Many Christians can’t openly celebrate Christmas, like us due to Covid-19, they face restrictions and limitations. This year, why not share Christmas with some young persecuted Christians? Learn their stories in our youth sessions and videos, write a Christmas card or message to encourage them and even send a gift.
Christmas is going to be a bit different this year. Because of the ongoing covid-19 pandemic, we’re facing limitations on gatherings, festive services and parties. Sadly, we might not be able to get together with the usual groups of friends and family. So, maybe this year, we’re able to identify just a little bit more with those Christians around the world who can’t openly celebrate Christmas. Christians who know the cost of following Jesus, but still choose Him.
Here you’ll find three ways you can share this Christmas with your persecuted family.
Persecuted Christians often have to give up everything to follow Jesus: their families, homes, jobs, friends, freedoms and, sometimes, even their lives.
In rural Vietnam, where Poh lives, Christian converts are secret believers as leaving the traditional village religion is seen as a betrayal to family and community. Those who choose Jesus face discrimination, threats and violence.
Poh was a teenager when his girlfriend told him about Jesus and he became a Christian.
When Poh’s dad found out, he gathered his relatives and the chief of the village. They tried to force Poh to stop believing in Jesus. For hours they taunted, mocked and pressured him.
At one point, someone tried to tie Poh up. “My father picked up a rock to throw at me. Other people were trying to stop my father from killing me,” he recalls.
But Poh stood firm. The threats and harassment continued – villagers warned Poh that his father would kill him. Still, Poh didn’t bend, saying “No. No, I won’t give up. I have come this far. I don’t want to go back. I will continue to believe in Christ.”
Poh lost family, home, community and a secure future because of Jesus. Could you lose what you love for up to 48 hours to raise money and prayer for courageous believers like Poh who have lost everything because of their love of Jesus?
Raise some money for Christians who often live in desperate situations. Persecuted Christians are often last in line to receive support and aid, if at all. Consider raising funds for our COVID appeal or take on Blackout, giving up something important to you for the weekend as persecuted Christians often give up everything to follow Jesus.
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Our new Secret Church resource explores some of the ways isolated, hidden and secret Christians do church. We’ve taken ideas and approaches from underground church meetings all around the world, and translated them into a simple session outline for you to use with your youth group or small group.
The session involves multiple activities and stories, all of which have been designed to work on a video chat service like Zoom or Skype. The session should last around 60 minutes, but each element could be used as a stand-alone activity for a shorter session.
Included are ideas on how to:
Worship with a secret North Korean Christians
Read the Bible with Eritrean Christians in prison
Pray with persecuted and threatened believers in Pakistan
Share and encourage one another like the underground church in China
And loads more too…
Fill out the form below (mobile) or on the right (desktop) to get instant access to a downloadable guide, video and images from the Secret Church. You can also use the form to opt into receiving our monthly emails and our postal mailings (about three times a year), but no pressure!
How can you be church, when you have no building?
How do you worship, when you have to be silent?
How can you learn from God’s Word, when you can’t get a Bible?
How do you pray with others, when religious meetings are banned?
In the UK, we’ve not been able to meet in church buildings and it’s been illegal to gather in large numbers. But, for millions of Christians across the world, that’s what life is like all the time. In many countries, Christians have never entered a physical church building. They have never experienced the buzz of worshipping with hundreds of others, or even sung to God in anything above a whisper.
They are the secret church, and wherever they meet – they find Jesus there. And that’s what we can learn from them: that socially distancing and months of lockdown doesn’t mean we are alone, that even though we are separated, we can still be the Church.
Download our free special online edition Secret Church resource to run a group session via video chat and experience how secret Christians gather to worship, pray, share and learn from God’s Word.
“In Laos there are two seasons: sunny and rainy. Robust trees thrive in both seasons. Our church is the same as a robust tree. It thrives in the sun and it thrives in the rain, and more importantly, it gives shade to others – whether it be from the heat or from the downpour.” Pastor Dok – Laos
Thank you for being one of hundreds of people who has used our Isolated Church reflections and videos. As lockdown restrictions begin to be eased, we’re no longer releasing new devotions every week, but we’re still regularly posting up resources, articles, stories and more on the website and on our social feeds, so do keep checking them out.
We pray that you’ve been challenged to grow with God during the lockdown. We pray that you’ve been moved by the example of persecuted Christians like Pastor Dok and have learnt to thrive in good times and bad.
Before we go, we’ve created a final summary reflection video and poster you can download below. The poster features some key quotes and lessons from each of the past eight weeks. Download it, print if off and stick it up somewhere to help you remember to keep growing with God, no matter what you face.
Finally, we’d love your feedback on the Isolated Church series – what did you think? Tell us by filling out the survey below so we can produce even better resources in the future!
We support people who are beaten, tortured, imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.