By Tony Perkins
Sometimes called the cradle of civilization, Nimrud was one of the chief cities of the ancient kingdom of Assyria. It could well be the ancient city of Calah mentioned in Genesis 10, founded by the biblical character Nimrod. At Nimrud, archaeologists have found some of the most important links to our past, ranging from huge statues to gold jewelry. But now, in the space of a few hours, thousands of years of history have been obliterated.
“Islamic State members came to the Nimrud archaeological city and looted the valuables in it, and then they proceeded to level the site to the ground,” a Mosul resident reported. “There used to be statues and walls as well as a castle that Islamic State has destroyed completely.” This is part of a pattern of cultural violence ISIS has been inflicting. Among its other atrocities, ISIS released a video last week “showing Islamic State militants with sledgehammers destroying ancient artifacts at the museum in Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city that also fell into (ISIS’s) hands last year. Yet ISIS’s mindless destruction seems matched only by its vicious hypocrisy: “Almost 100 Syrian artifacts looted by the Islamic State have been smuggled into Britain and sold to raise money for the extremist group’s activities, art crime experts and archaeologists have warned.”
ISIS has unapologetically murdered untold thousands of people, Christians, Yazidis, and other Muslims it deems “heretical.” Its genocidal mission — obliterate everyone in its path who refuses to bend the knee to ISIS’s vision of Islam – is now being abetted by an agenda of cultural and historical destruction.
It is imperative for President Obama to work with leaders in the region and throughout the world to stop ISIS from advancing and crush it as a military force. And as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said to Congress earlier this week, we are kidding ourselves if we think Iran — whose agenda is less overt but no less dangerous than that of ISIS — can be dealt with as anything other than a rogue state.
Christians need to pray for the members of this horrific Islamic movement, for all those in its path, for those actively fighting it, for our government leaders as they work to stop ISIS, and most especially for our brothers and sisters in Christ whose allegiance to their Savior makes them willing to lay down their lives for Him. Nimrud had already been designated as one of the World Monument Fund’s most endangered sites. That designation has now proven all too prophetic.
Tony Perkins is president of the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council. He is a former member of the Louisiana legislature where he served for eight years, and he is recognized as a legislative pioneer for authoring measures like the nation’s first Covenant Marriage law.
(Via FRC’s Washington Update. Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.)
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