Sunday, November 5, 2017, 4:30 pm Early this morning, I published this post on the International Day of Prayer of the Persecuted Church:
While I was speaking for three weeks in India, I was puzzled as I talked to a joyous young man who had converted from Hinduism to Christianity. When he would talk, he would look straight at me but, as I talked. he would turn his head away from me. It was very curious until he told me that when he told his high priest father he had given his life to Christ, the father beat him so severely he had lost hearing in his right ear.
In America, Christians claim to be “persecuted” if someone calls them a “judgmental bigot” on Facebook, they’re not allowed to publicly pray in school or are forced to rent an apartment to an unmarried couple. This is as far from persecution as a cold is from cancer. Every day, adults and children are tortured, imprisoned, and killed for simply loving Jesus.
So I was stunned when I saw this headline on CNN’s website:
27 dead, 30 injured in Sutherland Springs church shooting, sources say
It is still unclear the gunman’s motive, but it is tragically ironic that the Sunday that churches are praying for our brothers and sisters being killed for their faith around the world, a mass murderer attacks a small church in Texas.
And so, my prayers for those around the world being targeted for their faith. Here are the ten countries where Christians are most persecuted:
Here are organizations working with the persecuted church. (All are members in good standing with ECFA.)
Please remember today—and every day—our brothers and sisters who are being persecuted around the world. And pray for the family and friends of those in Sutherland Springs, Texas, who died in the First Baptist church.
• Dealing with death and grief
• Talking to your children about shootings/terrorism
• How can we overcome evil with good?
According to the Center for Homicide Research’s National Church Shooting Database, most violence at houses of worship is not specifically aimed at people of faith. According to the study, most shootings are racially, ethnically, or domestically motivated. Carl Chin, a church security consultant, found that “only 6 percent of the violent incidences at houses of worship stem from religious bias.” (Monday: It appears the motivation was not his outspoken atheism, but the result of a domestic dispute with his ex-mother-in-law. Mental illness seems to be a factor.)
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