Then they brought little children to Him, that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked those who brought them. But when Jesus saw it, He was greatly displeased and said to them, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.”
"If I had stayed in Ohio, I wouldn't be alive," she said. "In 150 generations in family, no one has known Jesus. I am the first — imagine the honor in killing me.
"There is great honor in that, because if they love Allah more than me, they have to do it. It's in the Koran," said in the interview, which has been posted on YouTube.
Rifqa, who is seen wearing a large diamond cross during the interview, said she had to hide her Bible "for years," and she repeatedly "snuck out" to attend Christian prayer meetings. She referred to previous victims of so-called honor killings, in which young Muslim women were murdered for bringing dishonor to their families.
"They love God more than me, they have to do this," Bary told WFTV. "I'm fighting for my life. You guys don't understand. … I want to worship Jesus freely, that's what I want. I don't want to die." ~ FoxNews.com
I can't help but wonder: what if young Rifqa had been told that she cannot hear from God herself, but that He communicates through her father?
What if she had been told that she is easily deceived, because she is a woman?
That she is too young to discern truth?
That God wouldn't tell her something without confirming it through her parents?
That she is rebellious? That she is wrong?
As Christians, we champion her cause and pray for her safety. And yet, what of those among us, who seek to obey the voice of God and yet become essentially ostracized for doing so?
Within fundamentalist faith, the "least of these" are the little girls ~ the little ones who grow up and become women, like us, with sorrow and sadness and pain. We might not be killed, yet our hearts wither away. We might not be beaten, but we suffer the effects of dissuasion to the call of God. We might not die, but our spirits may lack vitality. We might not be tortured, but we hide tortured souls.
Religious persecution is abuse ~ the mistreatment of a person or group based upon spiritual affiliation or belief. Jesus said:
“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also." John 15
Jesus therefore answered and said to them, “Do not murmur among yourselves. No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me."
Who hated Jesus most?
In the New Testament, the world is often characterized by religious traditions, practices, and the leaders thereof. The world is often fleshed out by legalistic religion, a religion blasphemous in nature. For a legalistic religion gives us a god we can see, touch, feel. A legalistic religion negates the need for faith. A legalistic religion provides a false sense of security, an "if / then". If I do this, then I will be more righteous. It provides a false sense of boundaries, of safety. As long as I don't do this, I am fine. It promotes rules, not relationship.
Jesus came to restore relationship and abolish rules.
Those who promote legalistic Christianity, re-creating God in the image of man, are driven by fear. Fear is the absence of faith; fear involves torment. And emotional, spiritual, psychological, and even physical torment is what many daughters of patriarchy experience as they seek to follow the gentle voice of Jesus who whispers, "Come. Rest."
"Do not quench the Spirit," warns Paul. It takes courage to step out in faith, but it brings blessing and reward from the True God, who freely gives the Holy Spirit and guides us into truth.
And He is the healer, the comforter, the life-giver, of tormented little girls.
"These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”