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By Nancy Thorner – 

Mobilizing and educating voters seems to be the name of the game and is essential for the midterm elections less than three weeks away. Last Sunday, October 12, iPledge Sunday 2014 took place in churches and homes from Washington, D.C. to across America, sponsored in Illinois by the Illinois Family Institute, a coalition partner of the noteworthy event, headed by  David E. Smith. Entitled, “The Rise of the Church,” iPledge Sunday was presented by a coalition of conservative and Christian organizations working together to mobilize and educate voters for the midterm elections, believing that there is power in unity to achieve common goals and impact the future of our nation.

On iPledge Sunday Christians from all 50 states gathered to listen to national leaders during the first hour of the October 12th event (6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Central Time) via a live webcast broadcast. Grace Gospel Fellowship in Bensenville, served by Pastor John Kirkwood, was the host church of the live webcast broadcast (John Kirkwood is a weekly contributor for Clash Daily.  He also co-hosts the web’s most radioactive pod cast, Uncommon Show. Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, David Barton of WallBuilders, pro-life activist Lila Rose, and others discussed “key issues” that are vitally important to the Body of Christ.

The second hour (7:00 to 8:00 p.m. Central Time Zone) was devoted to Illinois leaders.  Pastor Kirkwood was Emcee of the event.  Pastor Calvin Lindstrom of the Church of Christian Liberty in Arlington Heights and Pastor James Pittman of New Hope Community Church in Palatine discussed what people of faith must do to effectively engage our culture.  David E. Smith, as Executive Director of Illinois Family Institute, discussed current events, including the attack on natural marriage and new voter guide information for November.

As shared by David E. Smith in his e-mail invitation to watch the iPledge Sunday 2014 Webcast on Sunday, October 12:

With more than 75 percent of Americans calling themselves Christians, it’s time for the Church to rise up and take action to turn the tide in our nation?  We have the numbers and we have a voice.  If we are silent, we have no one to blame but ourselves for a Godless American.

It was appropriate that the plight of Christians today in Iraq would be spotlighted during the second hour of the i-Pledge webcast. Pastor John Kirkwood introduced Julianna Taimoorazy, president of the Iraqi Christian Relief Council located in Glenview, IL.  As an Assyrian Christian born in Tehran, she escaped Iran in 1989 because of religious persecution.  It was in 2009 that Taimoorazy founded the Iraqi Christian Relief Council.  Its purpose is to spread the news of the plight of the Iraqi Christians. Pastor Kirkwood noted that he himself is an Assyrian, whose grandfather came from Mosul.  As a Christian-born Assyrian in Tehran, Taimoorazy escaped Iran in 1989 because of religious persecution.  It was in 2009 that she founded the Iraqi Christian Relief Council; its purpose is to spread the news of the plight of the Iraqi Christians.

The Assyrian Christians still speak the unique language of Christ, Aramaic, which Ms. Taimooraz proceeded to demonstrate when she recited the “Lord’s Prayer in Aramaic. Not Arabs or Kurdish their faith has always been grounded in Christianity.  Modern day Iraqi Christians (Assyrians also known as Chaldeans and Syriacs), are descendants of the two great empires of Assyria and Babylonia.  When the Assyrian empire fell in 612 B.C the inhabitants were reduced to a small nation living at the mercy of their overlords.

As shared by Julianna Taimoorazy, the Assyrian Christians have suffered through the centuries, but Christian persecution has gotten worse since ISIS has become more powerful. Prior to 2003 there were about 1.5, 1.6 (million) Assyrian Christians living in Iraq. Today there are less than 400,000 left, 200,000 of whom are IDPs, internally displaced persons. Taimoorazy displayed a card bearing a symbol of a cross that ISIS places on the homes of Assyrian Christians warning them to leave or face death. According to Taimoorazy only five to 10 families have converted to Islam in Mosul. These families make up the only former Christians left in the city. The majority of Assyrian Christians would rather be homeless and live in parks and open areas than convert to Islam.  This account relates how ISIS forced the last Iraqi Christians to flee Mosel in July of this year.

In closing remarks, David Smith related how last March only 18% of Illinoisans turned out to vote and that it’s our duty to vote, for this is the very minimum we can do.  We are to pray in the weeks before the election for Godly leadership throughout this state and this nation.

A perfect finish to the event was the singing of “Rise Up O Man of God” by Bill Ward, member of Grace-Gospel Center, with Ward accompanying himself on the guitar.


Note these special events:

Peter LaBarbera made a brief appearance during the second hour at which time he announced an event that his organization, Americans for Truth, will be hosting on Saturday, October 25 at the Christian Liberty Academy in Arlington Heights, IL, “Can You Be ‘Gay and Christian?” The Keynote Speaker will be Dr. Michael Brown.  Check here for more information.

The “Black Robed Regiment” with Dan Fisher is being brought back by popular demand, sponsored by the Illinois Family Institute. Please check this link for information about the venues for the four performances.  Learn About the Preachers of the 18th Century!