Hard to believe? Yes. So hard, in fact, that some have chocked it up to urban legend.
Yet the evidence is mounting as gruesome pictures and videos surface.
Horrific? Yes. Unexpected? No.
In the Book of Revelation, the Apostle John was instructed to write down the things that must come to pass in the Last Days.
After 19 chapters detailing end time events, John writes: " Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their testimony about Jesus and for proclaiming the word of God" (Revelation 20:4).
Beheaded. And while the martyrs of Revelation take place during the Great Tribulation period, current events lend credence to the literal interpretation of Scripture.
The Bible warns us to expect increasing persecution as the Day draws near. The Middle East is already brimming over with it.
"A Christian holocaust is in our midst," says Mark Arabo, a Chaldean-American spokesperson trying to raise awareness of Christian persecution. "A Christian genocide is being conducted by ISIS", and they "are absolutely killing every Christian they see. "ISIS Beheading Children" report. (No graphic images)
Let's not assume the West will be exempt.
"Remember the word I said to you...If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you...because they do not know Him who sent Me" (John 15:21).
A wise man once said: "As I read the news, I can't help but wonder if we're in the last hours." --Franklin Graham, Samaritan's Purse
"Then you will be arrested, persecuted, and killed. You will be hated all over the world because of your allegiance to Me" (Matthew 24:9).
- MSN: ISIS militants advance despite Syria air strikes. The US pounded the region Wednesday.
- CNN: Pentagon says new air strikes target refineries used by ISIS in Syria in attempt to cut off money supply.
- Europe News: Russian air incursion rattle Baltic states which fears it is next after Ukraine on Moscow's agenda.