Over the past few years, Easter has become a dangerous time for my Christians around the world. For members of the persecuted church Easter is a time to celebrate, but also a time to be vigilant. It is a time when the church becomes much more visible – and therefore more vulnerable to attack. In 2019 more than 350 Christians lost their lives, and thousands more were injured as suicide bombers attacked three churches and three hotels in Sri Lanka. There have also been Easter attacks in Pakistan in 2016 and on Palm Sunday, 2017 in Egypt. And sadly, this year, a church in Indonesia was attacked on Palm Sunday.
So, how do our persecuted family view Easter, the time we remember Jesus’ death and resurrection? Here’s three quotes from Christians around the world on what Easter means to them:
“I remember what the death of Jesus brought me. I remember the cross, the bloodshed, His broken body. But it is also about freedom. If the Son makes you free, you are free indeed.”
An Algerian believer
The majority of Christians in Algeria are converts from Islam. These believers are at risk of persecution from their family and from the wider community. They face harassment, beatings, threats, and imprisonment, as well as pressure to adhere to Islamic customs. Churches are under pressure from government, with several being closed in recent years.
“We could close our churches to protect ourselves… Or we can hold all the celebrations and maybe we will receive some bombs or attacks. We try to stay here and love like Jesus Christ. We try to give this meaning of Christianity: that love and life are better than death and killing.”
A church leader from Mosul, Iraq
In Iraq, Islamic extremist groups, continue to influence a society that is healing from conflict. Christians are pressured to conform to the Islamic way of life and are often faced with physical abuse or the threat of kidnapping.
“We remember that God showed His love for us by sending his Son to die for our sins. He brought down the walls between us and Himself. He made our relationship with Him complete. By being raised from the dead, Jesus conquered death. He reassures us that we don’t have to fear death anymore.”
A believer in East Jerusalem
Want to respond and help your persecuted family around the world? Try these things:
Get our World Watch List prayer map and resources to learn more and pray regularly. Do that here…
Blackout – get sponsored to give up something you love for a short time to raise money and prayer for those who have lost everything because of their faith in Jesus. Sign up here…
Sign a letter to your MP asking them to act on behalf of persecuted Christian women and girls. Follow the link to a simple form that will find your MP and contact them for you…
Sign the letter now…
We support people who are beaten, tortured,
imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.