The reality is, that today, around the world, a massive part of the church is suffering. In more than 60 countries, over 100 million Christians live in places where they can’t openly practice their faith. In places like North Korea, the church is completely blacked out, surviving and growing as an underground movement.
Christians are imprisoned, sentenced to long stints in labour camps and subject to some pretty intense physical and mental torture. It’s nothing short of hell on earth. These courageous believers are silenced. They are kept quiet, with a whole government and military agenda aimed at ensuring they make as little noise as possible.
But it’s not just North Korea. In Iraq, Syria, Nigeria, Sudan, Somalia and many, many other places the church is bleeding. Militant religious agendas seem to be motivating all sorts of extreme persecution with terrorist groups like Boko Haram (in Nigeria), Al Shabaab (in Somalia) and Isis (in Syria/Iraq) all targeting Christians. Murder and torture are depressingly common.
Sadly this is the reality. Jesus always said the choice to follow him would cost us something (Luke 14v31), but many Christians around the world are paying the highest price for their faith.
But sometimes, silence is the loudest scream. We hear their whispered stories. We know of their courage and bravery. We’re challenged by their relentless passion for Jesus. We’re astounded by their sacrificial love.
We’re moved to stand with them in prayer. To help in whatever way we can. How can we not? They are part of our family.
We support people who are beaten, tortured,
imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.