As part of the PersecutionBlog Blogger Program, I get some interesting ideas for things to blog about. The most recent one dovetailed nicely with something I had recently been talking to someone about:
One post you might consider writing is your own feelings about persecuted Christians and the persecuted church around the world. Unfortunately, this is not an issue many Christians are familiar with. It's unpleasant to think that fellow believers are being tortured and imprisoned for their faith. Yet, what more inspiring story is there than that of a follower of Christ standing firmly for their faith knowing it could mean prison, torture, even death.
Christ put it this way in the Sermon on the Mount: "Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you."
So how does it make me feel that countries in the world still persecute Christians? How does it make me feel that our government won't stand up for basic human rights? How does it make me feel when a nation we call friend throws a fit over alleged desecration of Qu'ran when that same country regularly destroys any copies of the Bible they find in their country? How does it make me feel that my country–the lone superpower in the world, the one country in the world that could make a difference–does nothing. In one word: angry! I get angry when I wonder why our government doesn't stand up for what's right. I get angry at the people who allow our government to continue in the "status quo." Just so you don't get me wrong, people shouldn't be told what to believe by the government. They should be free to believe whatever they want.
How does it make me feel when I read stories from Voice of the Martyrs about my brothers and sisters in chains? How does it make me feel when I read stories of Christians not renouncing their faith when faced with torture and death? How does it make me feel when I read about parents asked to choose between their children and Jesus? In one word: inspired! It makes me dig deep in my heart and seek God. It makes me pray that I will also not renounce my Lord and Savior if I ever am faced with a similar situation. It makes me want to draw closer to God. It makes me seek Him even more.
How does it make me feel when I think of those who perform the torture? How does it make me feel when I think of those who perform the arrests? How does it make me feel when I think of those who commit murder for their government? In one word: sadness. It makes me sad that these people don't know God–and I speak here of the Great God of the Universe: the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob: the God who created the earth and everthing else: the God who saved me: THE God. It makes me sad that these people will die and go to Hell without knowing of what God and Jesus did for them 2000+ years ago on the cross. Someone needs to go tell these people!
How can you help? Well, the easiest way is to just pray. Pray for the Christians persecuted for their faith as well as their captors. The next easiest thing is to visit Voice of the Martyrs and sign up for their free newsletter. Learn more about what is going on in the world. Then why not write a letter? Visit Prisoner Alert and write a letter. It is so easy! All you have to do is pick a prisoner, click a few dropdowns and buttons, and you will end up with a letter in the believer's language. Think it costs a TON to send mail overseas? Nope. The ones I have sent have cost under a buck to send (80 cents to be exact). If you want to get more involved, VOM has tons of ways you can be involved. Just get involved!