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Where It's Dangerous to Be a Christian: An Interview with Johnnie Moore

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
August 21, 2021 3:00 am

Where It's Dangerous to Be a Christian: An Interview with Johnnie Moore

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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August 21, 2021 3:00 am

In this classic interview, Pastor Greg Laurie discusses a timely issue with author and speaker Johnnie Moore: the persecution of the church.

In addition to answering the question, Is persecution increasing toward Christians? they also address the different issues Christians face internationally. Listen in for a fascinating and informative conversation. 

Johnnie Moore is a noted evangelical leader best known for his consequential work at the intersection of faith and foreign policy in the Middle East. In 2020, he was named one of America's ten most influential religious leaders, and he is also the President of the Congress of Christian Leaders, serves on ADL's "task force for Middle East minorities," and is the youngest-ever recipient of the Simon Wiesenthal Center's prestigious "medal of valor" for his efforts rescuing Christians from ISIS in 2015. 

This interview originally took place in July 2016. 

Read a statement Pastor Greg recently gave on Afghanistan here.


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Hey there, thanks for listening to the gray glory pod just a ministry supported by harvest partners on Greg Laurie encouraging you if you want to find out more about harvest ministries. Learn more about how to become a harvest partner, just go to and I don't know how this happens on exactly but were almost like in matching outfits and as a manager.

I think your essay are your same everything. Well, it looks better on me, Greg-no question about that. No question about that. Well, you know, every time we turn around and we would be shocked if we went home tonight of another terrorist attack, it's becoming so commonplace right now and die in this group. Isis initially dismissed as a JV team have certainly distinguished himself as horrible as Al Qaeda was, and what they did on 9/11.

These people at Isis are using social media like we've never seen it useful for recruiting people. I mean they call them lone wolves. What is a matter there.

Reaching out through social media getting hold of young men and radicalizing them and one commit these horrific acts of violence. Usually that ends in the loss of their own life and in that we see persecution. I know in your book you write about how this is targeted toward Christians in particular, I think Isis just sent some kind of a mellow out telling their people that support them to target Christians.

So this is very specific and do you think persecution against Christians has increased around the world and even in the United States is not even my opinion. I mean this is the opinion of of the State Department at the United seminar in the stake apartment is a part of a Christian persecution that much but the State Department official number is in 60 countries around the world today it's it's dangerous to be Christian and it's actually probably more like 80 or 90 ME we are seeing first century persecution in the 21st century on a scale like we've rarely seen in history we haven't seen Christians prorated they take Libya on this 21 Christian Egyptian Christians were beheaded in the video with them was entitled a message in blood written to the nation of the cross we haven't seen that since the Roman Coliseum bistro it and it is an unprecedented rise in Christian persecution it would take Francis Presser correct the population in Iraq and Syria right the Christian population of those two countries alone in the last less than a decade, maybe five or six years has declined by over 2 million people over to me and Chris, this is crazy. There are churches in Iraq and Syria. They had continuous worship services every single day. They had a service, having for 1500 years and almost all of them have been have been destroyed almost all of them have been. This is the line of Abraham know this is there is many Christian holy sites in Syria, as in Israel, and now all across that part of the world. Christianity is bleeding churches are in rubble and it it and by the way, because the world hasn't responded to that now or sing the duplication of it around the world. So now it's dangerous to be Christian in Libya, Nigeria in Kenya of all places all across the world five years ago there was one filled country in the world.

Somalia now. Somalia is a filled country. Syria is a filled country. Libya is a felt country Iraq is a teetering country. Afghanistan is a teetering country northeast of Nigeria is basically a failed state within the state and every single one of the circumstances, the first people. These bad men target so this group. Isis sometimes called I soul sometimes called why have they been so successful.

If you want to use that were effective in a being would be a better word it in their eyes. A minute been very successful.

Very effective and him and I think it's I think it's because like in California were used to disruption right up in Silicon Valley have some some young 10-year-old will have an idea that would change all of our lives in an employee.

Millions of people unemployed millions of people. They disrupt things at their psychological term Isis is done that in terrorism, they disrupted terrorism and a lot of leaders would say we didn't see this coming. It was a total surprise but but it wasn't a total surprise, disorganization, Isis has existed since at least 2003 or 2004 is an offshoot of Al Qaeda in Iraq. By the way, the first thing the first thing that back daddy leads Isis now did when he took charge of the organization in 2010 was he attacked the Catholic Church and in Baghdad and rights of even a Christian persecution things, but Isis has disrupted terrorism in three ways. They done it tactically, technologically and theologically tactically. They traded scale for repetition in terms of their taxi on Al Qaeda.

