I've got to get this off my chest...

I can't ignore it anymore...

It's constantly on the news. It's weighing on my heart and my mind. I continue to hear stories of Christian persecution happening all over the world.

Here are just a few recent examples:

In Iraq:
More than 125,000 Christians have been forced from their homes. Archbishop Nicodemus Sharaf stated: "They take everything from us, but they cannot take the God from our hearts, they cannot."
(Lara Logan)

In Africa:
*An Al-Quaeda linked terror group Al-Shabaab recently killed 147 in a Kenyan college. One witness said the terrorists asked whether each person was a Christian. If they responded with a belief in Christ, they "were shot on the spot."
(Paul Tilsley)

*Masked men beheaded 21 Egyptian Christians in March.

In North Korea:
*It is estimated that between 50,000 and 70,000 Christians are currently imprisoned in Labor camps.
(David Currey)

In Iran:
*Pastor Saeed Abedini is still imprisoned. He is serving an eight-year jail sentence after an Iranian court found him guilty of establishing a church. His family (wife and two children) reside in Boise, Idaho and anxiously await his release.

These are just a few countries; just a few examples.

What can we do about this in America?

1. Be aware
The more we research and understand, the more opportunities we'll have to contribute and offer guidance when needed. I dug through a few articles last week and I actually found a link on the UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief) website that provides help for refugee ministries: Click Here for more info.

2. Be in prayer
*Pray for the families of the martyrs.
If you are insulted because you bear the name of Christ, you will be blessed, for the glorious Spirit of God rests upon you...it is no shame to suffer for being a Christian.
1 Peter 4:14-16, NLT

*Pray for those who are displaced.
You must not mistreat or oppress foreigners in any way. Remember, you yourselves were once foreigners in the land of Egypt.
Exodus 22:21, NLT

*Pray for the wisdom of political leaders.
I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity.
1 Timothy 2:1-2, NLT

*Pray for our military.
The authorities are God's servants, sent for your good...They are God's servants, sent for the very purpose of punishing those who do what is wrong.
Romans 13:4, NLT

*Pray that God would change the hearts of the Non-Christians.
But Nineveh has more than 120,000 people living in spiritual darkness, not to mention all the animals. Shouldn't I feel sorry for such a great city?
Jonah 4:11
(Andrew Dragos)

Please join me in praying for the Christians who do not know where they'll sleep tonight, what they'll eat tomorrow or even if they'll make it through the day.

3. Be emboldened
And please don't let this information be so overwhelming that you feel discouraged or guilty for not doing enough. Please allow their testimony to strengthen your faith. The gospel of Christ is a special gift that should be proclaimed.

Jimmy McIlrath