I was preparing to blog on the Top 5 breaking news stories on our sydneyanglicans feed when an email and video dropped in my inbox that was simply horrifying.
I've abandoned the Top 5 to simply tell you this story, urge you to pray and speak out.
The video comes from a trusted source, along with a plea to Christians around the world. Presumably taken on a mobile phone for propoganda purposes, it starts with four men, faces obscured by scarves, and one man, bound hand and feet, lying on the ground in front of them.
One of the men is waving a semi-automatic rifle, another is reading from a piece of paper in a high-pitched voice, almost shouting. The man on the ground is struggling so one of his captors pins his head to the ground with his boot.
I have been told what is being read out is the name and address of the captive and presumably his 'crime' and 'sentence'. His crime, according to the Taliban, is being an apostate, a muslim who has abandoned Islam and in this case, embraced the Gospel of Jesus. I watched as this man, one of our Christian brothers, gagged and bound, struggled against the brutality of his captors.
After about a minute, the reading is over and the man who had his boot on the Christian pulls out his knife. He beheads his captive. I won't detail that because I wish I hadn't seen it. A friend of mine said he couldn't sleep after watching it. But what we feel is totally immaterial.
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