July 15, 2012
#PeopleOfTheCross Are You Praying For The Persecuted Church?
Where I live, it is Sunday morning, around 11am EST.
It's Sunday morning. You go to church. Your neighbors see you and your family (or maybe just you) leave home for your regular, weekly trek to Sunday morning worship service in a building that looks like a traditional church. You may have even been seen going to a midweek Bible class or prayer meeting.
What happens during the following week changes your life forever.
Your job disappears. You no longer own your business. Your professional or trade license is taken away and voided. Your children are no longer safely able to attend their school. Perhaps state officials even come to your home to remove your children from your legal custody. Your bank or investment accounts have been frozen. Property you own has been seized by the state. You cannot use your passport to travel. You have been labeled a criminal.
What is your offense?
You have affirmed in your life and actions that "there is no God but Christ." You have attended worship services not sanctioned by your government. You have organized a home Bible study or worship/prayer circle. You have Bibles in your home, and have distributed Bibles and other religious books to others. You have told people clearly and directly about your faith in Christ to save and secure you for all eternity. You have abandoned the religion you were born into, and chosen Christianity instead.
You endure a legal trial. You are found guilty of "blasphemy" or "crimes against the state." You are imprisoned. Your family is left without the material or moral support you provided. Your children are housed with strangers who begin to "deprogram" them against faith in Jesus Christ. You are sent to a prison work camp. You are denied medications you need to remain physically healthy. You are beaten or tortured by those holding you in detention. Your house is burned or bulldozed. Your family "disappears", or is forced into hiding.
Everything will be OK again if you deny Christ. But you don't.
Are you praying for the persecuted church today?
Guidelines for praying for those suffering persecution can be found here.