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The Persecuted Church

Updated on November 1, 2015
A prisoner with a Bible
A prisoner with a Bible

why I'm making this page about the persecuted church

By the way, today, Nov.1st is pray for the persecuted day. I'm making this page about the persecuted church in order to raise awareness of the suffering of our brothers and sisters in Christ around the world. By "church," of course, I don't mean a particular group or denomination, but rather, the body of true believers in Jesus Christ which makes up the family of God.

Since we have it so easy here in this great country of America, it is easy to forget that our fellow Christians--our brothers and sisters in Christ around the world--are suffering for their faith. I didn't think about it myself, until we had a guest speaker at our church from the "Voice of the Martyrs."

So, I'm making this page to encourage prayer for these poor suffering saints, even though I admit I am at a loss as to actually know how to pray. Check out some of the links in the link list below. Then read my comments in the module entitled "Why?" Although it's hard to know exactly what God has in mind in all of this suffering (See my related hub below), we should pray for fellow believers, especially those suffering for their faith. If you will commit to pray daily for the suffering church, please so indicate in the comments module. Thanks.

NOTE: Any proceeds from this site will go to "Voice of the Martyrs."

Christians were thrown to thel lions in ancient Rome.
Christians were thrown to thel lions in ancient Rome.

The Persecuted Churh Today:: - Where Christians Are Persecuted?:

The Persecuted Church map
The Persecuted Church map

Map compiled by World Evangelical Alliance and taken from the Evangelical Baptist site. COLOR KEY:

LIGHT GREY = Life can be difficult for Christians and harsh for converts.

DARK GREY = Christian minorities suffer systematic discrimination and persecution.

BLACK = Persecution of Christian minorities is pervasive and severe.

RED = Historically Christian minorites at risk of genocide

Watch this video on the persecution of Christians today:

Read this shocking account of the persecution of Christians today:

In the Lion's Den: A Shocking Account of Persecuted and Martyrdom of Christians Today and How We Should Respond
In the Lion's Den: A Shocking Account of Persecuted and Martyrdom of Christians Today and How We Should Respond

Nina Shea contends that more Christians have died for their faith in the 20th century than in the previous 19 centuries combined. She shows what's happening, where it's happening, and what American's Christians must do to stop it.

 

Opening poll:

Before coming to this page, were you aware of the extent of the persecution of Christians today?

See results

Photo Gallery - A picture is worth a thousand words.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Police arrest prayer vigil participantsWhat was this man's crime? Being a Christian in a country where the Muslim Brotherhood is in power-- Egypt.a suicide bomber crashed a jeep laden with explosives into a packed Catholic church in Kaduna, northern Nigeria, killing at least eight people and injuring more than 100.Christians are beheaded in some countries
Police arrest prayer vigil participants
Police arrest prayer vigil participants | Source
What was this man's crime? Being a Christian in a country where the Muslim Brotherhood is in power-- Egypt.
What was this man's crime? Being a Christian in a country where the Muslim Brotherhood is in power-- Egypt.
a suicide bomber crashed a jeep laden with explosives into a packed Catholic church in Kaduna, northern Nigeria, killing at least eight people and injuring more than 100.
a suicide bomber crashed a jeep laden with explosives into a packed Catholic church in Kaduna, northern Nigeria, killing at least eight people and injuring more than 100.
Christians are beheaded in some countries
Christians are beheaded in some countries
The Triumphant Church
The Triumphant Church

WHY?

Do you wonder why these poor brothers and sisters in Christ have to suffer so, when Jesus suffered enough for everyone in the world to be saved? I did until I read part 2 of the book, "The Triumphant Church." There, Piper, using the scripture in Corinthians where Paul says that he must fulfill that which is behind of the sufferings of Christ, points out that it is not in order to complete the payment for our sins and earn our salvation, since Jesus completely accomplished that on the cross, but rather, it is in order to show forth Christ's suffering to those who have never heard of it. Thus the suffering of our fellow believers is evangelistic rather than redemptive in nature. (So, perhaps, we should be praying that those watching, especially the tormentors would become convicted and say as did the Roman soldier at the cross, "Surely this [Jesus whom they worship] is the son of God," or ask as did the Philippian jailor, "What must I do to be saved.")

For a better understanding of this point, be sure to purchase this book (via the link below) and read part 2. Also check out my lens on "The Problem of Suffering" below.

Amazon Spotlight Personal Review

Part 1 by Wurmbrand details instructions to the suffering church on how to endure and not give up. Part 2 by Piper explains the reason for the suffering and Part 3 is a Bible study outline on the purpose of suffering.

One example of persecution: U.S.Citizen held in Iranian prision:

The Iranian government has sentenced Pastor Saeed Abedini, a U.S. citizen, to 8 YEARS IN PRISON for starting house churches in Iran.

See More About This Pastor and Please Sign This Petition to Release him.

Pastor Saeed has been beaten and forcibly released from the hospital. The latest is that he is in much need of surgery due to the injuries sustained from his beatings.

