Thursday, August 21, 2014

'Mwanangu yupo mikononi mwa Mungu'

Background: Prior to a career in conflict journalism, James Wright Foley taught reading and writing skills to convicted felons at Cook County Jail in Chicago Frightening: James Wright Foley tenses as his executioner addresses the camera who says this act of revenge is in responce to US airstrikes on Iraq
In an Aug. 20 press conference, James Foley’s parents John and Diane spoke of their faith as well of their pride in their son.

“We thank God for the gift of Jim. We are so, so proud of him,” said Diane Foley. 

She added that they prayed to God for strength and were grateful that “God has given us so many prayers” throughout James’ captivity.

She also thanked their family, parish, local priests and community for their prayers.

“It's not difficult to find solace in this point in time,” John Foley said. 
Threats: Later clips from the video suggest that Foley has realised the fate that awaits him
“We know he is in God's hands, and we know he’s done God’s work,” the father added through tears.

“We need the courage and prayers now to continue without him,” John Foley continued.


Previously detained for six weeks in Libya in 2011, James Foley wrote a letter to his alma mater, Marquette University, a Catholic university in Wisconsin, about how he turned to prayer, specifically the Rosary, during his captivity, and how the prayers of family and friends also gave him strength.
At work: James Wright Foley, had been missing since November 2012, after being taken hostage at gunpoint by militants from the pre-ISIS group Jabhat al Nusra while reporting from Taftanaz, northern Syria

“I began to pray the Rosary.” he wrote. “It was what my mother and grandmother would have prayed. ?

I said 10 Hail Marys between each Our Father. It took a long time, almost an hour to count 100 Hail Marys off on my knuckles. And it helped to keep my mind focused.”

When he was first allowed to call home after over two weeks in captivity, Foley said his mother told him about the prayers others have offered up for him. This news made him wonder if instead of his own prayers, 

“it was others’ prayers strengthening me, keeping me afloat.”

“If nothing else, prayer was the glue that enabled my freedom,” Foley said, 

“an inner freedom first and later the miracle of being released during a war in which the regime had no real incentive to free us.”

Marquette University offered its prayers for Foley and his family at the news of his death, and stated that it will hold a memorial Mass for Foley on Aug. 26.

Brave: James Wright Foley has previously been kidnapped in Libya but had been keen to remain a conflict journalist as he 'believed in what he was doing'

President Obama stated that he was praying for the Foley family in an Aug. 20 press conference, and decried the tactics of the Islamic State.

The organization, the president said, “speaks for no religion,” noting that many of the Islamic State’s victims are Muslim. 

“No just God would stand for what they did yesterday, and for what they do every single day,” said Obama.

The president pledged that it would “do what we must do to protect our people” and would work to “do what’s necessary to see that justice is done.”

Secretary of State John Kerry, who got to know the Foley family during Jim’s first captivity in 2011, also offered his prayers for the Foley family in an Aug. 20 statement, calling the Islamic State’s actions “evil.”

James Wright Foley, has been missing since November 2012, after being taken hostage at gunpoint by militants from the group Jabhat al Nusra while reporting from Taftanaz, northern Syria “There is evil in this world, and we all have come face to face with it once again,” the Secretary of State said. 

“ISIL is the face of that evil, a threat to people who want to live in peace, and an ugly insult to the peaceful religion they violate every day with their barbarity” he emphasized.

“James Foley went to the darkest of places to shine the light of truth,” Kerry stated. 

“He was brave and bold, and no masked coward can ever steal the legacy of this courageous American who lived out the meaning of the word journalism.”

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