In the accounts of his life in the bible Jesus made it very clear that persecution would be the experience of those who chose to follow him:
If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first….Remember what I told you: “A servant is not greater than his master.” If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. (John 15 v 18-20)
The time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are doing a service to God. (John 16 v 2)
Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. (Matthew 24 v 9)
Also in the bible, the Apostle Paul, who knew what it was to be both persecutor and persecuted, wrote these words to Timothy:
Everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. (2 Timothy 3 v 12)
Over 2000 years after Jesus and Paul spoke and wrote these words, in spite of humankind becoming more ‘enlightened’, the experience of Christians across the globe bears witness to their truth.
Today, persecution of Christians continues to occur in many places and it comes from many sources. The task of the church in countries where no overt persecution exists is to remember, pray, support and speak out where they see their family being persecuted for following Jesus.
So why have I created this site?
First of all I hope you find it informative.
Use this site to see news articles about the persecution of Christians around the world from a number of trusted sources. You can view the archives by country or using the various tags I attach to each of the articles. once you are looking at an individual article, If you want to do some further digging you can link to the source web site and see what they might have to offer.
As well as news stories I will occasionally post articles from sites that offer further analysis of a situation or country. This will allow you to again dig deeper and get behind the presenting story and understand some of the underlying issues around persecution.
Secondly, having been informed, I hope it will challenge you to pray. The stories themselves may prompt you to pray, and if you need any extra help I have set up a feed in the footer from the Release International Daily Prayer Shield.
Thirdly, accompanying this site is a blog I will occasionally be posting to which offers some of my own reflections in the context of persecution. This may be a reflection on a news story, an ongoing situation, a song I have sung, something from scripture or just some rambling thoughts that I thought were worth sharing. Once in a while I may invite a guest blogger to contribute something that is on their mind. My intention is for the blog to encourage and challenge the readers as we think together about this subject of persecution.
Finally, I want to use this site to launch something which has been on my heart since my trip to Nigeria in March 2014. There is a great need to support our brothers and sisters who are suffering in Nigeria, and I want to share with you a focussed appeal to raise funds for our partners at Release International who are stretched almost to breaking point as they seek to respond to the increasing violence against Christians in their country.
Why the name ‘Faith that endures’?
Quite simply it’s the title of one of the best books I have read on the persecuted church and it describes perfectly the type of people this site is set up to serve.
Ronald Boyd-Macmillan first published the book in 2006 based on a number of convictions, the first of which was:
“That the fuller story of the contemporary persecuted church remains a tragically untold story. We hear too much of the deliverance stories of the few, and not enough about the endurance stories of the many. There is a grander, greater narrative of God’s action underneath the stories of individual pain, suffering, deliverance, and endurance”.
So thank you Ronald for your inspirational book which helped me so much as I took my own first steps in supporting our brothers and sisters who endure persecution around the world for their Christian faith.