Al Qaeda would plan for years and years and years. They got American. They played Americans they would get at least sinners. Here they would train them they would like pilots of the buildings most the time they're there terrorist attacks fail. Isis is you don't need that level of complexity. We just need someone that agrees with us with a weapon in a soft target a public place tactically. Theologically, they disrupted terrorism. They have they have made the caliphate happen here.

This is the dream of Osama bin Laden have a caliphate, but he never believed it would happen in a way they've made it cool for lack of a better word, to a generation of young people argument. Did you even read about girls, especially in Europe who will gold to become the wives of these people in our eaten and are murdered.

But there's something that appeals. It's a strange thing and if you are very very small group of Muslims that believe in this ideology when you look at it through their eyes. You say I may disagree with the tactics of Isis, the beheading on all of this. I mean, I may disagree with all kinds of things, but it looks like a fulfilled prophecy Isis Isis captured one contiguous piece of land larger than the United Kingdom between Iraq and Syria larger than the United Kingdom right they were withholding all the Western powers of the world and so you could actually be that very very small percentage of of of of muscle around the world that believes in this and you feel theologically obligated to get to the caliphate. Whether you agree with or not theologically invaded in the technologically if you wanted to be a terrorist. You stepped good Afghanistan writer how you can get there you go to some training And language you don't know what culture you don't know what they outsourced the training to our cell phone to social media, and so now you can be some kid sitting in any community in this country. By the way, and the FBI has active investigations into Isis sympathizers in all 50 state United States. He could be some kid sitting looking at your cell phone being radicalized and it's so easy to do and were saying it again and again all over the world and you you would describe what's happening especially in the Middle East is a genocide against Christians while you use that word and illustrate that for me if you would get what it's it's a genocide in every way. It's it's a genocide because they said it's a genocide in every single public speech or written written statement that back daddy, the head of the caliphate is made. He says they will march all the way to Rome and all along the way they will break the crosses of the Christians and they will enslave their women and their children. And that's what he says every single statement every time they've encountered a Christian community in any of those parts of the world and in all the way down into Africa Isis affiliates they have done that.

The it's convert or die. It's sometimes they say we you can pay a tax the taxes to exorbitant pay in the first place and they consider your children property.

I have the priceless it's it's it list the slaves by age and by religion Christianity is city brilliant and ancient Iraqi religion is city zero or 1 to 9 years old hundred 50 US to open slave markets. This is what it and they've done it on an egregious scale. And in this is not like a controversial pin in the United States Congress. The UK Parliament all voted unanimously. This is genocide. We fought really hard. By the way to get that to happen and you know you not a lot has been done since it happened but I added up a piece going up on Fox news tomorrow and the question I ask is, is it not more in moral to to declare a genocide and do nothing than to have not declared that all so okay. That brings us to the next question what do we do what can we do were listening to this and were overwhelmed by all this information Is a Kind of Depressing. But yet You Know What Kim and I Have Exits Reality. So What We Do like It.

Okay We Care about Military Solutions and You Know Question Is Ultimately More Boots on the Ground There's Airstrikes Were Engaged in Right Now. Of Course We Have Counterintelligence Happening All the Time but It Do We Have To Do More Than Merely Provide a Military Solution. What Else Can We I Think We Need to Start with What We Can Do. I Don't Have a Red Phone. It's a Good Thing I Don't Have a Restful Night Because I Know A Lot Of These People. These Are Friends of Mine in the Middle East Is a Very Good Thing. But Most of Us Don't Unless You're like an Elected Official. We Don't Have That Type of Power You What We Do Have Is We Have What We Have, Which Is We Can We Can Fight for Justice for These People Beginning on Our Knees and Pray for the Persecuted Church in This Is a Once in a Thousand Year Christ. I Remember the Sound Just up There. That's an Amazing Statement. This Is a Once in a Thousand Year Crisis That We Think Will. This Is Always Been Going on Not on the Scale so This Is Unique to Tell Her Children Job. I Went to Iraq. My Daughter Was One Month Old and an and I Went Because I Had This Image in My Mind of My Daughter, My Son Coming Back from School like 15, 20 Years Later. Learning about Christianity, Middle East, and the Eradication of Its Again, What Did You Do Know and II Would I Just Had to Feel to Say I Did Something I Wasn't Alive during the Holocaust.

Nothing I Could Do about but I Am Alive and This Is Happening and We Need to As As the Body of Christ Be Praying Never Prayed before.

We Need to Be Praying for the Safety of Our World. This Is Amazing Verse in Isaiah 54 Verse 14 It Says That You Pray That We Might Have a Secure Government in the Terror Will Not Come near, You Will Pray As Passionately As We Talk about the Orlando Attack of the San Bernardino Attack Doing You Sometimes Wonder What Our World Would Look like If We Break and Turn Right and I Think It Begins There.

