One of RHEMA’s supporters saw this report from RT and brought it to our attention. This is a gripping story, told by a Christian an who was given 24 hours to leave or be killed.
“Christian’s are the world’s most persecuted people” (The Independent, 2014)
A careful reading of the history of the Christian faith throughout the world will reveal a trail of blood. It all began with the martyrdom of all the apostles except John who was exiled by Emperor Domitian. So we need to ask “what is a Christian martyr?” Very simply, a Christian martyr is a person who is killed for following Jesus. This often occurred in early church years through stoning, crucifixion, burning at the stake or other forms of torture and capital punishment. In our day, ISIS and other terror groups are finding new and innovative ways of killing Christians with much pain and humiliation.
This video gives us some insight into what is happening in just one country, Iraq. The Christian presence in Iraq dates back for centuries.
The least religious freedom globally now is in North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan, Myanmar, Iraq, Syria, Egypt and other Islamic controlled nations. It is just now being revealed that persecution and martyrdom is growing faster in India and Nepal than at any other time in history. It is difficult to get accurate information from China.
Our graduates in India and Nepal are facing a growing tide of opposition and some of them are facing threats of martyrdom. As a result, they are building the church stronger and larger. THEY URGENTLY NEED YOUR PRAYERS AND SUPPORT FOR THEIR WORK.
It was the second century church father Tertullian who said “the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.” He would probably say it again if he saw what is happening NOW in Iran. This bloody country is now experiencing the greatest growth of Christianity in its history with hundreds of conversions and baptisms on a regular basis. After all, the the word martyr comes from the Greek word, “martys” which means “witness.”
I suggest that today’s believers in places like America read both volumes of Foxes Book of Martyrs and Jesus Freaks on a regular basis. Keep an eye on the world to see what is happening to your fellow believers in other places. Actually, in our ministry, we don’t have to look very far. Our RHEMA graduates usually sign the “martyr’s oath” as they graduate. On our video, one young man is heard to say “. . .anyway, we must die, so let me die for Jesus.” And he means it.
So how should we respond to the terrorism and Christian martyrdom in the world? We must view terrorism and martyrdom with eyes of faith, not fear.
1. With righteous indignation, not anger. Ephesians 4:26; Romans 1:18
2. With hope, not fear. Romans 8:28
3. With justice, not revenge. The evil doers must face justice, but not all Moslems.
4. With mortality, not invincibility. It is a high honor for a believer to be able to die for our faith
5. With a global view, not just local. God has always had a plan and still does. Trust Him.
6. With anticipation, not just fatalism. Scripture teaches this is all part of preparation for His coming.
7. With awareness of mystery, not dogmatism. We are unable to fully understand God’s plan but we know He has a perfect plan for His world and His people.
8. With expectation of eternity. We must never forget that for the follower of Jesus, this life is but a vapor, a blip on the radar of eternity. The best is yet to come and just a split second after the terrorist has taken our physical life, we will awaken where the air is celestial and the atmosphere is incomparable. The best is yet to come.