Category Archives: Syria

Iraq and Syria – Genocide!

RK Ulrich 2012FROM R. K.’S CORNER: The airwaves are full of gruesome images from the Middle East and West Africa of Christians being hunted down en masse by Muslims, then tortured and killed in the most despicable ways: by crucifixions, burials, beheading, being slashed in half and organs removed — all done while the victims are alive. The terrorist offshoot of Al Qaeda, ISIS, is in the process of carrying out a carefully crafted plan to eradicate all Christians in the areas  they conquer; so far, they are making good on their promises. Ten years ago, there were 1.5 million Christians in Iraq.  Today, there are less than 400,000.  A large portion of them have now lost everything and are now on the run to save their lives.  In Syria, the situation is not any better.  In Northern Nigeria, Boko Haram is leveling and burning whole villages, often while the villagers are trapped inside their homes, being burned alive.

WHAT IS HAPPENING AND WHY? In this issue, two of our partners. Sargon Daniali, an Assyrian born and raised in Iran, who ministers among Afghans, Iranians, Turks, and the peoples of Kazakhstan where he has lived for two decades (I visited him and his family there in May), and Paul Booher, the head of our Bridge online intercessory  prayer team, are giving their perspectives on the current situation.  Their answer is unified and clear: Freedom of the Gospel

Having ministered the Gospel among Muslim nations all his adult life, Sargon Daniali knows first hand Sharia Law’s effect on people subject to it. Below, he gives his perspective on the horrific genocide presently taking place in the Iraq , Syria, and other Muslim dominated parts of the world, and what our response as Christians should be.

Kazakhstan - Sargon with family


  • God is unmasking Islam and revealing its true nature by the brutal, deadly rampage of ISIS and like groups directed against Christians and other religious groups in Syria and Iraq. The deception that Islam is a religion of peace is being shattered before the eyes of the world, as these terrorists are racing to establish an Islamic State by instituting absolute obedience to Muhammad’s 7th century’s edicts from Allah, as written in the Qur’an:
  • In Islam, there are two houses, THE HOUSE OF WAR and THE HOUSE OF PEACE.  The latter, which includes all true Muslims, must wage war against all non-Muslims (“Infidels”) and give them the choice of submitting to SHARIA LAW (Islam’s Constitution) or face certain death.  JIHAD is the “Holy War” which is unleashed and will endure till those who refuse to submit  are eliminated and a world-wide CALIPHATE (Islamic State) is established under Sharia Law, run by a supreme CALIPH — a successor to Muhammad.
  • ISIS is performing specially brutal forms of violence against women and children. It is part of Islam’s roots and core values.  While Muhammad controlled Medina, he established a Bazaar (marketplace) called SABAYA, where women and children were auctioned off and sold into slavery.
  • ANTI-SEMITISM is at the core of Islam, originating from Muhammad’s anger toward the Jewish merchants in Medina.  They rejected his belief system, with the result that he and his followers beheaded between eight and nine hundred of them, and gave their women and children to his fellow Muslim victors.  Anti-Semitism is the demonic underlying force fueling  the present conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.

The Response to the Genocide of the Muslims in the Region

  • The young people live in an atmosphere of deep hopelessness, considering Islam  bankrupt as religion.  They resent the brutality with which their leaders enforce the strict, outdated laws of conduct.  They are torn between modern life and long to join the global community of freedom and liberty, but are forced to live in a society that demands a 7th Century lifestyle.  They must live in a kind of schizophrenic society.   Disenfranchised, with no future, and a sense of life having little or no value, they are easy targets for those waging Jihad and enlisting them into the ranks of suicide bombers. But deep inside, these young people are seeking for spiritual reality.  They need something worth living and dying for!  They are ready for the Gospel.

The State of the Church in the Middle East

  • The tens of thousands Yazidis languishing on top of one of the mountains in North-Western Iraq, some of whom are being airlifted to safety by the U.S., are a religious minority group whose faith is a mixture of an old Mesopotamian religion, Catholicism and Islam. In Mosul, the 60,000 Christians have been forced out of their homes and run out of the city by ISIS  who demanded, “Leave, convert, or die” are Chaldeans and Roman Catholics, ancient churches who have had presence in Iraq for 2000 years. It is estimated that perhaps another 50,000 Chaldean/Catholic Christians have died, many at the hands of ISIS, others while fleeing from heat, lack of food, and water.
  • Traditionally, these churches have been spiritual enclaves and have preserved the Christian presence in the Middle East, but they did not evangelize Muslims.  I have just finished reading about the seven churches in Revelation.  The Lord judged the churches because they had failed to share the Good News and had lost their first love, Jesus.  Twenty two years ago, I visited Northern Iraq with a suitcase full of Bibles to be distributed to the people to help them reach others for Christ, but the Priest forbade me to distribute them.  He was not happy about his congregation evangelizing!  The Middle Eastern church has been more concerned about preserving status quo than reaching out to the Muslims in their community.  God is calling the church to repentance for being lukewarm! From the rubble, He will raise up a victorious church worthy of the words in Revelation 12:11, ”…and they have conquered him (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb (Jesus) and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death”.

