Our Last Stand

ISIS destroyed this church in Syria.
A few years ago,  Jordan Allott was interviewed on FOX NEWS during the same program as Father Gabriel Adde, a Syrian Orthodox priest. After the program Jordan met with the Adde family and soon struck up a conversation with Fr. Adde's daughter Helma. After college Helma, born in Chicago, had lived six months in her family's hometown of Quarmishli in Northern Syria. Jordan was telling Helma about plans to return to that part of the world to film a documentary about the persecution of Christians there, and that Quarmishli was on his itinerary. Helma felt a tinge of jealousy that an American with no ties to the Middle East would be visiting a place she loved so much, but before long Allott asked her if she would like to join him for the journey. He had been looking for someone who knew the cultures of both places to be a bridge for Western viewers.

Last night I saw the documentary of their trip, Our Last Stand, at the Sheen Center for Thought and Culture. They begin their journey in Iraq visiting Christian refugee centers, then they cross the Tigris River into Syria and visit the front lines where Christians are defending themselves against ISIS. When ISIS moves into an area, they identify Christians and other religious minorities and give them 24 hours to either move away, become Muslim, be executed or pay a very high fine.

During the Q and A session following the screening, the Sheen Center's David DiCerto asked Jordan and Helma what they think of the temporary closure of our borders to refugees from Iraq, Syria and other nations that cultivate terrorism. Jordan referenced an interview in the film with a little boy in Iraq. You can see part of it in the trailer below. The boy says that ISIS left them with nothing, and he said he and his people just want to live, and he hopes a country will take them in. Jordan said he would love for all those who have been displaced by what has recently been recognized by the U.N. as the ISIS genocide to have a home in the U.S. He went on to say that it saddens him that this situation is being used as a political statement against the current administration. He asked where the outrage was when President Obama used an executive order to halt the "Wet Foot/Dry Foot" policy with Cuba, leaving many who were in transit deported back to Cuba. He spoke about how Christians and other religious minorities do not feel comfortable staying in UN-sanctioned refugee villages because they know they'll face persecution from Muslims there. He asked where the outrage was when the UN refused to share resources with Christians who created their own refugee camps in churches.

David asked Jordan why he named the film Our Last Stand. Jordan and Helma both made it clear that this is a tragedy for all Christians, and that in a matter of years there truly may not be any churches or Christians left in that part of the world where followers of Jesus Christ were first called Christians.

I was interviewed after the event by NET TV for a program featuring the film and screening which will air tonight at 7:30pm Eastern. NET TV is also streamed online.





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