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Persecution of Christians Around the World

As You Worship Today…

Remember the persecuted church. Give thanks for your freedoms as you enter comfortable, safe places of worship and instruction this Lord’s Day, and remember what a tremendous blessing it is you have been given.

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, September 30 (CDN) — Islamic extremists killed a Christian lawyer, his wife and their five children in northwestern Pakistan this week for mounting a legal challenge against a Muslim who was charging a Christian exorbitant interest, local sources said.

Police found the bodies of attorney and evangelist Edwin Paul and his family on Tuesday morning (Sept. 28) at their home in Haripur, a small town near Abbotabad in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province (previously known as the North-West Frontier Province, or NWFP), according to Haripur Station House Officer (SHO) Maqbool Khan.

The victim and his wife Ruby Paul, along with their five children ages 6 to 17, had been shot to death.

(source)

An Image That Touches My Heart

I subscribe to the Voice of the Martyrs newsletter, and the cover picture of this month’s issue really touched my heart. I have become more and more convinced over the years that one of the primary signs of regeneration is found in a person’s obedience to, love for, and respect of, the Word of God. Christians long for Scripture. They long to read Scripture, possess Scripture, meditate upon Scripture. And there seems to be an inverse relationship between how much we love it and how much access we have to it. We in the West take it for granted, and as such, our passion is often pathetically tepid. But here you have a sister in Laos reading a burned, tattered Bible. God’s enemies have tried to destroy it, but it is still the Word of Life to her. Oh, may God grant to His people a renewed love for His Word in the face of the hatred of the world!

“If your law had not been my delight,
I would have perished in my affliction.
I will never forget your precepts,
For by them you have given me life.”
(Psalm 119:92—93)

Pray for Our Brothers and Sisters in Pakistan

This article from the AP reminds us that as we enjoy God’s blessings, we have brothers and sisters living under the threat of violence from Muslims in many lands. Let us all take time to pray for them, that God would protect them from the hatred of the world.

18 “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. 21 But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have been guilty of sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 Whoever hates me hates my Father also. (John 15:18-23)

Remember the Persecuted

   Never forget, always pray, remember that God is not mocked, and justice, someday, will be done.

ISTANBUL, July 3 (Compass Direct News) – After four weeks in police custody, Iranian Christian Mohsen Namvar was released “temporarily” last week to return to his home in Tehran. A doctor summoned to Namvar’s home after his release last Thursday (June 26) administered medicines and serum to treat the badly beaten prisoner. Arrested on May 31 from his home in Tehran, the convert from Islam was kept incommunicado until his release. “They put a great deal of pressure on his body and his mind,” an Iranian Christian told Compass. “No one knows exactly what they did to him during those four weeks.” Noting that government authorities know a great deal about Namvar’s Christian activities and want to punish him, the source said, “We praise the Lord that they have not killed him.” Last week local secret police authorities demanded that Namvar’s family put up just over US$43,000 in bail to secure his release. When relatives requested a receipt for the cash they handed over, police refused. “Don’t say anything,” a police official reportedly ordered them. “Give thanks to God that we are not keeping him under arrest.”

“But I chose you out of the world, and because of this, the world hates you” Our Lord, John 15:19

   God’s judgment upon decadent God-hating secularism seems to be speeding up. The collapse of Western culture into open, unapologetic persecution of Christians based upon Darwinistic dogmatic fundamentalism is evidenced every day in the media. Unreasoning secularists refuse to even consider engaging in an intellectual defense of their worldview. Instead, with force of human law, they seek to silence all opposition. While we normally see these things happening in Europe first, we can look to the East and Left Coasts in the US for examples as well. Repeated stories about the exaltation of homosexuality to a position of protected, preferred status, with the attendant insistence that the state has the right to force all children into its mind-numbed mold of political correctness is already forcing many Christians to consider fleeing from those nations and states that enforce such evil ideologies. The open denunciation of the simple factual evidence that life is complex and the result of design, and the prohibition of even mentioning this obvious fact within the context of “public education” (far better to identify it accurately: public, government sponsored indoctrination), is another clear example of God lifting His hand of restraint and allowing the evil of men’s hearts to run wild.
   I have noted that the secularists will probably not last long in Europe anyway. I am hearing stories of how sharia law is being put into practice in Norway, so it is just a matter of time before the secularists are swept away anyhow. Humanistic religion is a brittle thing, and quite incapable of moving men’s souls (how could it, since, in its Darwinistic dogma, there is no soul to move?), and hence incapable of putting up an extended fight against Islam. Just as the apostate armies of Israel long ago were no match for the Assyrians, so the apostate secularists will have little chance withstanding the jihadis.
   I’m sure most have already read about the bills Schwarzenegger signed in California that seek to give uber-rights to homosexuals and sundry others who define themselves by how they have sex or how they dress, etc. I suppose that makes sense: in a secular worldview, there is nothing spiritual about man to raise him above being defined by such things as what kind of under clothes you like to wear. I mean, we define dogs by “long hair” or “short hair,” so man, the evil animal, might as well be defined by such mundane things as well, right? No wonder we no longer see Bachs and Beethovens. Anyway, I noted a while back the move in the UK to make preaching the gospel or just reading the Bible itself in public a hate crime. Here’s an article that should likewise make you realize that in a very short time we will all be faced with the choice of suffering persecution and loss of worldly goods at the hands of those who irrationally hate God and refuse to defend their views in argument, and being silent. Note how the secularists hate the idea of truth. Well, except for “their” truth, which is unquestionable. The only truth they will allow is that “there is no truth in religion, only in science.” They have no idea they are just as much a caricature as the most wild-eyed Inquisitor in Spain in the 15th century.
   I pray God will cause me to love His truth, His church, His people, His gospel, more and more, so that my attachments to this world will grow ever weaker and weaker. The only Christians who will remain strong in the coming years will be those who realize the strong antithesis of these simple words: “Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15). The only “leverage” the world has against us is that which we willingly give: our ungodly attachments to this world system. The more we are crucified to the world, the more we live in light of our death in Christ and our life in Him, the less power they will have. This is the secret of the persecuted church, and it is a lesson our brothers and sisters in other lands know well. It is one we must learn, and quickly.