Praying for the Persecuted Church (by Laurence Hill)

18-10-14 Be Anxious for Nothing

Why Prayer for the Persecuted!

I have been supporting and praying for the persecuted church for over 30 years. It is a cause that is very dear to my heart.
Whenever I can I try to encourage others to pray also & offer other kinds of support if they are able.
So why pray for people we don’t know thousands of miles away? First and foremost because they are our brothers & sisters in Christ but also because quite literally their lives depend on it. In certain countries it is very dangerous to be a Christian, you are risking your life but just turning up to Church.
In countries like Nigeria Christians are targeted by armed groups like Boko Haram & the Fulani herdsmen. I encourage you to click on the link below and read Pastor Andrews story.
In other countries like North Korea you can’t even talk to your children about your faith for fear of being discovered. Christians often walk miles to meet together in caves and worship in hushed tones in case someone might hear. If they are discovered they often sent away to prison camps where the conditions are beyond horrendous.
According to a 2021 white paper on human rights published by the ROK government-affiliated Korea Institute for National Unification’s (KINU), the government operated at least five political prison camps. ODUSA estimated that the government held 50,000 to 70,000 citizens in prison for being Christians.
Christians who are persecuted often show incredible courage. I went to an Open Doors conference in Switzerland where they shared the story of a man from India who had recently been converted. He went from village to village preaching the good news until a gang of Hindu extremists got hold of him and took him to the village hall where all the elders of the village met to decide what to do with him.
The man could see a tyre in the corner of the room filled with petrol. The extremists were planning to put it over his head and set fire to it.
While they were all debating & arguing about what to do he miraculously managed to slip out without them noticing.
Well what do you think he did? You or I would probably go into hiding or move far away to another region. Instead he went to the next village and carried on preaching. What courage, what conviction, I find it incredibly inspiring and humbling. The least I can do is pray for brothers like him.
Someone said to me recently in another church, “I prefer to pray for people I know who are near, brothers and sisters I know who are sick and in need. I don’t have time to pray for the persecuted church.” I applaud him for praying for those who are near and dear to him and he is right to do that, we all should but I would say, couldn’t we do both, can’t we find a place in our hearts and some time in our day to pray for those who are near & those who are far in countries where being a Christian is often a death sentence.
I leave you with one more story which really touched my heart. It’s the story of a woman from Eritrea who was imprisoned in a shipping container in searing heat, regularly beaten & tortured because she refused to stop saying the name of Jesus and singing songs of worship to him. I encourage you to click on the link below and read her troubling yet inspiring story.
God bless you for reading this far and taking an interest in the persecuted church.
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