Many Christians around the world suffer persecution because of their faith in the Lord Jesus. They are imprisoned, their properties destroyed, families torn apart, they are ostracized and more. But for those of us in a democratic country, it’s hard to imagine what that’s like.
According to Open Doors the top, ten countries most affected by this are North Korea, Afghanistan, Somalia, Sudan, Pakistan, Eritrea, Libya, Iraq, Yemen and Iran.
But, is persecution in the Bible?
It should come as no surprise that the answer is yes. When we face hardships because of our faith we’re joining the many persecuted Christians in Biblical history. Let’s take a look at what the Bible says about Christians being persecuted?
“Indeed, all who delight in pursuing righteousness and are determined to live godly lives in Christ Jesus will be hunted and persecuted [because of their faith].” ( 2 Timothy 3:12 AMP)
“If the world hates you [and it does], know that it has hated Me before it hated you.” ( John 15:18 AMP )
“Blessed [comforted by inner peace and God’s love] are those who are persecuted for doing that which is morally right, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven [both now and forever].” (Matthew 5:10)
“Blessed [morally courageous and spiritually alive with life-joy in God’s goodness] are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil things against you because of [your association with] Me. Be glad and exceedingly joyful, for your reward in heaven is great [absolutely inexhaustible]; for in this same way, they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” ( Matthew 5:11-12 AMP )
“But I say to you, love [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for] your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” (Matthew 5:44 AMP)
“Blessed [morally courageous and spiritually alive with life-joy in God’s goodness] are you when people hate you, and exclude you [from their fellowship], and insult you, and scorn your name as evil because of[your association with] the Son of Man.” ( Luke 6:22 AMP )
“Do not be surprised, believers, if the world hates you.” ( 1 John 3:13 AMP )
6 Things You Can Do
So what can we do to help our persecuted brothers and sisters around the world? Firstly, there are organizations that keep watch on persecuted Christians such as Open Doors. They publish regular updates on situations around the world. Here are six things you can do to help:
- Donate money to organizations such as Open Doors
- Write to Persecuted Christians
- Advocate – Raise awareness and lobby the government to take action
- Encourage others to take action
But above all remember, if you’re facing persecution today you are not alone, we have a High Priest who intercedes for us and we too will be praying for you.
“Who is the one who condemns us? Christ Jesus is the One who died [to pay our penalty], and more than that, who was raised [from the dead], and who is at the right hand of God interceding [with the Father] for us.” ( Romans 8:34 AMP )
Sunday, November 4, is the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP). Click to find out more.