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The Church Under Persecution

We were contacted on Facebook by a dear colleague in Sri Lanka regarding the terrible bombings. This happened virtually as they took place on Easter Sunday. He kept us informed on what was happening until we were advised that all Social Media was being shut down by the government of Sri Lanka. Fortunately, their Government has reacted quite quickly and arrested many of those organising the atrocities that took place.

It seems that there is much persecution of Christians going on in the world today. Sadly, most of it is ignored by the media. Whether it is murderous attacks in Nigeria, Iraq, Egypt, or Pakistan; forced conversion from Christianity in India; believers being thrown into concentration camps in North Korea, we only get to hear about it through the Christian press.

We, as the church of Jesus Christ, have a responsibility to our brothers and sisters in Christ. Even more so in times of persecution and need. The Apostle Paul makes this clear whilst ensuring that financial gifts were sent to the poor and needy in Jerusalem. The church was still being persecuted by Judaism at the time. He, himself makes reference to sending aid in Acts 24:17.

But more importantly, we should uphold the persecuted church in prayer,  and to seek divine intervention or protection for those in need. What we do know is that the church under persecution grows! The 2nd/3rd century Apologist Tertullian wrote that,

The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.

Many came and still come to faith after witnessing the willingness of the saints to give up their lives for the cause of Jesus Christ! If you read the account of Peter in prison in Acts 12:5, you will see the result of positive prayer when the fledgling church in Jerusalem sprang into action!

As Christians, we must stand together in the fight against persecution. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 12:26 that if one part of the body of Christ suffers, every part suffers with it. He is also pointing out that we should stand together and render assistance in whatever way we can.

One final thought…Galatians 6:10 encourages us,

Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially those who belong to the family of believers.

We have a duty of care to support them in prayer and any other way we can as already stated!

 

God’s richest blessings

Pastor Alan