A dark time for Christianity, How to face persecution, In the face of Persecution and Terror, It's Open Season, No anger, No grievances, Persecution, Sri Lanka Easter Massacre, The most targeted body in the world, Unprecedented era of Christian persecution, We hold no grudges
After the massive targeted murders of Christians on Easter in Sri Lanka, the headlines read, “A dark time for Christianity across the globe – and the West doesn’t care. There is now barely a country from Saharan Africa to Pakistan where Christians worship freely without intimidation”. Catherine Pepinster reported with The Telegraph:
The death and destruction in Sri Lanka was particularly shocking given that it took place on Easter Sunday, the holiest feast of the Christian year. However, it was also horribly familiar, for we are now living through an unprecedented era of Christian persecution.
Most people associate persecution of Christians with the Roman empire and martyrs facing the lions. Others may recall the Soviet regime and the repression of believers during the time of Stalin. But this century is fast becoming a rival to both of these eras.
According to the respected Pew Research Center, Christians are the most targeted body of believers in 144 countries, up from 128 in 2015. And there is barely a country from Saharan Africa to Pakistan where Christians worship freely without intimidation.
To read more of her article, see: “A dark time for Christianity across the globe – and the West doesn’t care.“
While Christianity descends in the West – persecution ascends around the world. There appears to be an outright hostility and disrespect for people of faith – and it mystifies those who follow Jesus Christ. Three Easters ago I wrote how “It’s Open Season” on Christians, while the West is either impervious to it or fatigued by yet another group claiming victimhood.
Just before East this year, CT reported that 75 year old Hong Kong pastor Chu Yiu-ming was facing up to 16 months prison. Listen to his response:
We have no regrets. We hold no grudges, no anger, no grievances. We do not give up,” he said, speaking on behalf of fellow activists involved in a campaign to bring universal voting rights to Hong Kong. “In the words of Jesus, ‘Happy are those who are persecuted because they do what God requires; The Kingdom of heaven belongs to them!’ (Matthew 5:10)
This comes on the heals of Li Yingqiang’s arrest in China late last year – just before Christmas. His response is consistent with Christ’s own instructions: “How the Church Should Face Persecution.”
What ought our response be?
Colombo theologian, Ajith Fernando, gives us “Six Biblical Responses to Sri Lanka’s Easter Bombings: God gives Christians the freedom to leave the revenge cycle and instead love and bless Muslims.”
For more see: “In the Face of Persecution and Terror.”
May we be engaged in the very embodiment of justice and peace: Jesus Christ.