I was reminded tonight to remain constant in prayer for our brothers and sisters in the church around the world who are being persecuted for their faith. It’s real. It’s happening right as you read this. You and I can make a difference by persevering in prayer for those who are persevering in suffering for the faith we share.
I found these stats and comments on this issue this morning:
More than 43 million Christians have been killed for their faith since the crucifixion of Jesus.
It’s been estimated that more Christians have been martyred in the 20th Century than in all the prior 1,900 years combined.
There have been more than 26 million documented cases of martyrdom in this century alone.
More than 200 million Christians in over 60 nations face persecution each day, 60% of these are children.
150,000 to 165,000 are martyred each year.
Christians today are the most persecuted group in the world. Persecution is on the rise because of Communism, the expansion of Islamic and Hindu extremism, and because of the sparsity of freedom-honoring governments around the world.
Literally hundreds of thousands of people today are being killed, brutalized, sold as slaves, imprisoned, tortured, threatened, discriminated against and arrested solely because they refuse to renounce or hide their faith in Jesus Christ.
We can be overwhelmed by these stats and comments, or we can pray. Psalm 46 is a great text to pray for these persecuted brothers and sisters.
1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah
4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High.
5 God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns.
6 The nations rage, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts.
7 The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah
8 Come, behold the works of the LORD, how he has brought desolations on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the chariots with fire.
10 “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”
11 The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah