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Some of the bravest martyrs this generation may ever know are teenagers—and perhaps even younger.
When Islamic State militants threatened four children in Iraq—all under the age of 15—with death if they did not promise to follow Islam's "prophet" Muhammad, they defiantly stated, "No. We love Yasua (Jesus). We have always followed Yasua."
Andrew White, an Anglican priest known as the "Vicar of Baghdad," has seen violence and persecution against Christians unprecedented in recent decades. In a CBN News video embedded on this site, he recounts the story of the Iraqi Christian children who were told by ISIS militants to convert to Islam or be beheaded.
"ISIS turned up and they said to the children, 'You say the words that you will follow Muhammad,'" White says on the video.
"The children, all under 15, four of them, they said, 'No, we love Yasua. We have always loved Yasua. We have always followed Yasua. (This spelling is similar to the Hebrew name, Yeshua, which is translated "Jesus" in English and Spanish.) Yasua has always been with us,'" White recounted. "[The militants] said, 'Say the words!' [The children] said, 'No, we can't do that.'
"They chopped all their heads off."
White's account does not make clear whether he personally witnessed the children's martyrdom, nor does it say where in Iraq this occurred.
"How do you respond to that?" he asked rhetorically. "You just cry. They are my children. That is what we have been going through. That is what we are going through."
"[Militants] say to one man, an adult, 'You say the words of conversion or we will kill all of your children.' He was desperate. He said the words. Then he phoned me and said '[Father], I said the words, does that mean Yasua doesn't love me anymore? I have always loved Yasua. I said those words because I couldn't see my children be killed.' I said, 'Jesus still loves you. He will always love you.'"
Find out more about White's ministry, The Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East, which provides humanitarian assistance to many of the Christians under attack by ISIS.
Want to get involved and help out? Here are 8 Ways You can Help Victims of Christian Genocide today.
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