Open Doors, an organization that tracks Christian persecution around the world, states that 2015 was the “worst year in modern history for Christian persecution.” They have compiled a ranking of 50 countries where Christians are most persecuted, with North Korea leading at number one. (You can see the entire list HERE.) More than 7,100 Christians were killed for faith-related reasons and 2,400 church buildings were destroyed or damaged. And despite finding themselves in very difficult circumstances, Christians around the world continue to stand with Jesus and share His gospel with those around them.
This is tragic and challenging. What an evil that so many are arrested, jailed, beaten and killed simply for their faith in Jesus and what a challenge it is to us living in on a comparative easy street of faith here in America. We mostly experience persecution in terms of rejection by family and friends because of our faith. Physical persecution is something most of us have never experienced.
If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you…. If they persecuted Me they will persecute you… for they do not know the One who sent Me. – John 15:19-21
During this 21 Days of Prayer at FCC, take the time to pray for your brothers and sisters all over the world who face persecution because they love Jesus. And be emboldened by their example to be fearless in living out your faith and sharing His story each day.