More lessons from the Persecuted Church:

Singing through the Night: Courageous Stories of Faith from Women in the Persecuted Church
Singing through the Night: Courageous Stories of Faith from Women in the Persecuted Church

Believers in the West are understanding more about Christians struggling in other parts of the world. However, many of the accounts of the persecuted church are missing an important part of the story--the women. In this stirring book, Anneke Companjen sheds light on the lives of eleven women suffering persecution in nine different countries around the world. Through their true stories of imprisonment, full of loss and pain, and unexpected joy, these women inspire Western readers to persevere and endure their own hardships for the cause of Christ. At the end of each chapter there are questions for deeper study, whether for individual use or as a guide for small groups seeking to understand and pray for our persecuted sisters. Readers will be deeply moved by the strength and faith of these courageous women.

 

A probing question from the persecuted church:

Take Up Your Cross
Take Up Your Cross | Source
Closer to the Fire: Lessons from the Persecuted Church
Closer to the Fire: Lessons from the Persecuted Church

We are often so far removed from persecution that it can be hard to relate to people who suffer for their faith. Journey with Greg Musselman, a former sport anchor, as he introduces you to believers he has interviewed from around the world Christians with extraordinary stories to tell and amazing courage to impart. Whether in Ethiopia or Eritrea, North Korea or Nigeria, India or Iran, these believers have endured incredible pain and suffering, and live under constant threat and hardship. In taking a bold stand for Christ, they have discovered a vital truth: the closer you are to Jesus, the closer you are to the fires of persecution! Yet their tragic stories reveal a deeper hope and greater faith than most of us experience in our more protected lives and they have much to teach us. Closer to the Fire helps Christians in free countries to identify with and learn from believers in the persecuted Church, as it explores the deeper truths of Scripture

 
Hands praying across the sea (+One mediator)
Hands praying across the sea (+One mediator) | Source

What can we do? Mainly pray:

More Christians were martyred in the twentieth century than all previous centuries combined, and this onslaught has continued unabated into the new century. As Christians living in the twenty-first century, it is our duty to be knowledgeable and be compelled to take action on behalf of those who are persecuted. One of the most essential actions we can take is to stand in the gap for them through prayer. The Devotional below lists over sixty countries that are in desperate need of prayer. It describes the past and present situation in each country and the challenges and opportunities for the future. Prayer points help the reader focus on specific areas of intercession once he or she is well informed. This excellent source of prayer for the persecuted church will be beneficial for churches, mission supporters, and mission agencies as a way to become informed and involved with the global church.

Get this unique devotional and Pray Daily for the persecuted church

But, how to pray?

In view of all that has gone before, here, you may well wonder how to pray aright for the persecuted Christians around the world. Here is a list of 10 things you can pray for, with scripture references, provided by the Voice of the Martyrs, PO Box 443 Bartlesville, OK 740031-918-337-8015 www.persecution.com:

PRAY:

1. that they will sense God's presence (Heb.13:5)

2. that they will feel connected to he greater body of Christ (I Cor.12:20-26)

3. that they will be comforted by God when their family members are killed, injured or imprisoned for their witness (II Cor.1:3-5)

4 that they will have more opportunities to share the gospel (Col.4:3)

5. for their boldness to make Christ known (Phil.1:14).

6. that they will forgive and love their persecutors (Matt,5:44).

7 that their ministry activities remain undetected by authorities or others who wish to silence them (Acts 9:25).

8. that they will rejoice in suffering (Acts 5:41).

9, that they will be refreshed through God's Word and grow in their faith (Eph.6:17).

10. that they will be strengthened through the prayers of fellow believers (Jude 20-25).

Hiding the Bible
Hiding the Bible | Source

"The Persecute Church" is listed in:

Christ Centered Web - Directory

Did you commit to pray daily for the persecuted church? (the link above) - And any other comments:

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    • Digory LM profile image

      Digory LM 4 years ago

      Richard Wurmbrand and Sabina, his wife, are two of my heroes. Thanks for sharing about the suffering church.

    • CamelliaPenny profile image

      Perrin 4 years ago from South Carolina

      Very important lens. Thank you for writing this. So glad to see your link to ACLJ's petition for Pastor Saaed. My prayer is that the link will soon be old news/history!

    • Kalafina profile image

      Kalafina 4 years ago

      One of our mission churches was burned to the ground and the pastor's son doused in gasoline. The people were able to save him but due to the loss of mission funding we were forced to withdraw from the country. I pray for the good news of the Gospel to change the hearts of those who persecute others. God was able to change the Christianity-hating Saul into the loving apostle Paul so I know He has a plan and is looking out for us!

    • srsddn lm profile image

      srsddn lm 4 years ago

      I am not a Christian but I feel for independent religious faiths and worshiping.

    • JoyfulMom LM profile image

      JoyfulMom LM 4 years ago

      Nicely done lens! We also receive the VOTM newsletter. Thanks for making this information more public!

    • shellys-space profile image

      Shelly Sellers 4 years ago from Midwest U.S.A.

      Amen! Yes, I pray for our persecuted churches around the world! We receive the monthly newsletter from VOTM.

    • casnider profile image

      casnider 4 years ago

      Yes, I pray everyday for true religious freedom for all of God's children in the world. Please realize that it is not only "Christians" who are persecuted. We are all God's children no matter what our religious beliefs. Wouldn't the world be peaceful if we all followed the actual lessons Jesus taught?