A Theology of Rape: Global Sisterhood Prayer Response | Collected
A Theology of Rape: Global Sisterhood Prayer Response

A Theology of Rape: Global Sisterhood Prayer Response

20 August 2015

#middayBABYmidday

Seriously … could a handful of women with compassion in their hearts, empathy in their spirit, and prayer in their mouth change the world or (at very least) put a dent in the plans of an insane (spiritual) enemy?

Well I am naïve enough to believe they can. The Word of God (that frames our lives, existence and calling if you are a believer) clearly teaches that prayer makes a way where there often seems to be no way.

The current situation assailing the lives of innocent people in Syria, Iraq and the Middle East region is complex. It is compounded by culture, custom, tradition, politics, religion and (at times) fierce history that go back many centuries. I am by no means an expert on the subject and I am not writing this blog to polarize anyone’s heart or faith against another. We are all citizens of this earth, brothers and sisters, entrusted to watch over one another and bring truth and freedom into the reality of this precious gift called “life”.

I am doing this because the lives of innocent people are in the balance. I am doing this because, as the Church of Jesus Christ, we are commissioned to LOVE and PRAY for one another. I’m doing this because we cannot turn away from a harsh reality that is literally happening under our noses and on our watch. Even as I write this and even as you read this, atrocities are happening.

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(Photos: by MAURICIO LIMA for the New York Times)

Therefore, when a recent New York Times article brought to our awareness (yet again) the complexities of this region, we had to respond. When we discovered that apparently the “Islamic State (ISIS)” is propagating a spiritualized “theology of rape” against children and innocent women, we had to do something more than be shocked or abhorred. We had to respond. (Read NYT article)

So a few days ago (Monday 17th August) I spontaneously uploaded a post on Instagram and Twitter

Ok. Asking the @coloursisterhood & any woman who considers herself SISTERHOOD to pray fervently for this heinous reality happening even now as we read this post. Perhaps if we committed ourselves to pray each day at 12 (the girl was 12yrs old) for a few moments. If you don’t know HOW to pray – pray Psalm 10 over this situation. Prayer in the Spirit. Pray with understanding. Pray with authority. Pray for the victims. Pray for the perpetrators. Yes. Pray for the enemy. All I know is that PRAYER MAKES A WAY. Set your phone alarm to 12midday & send a prayer into the ATMOSPHERE. Bobbie #sisterhood ⌚️⏰? #thykingdomcome #prayermakesaway (let your friends know … #gatherequipMOBILIZE) #middayBABYmidday #setyouralarm ⏰✔️

A photo posted by Bobbie Houston (@bobbiehouston) on

It’s only been a handful of days, but already traction is being felt, with willing hearts responding from all around the world. I am in conversation with Christine Caine (the A21 Campaign) and Lisa Bevere and we are convinced that prayer will make a difference. We are pondering and waiting on God to lead us – but in the meantime, we pray!

I don’t feel to teach here and now on prayer. Do your own research in the Word of God and stir your own heart – but what I do want to say is that when thousands of women (within the Colour Sisterhood and conference) have stirred their maternal, caring and militant hearts to rise up and pray – THINGS HAVE HAPPENED.

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As a point of encouragement, two days into this initiative to awaken hearts, a phone call came from the region where a pastor who works amongst the victims said, “the women are simply asking for prayer… they just want to know that they are not alone”.

So if you would care to join us, please do.

Prayer is eternal. It carries no bias or prejudice. It transcends distance and barriers and can penetrate, sustain and bring comfort to a troubled or despairing soul on the other side of the planet. It is part of our spiritual weaponry and arsenal against all that is dark, oppressive and opposite to God’s true heart for humanity. It is something we may not fully understand this side of eternity – but if we are obedient, we shall see it unleash its miraculous power.

Jesus taught us to pray:
Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.
Your Kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen”.
(Matthew 6, NKJV)

So, feel free to #setyouralarm and join a growing army of women (and men) – and lets “fuel the atmosphere” with prayer that will make a difference.

Below is some updated information that my team gathered. And because prayer has been part of the landscape of Sisterhood, here is a link to our “Prayer Maps” that have been in play for a few years now. We have a new map for this need … download and place in a prominent spot to help remind us of what needs to be done. (Click here to download Sisterhood Prayer Maps)

These are crazy and darkening days, but the promise is that the light and glory (goodness) upon His Church in these latter days would burn bright and hopeful. (Isaiah 60)

Bobbie Houston
(Hillsong Church & the Colour Sisterhood)

 

PERSPECTIVE ON THE CURRENT SITUATION

  • ISIS has publicly acknowledged enslaving women and children. In an article entitled “The revival of slavery before the hour” in Dabiq, the group’s online English-language magazine, ISIS said it was reviving a custom justified under Sharia (Islamic law) (Human Rights Watch)
  • ISIS seems to have created a “theology of rape” and have enshrined slavery in public documents.
  • One particular minority is being targeted – the Yezidi women and children from Iraq.
  • There are differing statistics around the number of Yezidi women and girls abducted, ranging between 3000-5000
  • Girls as young as 10/11 being sold as slaves
  • The number of women and girls held captive has meant that an infrastructure has been created including; sales contacts, viewing rooms and buses, used as a recruiting tool to lure men from deeply conservative Muslim societies.

URL’s referenced

https://www.hrw.org/news/2015/04/14/iraq-isis-escapees-describe-systematic-rape

https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2014/12/iraq-yezidi-women-and-girls-face-harrowing-sexual-violence/

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/14/world/middleeast/isis-enshrines-a-theology-of-rape.html?_r=0