Secondly, We Care for the Church and We Care for the World. Galatians 610 It Says, As We Have Opportunity. We Are to Care for the World and Its, Especially for the Family Believers Were to Do Both in the Bible Says That We Are to Care for Those That Are Different Than Us and the Believe Differently Than Us, and It's and Were Also Care for the Church in the Bible Says If One Member of the Body Suffers. Everyone Suffers in This This Non-I Met in Iraq She Iraqi None in Their Whole Life.

She Said to Me Johnny. I Love America the Beautiful Country. Wonderful People. She Said I Have a Doctorate Degree from an American University Spent Six Years There. She Said You Care for Your Pets so Well and Then She Said, so When He and I Care about Your Brothers and Your Sisters in Christ Is, Why Are You so Silent in the Face of Our Jettisoning It and A Lot Of Us Have Been Silent. We Had to Speak up We Get a Raise Our Voice. We Can Give to Organizations That Are Helping Sustain These People.

What Are Some Good Organizations You Think to Give You Mention Samaritans Person I'm Friends with Franklin Graham Runs That We've Worked with Them for Many Years of Operation Christmas Child Loving Things.

What Are Some Other Good Organizations That Are Working on the Part of the World What Went When I Got to Rock the One Organization I Found That Was at Work There Was Samaritans Purse All the Other Humanitarian Organization, International Once Almost All Them Had Left. They Left It to the United Nations Will and yet Samaritans Purse State and so When the Crisis Happened to Northern Iraq. Samaritans Purse Already Had the Credibility That Could Help Any Organization I Work with World Help A Lot. A Small NGO That Is A Lot Of Good Work in the Organization It's Working in the Middle East like We Need to Help These People.

If We Need to Pray for Them like It Was Our Children We Gifted Them like We Would Want People to Give to Us That We Need to Raise Our Voice with Them the Way We Hope Someone Would Raise Her White Dress. This Is the Crisis of Our Time and We Used To Think That All Outlets Stuff Happens over There. It Doesn't Happen over There Anymore. It's Temple Brussels, Paris If It Wasn't for the Security Apparatus of United States Of America.

It Would've Happened A Lot More Here and We Need to Pray for Safety in Our Country, but We Also Need to Show Compassion Right and We Need to We Need to Show Compassion to Our Persecuted Brothers and Sisters in Christ Were Wondering What Happened to Us. Not Long Ago Had the, the Rabbi in Charge of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Beverly Hills Having a Conversation with and He Said Is a Great Advocate for Christians in the Middle East, and He Said during the Holocaust so They Were before the Holocaust over 20 Million Jews in the 20 Million We Lost 6 Million. He Said, but yet There Were Only 20 Million of Us There's More That We Could've Done, but There Were Only 20 Million of Us in the World Left Us, and He Said What I Don't Understand about the Christian Community Is There like over 2 Billion People around the World That Call Themselves Christians. So Why Do You Have A Few Hundred Thousand People That Are Homeless and Hungry and Persecuted and the Number One Thing They Told Me When I Was over There Is a Feel for You and We Would Have No Church History.

If It Wasn't for Their Trajectory We Owe to These People and by the Way, We Also Went to Them to Be a Light to the People in Our Community That Are Christians That This Is Not the Time to Run Away from Loving the Muslim Community Time to Love Them, Us Will Talk about That so We Have a Large Muslim Community Right Here in Orange County so We See Folks Everywhere and How, How Should We Approach Them and Engage in Because You Know We Would Look One of the Things That's Happening. Arnold, You Know Joel Rosenberg Is a Friend of Mine, but Joel Talked about Just Help Thousands of Muslims Are Coming to Christ and Some of Them Are Having Visions of Jesus. It's Interesting God Is Reaching Them in Different Parts of the World, but You Know It Seems like We Are to Build a Bridge and You Know If You Lead a Person to Christ in about a Personable Ginger Ideology Altogether. Yeah, I Mean This Is Ultimately an Ideological Problem. That's What It Is Just an End, by the Way, the Apostle Paul Was a Terrorist on a Road to Damascus before God Changes the Jesus Appeared.

