Persecution

6) We Just Read "God’s Hostage" (Andrew Brunson); Couldn’t Stop

We couldn’t put it down. Once we began reading, it drew us in and we couldn’t stop. There are indeed some reality checks. Andrew openly reveals the challenges of living in a Turkish prison. We also fully capture his transparency as he dealt with the reality of questions about his faith. Why would God allow him to be captured and held like this? Why wasn’t God there to insure a quick release? If you’d like to catch all this and more, pick up God’s Hostage for a discount at…

 

www.worldchristian.com/product-details?id=143085

 

1) If You Missed Missio Nexus "Future," At Least Watch This (for free)

If you missed last month’s Missio Nexus “Future” conference, at least watch this one message from Andrew Brunson. Hear the testimony of this worker who was held captive for nearly two years in a Turkish prison. Hear his heart. At the end of everything he experienced, hear him conclude that Jesus is worth it all. Hear him say — we have to take risks. Hear him say that “we have to be willing to die. You probably won’t [die]. But at least you’ll be ready.” Thanks to much to Ted Esler and the Missio Nexus family for releasing this main session video to YouTube for all the world to hear.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FqjeUoS9NFs

 

Read his story in Time Magazine…

 

time.com/5351025/andrew-brunson-trump-turkey/

 

You can learn more about Andrew Brunson via his new book, which we’ll review next week, “God’s Hostage.”

 

https://www.amazon.com/Gods-Hostage-Persecution-Imprisonment-Perseverance/dp/0801094879

 

3) Let’s Pray for Peace in Burkina Faso

The PrayerCast people wrote recently,” Over 200 churches have closed in northern Burkina Faso to avoid further attacks. “If the world continues to do nothing…the result will be the elimination of the Christian presence,” said the President of the nation’s Episcopal Conference. Though Christianity is the minority (Islam the majority), it is now a quarter of the population! Islam and Christianity have largely enjoyed a peaceful coexistence.

 

“But this once peaceful country has turned into a hotbed for extremism – and now the long-held peace is threatened. Though Christians have been specifically targeted in recent attacks, this violence has taken hundreds of Christian and Muslim lives and displaced tens of thousands more! Meanwhile, Islam is spreading into nearly every ethnic group, with unreached peoples steadily turning to its teachings.

 

“It is URGENT that the Gospel reach the Burkinabe – roughly five million have never heard it! And so we pray!” It seems to be our first and best option. But let’s not let it be our last.

 

If you’d like a backdrop for prayer for Burkina Faso, visit…

 

prayercast.com/burkina-faso.html

 

9) Understanding the Strength of "Family" in Islam

Some say the strength of family is a downer for those who want to follow Jesus as Lord. Why? Because members of one’s family can actually be the most severe in persecuting those who want to accept Christ. They reportedly persecute because they feel the renegade believer is going to bring shame on their family name. Still others advocate that if we were to be able to figure out how to reach whole families, the strength of their decision for Christ might help them be lock-solid in following Him. What’s your take. For background, pray through this video on family from Prayercast:

 

www.prayercast.com/family.html

 

Please click comment to share your take. Thanks in advance for giving input.

 

9) In One of the Most Thorough Reviews, Christians "Most Persecuted"

It’s not as if you didn’t suspect it previously. But now, it’s statistically proven. In a thorough review of persecution throughout the world (complete with 344 footnotes alone), it seems that Christians are the ones most persecuted worldwide. There were a few exceptions and positive trends to smile about, of course. A law criminalizing conversion was overturned in Bolivia and the gravity of punishment in Egypt. But many developments were at least equally bad, if not worse. The two-year research project cites “the inconvenient truth” that many incidents of persecution are often glossed over and unwitnessed, therefore decriminalizing them before they even get to the courtroom, so to speak. Ultimately, the report estimates that 80% of those persecuted are Christians. Read the full review here…

 

christianpersecutionreview.org.uk/interim-report/

 

3) Mosques, Churches, and Synagogues: It’s Time to Pray For Sure

You might have already seen the April 29th release of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom. We have one word to sum it up: Grim. It contained Recommendations for the World’s Most Egregious Violators of Religious Freedom and, as you can imagine, this was a difficult year. With shootings and bombings in local mosques, churches and synagogues, along with reports on ethnic cleansing and reprogramming camps in China, it makes for a stomach-turning but necessary/urgent read. It should also spawn prayer on behalf of all of us. See the report in full at…

 

www.uscirf.gov/news-room/press-releases-statements/uscirf-releases-2019-annual-report-and-recommendations-world-s

1) Christianity in China: Economist Says it’s “Spreading Rapidly”

I suppose you’d have to be a complete recluse not to have heard about the spread of the Good News in China. But when the Economist runs the story, it’s clearly shaking the world.

http://www.economist.com/news/briefing/21629218-rapid-spread-christianity-forcing-official-rethink-religion-cracks

There’s so much bad news these days. There are so many reasons to be sobered by challenging circumstances. Could we just pause for a moment and give thanks for the many hundreds of house church leaders who have endured horrible persecution to bring us to this day? Thank you God. (Thanks Caleb!)

14) The BackPage: How Political Should Christians Become?

This past week, a friend (thanks Al) referred us to this page…

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/09/27/a-global-slaughter-of-christians-but-america-s-churches-stay-silent.html

which alleges that “Christians are being singled out and massacred from Pakistan to Syria to the Nairobi shopping mall,” yet, as the article points out, apparently America’s churches are staying silent. Anyone have a theory about why? And… beyond that, what kind of real response could Christians pull together? Should there be some “march on the mall,” or does a national spokesman need to rise up to call for a “million man army,” or — what? Your opinion? Why or why not? Please click in the comment box following this item on the web. Thanks in advance for your input.

Doug

3) “Final Assault” Novels to Multiply Vision for Unengaged Peoples

If you snagged the one-volume draft offered free on Amazon last April, you’ll be glad to know that “Final Assault” has now been heavily revised into a polished two-part series. And Steve Smith, author of “T4T: A Discipleship Re-Revolution,” would welcome your help with the final refinements to “Final Assault.” Here’s the plot: Amidst growing spiritual and political efforts to suppress Biblical Christianity, a young pastor becomes gripped with the potential to start a multiplying discipleship movement among every people group in our day, then lights a fire which others follow. PSP is featured as a factor in the movement’s beginning. To request your free copy and offer feedback before the book is finalized, email TheFinalAssaultatgmaildotcom and indicate which you prefer: PDF, Word or Print.

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