“Ms. S.C. from Kesrwan District shares her testimony about The Persecution Christ Bible Baptist Church Faced At the Hands of the Ajaltoun Maronites in August 2006.”
I am an Evangelical young lady from Kesrwan District. I am 20 years old and I intend to study Computers and Languages. My family and I are member of Christ Bible Baptist Church in Ajaltoun. I never through that one day I would experience religious persecution in the area that I’ve always lived in. I was the first witness to the events that took place in our church in Ajaltoun on August 2nd, 2006.
The events of that day began when the pastor and my father went to get some things from the church van which was parked at a distance from the church building. It was when they approached the vehicle that I began to hear loud screams. This made me scared! When I felt that something was happening, I decided to approach the place where the cars were. As I got nearer, I head the screaming voices get louder. I was hearing sounds of cursing, obscenities, and insults. I looked to the other side and I saw a woman carrying a crying child on her arm; she was yelling “Leave them, leave them!” I knew then that something dangerous was happening to my father and the pastor. I heard the sound of shattering glass of a car, and I heard yelling and insults. After this the car left, and I later found out that my father and the pastor were forced, after being beaten, to leave the place in the van whose glass was broken and tires were slashed.
I came closer until I got to where the cars were and I witnessed the mayor of Ajaltoun, Khalil Tabet, Salim Hasrouny, and others going about slashing the tires of the cars with sharp objects. I was possessed by a great fear at that moment. So I quickly went to the church to tell the rest of the people there to tell them what took place and to warn them that there is going to be an attack against the church.
When I entered the church building, the pastor had called the brethren and told them what happened and asked them to call the police station. When we were inside, the yelling outside was getting louder and increasing and the voices were closer to the church. I went outside with the pastor’s wife and some of the brethren to see what was happening outside and we found the mayor cursing at one of the ladies in the church, who was in her sixties and had just arrived to the church. The mayor and his men began casting stones at the church so we went inside, except for the pastor’s wife who stayed outside. Then the mayor came to the church porch and struck the pastor’s wife multiple times on her face. We were looking through the window as the mayor and his men were beating the door with great force. Then the two young men, Philip Ezzoughby and Mansour Khalifeh, broke the door open by beating it violently with their arms and kicking it. Just as the door was opened, the group entered with a fury into the church and hit everyone in sight. Then they began breaking and destroying church possessions after they had thrown the men out.
I saw the mayor, along with Philip Ezzoughby and another man, attacking one of the brothers and beating him violently. I was trying to leave the church when Philip Ezzoughby tried to sexually harass me, so I pushed him and went outside, where I found some of the sisters from the church standing. We did not know what was happening inside except that everyone had entered and we heard sounds of destruction and breaking of doors. The police men arrived late, after the attackers had taken control of the entire building. The policemen entered, but they did not stop any of the attackers. After this we saw the mayor’s men, under his direction, stealing church property and some of our personal possessions and placing them in their cars before the eyes of the police. Despite this, the police did not move, but they watched all that took place and asking us to leave rather than asking the attackers to leave. After a while, I left the place and went to check on my father who was in the hospital.
This was a bitter experience in my life, however, if I look to the word of God in the Holy Bible, I know that evildoers dealt this way with Jesus Christ my Savior for they hated him for no reason. I took much comfort when I read that Christ had already told us that as they did unto him they would do to his true followers as well. I now consider it a great honor to be persecuted and suffer for the sake of the name of Christ.
A note from Ray Comfort of Living Waters (www.livingwaters.com):
A dear friend of our ministry, who is an Evangelical Lebanese Pastor, alerted us to a tragic story of persecution that is taking place by the Catholic Church against an Evangelical church in Lebanon. We would encourage you to click on the following link and read the full account on the church’s website: http://www.cbbclebanon.com/english.html.
If the Lord so prompts you, please feel free to write gracious letters stating your disapproval of this persecution. The following is a list of e-mail addresses for prominent leaders, both in the Lebanese Catholic Church and the Lebanese government:
Bishop Noujaim: firstname.lastname@example.org (He is the Bishop that is allegedly responsible for the persecution)
Patriarch Sfeir: email@example.com (Head Patriarch of the Catholic Church in Lebanon)
General Mishel Aoun: firstname.lastname@example.org (Politician)
Dr. Geagea: email@example.com (Politician)
Please keep our brothers and sisters in prayer.