2001-11-02 - Persecuted Christians
Hebrews 13:3 (New international Version) Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.
Today's devotional is a little different than my usual, but I am writing about something that has been on my heart. In the United States, we Christians can freely worship. Within the guidelines of the law, we can share our faith with people's permission (and Jesus never forced Himself on anyone anyway!). We can wear religious jewelry or t-shirts, drive with Christian bumper stickers or tags on our cars, send or read e-mail related to our faith -- all in freedom.
Though we sometimes have legal skirmishes over "the separation of church and state," our troubles pale in comparison to those of some of our brothers and sisters around the world. Christians are persecuted for their faith today, than in any era of history. What if you drove into your church parking lot on Sunday and discovered that your church had been burned down? But you couldn't call the police, because the government was responsible for the arson. This occured six times in September 2001 in Nigeria. What if you couldn't mention our Lord's name in e-mail, without putting your life in danger? For some missionaries, this is true. What if your pastor was attacked and the police wouldn't help? This happens in India. What if you accepted Christ as Savior, and you were tortured because of your conversion? This takes place in Sudan. My church is building a new sanctuary. But if we lived in Zanzibar, we would not be allowed to do this; church-building is forbidden by law.
November 4, 2001 is the International Day of Prayer for Persecuted Christians. I encourage each of you to lift up our brothers and sisters on that day, as we would hope others would pray for us if we were undergoing these difficulties. But let's not stop there. Let's keep them in our prayers year-round. If you want more information about persecution or IDOP, you can visit the official website:
The International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church - Sudan China Christian Religious Persecution Persecuted Christian