We Need to Pray That Those Things and We Also Need to Make Sure That There's Not a Single Muslim in Our Community That Doesn't Know the Love of Jesus Christ through Our Service to Every Single Muslim Young Man or Young Woman That Ins up in Isis or Something. They Have Been Propagandized and Part of That Propaganda Is They Call Us a Bunch of Crusaders Every Act of Love. We Do Force for One of These People Is Our Own War against Isis Because What Because We Make It More Difficult for Them to Propagandize People and Then We Need to Pray That Not Only Would It Be First Century Persecution in the 21st Century, but That There Would Be a First Century Harvest in the 21st Century.God Plays Chess Okay What the Enemy Means for Evil God Is Using All over That Part of the World. In the Stories Are on but I Was Just Talking to This Lady Just Yesterday Middle-Age Woman in Los Angeles. She Went to Syria and She She's She's Been Preaching the Gospel All over That Part of the World As She Was Leaving Syria to Go Back into Lebanon.

It Was a Border Guard There and She Was Scared to Death. She Was Going to Get Out Of the Country and the Border Guard Said I Know Who You Are. I Saw You on the Internet. I'm Now a Christian to Any Letter, There's This There's This Story I Just Read the Other Day That I Said I Sent a Former Student of Mine at Liberty All around the World for Three Months Interviewing People for Another Another Book I'm Writing Called Last That the Trial and the Triumph of the Persecuted Churning and He Was Recording All the Stories Are in the Middle East.

It's Amazing This Tracy's Miraculous Stories and We Found This One Guy That Came to Christ and in a Muslim Country and after. This Is a Year before 9/11.

He Came to Christ. Sitting down with the with the African Believer That Led Them to Christ and He Opens up His Wallet inside of His Wallet.

There Was a Picture inside of His Wallet in the Picture Was the Picture Was of His Former Teacher and It Was Osama Bin Laden That I Would've Ended up a Suicide Bomber. But Jesus Got to It First Jet Just Just As Were Sitting Here Right Now. I Believe What's Happening Is What Romans 16 Verse 27 Romans 1620 Says Soon the God of Peace Will Crush Satan underneath Our Feet and He Does It through Us Is Doing All across the Middle East, Not the Time to the Time to Move in and Show Them the Love of Jesus, Thank You so Much for Being Here and I Won't Have Another Conversation about This in the Future, but Johnny Brought Some of His Books to Find Isis If You Want to Know More about It in. Why Do We Just Pray Right Now, but John Reviewed Leaders in the Upper in the Next Thursday and I Will Do Is Will Designate Our Offering to the Suffering Believers in 12 from Somewhere in the Middle East Them Will Give It the Samaritan's Purse and Asked Him to Use It Were Needed and so Will Put Feet to Our Faith Believe That Some Prayer Right Now If You Would Please If I Remember the in Your Word. Romans 13 Verse Three Remember Those Who Are in Prison As If You Were Right There with Us. That's Hard for Us to Do Here Tonight and That in the Security in the Comfort of the United States Of America of Southern California Where We Live. We Pray That You Give Us Empathy and We Pray Right Now for the Thousands of Believers around the World That Are Imprisoned for the for the Christian Children That Are on the Slave Market for the Pastors Who Have Chosen Not to Convert but Are Willing to Die for the Churches That Are Being Planted in the Underground for Those for Those Who Will Come to Faith in You Tonight Because of Some Supernatural Thing for Something That You're Working on Right Now in the Life of a Terrorist Who You Might Produce a Church Planter Out Of As You've Done in History. I Pray That in This Moment with Where We Are Alive Were Experiencing This Great Suffering around the World That We Would See Not Just What We Saw in the First Century and That in the Coliseum's but What We Saw in the First Century in the Streets You Would Birth a Revival That the Tender Morty Window Would Be a Eradicated Vocabulary Word in Our Generation. Every Single Person on Planet Earth Would Have the Opportunity to Know You. May We Hear Live for What They Are Willing to Die for and in Their Deaths. Sometimes, and in Their Constant Suffering. May Your Light Shine like Never before in the Most Unlikely Places Help Those Who Are Suffering Help Those Who Are Morning There. Even Now I Just I Just Remember Right Now in Lebanon the Village on Monday. Christian Village in Lebanon Eight Suicide Bombings on Monday One in the Church Morning the Lives of Those Who've Been Lost Earlier in the Day, Targeting the Christian Community. We Pray for Them Right Now Heals a Broken Heart and Made Their Response to That Terrorism Made the Blood of the Martyrs, Become the Seat of the Church and I'm Part of the World Make You the God of Peace. Crush All of This Hatred Crush Satan underneath Your Feet.

Yes May We See Something Exceedingly Abundantly above and beyond What We've Ever Been Able to Imagine.

Keep Us Safe and May Your Light Shine More Brightly in This Darkness That Ever before.

In Jesus Name Amen Amen Amen Thanks Johnny. Everybody Thinks You're Listening to This Podcast to Learn More about Harvest Ministries Follow the Show and Consider Supporting It. Just Go to and Find out How to Know God Personally Go to and Click on Know God

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