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—and it's getting worse.
The most rapidly growing areas of persecution are the
Middle East, Africa, and Central Asia.
Christians in those regions face an astonishing lack of religious freedom.
Persians are by definition Muslim.
So, to be an ethnic Persian who is also a Christian is a crime punishable by death.
Saudi Arabia in public Christian worship is forbidden.
In Nigeria, four churches are attacked every week
—and yet, our brothers and sisters continue to lift high the name of Jesus,
counting the cost and deeming it worth it to suffer for the cause of Christ.
Here’s a couple facts to keep in mind:
- 100 million Christians facing persecution on a regular basis
- every month 322 Christians are killed for their faith
- every month 214 churches and Christian properties are destroyed.
As we open our eyes to persecution,
it's easy to focus only on the shocking events that we see on the news,
but that's not the most prevalent form of persecution.
It's the outside pressure Christians face as a result of their faith
We call this distinction smash vs. squeeze.
Smash looks like churches torched, Christians beaten, or families attacked.
Squeeze looks like losing your job because you believe in Jesus.
It looks like your children being made fun of at school for their beliefs.
Squeeze is often quieter, but can be powerfully damaging to those under its pressure.
You hear about millions of people suffering and you might think,
"How can we stop it?" But persecuted believers aren't asking for an end to their hardships.
For them, persecution is normal and they pray for the strength to withstand it.
Pastors in these areas aren't praying for an end to the persecution either.
Instead, they see these hardships resulting in believers with genuine faith.
With so much on the line, there can be no halfway commitment to Jesus Christ.
These believers are all in.
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