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Archive for the ‘persecuted church’ Category

This Sunday at Church I want to encourage you to do the following: Remember Persecuted Christians who are Imprisoned.

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This Lord’s Day I want to encourage you strongly to pray.  To pray for the persecuted church.

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This is from my daily Greek exercise of sight reading many months ago, courtesy of Vincent S Artale Jr.

Our text is from the Greek translation of 1 Thessalonians 5:16.  Here is my translation:

“SENTENCE 3 [TP Τὸ λοιπὸν TP] προσεύχεσθε ‹ ἀδελφοί › περὶ ἡμῶν
Finally brethren pray for us

SUB-POINT ἵνα [TP ὁ λόγος τοῦ κυρίου TP] τρέχῃ καὶ δοξάζηται καθὼς ‹+ καὶ πρὸς
in order that the word of the Lord will spread and be glorified just as also for

ὑμᾶς +›”
you

Here are some observations:

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With all the news about Christians being persecuted, where Pastors are being arrested, members disappearing, churches being destroyed, even believers being killed, let us think of them.  Pray for them.  Think of their plights and their family suffering.

Our church this Sunday was led to really pray for the believers in difficult situations.  Especially for those who are persecuted by the government in which believers have been arrested or disappeared because Jesus is the reason for their treason.

As Bibleguy shared from Hebrews 13:3: “Remember the prisoners, as though in prison with them, and those who are ill-treated, since you yourselves also are in the body.”

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HeartCry is a missionary organization led by Paul Washer.  They recently posted a video that should lead us to pray for the Persecuted Church in Asia.

The ending is really good.  Everything about it capture my heartbeat.

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kayla-mueller

This news story was quite sad to read.

Four former hostages who were held by the Islamic State terror group at an abandoned oil refinery in Syria in 2014 have revealed that Kayla Mueller, the Christian aid worker who was slain in IS captivity last year, refused to deny Jesus Christ despite being repeatedly raped and tortured.

Frida Saide of Sweden and Patricia Chavez of Peru and Belgium, who were held alongside 26-year-old Mueller in the oil refinery, said that despite what Mueller was forced to suffer through, she remained steadfast in her Christian faith, The Associated Press reports.

Chavez noted that Mueller acted like a big sister to the other captured girls, looking to keep up their spirits despite the grim situation they were in.

“They would scream at her and they would, you know, blame her for everything that America has done in the world,” Saide said, according to AP.

“She was amazing. She was a really strong girl,” Chavez said.

Mueller’s family in Arizona received news of her death in February 2015, after IS sent photos of her dead body in a white burial shroud, supposedly as a sign of respect. The humanitarian worker is believed to have been married off to a top IS official during her captivity.

The jihadist group claimed that Mueller, who was captured in 2013 after leaving a hospital in Syria, had been killed during a Jordanian airstrike on one of its targets.

Muller’s strong Christian faith was evident in her letters to her family, where she explained that faith gave her courage.

“I remember mom always telling me that all in all in the end the only one you really have is God. I have come to a place in experience where, in every sense of the word, I have surrendered myself to our creator b/c literally there was no else … + by God + by your prayers I have felt tenderly cradled in freefall,” she wrote in one of her letters.

You can read the rest over at Persecution.org.

It made me think about how evil ISIS is.

It also made me think about the reality of Christian persecution.  How God doesn’t promise us a rose garden in this life.

I hope the other hostages would come to know Christ as a result of her testimony.

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Boko Haram

Vice News has produced some of the most amazing news documentaries I’ve seen concerning the world’s most troubled flashpoints.  They have done some good series on ISIS and Iraq and now they have also produced a three part series documentary that looks at the Islamic Terrorist Group Boko Haram and the Nigerian army’s effort against this terrorist group.  Journalist Kaj Larsen is a former Navy SEAL and produced this excellent documentary.  He provides us a rare candid glimpse of the conflict and goes where few Western Journalist has gone.  It is not all pretty and viewers must be warned.  I share this because for a Christian blog I think it is important to know specifically what is going on in a part of the world that some are praying about especially with the terrible news last year of captured Christian girls by this group of thugs.  War is ugly and I don’t think the videos sanitize it.  Yet at the same time we see some of the beauty of Nigeria and the human stories.

Here are the videos below:

I thought the last video stood out among the three.  As a military man I felt watching this that some of the tactical ways or lack of being tactical during the advance was something that didn’t make me comfortable although the Nigerian Army unit seems to be doing pretty good compared to Third World Army’s standard.  I was also strucked by all the military men in this series of how clear they understood their mission and how battle hardened they were and this is important to remember lest Western military advisers forget that these guys are serious and are literally fighting for their own survival and their family’s survival.

There are glimpses of bad theology in the documentary.  Sadly I think it reveals the condition of not just Nigeria but the world we live in.

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