All over the world, Christians are being persecuted and attacked for their beliefs. You might not notice it, because the secular press pays little attention. Even the American churches have been far too quite for far too long as their brethren pay the ultimate price as believers.
A Russian presidential commission reported in 1996 that 200,000 Christian clergy were murdered under 70 years of Soviet rule, many of them by the most grotesque means imaginable, including crucifixion, scalping and "bestial torture". Have you ever wondered why, when it comes to executing Believers in Jesus, such horrible, bestial methods of capital punishment are used? Christians in the Roman Empire were doused in oil, impaled on poles and used as torches to light the garden parties of Rome; fed to lions and wild beasts in the gladiator's arena; used for archery and javelin practice; cut in pieces; etc.
And in this matter, modern society is still the same today. There are no secular human rights activists rising to condemn the documented atrocities that have taken place all over the world, especially in Communist countries. CNN is not doing investigative reporting on them either. Why is this? The ugly side of mankind's fallen nature is beginning to appear, and hatred toward true Christians is surfacing in many places of power.
Why is this trend accelerating? Because it was predicted to happen shortly before the Lord's Second Coming. "Then they will deliver you up to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations on account of My name? (Jesus in Mat. 24 v.9); and because, "If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of this world, the world would love its own. But because you are not of the world, but I choose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. He who hates Me hates My Father also". (John 15 v.18-19-23)
Pretending doesn't make the situation any better. In fact, the Western Churches of developed nations have been shirking their responsibility for persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ for all of the 20th century. You should pray for the persecuted church. Pray for the home church movement in China where some 300 million Christians are forced underground to worship the God of the Bible. Pray for the Christians in Sudan who are sold into slavery and tortured because of their faith, and the Coptic Christians in Egypt who are being persecuted and killed by Muslim fanatics.
It's hard to believe this is happening in our world today, but it is! The persecution we are seeing in our world today, while horrifying, is but a foretaste of what is in store for believers in the near future. It is a fact, God's word tells us, that countless believers will seal their new found testimony with martyrdom during the Tribulation.
Those who become believers during the Tribulation will be required to take the mark of the beast and to pledge allegiance to the Antichrist. Only a believer in Jesus would have a reason not to receive this number, so therefore they will be exposed and slaughtered by the millions.
Tribulation Saints and Martyrs - In Oct. 1998 the Oregonian newspaper did a five part, in depth series on the persecution of Christians worldwide, focusing on the plight of the believers in Pakistan, Burma, Sudan, Egypt, and China. The paper spent nine months in its investigation, turning to "people with the deepest ties to underground Christian movements around the world" to help gain reliable information. The first installment of the remarkable series, headlined "Christian Persecution: Widespread, Complex," started like this:
A Presbyterian pastor overlooks threats and builds the first Christian church in his region of Pakistan. A mob destroys the church. Masked men invade the pastor's home and stab him to death.
A man leaves Islam to become a Christian. Egyptian secret police arrest him without a formal charge and torture him with an electric probe to make him inform them about other converts.
A Roman Catholic boy in southern Sudan plays in the trees with his friends. Soldiers waging a holy war capture him and send him into slavery, where he is given an Islamic name and beaten with sticks by his master's wives.
Around the world, Christians are being tortured, beaten, raped, imprisoned, enslaved, forced out of their homes and killed, in large part because of what they believe.
There are Christians clinging to their faith in countries where laws are stacked against them and their beliefs. Yet they continue to praise and worship their God in the midst of extreme hardship.
Now in 2007 the frequency of the torture, terrorism and killing continues, but now at a much faster rate.
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