Christians have been persecuted for over 2000 years. Persecution and martyrdom may bring to mind the time of Roman Emperor Nero, or perhaps the days of European crusades, or the past centuries when Christians were burned at the stake. But, persecution is not only a thing or yesteryear for Christians but something quite real for our modern day. In the Foxe's Book of Martyrs it is stated that "During [the 20th century] alone, more Christians have been killed for their faith than in all the previous centuries combined." (323) * What a statement! And if you are familiar with the Voice of Martyrs you know that statement to be true. The Modern Christian Church is persecuted in more than 40 nations around the world. In many of these nations it is illegal to own a Bible, to share Christ, to teach your children of your faith. Many Christians all over the world are, right now, facing arrest, torture and even death. As a whole American's seem to be in total ignorance of these facts. Some of these nations include:
This man was sentenced to the infamous Tehran's Evin prison in March of 2012. Recently he was allowed a short parole home and his family was shocked at his health condition. They described him as having a "blank state, trembling hands and symptoms of psychosis."; plus he also started vomiting and having seizures. Slireza is serving a six-year prison sentence for one thing: for converting to Christianity.
Just yesterday at church we were visted by a sweet man named Seth Samuel from India. He and his family have been teaching Christ to the Hindu people for 14 years on $50 a month. He mentioned that he and other have had their Christian literature taken from them by force and burned.
So why talk about all of this negativity? Because there is something we can do about it.
We can write letters to prisoners, or to the government officials responsible for holding these Christian prisoners. We can share their stores through social media, we can stay informed, inform our friends and we can pray. Hebrews 13:3 commands "Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body."
Several ministries that have made this extremely simple are:
www.prinoneralert.com (You can have your letters tranlated easily with this site)
www.persecution.com (Stay informed and sign up for a free monthly newsletter)
H.E.L.P. Ministries (This is the ministry that sent Seth Samuel to us)
Foxe's Book of Martyrs
*Foxe, John, rewritten and updated by Harold J. Chadwick The New Foxe's Book of Martyrs, Gainesville, Bridge Logos Publishers 2001 Print click here to view