In November 2010, on another blog, I wrote this:
It was just a small blip in the news. “Afghan Christian goes on trial for converting from Islam.” Small….but to those who recognize the significance, it is huge. One man is being persecuted for his faith, his “religion,” and there are thousands like him around the world.
The Pilgrims came to Plymouth, Massachusetts, to escape a state-mandated religion. If that had not occurred, we might very well all be forced to be Anglican, or Catholic, or some other religious label. But we’re free to worship (or not worship) as we please. We’re free to go to any church, mosque, synagogue, temple, or meeting place we desire to attend. We’re free to pray or not pray, to kneel or not kneel, to skip going to a service if we desire. And whatever our decision, we will not be thrown in to jail, endure a mock trial, or be stoned to death for that decision.
Yesterday was the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. There are still many, like that Afghan man, who are being tortured and/or killed for their faith, suffering for Jesus. Let’s remember them every day…. they may be lonely, in pain, frightened … but they are filled with faith. They deserve our prayers and our undying admiration.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matthew 5:10-12, NIV)
Learn more here:
http://www.persecution.com/public/aboutVOM.aspx?clickfrom=bWFpbl9tZW51 (Voice of the Martyrs)