Christians have faced persecution for centuries, but the level and prevalence of persecution around the world is unprecedented. Take for example the of Pastor Saeed Abedini who has been sentenced to eight years imprisonment in Iran for refusing to recant his Christian faith. He is being held in one of Iran's worst prisons and has received multiple beatings resulting in internal injuries. Pastor Seed is extremely ill and is still being brutalized. While the mainline newspapers may not carry this story, it has made Fox news.
Another recent case that has gotten the attention of the United Nations and the media is Miriam Ibrahim, who is chained to her jail cell in Sudan. She recently gave birth to a daughter Maya while shackled, along with Miriam's twenty month old son, Daniel. Miriam's husband is a United States citizen as well as his two children, which is why this particular case, one among thousands, has caught media attention. Yet President Obama refuses to address the Sudanese government concerning this issue, though the United Nations human rights watch has expressed alarm. Miriam is sentenced to one hundred lashes once she weans the child. And if she doesn't recant her faith, she will be hung!
A case closer to home is that of Brandon Jenkins who was denied admittance into a radiation therapy program at the Community College of Baltimore County because of his Christian faith. Although his grades were good, the director of the program, Adrienne Dougherty was quoted as saying, "I understand religion is a major part of your life...however, this field is not the place for religion." Imagine being denied entrance into a program because of being a Christian. I wonder if they would deny a Muslim? It seems like it couldn't be in America, but it is!
Thousands of other cases exist in other countries like North Korea, who has imprisoned over 30,000 Christians who are tortured and starved for their faith. Most try to escape to China, but few make the treacherous trip safely. Those who do can never return to their homeland unless they go undetected by the authorities. In Saudi Arabia, when a Muslim converts to Christianity in another country, and returns home, he or she can be imprisoned and beaten. Also they can be denied asylum if they escape to the United States or elsewhere.
Several reputable organizations in America and worldwide are making this information available regarding persecuted Christians. Open Doors offers many resources to get involved in helping the persecuted church. Among their pamphlets and books, they publish a monthly Prayer bulletin for persecuted Christians worldwide and a World Watch List of the thirty most dangerous countries for Christians and severest persecution . Voice of the Martyrs was started by a Richard Wurmbrand and has been a powerful voice for decades citing the plight of theses persecuted Christians. Many resources including books, free pamphlets and downloads, personal stories, meetings and conferences guides as well as prayer connections can be found.
Recently the American Center for Law and Justice has been involved in defending the rights of these persecuted Christians abroad by offering legal services and advice. Their web-site lists a host of newsworthy information vital to Christians today. Jay Sekulow, has been the chief council responsible for defending the rights of many Christians in this country whose rights have been violated.
Along with keeping informed, distributing information and contributing to the needs of the persecuted, let us not forget to daily pray for these brothers and sisters. For when one part of the body hurts, all the body is affected.