As Christians we are part of a worldwide family of believers. 1 Corinthians 12:26 tells us that “If one part (of the body) suffers, every part suffers with it.”
In the world today, a large part of the international Christian community is suffering from mass persecution on an unprecedented scale. There is media coverage on a daily basis of atrocities committed against Christians and other minorities across Africa, the Middle East and Asia. In Syria, for example, some estimates state that 40% of the Christian population has fled the country; while in Nigeria, Boko Haram Islamic militants have attacked Christian communities and abducted hundreds of their children. In nations such as Pakistan, North Korea and China state persecution, forced conversions, detention and even execution of Christians is a regular and widespread occurrence. These are just several examples of the darkness facing the persecuted church in the 21st Century.
So what can we, as the young generation of Christians in the UK do to help the persecuted church in this their urgent time of need?
‘People power’ cannot be underestimated, it is time for a generation of politically active Christians to speak out and stand up. We are called to be advocates for the persecuted.
As the famous saying goes “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” As Christians, now is the time to use our right to lobby, protest, and petition our MPs, Government and indeed the representatives of the European Union, United Nations and even the governments of nations in which Christians face extreme conditions.
A united International effort is needed to confront the regimes in which persecution is rife and freedom is denied to Christians as they practice their faith.
In the so called Islamic caliphate covering large sections of Iraq and Syria, ISIS gave the minority Christian population the ultimatum of leaving, paying a ‘non-Muslim’ tax or death. They went on to mark out the properties of Christians with the symbol ‘ن’ which is the Arabic letter of ‘N’ representing the term “Nazarene”, in other words – a follower of Christ. The Christian Martyrs of this modern era of persecution serve as an inspiration to us as Christians in the Western World. In the face of death Christians are refusing to abandon their faith.
As Christians we must act, pray and speak out for the persecuted. Let the Arabic letter ‘ن’ be a unifying symbol for the worldwide Church as we fight for our right to exist in lands where hope may seem all but lost.
We are all ‘ن’
(Photo: Mike Spiske)