Testimonies from Persecuted Christians
I just read Killing Christians: Living the Faith Where It’s Not Safe to Believe by Tom Doyle, author of the popular book Dreams and Visions. What a powerful and important book for our current time. In the introduction, Doyle states,
Oppressors over the centuries have never recognized that the persecution of Christians is always a failed initiative. It just doesn’t work. To the contrary, killing believers routinely accelerates the spread of the gospel and the growth of the church.
Persecuted believers have become the new face of genuine Christianity. They are filled with passion to live or die for Christ, and we in the West have much to learn from them.
And learn we must.
After reading the stories from these brave Christians, I realized a few things. First, I recognized how safe I am. Safe because of where I live and work and worship. Safe because I’m not risking my life to follow Jesus. Safe because I can attend any number of churches, meetings, Bible studies, small groups, and prayer meetings without wondering if this was the day I meet Jesus face to face. And more importantly, safe because I’m way too comfortable in my faith.
The stories that cross the world from Somalia, Iraq, Eqypt and Syria left me inspired, awed, and humbled.
Bibles are smuggled in by a man hiding underneath a corpse in a casket.
Men and women are being visited in their dreams by a man named Jesus who tells them he knows them, loves them, and will take care of them.
One young man is constantly looking over his shoulder to see if a man might kill him because he has become a believer of God. That man is his own uncle.
Groups meet in the dead of night to share prayer and read what small portions of Scripture they find.
Here is the account of one of a testimony from Shurkri in Afghanistan who was invited by a friend to his house:
I stepped into his house and into a crowd of two dozen smiling people.
“Omar,” I asked, “What is this about?”
I was pretty sure I’d just walked into an underground prayer meeting.
“Please, Shurkri, stay for just a few minutes and meet my friends.”
Despite Omar’s plea, my instinct was to walk out as fast as I came in. But as my stomach twisted in knots, something held me there. I’ve been to mosques – and even a few churches – where people just go through the motions of their religion. They put in their time, like punching the clock at work.
What held me at Omar’s house, though, was that these people were not faking it. They might have been really stupid to hold a Christian worship meeting in Fallujuah, but they were certainly sincere. Doing this could get them killed. People just don’t risk death for something they don’t think is real.
So I stayed.
You’ll have to read the book to see how Shurkri’s story played out.
Did you catch that line? People just don’t risk death for something they don’t think is real.
And what would Jesus tell these brave brothers and sisters of ours?
You are blessed when they insult and persecute you and falsely say every kind of evil against you because of Me. – Matthew 5:11
Feeling discouraged about the news coming from overseas?
Feeling like the Church is not growing around the world?
Need perspective for your own walk?
Then read Killing Christians.
And always, always… keep our brothers and sisters in your prayers.