Letter: Pray for the persecuted
To the editor:
In a recent speech, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky said there is a worldwide war on Christians. This isn’t new news. More Christians were killed in the 20th century than in all other centuries combined, reporting organizations tell us. The war — better called persecution — is waged even in this country. Under cover of the recent hostilities in Egypt and Syria, Christians have been killed and their churches, homes and businesses destroyed and rapes and decapitations reported.
Among other opportunities these atrocities afford us is the teachable moment. Pastors and other Christian leaders have the opportunity to teach their congregations about the persecution of our brothers and sisters in Christ. For simply sharing their faith, many are arrested, tortured and killed. Many don’t know the whereabouts or fate of their loved ones. Widows, widowers and orphans are often left homeless and without support.
For example, according to recent reports, 3,000 Christians are in prison in Eritrea, and Asia Bibi, a 37-year-old Pakistani wife and mother, is on death row for sharing her faith. These and others should daily be on our prayer lists, but unfortunately they — and even the extent of persecution itself — is little known to too many congregations.
Here’s the opportunity. On Sunday, Nov. 3, many congregations around the world will observe the 17th annual International Day of Prayer for the Perscuted Church. Pastors and church leaders, don’t miss this opportunity or Hebrews 13:3. Information is available online at persecution.org.