Two years ago over 50,000 Christians in Orissa state, India were forced from their homes. In the aftermath of this persecution, it appears as if Christian girls were being rounded up and sold into slavery. Just this week came the story that a few of them were rescued. Roughly 60 girls were taken from the same area and sold into slavery. I thought how easily we forget our persecuted brothers and sisters when some new tragedy comes along. Two years later and our brothers and sisters in Orissa are still suffering. We must not stop praying for those persecuted around the world. Those of us who have not had to face this sort of suffering should cherish the freedom we currently have. Beatings, imprisonment, rape and death are part of every day life for some of our fellow Christians. Today we can celebrate the 3 who were saved, but we must remember the others who were not.
Posts Tagged ‘Persecution’
Tags: India, Orissa, Persecution, Slavery
Christian are you willing to stand by your faith? Even here in America the attacks on Christianity are becoming more prevalent. In the wake of the passing of prop 8 in California, gay activists have decided to take action against Christians. They have been physically and verbally abusive to people protesting them, including the taking and smashing of a cross carried by an elderly woman. They have disrupted a church service in Michigan by coming into the building and yelling slurs and having lesbians kiss in front of the pastor. How many Christians are willing to take a stand for their faith? If Christians don’t start taking a stand, our rights and freedoms are quickly going to go away.
How far off is the day when a Christian can be imprisoned or have their child taken because of something written on a blog such as this. There is a situation happening in the UK right now where a woman is being investigated because of a blog post. Her name is Jean and you can check out her blog The Virtuous Woman. Here is a copy of the post that got her in trouble.
How often do we think about our persecuted brothers and sisters? We take for granted the freedom we have in the United States. So many people here get to hear the Gospel, but yet reject it. In countries where Christians are persecuted, many never hear the good news of Jesus Christ. Nine out of ten of the world’s least evangelized cities are in Afghanistan, where 77% of the people are unevangelized. The number one least evangelized city is El Aaiun, Sahara with 82% of its people having never heard the Gospel.
Persecution is common in many of these same places. In Orissa, 70,000 Christians have been displaced. Christians have been leaving Mosul, Iraq because of persecution. 7 have been killed there this month. The enemy will do anything to try and stop the spread of the Gospel. They can kill Christians and they can bind Christians, but they can’t bind the Word of God. We need to be lifting these people up in prayer. November 9th is international day of prayer for the persecuted church. Many of these people can reach people with the Gospel that we will never be able to reach. Pray for these people daily.
Here is a link to a video of the underground church in Vietnam.
Tags: American Church, Persecution, Worship
Pilgrim Congregational Church in North Weymouth will be holding a weekly woof and worship service. This is a service where people can bring their dogs with them to church to worship. Yes, they are serious about this. The Rev. Rachel Bickford said she came up with the idea while reading in Psalm 148 ‘Let all wild animals, creeping things and flying birds give God praise.’ I am pretty sure holding a worship service for them is not what was intended by that verse. And we wonder why the Christian church has lost it’s influence. Our salt has lost it’s flavor and is no longer useful. There are people like Bill Maher who constantly mock Christianity. When people watch him and see junk like this, they say you know he is right. Most of what he says is worthless, but unfortunately there is some truth in what he says. We have let Christianity in America become a punch line to a joke. We need to be the ones calling out Christians who do things like woof and worship services.
“This was something I had prayed about and thought about,” Bickford said of opening services to dogs. “Dogs bring such hope in a world where we’re surrounded by such hopelessness. As I’ve gone through my ministry, I’ve noticed how dogs change people’s lives. Studies show they can lower blood pressure. . . . And I thought it would be just so much fun.” When did we stop preaching that Jesus is the hope for a world surrounded by hopelessness? I don’t know if Rev. Bickford knows or not, but Jesus changes lives forever. He does more than lower our blood pressure for an hour. This is just another example of a church more worried about getting people into their pews, than they are about helping get people to Heaven. (Does a dog count as a full person for attendance purposes?)
The Christian church in other countries looks at us as an example of what not to become. The church is growing greatly in places like China and Iran. The church in China is actually praying for persecution to continue for at least 5 more years. They have said that if it becomes acceptable to be a Christian, they fear greed will make it become more like the American church. People are praying for persecution so they don’t become like us. Maybe we should be praying for persecution, so that we become more like them. Maybe even something like a financial crisis would lead us back to where we should be. It is time for the American church to stop depending on wealth and prosperity and start depending on faith and truth.
Tags: Apostasy, Islam, Persecution
On Sept. 11th, the Parliament of Iran approved the use of the death penalty for those determined to be apostate. Anyone turning from Islam and its teachings would lead to execution. This even includes blogs that it is determined promoted apostasy. Apostasy by definition is the abandoning of ones religious beliefs, political party, or cause. There are people in jail in Iran for converting to Christianity, who now could face the death penalty. In Matthew 24:9 Jesus in talking about signs of the end times says ” Then they will hand you over for persecution, and they will kill you. You will be hated by all nations because of My name.”. As we look at the world today, we can see that more and more nations are turning against Christ.
Where does the United States stand as a nation? While we are not to the point of persecution, we are slowly sliding in that direction. The day will come when Christian persecution comes to our country. The above verse says Christians will be hated by all nations, not just some.
Another sign of the coming of Christ is the apostasy of the Christian church. How many people would be left in our country if we adopted the death penalty for Christian apostasy? In the two verses following Matthew 24:9, Jesus describes the apostasy that will take place. Because of the persecution some will turn against one another. And the love of many will grow cold because of lawlessness. It is easy to say you are a Christian when there are no consequences for belief. But when persecution sets in, we can truly see who is Christian and who is not. Those who have not truly committed to Christ will fall away when things get hard. A person only needs to look at the number of liberal churches in our country to realize that apostasy already abounds in our country. They change their doctrine with every new wind of cultural change. Instead of trying to change the culture to fit the bible, they change their interpretation of the bible to suit the culture around them. Many want to enter heaven by following the broad and easy path. Few want to follow the difficult path that leads to the narrow gate. The broad gate leads to destruction, and many liberal churches are leading people to destruction.
What will Jesus find when He comes back? Read the parable of the persistent widow in Luke 18:1-8. Jesus talks about praying always and not being discouraged. But He ends it with this question, “when the Son of Man comes, will He find that faith on earth?”. If Christ came back today, would He find that kind of faith in you? What kind of faith would He find in your church? Would He see that you have pressed through during tough times? Or would He see that you gave up and took the easy path?