Religious Freedom and the Church
4 Things You (yes, you!) Can Do About the Persecuted Church
What do you think of when you hear about the persecuted Church? You would be right to think of countries such as North Korea, Pakistan, and Iran, which are within the top 10 extremely persecuted countries according to Open Doors USA. This list includes 260 million Christians who suffer high to severe levels of persecution.
That’s difficult to imagine, isn’t it? Hundreds of millions of our brothers and sisters in Christ are persecuted – attacked, killed, kidnapped, prevented from obtaining life sustaining food and provisions, etc.
All Because of Their Faith.
To be honest, even though I identified as a Christian my whole life, I did not think too often about the persecuted Church. I was (and still am) grateful for the relative freedom we have in the United States to follow the faith of our choice. However, even in the US, Christians are facing a level of persecution hitherto unseen. We will address this more in a moment.
After I became born again, I still did not occupy too much thought about what seemed like distant countries with unfamiliar rules, laws, and violence.
Then, God placed the idea of my persecuted brothers and sisters in my hands…directly.
Someone who worked at a factory that received component parts from China gave me a tract he found in one of the boxes.
It was “The Evidence of God” tract by Lee Strobel.
I was struck…by what exactly, I am not sure, but God was certainly behind it. The more I thought about how that tract got there…why it was placed there…I began to wonder, was someone reaching out for help, or to disciple others?
I thought about the Christian work camps I have heard about in China, and suddenly I knew God took this topic that seemed so far away and placed it smack on my heart.
It still took a while for me to understand what I could do, if anything, about it.
Over the months and years (in God’s perfect timing), I came to understand that I cannot fix the world. And this charge is not something that can be placed on any fallen human being.
Only an infinite God can do that.
God is the only one in the business of fixing the world; He has already sent His son who will return again, and in the meantime we are to do our good works that God has prepared for us beforehand as we go. Some will receive a special calling from God to more directly help the persecuted, while others will not. However, this does not mean that any Christian is excused from helping his brothers and sisters in need, just as no Christian is exempt from preaching the gospel.
So, what are some things we ALL can do as we sit in our homes, and walk by the way?
1. Get informed.
Find some websites with good information about the persecuted Church, as main stream media usually does not dwell upon (or even mention) persecuted Christians around the world.
- Some great websites that will get you started include:
- the Voice of the Martyrs (persecution.com)
- Samaritan’s Purse (samaritanspurse.org)
- China Aid (chinaaid.org – more on China Aid below)
Other ways to keep informed include Christian-based radio and news:
Many others exist; try searching for persecuted Church ministries.
There are so many resources today that there is no excuse for us not educating ourselves about our suffering brothers and sisters.
Once you know more about the reality of the situation, and who. For example, see the nations listed on opendoorsusa.org. These are the nations that need our prayers.
Pray without ceasing.
Make time during your quiet times and your prayer times to pray for those who suffer in the name of Jesus. Take part in a prayer event (in person or online). Pray with your local believers in Church. Jesus himself told us that we are to expect persecution as His followers, but the one Body exists to bear each other’s burdens.
3. Speak up
Call this step “advocate” if you will, but my point is to not remain silent. You are not too important to help your neighbor (Galatians 6:3). When wrong is happening around you, do not remain silent but stand firm in the faith.
- Take righteous action.
- Use any social media accounts you have to promote the truth.
- Raise awareness and share the truth with others.
Donate to any of the ministries mentioned here or to others you find. Or give to your local church, who should also be giving to help persecuted Christians throughout the world.
And one last point, the ones you may be giving to might end up being your own neighbors. The reality of the persecution of Christians in this country grows by leaps and bounds every day.
Take, for example, the ongoing plight of Bob Fu. Among other things, he is a pastor who runs China Aid and is being guarded by the police right now. This is happening in our own country, because people want him killed for his faith.
Please see the video below for details, pray for Bob Fu and his family, and give if the Spirit so moves you.
By Dana Timek
Dana Timek is a Christ-following wife and mother. She retired from the medical field to be a stay at home mom, and was called by her Lord and Savior to become a home-discipler (aka homeschooling mama). She is grateful for her family, for walks in the woods, for peaceful late nights…and for coffee in the mornings!
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Religious Freedom and the Church