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ICC NOTE: Despite persecution by majority Muslims in the specific region of the Philippines, Christians have decided to remain and continue to preach the gospel. Even after their church was burned to the ground, consuming everything inside including the only Bibles they possessed. Regardless of whether persecution becomes more of a threat, the people remain in an effort to present God’s love to the lost. 

1/11/2016 Philippines (Mission News Network) — Filipino Christians are overcoming persecution, and pressing on toward the goal of making Christ known.

Steve Van Valkenburg with Christian Aid Mission says “during the [Christmas Eve] service, there was a firecracker thrown on top of the church building. Of course, it was just material that could easily be burned…within a short time, the church was burnt down.”

More in the full report here.

The people were fine, but everything in the church was lost. Including the only Bibles the people had — and shared.

Despite this persecution, believers aren’t giving up. Rather, many are choosing to stay, face the persecution, and share the Gospel.

“There are local, indigenous, people, sharing the Gospel. And they’re sharing the Gospel in some of the most hard-to-reach, out-of-the-way places — places where there is potential persecution,“ explains Van Valkenburg.

“When you reach out with the Gospel, there’s always push-back [from] people who don’t like that the Christians are planting churches, and people are becoming believers in Christ.”

Established in 2013, in an area with a population that is about 60-percent Muslim, the church’s short history has never been without persecution. Why have these believers chosen to stay in an area where they are clearly unwelcome? First, it is their home. Secondly, these Filipino Christians desire to serve the Lord and see their neighbors come to Christ.

It’s up to the worldwide Body of Christ to help them as they carry out their mission.

“I think when you ask them, those local native workers, they would say not to pray that there would be less persecution,” Van Valkenburg notes.

“[Instead] they would [ask you to] pray that the Gospel goes out and that they would have the boldness and the power of the Spirit to present the Gospel in a way that many of their friends and family become believers in Christ.”

(Full Article)