“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.” – Jesus, in Matthew 5:11
I think sometimes I get really comfortable in my American Christian persecution.
Being at a liberal arts school that is beginning to pride itself on its multi-faith initiatives, I get accused sometimes of being narrow-minded. That’s fine with me. I’ve come to expect that. I don’t find it offensive anymore, honestly – it’s just a part of following Christ. He promised that we’re blessed WHEN others persecute us and mock us. That word “when” is a big one.
But do we ever get comfortable in our persecution? I know I do. I think, “Wow, God, I’m really coming under persecution, please help me to get through this while honoring Your name.” That’s not a bad thing.
But my “persecution” seems really small in light of something like this video. Watch it:
100-200 million Christians at any one time under persecution. The most persecuted religious group in the world at this moment. 1.2 million Christians in Iraq to less than 200,000.
Numbers that should shock us. It shocked me.
I watched this video tonight on Facebook when a friend shared it on her timeline. I was left saddened and hurt for my brothers and sisters across the world who are facing this evil in their time. But Christ promised we would be persecuted for our faith.
What should we do in response to this? Pray. Pray. Pray.
1. Pray that God would be close to those under persecution.
2. Pray that they would find their strength in the Lord.
3. Pray that we would be burdened for them every day and pray for them.
Honestly, I’ve never been someone who saw things like this and walked away seriously burdened. Tonight was different. My “persecution” (really just people saying I’m crazy for believing what I believe) is like a Christmas gift compared to what my brothers and sisters around the world are facing because they believe in Jesus.
Please pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ. They need it.