Ministry World etc.

The Uncomfortable Church

It’s easy to take for granted our religious freedoms here in the USA.  While sometimes we complain about cultural hostility to Biblical truths, we must be careful not to conflate a secular humanist culture with religious persecution.  This country is still the most open, freest place in the history of humanity to practice one’s religion and pursue the face of God.  In fact, I believe comfort and not our culture is a far greater threat to the Western church.  This is an easy place to be a comfortable, sleeping Christian … to be lukewarm.  We’re a very comfortable people.  We often make a fuss because we’re “losing” the culture and our public institutions. We are not, however, losing our lives for the Gospel of Christ. 

What would it be like to be a Christian for even a week and attend church in a hell hole like Iran or North Korea? Brothers and sisters in Christ suffer and die throughout much of the world because of their faith in Christ. 

Paul Marshall reports on NRO: Iran Escalates Attacks on Christians 

North Korea tortures Christian evangelist to death after years of imprisonment: here.

Compass News reports, Lao Officials Destroy Rice Paddies, Expel More Christians 

In Somalia, a 17-year-old girl was recently killed for converting to Christianity, a so-called “honor killing.”  Nurta Mohamed Farah, who had fled her village to live with relatives after her parents tortured her for leaving Islam, died on Nov. 25, 2010.  See here

Compass Direct News reports: Muslims in Pakistan Burn, Beat Evangelist Unconscious

Voice of the Martyrs reports: is reporting on the State Department being deeply concerned about the rise in Christian persecution worldwide.

U.S. State Department spokesman Philip Crowley told reporters at a recent press conference on Tuesday about the rise in attacks against Christians in Africa and areas of the Middle East. He explained that the State Department is aware of a “recent string of attacks against Christians” that has created heightened concern.

Jonathan Racho, regional manager for International Christian Concern (ICC), says his organization welcomes the response of the State Department. “The statement that they made is really powerful, and we believe that it will at least raise their concern with officials of countries where Christians are persecuted,” Racho suggests.

He goes on to note a recent attack on an Egyptian church that left 21 people dead, as well as the 86 believers who were brutally killed in Nigeria. In October, a local al-Qaeda group claimed responsibility for the deaths of 53 people after militants entered a church in Baghdad. …

Full article here.

I suspect that when we meet Christ on the other side of the veil, we will learn that here in the USA, we were nearly completely unaware of the giants of the faith in our time.  The American church is comfortable.  We are not broken, bleeding, or persecuted for our faith in Christ.  Indeed, I’m afraid to ask Christ for the strength and opportunity to be worthy of His calling …