I found this article Dated on Thursday, April 26 entitled, "A letter to the Global Church from The Protestant Church of Smyrna."
The City of Izmir (Smyrna) - The article begins by saying,
"Smyrna is an ancient city (today known as Izmir in Turkey) that was founded at a very early period at a central and strategic point on the Aegean coast of Anatolia. It was the second city to receive a letter from the apostle John in the book of Revelation. Acts 19:10 suggests that the church there was founded during Paul’s third missionary journey. Due to the fact that the port city of Izmir houses the second largest population in Turkey today, the site of ancient Smyrna has been little excavated. Excepting the agora, theater, and sections of the Roman aqueduct, little remains of the ancient city."
The tragedy - The article notes,
"On Wednesday morning, April 18, 2007, 46 year old German Christian and father of three Tilmann Geske prepared to go to his office, kissing his wife goodbye and taking a moment to hug his son and give him the priceless memory, “Goodbye, son. I love you.” Tilmann rented an office space from Zirve Publishing. Zirve was also the location of the Malatya Evangelist Church office. A ministry of the church, Zirve prints and distributes Christian literature to Malatya and nearby cities in Eastern Turkey. In another area of town, 35 year old Pastor Necati Aydin, father of two, said goodbye to his wife, leaving for the office as well. They had a morning Bible Study and prayer meeting that some other believers in town would also be attending. Ugur Yuksel likewise made his way to the Bible study. "
But, there were some Muslims who wanted to pay homage to Allah. Here's how:
"On the other side of town, ten young men all under 20 years old put into place final arrangements for their ultimate act of faith, living out their love for Allah and hatred of infidels who they felt undermined Islam. "
The outcome of the persecution-
"The young men got guns, bread knives, ropes and towels ready for their final act of service to Allah. They knew there would be a lot of blood. They arrived in time for the Bible Study, around 10 o’clock. They arrived, and apparently the Bible Study began. Reportedly, after Necati read a chapter from the Bible the assault began. The boys tied Ugur, Necati, and Tilmann’s hands and feet to chairs and as they videoed their work on their cellphones, they brutally tortured our brothers for almost three hours. "
To those who read this blog: I am convinced that this persecution is coming to us faster than we may expect. I am convinced that it will be severe, costly, and faith-testing. In fact, this must be no surprise to us because Jesus Himself said...
John 15:18-19 8 "If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. 19 "If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.
2 Timothy 3:12-13 12 And indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. 13 But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.
If there ever is a day (which I believe is soon to come) when those will enter our Bible Studies and seek to persecute and kill us, may we be those who are strong in our faith, standing on the promises that we have from the Word of God. To God be the Glory great things he has (and will) do!