Date: April 25, 2015
By Dan Wooding, Founder of ASSIST Ministries and the ASSIST News Service
PHOENIX, AZ (ANS – April 25, 2015) -- International and U.S. news outlets are reporting police in Paris, France have arrested a 24-year old student on Sunday, believed to be an Islamic radical, on suspicion he was planning a terrorist attack against churches in Paris according to the French Interior Ministry. French police believe they have foiled “an imminent” terrorist attack against one or several churches in the city.
The suspect was in possession of a significant arsenal of “military-type” weapons and was known to French intelligence services as he became known for making inquiries about leaving France for Syria a worldwide recruiting destination for Islamic State (ISIS) operatives. The suspect was placed under surveillance as early as 2014 although nothing was discovered about his terrorist plans prior to his arrest.
The suspect is also being investigated related to a murder in a Paris suburb.
The above was stated in an advisory send out by Mary Marr, Founder and President of the Christian Emergency Network (CEN) -- www.christianemergencynetwork.org.
Marr went on to say, “Christians are witnessing an unprecedented worldwide slaughter of fellow believers who are consistently at the mercy of governments who are not protecting their religious freedoms, a media refusing to report factually and timely on this situation, along with many national Christian leaders who are
being intimidated if they speak out on any matter of conscience.
“Today, while facing a relatively dilemma of religious persecution Christians are hard pressed to get an answer to their question: ‘Why did the French police have specific faith-based security plans and operations in place for mosques and synagogues but not Christian churches, until today?’
“While most local police departments have been honorable faithful protectors, churches are soft targets. And, there are still many local police departments in the U.S. which do not have coordinated emergency plans in place to protect and defend churches who have been the historic rock bed of our nation’s strength.”
Marr went on to say that our churches depend upon broad, dependable, and committed local police departments to protect ALL people, including Christians and church infrastructure.
“But when churches do not have their own security plans in place nor have not taken the step to initiate and coordinate those plans with local police, we are all at risk,” she said. “All it takes is one church to be attacked, and the media report it, for the Church to wake up to this reality. Yet, so many have not made security a budget line item nor asked the local police to assist.
“Churches want open doors to the public and are thereby housing people who are depending upon them for basic safety. Churches are responsible to do their part to help local law enforcement do their job which is to: provide for their own congregations safety, develop their own emergency plans, and have their own emergency teams in place FIRST - well before they even think about deploying in their communities or the mission field!”
Marr added, “Sadly, many churches have not taken this step and very soon we will see a rush to security ‘band aids’ or churches falling prey to ‘sales pitches’ without having a firm and responsible plan in place which fits their unique community need and their congregation.
“But, churches do not have to be so collectively and individually ill prepared. Nor do they need to be disconnected from other churches in their area that will come to help them in their time of need. Since our Bible gives us a roadmap do we need to miss the ministerial opportunity in the communities during crisis when the Hope of Christ brings calm, healing and a future? Churches must start the process now, as time is not our friend given what we see today in Paris, France.”
She says that CEN is offering several ways that can help with their security needs:
* Build ReadyCity to network with other churches, ministries, and the greater Christian community in emergencies large and small and start meeting the needs in your community. For a nationwide list of needs in your area, click here http://meettheneed.org/explore/?orgtemp=275
* ReadyChurch training nationwide for fourteen years in anticipation of this development.
Mary Marr asks, “Why is this arrest of a suspect in an imminent attack on churches in France a game changer for churches in the U.S.? Because the slaughter of Christians in the Mideast, Africa, and in over 60 countries worldwide; the desecration of Christian symbols; and now the plotting of attacks on European churches is not
melodramatic media hype but a reality of what is to come in the U.S. And, Federal authorities have confirmed terrorist activities are now being monitored or investigated in all 50 U.S. states. The worldwide terrorist network of ISIS and other radical Islamic terrorist groups have made their mission plain - religious cleansing of Christians, Jews, and Muslims who do not adhere to their beliefs.”
She went on to say, “In France, police have put into place security for the Jewish and Muslim houses of worship, but had not done so for Christian churches until now. France is ramping up their security operations, but here in the U.S. the situation is still pre-911 in many local communities. The need for your church to work with CEN in cooperation with local, state and federal law enforcement could not be greater! CEN will help you build those relationships of trust, protect your assets, and forge agreements of cooperation that will save the lives of your congregation.”
She concluded by saying, “If you are feeling called to respond please contact a CEN Advisor (http://www.christianemergencynetwork.org/advisors) and we will help you Identify your Church Security liaison and establish your ReadyChurch (http://www.christianemergencynetwork.org/resources/readychurch-get-started).
Marr concluded by saying, “If you are concerned this step has not been taken in your church or community and you would like to respectfully express your concern to federal, state and local officials for. Every Christian
ready to respond biblically to emergencies large or small.
“Christian Emergency Network unites Christian volunteers, community leaders and emergency professionals in equipping the Church to be aware and ready to respond in emergencies large and small. To learn more about how you or your Christian organization can be prepared to respond to emergencies big and small go to www.christianemergencynetwork.org.
Photo caption: 1) The French capital is still on maximum alert following the attacks on the Charlie Hebdo magazine in January (Photo: Reuters: Charles Platiau). 2) Mary Marr.