President Donald Trump announced on Sunday morning that notorious Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi had died in a United States special forces operation.
“No [U.S.] personnel were lost in the operation, while a large number of Baghdadi’s fighters and companions were killed with him. He died after running into a dead-end tunnel, whimpering and crying and screaming all the way,” explained President Trump.
“He reached the end of the tunnel, as our dogs chased him down. He ignited his vest, killing himself and the three children [with him]. His body was mutilated by the blast, the tunnel had caved in on it, in addition, but test results gave certain, immediate and totally positive identification. It was him.”
Al-Baghdadi took control of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, in 2010. Under his leadership, the group greatly expanded its territory in the Middle East.
ISIS also became known for its many disturbing acts of terrorism, including beheadings that were broadcast online and engaging in sex trafficking.
Here are what four American Christian leaders said in response to the news of the death of the ISIS leader, including a debate over whether it is appropriate to celebrate the loss of a human life.
The Reverend Franklin Graham, head of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse, celebrated the taking out of the ISIS leader.
In a post to his official Facebook page, Graham thanked President Donald Trump for “keeping your promise to relentlessly pursue these enemies of our country who have taken so many lives.”
“This is an important reminder that we need to pray every day for our military who bravely put their lives on the line to protect us and other countries,” said Graham.
“I am very thankful to God for all those involved in this raid and that none of our troops were killed.”
Shane Claiborne, progressive Christian author and activist, was critical of the reaction to the death of the Islamic State leader.
Claiborne took to his Twitter to quote a 2012 tweet from Donald Trump, in which Trump criticized then President Barack Obama for allegedly taking too much credit for the killing of Osama bin Laden.
“We should never rejoice in death,” tweeted Claiborne in a different post, quoting verses from the Old Testament about not celebrating the “death of the wicked” or “when your enemy falls.”
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Gryboski