Focus on the Persecuted Church
Every day, 200 million men, women, and children face discrimination, persecution, and even death for following Jesus, in over 60 of the world’s harshest countries.
What steps can we take in support of our modern martyrs?
1. Remember them and empathize with them. (Hebrews 13:3; 1 Corinthians 12:26)
Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering. (Hebrews 13:3)
If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. (1 Corinthians 12:26)
Severe persecution: North Korea, Saudi Arabia
The Church in Saudi Arabia is living under the most difficult circumstances. The regime has declared the entire Arabian peninsula ‘haram,’ forbidden to all other religions, and it is enforcing this prohibition strictly. Freedom of religion does not exist.
There is a total prohibition on any religion but Islam. Meetings of Christians can only take place informally in people’s homes or at embassy compounds. These secret gatherings are hunted down with increasing diligence and the leaders subjected to humiliating beatings, imprisonment and expulsion from the country.
North Korea – Christians face brutal persecution and many are in prison. The Communist leader has made a golden statue of himself that he forces people to worship.
9 countries where Christians are oppressed
14 countries with severe limitations
2. Pray for them.
3. Speak of them.
“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,
for the rights of all who are destitute.” (Proverbs 31:8)
4. Actively support them.
Write various government officials. (See “Living it out” section.)
Form a coalition among churches; get involved with ministries involved in persecution
E. Go to them.
Arrange short-term missions trips; i.e., Macedonia (Acts 16:9)
When possible, write to them. (1 Peter 1:1-2)
Contribute to missions groups who work among persecuted peoples. (2 Corinthians 9:6-8)
The words of martyred missionary Jim Elliott: “He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.”
Adapted from a message at Parsonage.org