Thursday, 19 June 2014

The current, largescale persecution of Christians

This article in Christianity Today speaks of the current situation facing Christians in Iraq as ISIS (The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) takes over the nation. 
"Things are so bad now in Iraq, the worst they have ever been," writes Canon Andrew White, vicar of St. George's Anglican Church in Baghdad.
Pray for our brothers and sisters in Iraq and perhaps talk/write a letter to your MP about Canada voicing its opposition to this religious persecution in the strongest possible way. 

And here are two recent books, briefly reviewed by Mark Noll at Books and Culture, that promise to open reader's eyes to the everyday suffering of Christians and churches around the world as they are specifically targeted by hostile governments and organizations for brutal and regular persecution. 

As brothers and sisters to those being persecuted, as members of the same church, which is the body of Christ, we may not forget them in our regular prayers.  Don't pray for them in such a way as to check the prayer-for-the-persecuted-church box.  Pray for them with tears, fast, cry out for God's mercy, for repentance for their persecutors, for strength and a sense of God's real presence with them, for boldness that comes from the Spirit's filling, for faith and hope to know this is a light momentary affliction in the light of eternity (2 Cor. 4:17), for steadfastness of faith, for Christ-honouring confession in word and deed, for justice and reprieve and release and freedom.  The Apostle Paul asked for the churches to remember his chains (Col. 4:18) and we must never forget the chains of our brothers and sisters being persecuted.  Pray for them in such a way that you take some of the weight of their burden upon yourself (Gal. 6:2).  Pray for them as though it were your own family being tortured, jailed and killed...because it is.

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