by Ethan Cole, US Correspondent
Posted: Tuesday, April 1, 2008, 7:47 (BST)
A new web-based ministry in the US is urging Christians to adopt a terrorist and pray for them as Jesus Christ instructed his disciples to love and pray for their enemies.
Adopt a Terrorist for Prayer (ATFP) agrees that the military needs to fight terrorism, but advocates prayer as a counter-offensive strategy not utilised by generals and politicians.
ATFP founder Dr Thomas Bruce believes the war on terrorism is a spiritual struggle against fear.
“The terrorists are just the highest profile intimidators in Satan's arsenal,” Bruce said in a statement. “They think they are serving God.”
Bruce believes terrorism achieves Satan’s intention when it destroys courage by creating fear.
“Fear destroys hope by inspiring despair. Despair destroys faith and spreads doubt. Doubt undermines trust and then isolates us from one another,” he contends. “You and I can resist the debilitating effects of terrorism by identifying with this prayer movement, encouraging each other, and challenging others to join.”
Terrorists are vulnerable to the authentic Word of God and to Jesus’ forgiving love, Bruce believes.
The idea was sparked by a retired US army general who spoke at a Fellowship of Christian Military Ministries conference about the need for spiritual resources in the battle against terrorism’s spiritual attack. Bruce began thinking about how to fight terrorism on a spiritual level starting in spring 2007.
His idea became reality more recently when the site, myatfp.org, became available online.
He cited what God said through the prophet Ezekiel – “I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live.”
The website lists nearly a hundred prominent at-large and captured individuals identified by the FBI and US State Department as either terrorists or terrorism sponsors, enabling visitors to find a terrorist to pray for as well as see how many others are praying for them.
"It's all about connecting these prayer warriors to each other to see how others are praying, to encourage each other, to spread the word, and fight this war on terrorism in a powerful and spiritual way," said Bruce.