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Love in the the face of hate

As millions gathered in Paris last week in support of ‘Liberté, égalité, fraternité’, we asked Christians from around the world to share their reaction to the recent terrorist attacks.

For 60 years, Open Doors has served Christians in areas where intimidation and extreme violence are a part of daily life – from Syria to Sudan, from Southern Philippines to Central Asia. Here church leaders and ordinary believers give their response.

Hea Woo, a North Korean refugee who once visited France to share about her experiences in a labour camp, says, “The people of France are in my prayers. Both the terrorists and the regime of Kim Jong-Un try to control people through threats and violence. But … God is faithful. That’s why it is possible to go on despite all the threats. Remember: our Heavenly Father is with us! Never give up!”

“We are watching daily what is going on in France,” said a believer from Iraq who is well aware of the dangers of radical Islam. “We feel very sorry for the Christians and want to show our solidarity with them. On the other hand, France and other countries need to wake up and start seeing what is really going on around the world.”

 “It is crucial to remember that nobody is born a terrorist.”

“We should respond in a Christ-like manner,” said Mahesh del Mal, Missions Director of the National Christian Evangelical Alliance in Sri Lanka. “As a nation who has lived in fear of war for more than 25 years, we sympathise and identify with those who lost their relatives.”

Open Doors’ founder Brother Andrew has often said, “It is crucial to remember that nobody is born a terrorist.” He has befriended many Muslim extremists and challenged them with Christ’s message of love and forgiveness because, in his words, “Nobody can convert an enemy. It’s impossible.” His message is remarkably similar to what a Nigerian church leader said in the aftermath of over 50 murders at the hands of Boko Haram in Adamawa state a little over a year ago. “We can only silence the guns of hatred with the guns of love.”

Source: Open Doors

Please pray…

  • For believers around the world who know the pressure of facing daily threats from violent extremists, especially in Iraq and Syria
  • For Christians in France to shine the light of Christ into their communities
  • For the launch of the Open Doors Report based on the World Watch List, taking place in parliament on 20 January. Pray that many MPs will attend and will meaningfully engage with the issue of international religious freedom.

We support people who are beaten, tortured,
imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.