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For such a time as this: The suffering church

ICC Note: This article is an excellent reminder to Americans to not forget our persecuted brothers and sisters in the midst of all the media attention on our presidential campaign.

1/31/08 USA (Florida Baptist Witness) – For the next 10 months, presidential candidates will be telling us how they plan to make the world a safer place for Americans. Now, that’s good, of course, but there are other people whose safety American Christians ought to be concerned about: that is, Christians suffering for their faith around the world.

Sadly, as you know, there are many examples of this suffering. A recent story in Al Jazeera’s English-language service described how Islamic radicals are “testing” Indonesia’s reputation for “for tolerance and moderation.”

Moderation? I wonder what the Christians of East Timor, an estimated 200,000 of whom died during Indonesia’s 25-year occupation, would say about that reputation. Needless to say, this example of Indonesian “moderation” goes unmentioned in the Al Jazeera article.

You probably will not hear this issue brought up at a presidential debate. That is why American Christians have to make the mistreatment of their brethren an issue in this year’s elections.

This is especially true given our privileged position: We are citizens of the most powerful nation on earth, a nation for whom freedom of religion is, arguably, the first freedom.

We also have experience at bringing the suffering of people in faraway places to the attention of our fellow Americans, whether it has been the plight of North Koreans, the Sudanese, or the global AIDS crisis.

God has put us in this privileged position so that we will speak out for those around the world who are being persecuted. So, pressure the candidates whom you encounter. They want to know what you think? Tell them… [Go To Full Story]