In the last couple of years violence towards Christians has increased in South America, Africa, India, and in China. In China much of the violence has been aimed at church buildings, the burning of Bibles, and the demolition of Crosses placed on the buildings. In South America, Africa, and India the violence has increased due primarily to the terrorist groups of Boko Haram and the Islamic State (IS). This is especially true in areas where the terrorist groups have overtaken entire villages.
It does not take much time to research and find out that Christians are being persecuted and killed everyday in our world. What is surprising to me is how little Christians in America and other European countries seem to be concerned with this genocide.
Maybe it is because many are unaware, not keeping up with the news or current world events. Maybe it is because some are embarrassed about the fact that there is little they can do about what happens in other places. Perhaps some feel guilty that they live relatively free of any real suffering for the faith. Perhaps for some it is a sign of complacency. Christians in America have often sat back and watched things happen without speaking up, without wanting to offend someone, only to find culture shifting ever further away from the ideals and values this country was founded upon.
In any case, amidst the persecution, Christianity is growing more quickly in countries that face real persecution. Soon China will have the largest population of Christians in the world. They already have more Christians than the United States.
In this post I would like to ask you to do several things:
Ask yourself what you can do to connect with the persecuted Church. Think about how you can raise awareness, send aid, pray for safety, and even have your church do something to send relief to our persecuted brothers and sisters around the world.
Read up on IS and Boko Haram. Do enough reading to understand why these groups specifically target Christians.
Take a long look at your heart and really think through what you would do if you were in a life threatening situation because of your faith.
Pray and ask God to give the church in America and Europe a sense of calling to aid their persecuted brothers and sisters around the globe. Ask God to open the eyes of the complacent Christians who sit in bliss so that they can see what a blessing we have but also so they can see the great need today for others to find safety.
Pray for those who persecute Christians and the church that their eyes would be opened to the love of Christ. Pray that they would repent of their sins, find salvation, and begin to make changes for good in the areas of the world where Christians are being wiped from existence.
Dr. Scott Shiffer has a Ph.D. in Christian Theology from the B.H. Carroll Theological Institute and has been teaching religion classes since 2006. He leads Transformation Media Ministries, an organization to help believers think biblically about culture in America. Scott has given numerous presentations including one at Oxford. He has spoken at church retreats, youth retreats, conferences, and has taught discipleship classes for over 10 years. Scott is married and has three children. He has a heart for helping believers draw closer to God and for aiding them as they are faced with new challenges in America every day.