Giving hope to persecuted Christians since 1995
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ICC Note:

Reading about the persecuted can be difficult. Not only are the stories of our brothers’ and sisters’ suffering heartbreaking, but the reality that persecution will only cease to plague the church at the end of days can be disheartening. As Christians called to serve the persecuted, we want to thank you for your dedication to your brothers and sisters in need, and to pass along the below resource shared by the editorial board of a international Christian persecution news source.

11/30/2014 World (Morning Star News) –  Any of you who regularly follow persecution news may find that it gets hard to read after a while. In response to reader requests on how to deal with so much horrific news – one becomes either despondent or desensitized – I’ll share how I handle it.

The horror of some of the stories, along with the sense of helplessness they leave in their wake, can be wearying. I’ve heard many a reader sigh that they just don’t want to read it anymore; it’s too depressing. Imagine what it’s like, then, for a journalist to write about and edit it for 14 years.
The incessant flow of bad news has led me to the only thing that can parry the effect of the continual buffeting of the soul – giving it over to God.

Sometimes when my 19-month-old daughter falls asleep in my arms, I pray for parents in Nigeria whose children have been slain in their beds by Muslim extremists. When my 4-year-old son cries after falling down, sometimes I’m reminded later to send up a prayer for children in Somalia who cry out for mothers and fathers lost to murderous Islamists.

A slight chill wind might lead me to pray for Christians in North Korean labor camps who suffer icy temperatures day and night without adequate food, clothing and medicines.

The annual International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP) in November reminds us that persecution news is meant to elicit prayer. But how to pray?

Without a Kingdom perspective, it’s difficult to imagine how to pray for people who have suffered beyond imagination. Theology is not just for beard-scratchers; one cannot read about, write about or pray for persecuted Christians for long without having one’s theological ducks in a row.

Putting the Kingdom of God front and center is crucial. When Christians suffer for their faith, Paul notes in 2 Cor. 4:17, it prepares them for an eternal weight of glory; thus such suffering displays the faith that adds weight to the Kingdom of God, both now and later. Jesus told Peter that upon such faith He would build His church (Matt. 6:18) in this world. In the same breath he said that faithful acts today, among other things – what we “bind on earth” – will be bound in the next world (Matt. 6:20); one example being faith to the point of suffering on earth redounding in glory in the heavenly Kingdom.

Thus contrary to persecutors’ designs, persecution of the faithful expands and enhances the substance of the Kingdom. If Christ’s birth ushered in the Kingdom of God (an era, more than a place) and His cruel death followed by resurrection conquered sin and death, so likewise those who suffer for following Him ultimately add the brilliance of their faith, hope and love to the Kingdom