THE PERSECUTED CHURCH
(Heb 13:3) Remember the prisoners as if chained with them; those who are mistreated; since you yourselves are in the body also.
Please read the following in an attitude of prayer and concern for our persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ throughout the world:
“Christians today are the most persecuted religious group in the world, making the persecution of Christians one of the worst human rights violations of our time. According to World Evangelical Fellowship (WEF), approximately 150,000 Christians die each year because of their faith. Evidence also shows that Christianity is spreading quickly in countries like China where persecution is widespread and highly visible.
Persecution of Christians is most likely to show up in regions of the world where radical Islamism and Communism are practiced. Attacks against Christians are intensifying throughout what some call the “Islamic Belt”. This is the region from Morocco on the West to the southern Philippines on the East. Within this region, many countries clearly endorse persecution. This endorsement stems from radical Islamic practice, where strict interpretation of the Koran negates all other forms of faith, even making it a capital crime to bear witness to another form of belief. Some have even carried out programs of extermination against Christians such as we find in the country of Sudan today.” (From Safe Harbor November 2001 newsletter)
I have been to Thailand twice in the past year and have seen firsthand the effects of the persecution of the Karen tribe believers who have fled neighboring Burma. This last visit we were able to go into a refugee camp on the Thai/Burma border and see for the first time the fruit of war and persecution. Let’s remember our suffering brethren in our prayers. And I’m glad to report that through the ministry of our church, you and I are able to touch the plight of the Karen in many areas and in many ways. So thank-you for being a blessing to the persecuted church!
For further study, please consult the Internet on current information and statistics regarding the persecuted church. Good books to read are the classic Foxe’s Book of Martyrs by John Foxe and Jesus Freaks by DC Talk.