"A persecuted people"

This news item appeared in the Lausanne World Pulse: "While officiating at a wedding on June 3, 2006, Pastor Hasim received a text message on his cell phone: ‘Pastor, you will die today.' The 47-year old Filipino pastor had been receiving death threats for months. After the wedding, he and his daughter Mercilyn headed home by motorcycle. Their bodies were later found in an isolated area. Pastor Hasim had been shot 19 times, mostly in the back. Mercilyn was shot 5 times."

This is just one recent story from the persecuted church. There are many more. In fact, more than 200 million of them. That's the number of Christians across the world who are facing persecution because of their faith in Jesus Christ. As believers in Jesus, we're called to be salt to a decaying and decadent world, and light to a darkened and dangerous one (Matthew 5:13-14). Christ warned us that we would suffer persecution. He said, "A slave is not greater than the master. Since they persecuted Me, naturally they will persecute you" (John 15:20). Millions will suffer for the name of Jesus (Philippians 1:29; 1 Peter 2:21, 4:12-16). And indeed, thousands have already been martyred (Hebrews 11:36-37). Many ODJ readers likely reside in countries where persecution isn't much of a problem. That's something to thank God for! Yet, in more than 50 countries around the globe, Christians are being severely persecuted.

One way we can support them is through prayer. Today is the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church, a global event that brings together thousands of churches for a 24-hour time of intercession. It's an opportunity to lift up our persecuted brothers and sisters in our personal prayers, as well as in various church meetings. Let's stand with those who are suffering for the cause of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:26). , K.T. Sim, Our Daily Journey

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