for 7 p.m. on March 26. The church is located at 400 Highway 377 North in Whitesboro.

“We believe this is one of the first prayer services of its kind in North Texas,” Robinson said. “It is our hope many other churches will organize their own prayer services soon. Religious leaders must begin praying and educating congregations how they can respond in prayer and other ways to the growing worldwide war against Christianity.”

Robinson said all churches in the cities of Gainesville, Lake Dallas, The Colony, Sanger, Decatur and Denton have received mailed invitations, and another 200-plus churches have received email invitations.

“Our prayer strategy is centered on I Timothy 2:1-6,” Robinson said. “There will be no preaching, promotion of political agendas or something to sell. It will be a simple gathering of churches of many denominations and church leadership across North Texas to come together in unity to pray.”

Robinson was led to bring continued attention to the persecution of Christians by ISIS when he noticed the lack of its mention on Christian radio stations and on church marquees.

“It has bothered me,” he said. “We shouldn’t be discouraged, and as Christians we need to pray. We need to get involved by contacting resource groups and offer aide. This is a spiritual war, they are using guns, but we are using  prayer.”

Robinson quoted Hebrews 13:3, “Remember the prisoners as if you are in prison with them and the mistreated as if you yourselves suffer harm.”

The prayer service is free and open to the public. Visit www.northhillsbaptist.com for travel directions and more information.

In other comments

The 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians were among thousands of unemployed Egyptians desperately seeking work in Libya despite the risks. They were marched to a beach by ISIS terrorists, and forced to kneel and then beheaded on video. ISIS, also known as ISIL, is an al-Qaeda offshoot which seeks to form an Islamic emirate in the Levant region through jihad. It has gained control over large territories in Iraq and Syria.

Pope Francis commented to a Vatican transcript about the ISIS terrorist beheading, “The blood of our Christian brothers and sisters is a witness that cries out to be heard. It makes no difference whether they be Catholics, Orthodox, Copts or Protestants. They are Christians! Their blood is one and the same. Their blood confesses Christ.”

The Pope urged Christians toward ecumenicism, or unity in Christian faith. “As we recall these brothers and sisters who were killed only because they confessed Christ, I ask that we encourage one another to go forward with this ecumenism that is emboldening us, the ecumenism of blood,” he said. “The martyrs belong to all Christians.”

ISIS posted a video titled, “a message signed with blood to the nation of the cross,” an image that has gone viral in many Christian circles.

On Feb. 22, the president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, Rev. Samuel Rodriguez,  representing 100 million Hispanic evangelicals called on President Obama and Congress to stand up for persecuted Christians.

“We stand convicted and convinced that terror and intolerance cannot, and will not, extinguish the light of God’s grace, truth and love,” Rodriguez said. He is part of the call for Christians to remember and honor the 21 Egyptian Coptic martyrs.

“We call upon the President of the United States of America and Congress to specifically address the persecution of Christians by ISIS, Islamic totalitarianism and regimes in the Middle East; and call upon the United Nations to convene a summit on Christian persecution around the world,” Rodriguez wrote in a statement.

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