“It is easier to cool down a fanatic than it is to warm up a corpse.”
Persecution may seem like a thing of the past or something that happens across the world to people and in places far away. The physical difference between us, is not that far. We are one body in Christ, one church. When one part of the body suffers we all suffer. Persecution is very real, dangerous, and growing. It’s happening to our brothers and sister in Christ.
I’ve had conversations with people, many of them were from my Christian community, about the persecution Christians are facing around the world, they would rather not think about it or pay to much attention. They were very indifferent.
Some of them said that only certain people are called to help the persecuted. I don’t think it’s like that. I think that we are not all called to the same thing, but I don’t think we are supposed to act indifferent to the people, “we don’t feel called to”. God called us to love all people, from the outcasts, widows and orphans, tax collectors, to even our enemies. We are not called to love only one group, but to love everyone.
Jesus said, “Love each other as I have loved you.” – John 15:12
I think that comes from fear and not wanting to get to close because somehow it could affect your life in a negative way, that it opens the door for you to be persecuted or that it’s too heartbreaking to hear about. Some of the accounts of persecution are heart wrenching and really painful to read and to be honest it’s hard for me to read sometimes and to just not think about it. It’s too hard to comprehend the evil in this world, but I just cling to the hope and promise Jesus us gives us of eternal life with our Heavenly Father.
When I first became aware of the persecution of other Christians it shook me. It made me ask myself some hard questions: Would I be willing to lose everything, my family, friends, job, house, my freedom, or even my life for my faith? Would I risk being beaten and tortured, threatened or pressured to denounce my faith in Jesus? What would living in fear of persecution due to my faith? Would I follow God’s will no matter where it could lead me? Would persecution strengthen my faith or would it break it? What does the Bible says about persecution?
When I began praying for Christians in other countries and, people groups, ministries and organizations, and specific people, working to help the persecuted and unreached people groups, the churches and Christians in other parts of the world didn’t feel like far away strangers in far away places. They felt real and close.
Through all my research on religious freedoms in other countries and praying for those who are persecuted, I started to see the world differently. God used what I was reading and learning to open my eyes to the global church. He showed me the church was bigger than a Sunday morning. It is His body of believers.
We are all part of the same body under Christ.
Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many. – 1 Corinthians 12:12-17
But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.
Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. who is the head.
– 1 Corinthians 24-27
If one member of the body suffers we all suffer.
Remember those in prison, as if you were there yourself. Remember also those being mistreated, as if you felt their pain in your own bodies. – Hebrews 13:3
I was amazed to find that despite persecution the church is growing. No matter how much Satan attempts through persecution to stop the Gospel from spreading, it’s spreading like wildfire. “For the light shines in the darkness and the darkness cannot overcome it.” – John 1:5
In some of the most darkest places of the world the Gospels is shining hope.
At the beginning of this year, Open Door’s World Watch List released the top 50 countries where it is the most difficult to be a Christian in 2018.
Here are the top 10:
Here is where you can learn more about the World Watch List:
Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.
– Hebrews 13:3
Take a Stand!
Be their voice! Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, defend and judge fairly. as Proverbs 31:7-8 says. – “Speak for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are in destitute. Speak and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.”
Pray for them! The number one thing persecuted Christians ask for is prayer. Pray for them, pray they would remain faithful to Christ through all their sufferings and trials. Pray their faith would be strengthen and that they would be bold witnesses to those around them and that they would forgive their persecutors. Pray for their persecutors as well, and their country’s leaders.
Be informed and Get Involved! Know what is happening around the world and ways you can get involved. Here are some resources:
“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belong to the world, it would love you as it’s own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of this world. That is why the world hates you.”
– John 15:18-19
God Bless you,