Sunday, May 04, 2008

Some news on the persecuted church

If one member suffers, all suffer together; ... (1 Cor. 12:26a)

I would like in this post to focus some attention on the persecuted church. Most of us in the developed world today are too comfortable in Churchianity, and cannot understand the verse 2 Tim. 3:12 where it states that 'Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted', having never felt much persecution ourselves I guess. Of course, the fact that most Christians in the developed world are not facing persecution but are instead being lauded by the world (including people such as Rick Warren I may add) is very disturbing, noting that it is Jesus Himself who said:

Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. (Jn. 15:20)

If we are not experiencing persecution in some form or another therefore, can we be said to be truly following Christ? After all, since if they persecute Christ, they would persecute Christians [p → (C ⊂ P)], and those who call themselves Christians are not facing persecution (⊄ P), and Christ is indeed persecuted (p), therefore those people are not living as Christians (~C).

Here is an article of the persecution faced by a Muslim convert in UK (a developed country btw):

A British citizen who converted to Christianity from Islam and then complained to police when locals threatened to burn his house down was told by officers to “stop being a crusader”, according to a new report.

Nissar Hussein, 43, from Bradford, West Yorkshire, who was born and raised in Britain, converted from Islam to Christianity with his wife, Qubra, in 1996. The report says that he was subjected to a number of attacks and, after being told that his house would be burnt down if he did not repent and return to Islam, reported the threat to the police. It says he was told that such threats were rarely carried out and the police officer told him to “stop being a crusader and move to another place”. A few days later the unoccupied house next door was set on fire.

...

Notice how the "christian" British police behaved.

In other news, North Korea Former Security Agents Tell of Infiltrating Christians:

BANGKOK (Compass Direct News) -- Former police and security officers in North Korea told a U.S. government body that their superiors had instructed them to play the role of Christians and infiltrate "underground" prayer meetings in order to incriminate, arrest, imprison and sometimes execute believers in North Korea.

....

According to one agent, punishment varies according to the person’s activity – “whether he was active or in hiding. The fact that a person keeps a Bible means that this person plans to believe in a religion in the future … The most severe punishment is applied to those who are engaged in the [new religious] activity: those who carry the Bible from China and those Christians who help North Korean refugees in China.”

As one refugee testified, “My relative by marriage was caught while giving away a Bible, so the entire family was taken to Prison 22 [a penal labor camp]. They were taken there under the category of religious spy.”

One repatriated refugee was sent to an NSA prison in North Hamgyeong province for 15 months. He described his prison experience as being “an animal without a name. It’s up to the condition of the guards. Because killing a prisoner will do no harm for them.”

The 'Holy Land' doesn't seem to be that holy after all. See The Persecuted Messianic Jews of Israel:

Of late, there has been considerable noteworthy news coming out of the land of Israel concerning our persecuted and fogotten Messianic brothers and sisters in the Lord, much of which has been written about right here on this site. ...

In my personal research I also found that the persecution by the orthodox toward the Jewish believers in Jesus as Messiah of Israel comes in the way of causing them to lose their employment so they will be unable to support themselves and or their families, severe intimidation tactics, continuous [sic] public harassment, threats, having their congregations taken over by the ultra orthodox, looked upon as second class citizens and the like. I can actually say it made me think of the persecution the pharisee Saul of Tarsus dished out toward the believers of his day before he was converted to Christianity.

Come May 8, Israel Independence Day, the State of Israel celebrates its 60th birthday. Several celebrations are being held around America and many other parts of the world; and in Israel itself, on May 7th, a spectacular display of lights via laser will light up the skies of Israel that will be viewed by citizens all over the land of Israel including Beersheba, Haifa, Netanya, and various other cities and towns.

While Israel is celebrating its 60th Independence Day, let us remember to lift up our persecuted brethren in Israel who are continuously harrassed by the various unbelieving orthodox Jewish sects of Israel. Let us keep them in our prayers and ask the Lord Jesus to help us find ways to do good unto the household of faith in Israel as the Scriptures say.

[HT: Sola Dei Gloria]

And it is heartening to see that VOM (Voice of the Matyrs) have picked up the story of the persecution in Singapore:

On April 14, two charges were lodged against a married couple for distributing a Christian publication in Singapore in March and October of last year that allegedly cast the Muslim prophet Mohammed in a "negative light." Ong Kian Cheong (49) and Dorothy Chan Hien Leng (44) are charged under the Sedition Act for "promoting feelings of ill-will and hostility between different races or classes of the population of Singapore." Cheong and Hien Leng were also charged under the Undesirable Publications Act, which defines "objectionable" material as an item which depicts "race or religion in such a manner that the availability of the publication is likely to cause feelings of enmity, hatred, ill-will or hostility between different racial or religious groups." The couple was alleged to have been distributing an evangelistic tract entitled "The Little Bride." Pray the charges against Ong and Dorothy will be dropped. Pray the Holy Spirit will cause them to forgive their persecutors. Pray for continued opportunities for Christians in Singapore to share the truth of Christ. John 15:18-19, John 14:1

So let us continue to pray for our persecuted brethren. For as 1 Cor. 12:26a states, if one part of the body suffers, all suffer with it. Amen.

Resources:

Voice of the Matyrs

Christian Persecution Information

4 comments:

Sicarii said...

Persecution shall come to us sooner or later, whether we like it or not, or if we are ready for it. It's funny that you should write this, as the issue of persecution and how prepared are we as Christians in a "safe", developed country has been beating itself around my brain for a while now.

On a related note, did you see any press reports on the couple whose case was supposed to have been mentioned on 29 Apr? I can't seem to find any.

PuritanReformed said...

Hello Isaiah,

nope, I didn't see any more press releases. I'm sure the government decided that media blackout is 'the way to go'. After all, we *still* have this act called the ISA...

Sicarii said...

Like the changes you made on your sidebar, pretty good links. :)

I thought so as well though IMO its not a very wise thing to do -- this concerns a whole segment of the population who are Christians (perhaps minus the Roman Catholics) who will definitely be concerned about the outcome.

Or am I wishing for too much?

PuritanReformed said...

Isaiah:

sorry to sound cynical, but yes I think you are asking too much. I do not think that most of visible Christianity in this nation cares one way or another; Christians here in general are too selfish. After all, when you are busy chasing after the 5 Cs, who cares about the few "radicals" who are caught?