A Christian was persecuted today

Published 10:05 pm Friday, March 14, 2014

The stakes aren’t very high on Sunday morning in America. We are a free people, not constrained in our inner spiritual or outer religious pursuits. This is how it should be, but this is not how it is for much of the world.

One Sunday in 2012, I invited Darcie Gill of Voice of the Martyrs to visit Cypress Chapel Christian Church. That morning a couple of men helped me set the stage by enacting persecution at our church.

The Sunday School class members arrived to a locked church, complete with chained doors and camouflaged men directing them to huddle in one room of the building.

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We were playing a game. We were pretending. But for Christians all over the world, the willingness to suffer and possibly die for their faith is no game. The freedom of religion we enjoy is the exception and not the rule in much of the world.

Darcie opened many of our eyes to the plight of the church globally, but so many Christians are blissfully unaware of the plight of our brothers and sisters around the world. Christian persecution is not just a piece of early church history.

A Christian was persecuted today.

Last month in North Korea a 75-year-old Australian man was detained in prison for two weeks for passing out Gospel tracts, before being deported back to his homeland.

That is nothing compared to what North Korean authorities do to their own citizens who participate in illegal Christian activities. Christian activities are seen as subversive and are punishable by death.

On another continent, Lawrence Kazungu Kadenge of Glory of God Ministries Church in Mombasa was murdered. It is believed radical Muslims killed the 59-year-old assistant pastor for alerting police about security threats and for preaching the gospel near a mosque.

Last summer, two suicide bombers entered the All Saints Church compound in Peshawar, Pakistan. They waited until the services were over and the nearly 500 worshipers had begun to gather for a fellowship and a meal. At 11:45 a.m., they detonated their suicide vests and killed 78 people, injuring another 130. It was the deadliest attack on the Christian minority in the history of Pakistan.

The stakes aren’t very high in America on Sunday morning. Most of the pseudo-persecution we endure is self-inflected anyway. Hypocrisy always earns ridicule.

In Suffolk, being a Christian may get you laughed at by a secular friend or belittled by a college professor. Big deal. In Sri Lanka, being a Christian may get you killed.

Around the world, followers of Jesus risk the safety of their children and families to worship Jesus. That fact alone should have believers in Jesus flocking to church meetings just to exercise our right to worship — relishing the opportunity to worship and follow Jesus freely!

What we take for granted, someone was persecuted for today. To learn more, visit my friends at Voice of Martyrs online at www.persecution.com.

Get educated. Get involved.