Twelve Christians have been brutally executed by the Islamic State, including the 12-year-old son of a Syrian ministry team leader who had planted nine churches, because they refused to renounce the name of Jesus Christ and embrace Islam. The martyrs were faithful to the very end; right before one woman was beheaded by the terror group, she appeared to be smiling slightly as she said, “Jesus!”
According to Christian Aid Mission, a humanitarian group which assists indigenous Christian workers in their native countries, the horrific murders took place on August 28 in an unnamed village outside Aleppo, Syria.
“In front of the team leader and relatives in the crowd, the Islamic extremists cut off the fingertips of the boy and severely beat him, telling his father they would stop the torture only if he, the father, returned to Islam,” Christian Aid revealed, according to a report from Morning Star News. “When the team leader refused, relatives said, the ISIS militants also tortured and beat him and the two other ministry workers. The three men and the boy then met their deaths in crucifixion.”
They were killed for refusing to return to Islam after embracing Christianity, as were the other eight aid workers, including two women, according to Christian Aid. The eight were taken to a separate site in the village and asked if they would return to Islam. However, after they refused to renounce Christ, the women, ages 29 and 33, were raped before the crowd summoned to watch, and then all eight were beheaded.
They prayed as they knelt before the Islamic State militants, according to the ministry leader Christian Aid assists, who spoke with relatives and villagers while visiting the site.
“Villagers said some were praying in the name of Jesus, others said some were praying the Lord’s Prayer, and others said some of them lifted their heads to commend their spirits to Jesus,” the ministry director told Christian Aid. “One of the women looked up and seemed to be almost smiling as she said, ‘Jesus!'”
Grossing as much as $40 million or more over the past two years, ISIS has accepted funding from government or private sources in the oil-rich nations of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait—and a large network of private donors, including Persian Gulf royalty, businessmen and wealthy families.
Until recently, all three countries had openly given hefty sums to rebels fighting Bashar Assad’s Syrian regime, among them ISIS. Only after widespread criticism from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the international community did Saudi Arabia pass legislation in 2013 criminalizing financial support of terrorist organizations such as Al-Qaeda, Al-Nusra and ISIS.
In August, ISIS was declared “Enemy Number One” by the most senior Islamic cleric in Saudi Arabia, Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh, and Saudi Arabian bomber and fighter planes joined U.S. airstrikes against ISIS. So far, Qatar and Kuwait have not followed suit.
Why is the United States not opening its doors widely to give these Christians shelter? They have nowhere else to go.