Pray for Persecuted Believers

Reports surfaced yesterday about the persecution of churches and church members in China.

Sometimes its easy to forget that China is a communist, authoritarian society. In spite of unprecedented growth of the church in China, churches and individual Christians are experiencing very difficult times.

The latest, most difficult persecution began December 9 in Sichaun Province with the arrest of 100 or members of the Autumn Rain Baptist Church. According to reports, those arrested are being beaten, tortured, and denied food and restroom accommodations. Among other abuses, Christians were dragged, stepped on, and tied to chairs. Some had handfuls of hair pulled from their scalp.

Gina Goh, Southeast Asia regional manager for International Christian Concern, said many members of Autumn Rain counted the cost in advance and pledged faithfulness to God in advance of their arrests in their homes and workplaces. “I think a lesson we can learn from them is they continue to say that, ‘No matter what may come, we will continue to serve the Lord. We will continue to stand strong in our faith,’ ” Goh said. In a letter to the church, the pastor and elders wrote that, “We will not bend, even if it means jail, even if it means death. We will continue to preserve our faith.”

There are a lot of lessons we can learn from the continuing persecution of the church around the world.

First, we can learn perseverance and courage from our sisters and brothers who face continued opposition to the Gospel by governments and non-Christian majorities. We can stand in awe at their courage in the face of intense persecution, and we can stand amazed at the faithfulness of our God no matter what the circumstances.

Second, we can learn to pray for our brothers and sisters around the world and those from our own churches who serve among them. While we should pray for the cessation of persecution, we should particularly pray for courage and perseverance for those who are suffering. Let God’s saints offer prayers to heaven on their behalf.

Third, we can learn from them the priority of the Gospel. Nothing–certainly not comfort and acceptance–must get in the way of proclaiming the life-giving hope that comes from knowing Christ.

Finally, we can thank God for their example in perseverance and faith.

Let us be people who pray and who pray for God’s saints around the world.

 

2 Comments


  1. Brenda Collins
    Dec 14, 2018

    So sorry to read this today. Whenever I hear of this kind of thing I think of Stephen getting stoned, he looked up to heaven and saw Jesus standing at God’s right, in the place of power. I know it may be wishful thinking but I believe in times like that that the Saviour relieves us from physical pain and sort of takes us up to be with him. We never know when we may find ourselves on the receiving end and that belief gives me great comfort. I refuse to cave. Thank you for your blog, brenda


  2. Anonymous
    Dec 15, 2018

    Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

    Abba, help us remember our brothers and sisters and to pray for them as if we where with them.

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I am the senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Covington, Louisiana, a position that I have held since 1989.

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Great peace have those who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble. — Psalm 119:165 (NIV)