Our Response and Responsibility as Western Christians

  • Pray for the believers in the region, that their eyes will be focused on the Lord, that they will look to Him for supernatural deliverance and provision!
  • Pray that they will be strong, courageous, and stand firm in their faith in face of persecution and death, not succumb to the pressure of conversion to Islam!
  • Share your finances and help resource the missionaries who labor in the region (Kurdistan can be reached from abroad).  Donate to Christian relief agencies who are doing effective, low cost  humanitarian aid!


??????????????????????????????? The horrific tragedies being played out in the Islamic world are being widely broadcast in the news media, so most Christians in America and around the world should by now be aware to some degree of the genocide of their fellow believers.  We have been hearing about militant Islamist attacks on Christians in the Middle East and villages in Northern Nigeria, in Libya, in Syria, Iran, and Iraq.  Hardly a day goes by unless  we learn about groups of Christians being attacked and martyred for their faith; but what we have seen up to this point, pales by comparison to what is right now unfolding before our very eyes in the towns and villages of Northern Iraq.  ISIS, a newly formed and incredibly vicious and unmerciful group of terrorists have unleashed a brutal wave of murders, beheadings and other things so terrible  against women and small children which I cannot describe  in  detail for fear of traumatizing the reader.  When I first became aware of what was happening, my immediate reaction was to cry out to God for His divine intervention on behalf of these people.  But at the same time I was overwhelmed with a sense of helplessness in being able to do anything to help them myself.  Knowing I am so far away and have so few resources that can reach them in time to help, what can I do?

Yesterday (Sunday, August 10th), while attending our morning service at church, we were engaged in the most intense and moving period of worship and praise that I have experienced in many years.  In the middle of the worship time, our pastor took the microphone and announced that he had been led by the Lord to have us intercede on behalf of the thousands of people who had been pushed out of their homes and had fled to the top of a mountain in a desperate attempt to flee for their lives.  We began a period of united prayer so intense, people were crying out to God all throughout the congregation and weeping uncontrollably on behalf of  our brothers and sisters in Iraq. 

During this time, as our pastor was leading in prayer, God gave me a vision based on the story of the Prophet Elisha in 2 Kings 6.  The King of Syria had come with his army to capture Elisha. When Elisha’s servant woke up in the morning, he saw this mighty  enemy camped all around them.  2. King 6:15b—17: “The servant said, ‘Alas, my master! What shall we do?’ Elisha said, ‘Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them’.  And Elisha prayed, ‘Open his eyes, LORD, so that he may see.’ Then the LORD opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.”   God enabled Elisha and his servants to see His heavenly Hosts fighting for them! God told me to pray this prayer for the multitude stranded on the mountains, that He would open their eyes to see that God is their deliverer, He is their mighty fortress, so when they see with their eyes and understand with their hearts, their faith will break forth into praise and worship which is their most mighty weapons against their enemies.

As I have reflected on that vision and prayer, I have come to understand what God wanted to teach me in answer to my deep feelings of helplessness.  United in prayer, praise and worship we have access to the most powerful weapons of spiritual warfare available to man. God has already given us, as Christians, access to His throne and His power through the Mighty Holy Spirit who lives within us.  I am hearing a call from the Spirit of God for Christians to unite in prayer, praise and worship all over the world against this outpouring of evil and present darkness.  Isaiah 59:19 is our call to arms as intercessors: “So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in,  like a flood the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him.”                                      

“May Your Kingdom Come”… in Syria! – September 2013


RK Ulrich 2012With the media-blitz covering the heightened conflict between the Syrian regime and the United States government in face of Syria’s use of chemical weapons on its own people, I have pondered how to present this complex issue from the perspective of God’s Kingdom to our friends and supporters.  I knew that this needed the input from an insider’s perspective to help us discern the news behind the news.

I contacted a longstanding friend and partner, Benny Hashem, whom Steve and I have known for nearly two decades.  I offered him to  address in this issue the situation in Syria from the paradigm of being an Arab who has come to faith in Jesus Christ, a Minister of the Gospel to the nations of the Middle East, a man serving the refugees who are entering the US from those war-torn nations, and  a trainer of American believers on how to effectively get involved in the lives of these traumatized new immigrants.  Hashem’s message to the church is simply: You do not need to go to the unreached nations of the world, the nations have come to you, so — serve the nations in your neighborhood!! 

If you want to financially support Benny Hashem and his ministry through us, you may do so via PayPal by clicking on the Donate button above.  Please mark you donation: Liaison International!



Syria - Dunn 3“…thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” – that is our declaration when we pray the Lord’s prayer.  Today in the ancient country of Syria, where no one can count the statistics accurately regarding population, tribe or religious group, there is little that demonstrates the fulfillment of that prayer.  The land has spiraled down into disarray and chaos.

Factions once thought to be the rebels have now joined forces with the government in fighting the multinational terror organization, Al Qaeda.  New rebel forces have emerged in opposition to the government. More than 100,000 people have been killed and several million displaced from the caldron of confusion which now permeates the once unimportant, non-oil producing nation.

What is Really Going on in Syria?

