Remembering those in Prison
This past week I read several disturbing reports of the persecution of Christians overseas and here at home in the U.S. Continue reading . . .
This past week I read several disturbing reports of the persecution of Christians overseas and here at home in the U.S.
The Islamic State claims to have abducted and jailed 21 Egyptian Christians in Libya. Egypt confirmed that 20 of its citizens were taken (as reported in World, February 7, 2015, 10).
In Niger, Muslims attacked Christian businesses, homes, and at least 55 churches in retaliation for the “Je suis Charlie” demonstrations in Paris (ibid.).
Gunmen riding a motorcycle shot dead a Kenyan pastor at his church (ibid.).
According to World,
“Last year saw the greatest rise in violence against Christians in the modern era, according to a new Open Doors USA ranking of the worst places on the globe for believers. North Korea topped the 2015 list for the 13th straight year, but a rash of countries in the Middle East and Africa saw dramatic upticks in persecution, largely a result of the growth and reach of Islamic militants. In Africa, where eight of 12 ranked countries moved up the list, Kenya rose on the list more than any other country, jumping to No. 19 from No. 43 a year ago. The group estimated some 100 million Christians are persecuted globally” (ibid.).
Closer to home, I’m sure you’ve heard by now of the firing of Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran that took place on January 6, 2015. He was released from his position because of his biblical opposition to the practice of homosexuality.
All this reminded me of the words of the Apostle Peter:
“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world” (1 Peter 5:8-9).
And these words from the author of Hebrews also ring eerily relevant:
“Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body” (Hebrews 13:3).