Monday, November 10, 2008

International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church

We can never put Muslims in prison, because the international Muslim community would create an uproar; similarly with Jews, Siks or Buddhists--but we can do anything we want with Christians because no one ever raises their voice in defense of Christians."  

Chief of Police in Nepal
Baroness Cox WEF address

Yesterday, Sunday, November 9, was the international day of prayer for the persecuted church.  In worship, we learned that somewhere in the realm of 400+ Christians are killed every day because of their faith.  I am halted by this number and convicted.  Not only had I no idea this was going on, but the reality of their martyrdom only reinforces, by comparison, the incredible safety and comfort to which I have grown so accustomed.  But guilt is not helpful; if anything, is hinders us from action as we wallow in it and gulp it down like penance. Instead, there are a few things that we can do, here in these United States, to encourage, aid and remember our brothers and sisters who die in faith for a truth that cannot be taken from them:

1. Stay informed (
3. Speak Out

Those who know people who are suffering for Christ around the world, know that no matter their needs, no matter their desperation, pain, sorrows, their common theme, their ever-present request is prayer.  The Lord is mighty to save and he will defend His people.  Remember them in your prayers tonight, and tomorrow and each day following.  Remember to let it stir your heart and rekindle your compassion as you move about in this busy world that feels so far away.  And remember, that as the Body suffers in one part, so we all suffer together. 

"They are often dying of hunger and disease, or being slaughtered in war; they may be cold and naked, yet their first request is always for prayer."  Baroness Caroline Cox

Nov 9, Sunday, is the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church