I was reading a post forwarded by one of my friends this morning from FrontPageMag.com on the Persecution of Christians by Muslims. What I discovered there is terrible – the number of people that are being beaten, raped, imprisoned and killed because they will not give up their Christianity is appalling. You can read the whole story here: http://frontpagemag.com/2011/09/09/muslim-persecution-of-christians-august-2011/
I made be wonder how I would react to this kind of torture and persecution for being a follower of Christ. I have seen Jesus, personally, and heard the voice of God speaking to me in dreams. There is no one that can tell me that God does not exist. But if I was being beaten, raped, tortured, would I be able to hold on to my God and not cave into the demands to renounce Him? Would I be strong enough?
In America we do not face this kind of persecution because of our beliefs. We may face some ridicule and name-calling, but nothing as drastic as this. If this is happening here, the mainstream media is not reporting it and I haven’t come across anything in the social media that indicates this is going on. Not that we don’t have our own set of problems, but being beaten, raped or tortured because of our Christianity is not one of them. So, if we were to face this type of ridicule and persecution, how would we handle it?
It is very easy to say we believe in God, that we stand on His promises when things are going fairly well for us. Yes, we may have money problems or health issues or relationship troubles that we are praying about but how often, in any one week, are we afraid for our lives because people know we are practicing Christians. On our way to church on Sunday morning are we on the look out for people who may be trying to shoot or bomb us? As we sit in our pews, do we worry about being invaded or the building being burned down around us? Are people forcing their ways into our homes to gather our Bibles to be taken and burned? We have it pretty easy here compared to other areas of the world and we need to be aware of what is going on there if only to lift our brothers and sisters there up in prayer.
I challenge you, in the week ahead, to consider your answer to this question. How would you stand up under persecution, especially the type of persecution that could easily result in your death? How long would you last under torture before renouncing your relationship to God? Would you persevere even unto death? And please, please, add the Christians in these foreign lands to your prayer list. These are your brothers and sisters in Christ, they need whatever protection, strength and wisdom our pitiful prayers can provide them.
In Jesus Holy Name
Joni M. Becker, Abiding Prayer