Up until the mid-1960ties, Syria enjoyed the presence of Western missionaries and the Gospel was preached openly without much opposition.  That changed in late 1967, when the  Syrian government uncovered an alleged ring of “spies” working as missionaries who were accused of broadcasting messages to Israel from the pulpit.  The missionaries involved in the incident were hung after the Syrian government found them guilty on charges of espionage. The remaining missionaries were arrested and expelled, and all missionary visas cancelled.  Since then, Syria has been added to the list of “creative access” countries, i.e. countries which deny access to foreign Gospel workers.

Directly following the shutdown of western missionary activities, the national Syrian evangelical church rose up and embraced  their mandate to spread the Gospel, and since then, the national believers have been busy working within their own national boundaries. The evangelical believers gained significant success even under Hafez Al Assad’s government (1971-2000), so this time period is referred to as the “Golden Years of Syria”.

Syria - Dunn 5Protected by the minority-ruled Alawite Muslim government, Christian activity was virtually unchallenged by the authorities, so the church prospered and grew to include 20% of the population.

After the missionary incident,  tragically, all the churches became suspect of espionage, causing the secret police to visit them on a regular basis and question the leadership on the Christian activities among the believers.

This has not fared well for the Christian community in the present conflict, as the insurgent faction of Al Qaeda are now targeting these Christian leaders for execution, claiming they are collaborators with the Syrian National Government.  In fact, all Christian believers, who up till now have enjoyed a relatively peaceful existence in Syria as underscored by their sheer number, are being earmarked for extermination by the radical Al Qaeda.

As with any predominantly Muslim country, proselytizing of Muslims to Christianity is prohibited .  According to one mission network focusing on Muslim unreached people groups, Syria has at least five unreached people groups within its borders.

This Civil War has led to the diaspora, not only of Muslims, but Christians into Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and several other countries. These camps where refugees now reside have become havens for lawlessness and crime. Despite the best efforts of the United Nations, lack of food, water, blankets and medicine are among only a few of the problems suffered by the refugee population.


The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) works with nations worldwide to resettle the victims fleeing from wars, famine and natural disaster.

There are currently four resettlement agencies working in the United States to help resettle these victims. Of the refugees that end up in the United States, more than 40% have been beaten, raped or tortured. The result is that a large number of the refugee population suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).


The demographics of these refugees are as varied as the conflicts they come from. In some cases they are the Christians who have been caught in the conflict. In other cases they are the Muslims who have chosen not to participate in the fighting which oftentimes are sectarian conflicts — Sunni vs Shia Muslims. In yet other cases, such as Iraq and Afghanistan, they are the nationals who have sided with, translated for, or aided US troops.

Sadly, almost all have lost immediate family in the conflict. They have given up everything — land, homes,  businesses, and loved ones — to avoid fighting. They are the “good guys” and have been driven out of their homes by the “bad guys”.

Once cleared by Homeland Security to enter the United States, these refugees are placed in communities that have sufficient resources to help them resettle. Unfortunately, there are far more families than case workers in most of the resettlement agencies and this leaves a huge gulf between the refugee families and the communities into which they are attempting to resettle. Syria - Dunn 4In many cases, people are put together with other families from the same country, which causes them to remain isolated from the American society  with little interaction with Americans. Since many of the women continue to cover themselves with their traditional garbs,  they are looked upon with disdain by people in their new communities, causing these victims to be further secluded and trapped in their own sub-culture.

Men with Arab names are routinely passed over in the job market, due to fear of them. The little dignity and hope the refugees had when they arrived in the “land of the free and home of the brave” is slowly diminished.

God in His infinite wisdom saw that the church in the West was unable to penetrate these closed and restricted access countries with the Gospel so He planned to bring the unreached nations to the West.  Here, we have freedom of speech and freedom of religion. Here it is illegal to kill converts.  We have a well-informed, well-resourced church to draw from to reach the nations that the Lord has brought into our very neighborhoods!  WHERE IS THE CHURCH — the glorious Bride of the resurrected Christ? Where is the splendor and majesty of the Ambassadors of Christ?  Where are the believers in the marketplace who reach out with open hearts to the alien in the land with love, and include them in their lives?

Syria - Dunn 1“But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left. “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick , and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that  you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me’.”

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is a Non-Profit Organization that works among the world’s refugees and underprivileged assisting in community development and relief aid.

Founded in 1998, Liaison International works in 36 countries throughout Europe, the Mediterranean Basin, Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia and 30 Cities in the United States.

Working among the diaspora communities of the world, Liaison International trains individuals and organization to engage peoples from the perspective of cultural sensitivity. We focus on meeting needs of displaced and persecuted peoples and help rebuild lives ravaged by war, famine, oppression and natural disaster.

As the Refugee Community grows in the United States, Liaison International partners with resettlement organizations in helping train mentors, ESL teachers and provides a community of “friends” for the refugees who are often isolated by fear and trauma. More than 40% of all refugees immigrating to the US have been the victims of violent crimes and suffer Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

The Liaison International Center for Intercultural Studies located in Selma, TX was developed to inform, mobilize and train workers who will make real differences in the lives of those they encounter.

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