According to Open Doors USA, an organization that tracks Christian persecution around our planet, 245 million believers face threats, violence, and death every day because of their connection to Jesus. That’s 1 in 9 global Christians. Like Leah who was abducted in Nigeria with one hundred of her classmates for refusing to convert to Islam. Or Maizah whose conversion to Christianity meant she was beaten and forced to become the fourth wife of her abuser unless she wanted to watch her family die. Or the Christians in rural China whose neighbors are now offered money by the atheistic government for reporting any followers of Jesus that they know.
What can you do? Pray. Paul wrote, “If one part [of the church] suffers, every part suffers with it” (1 Corinthians 12:26). Pray for the persecuted church. Right now these suffering Christians are somewhere thinking something. Pray that Leah thinks of the eternity of pleasure Jesus has promised and not the brutal pain that will one day end. Pray that Maizah remembers the sermons she has heard and the passages she has believed. Pray for every church that gathers on Sunday with the threats of their neighbors in their ears. Pray they would not be afraid of those who can only kill the body. Pray they would fix their thoughts on Jesus, the Savior who has promised that those who stand firm will receive the crown of life.
Jesus, come quickly and rescue your church! And help us to pray for each other until that day comes!