Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Is the World Looking the Other Way While Christians are Persecuted?

Jesus told us an interesting (and sobering) parable in Matthew 25;

The Sheep and the Goats
31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

OUCH!!!  He seems pretty serious about asking us if we were mindful of our brothers and sisters who were hungry, tired, thirsty and in prison.

So how many of us are mindful of the 200,000,000 Christians who are currently being persecuted all over the world?  They are being raped, tortured and murdered and WHAT is the response from the Church in America?

(sound of chirping crickets)

"Well Dennis, I'm so busy chasing kids at soccer and hockey games that I don't have time to keep up on the news!  You know how it is....."

"Well Dennis, we just gave so much money to our church building fund to make a new coffee bar that we are just plain tapped out!"


I wanted to re-post this article from the Washington Post that ask a very serious question of whether the world is turning a blind eye to Christian persecution.  Now remember, this isn't from Christianity Today or Charisma's the Washington Post.

“I hope that the international community doesn’t stand mute and inert before such unacceptable crimes, which constitute a worrisome erosion of the most elementary human rights. I truly hope that the international community doesn’t look the other way.”

The persecution of Christians is a theme that ran through most of the pope’s speeches this weekend. At a Good Friday procession, he decried the world’s “complicit silence” while members of his faith are killed. On Sunday, he devoted his Easter address to a grim accounting of global conflicts where Christians and others have been killed. His speech referenced the attack on Garissa University College in eastern Kenya last week, in which al-Shabab militants killed at least 148 people, reportedly singling out non-Muslims. It also referred to “absurd bloodshed” and “barbarous acts of violence” in Libya, where 21 Egyptian Christians were beheaded by the Islamic State in February.

“May the international community not stand by before the immense humanitarian tragedy unfolding in these countries and the drama of the numerous refugees,” he said of the conflict in Iraq and Syria.

Has the world really “looked the other way” while Christians are killed?

David Curry, president of the nonprofit Open Doors USA, which advocates for persecuted Christians worldwide, believes so.

“We see a continued pattern in many of these regions of violence and persecution against Christians,” he said in a phone interview. “But the West and Western governments, including the U.S., when they conflict-map these issues, they refuse to address the fact that Christians are being targeted.”

As evidence, Curry pointed to President Obama’s Friday statement on the attack at Garissa University. Despite reports that the attackers targeted Christian students and an al-Shabab statement calling the attack an “operation against infidels,” Obama’s remarks make no mention of religion.

“I think some people would say that they’re fueling Islamophobia [by saying Christians were targeted], but that’s not really what we’re talking about,” Curry said. “We’re talking about identifying the ideology of extremists.”

He added: “That’s a major part of this story. At some point we so have to say that [religion] is part of this conflict.”

It’s not the first time this criticism has been leveled at the president. When the 21 Egyptian Christians were killed in Libya, many commenters — mostly from conservative outlets — criticized Obama for not identifying the victims’ faith in his statement on the beheadings.

According to Open Doors, 2014 saw a huge increase in violence against Christians. Researchers for the group found that 4,344 Christians were killed for faith-related reasons between Dec. 1, 2013 and Nov. 30, 2014 — more than twice the number killed during the same period the previous year. Curry says those numbers are a low estimate, as the group only counts incidents in which the victim can be identified by name and an exact cause has been attributed.

In its annual “World Watch” report, which ranks the 50 countries where persecution of Christians is most severe, the group said the past year “will go down in history for having the highest level of global persecution of Christians in the modern era” and suggested that “the worst is yet to come.”


Yep...the worst is yet to come.  And what are WE going to do about it?

Most of us can't go to Iraq and shoot our way into a town to deliver Bibles and food to our brothers and sisters...but there are people who do!

If you haven't been supporting a Christian aid association that focuses on the persecuted is one idea where you can put your money where you mouth (and hopefully heart) is.

On this site you can learn much about the persecution and needs that are happening all over the world.  Make sure to watch some videos and let's see if we can get our local churches involved.


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