If you were living in Indonesia right now, you might be looking over your shoulder as you read this. Freedom of worship is not the reality in Indonesia. Worship can mean an early death for Christians in the world’s most populous Muslim nation.
On October 29, 2005, three teenage Christian girls were beheaded for their faith, most likely by Muslim extremist. I’ve seen the pictures – you don’t want to. Why did I seek out the morbid online photos? To remind myself just how blessed I am to live in a country where we are free to worship as we see fit. Yes, I know there are people trying to stop prayer at football games and take the Ten Commandments from every public display. But I have yet to have someone threaten to cut my head off if I pray to the God I believe in. Freedom of worship still exist in the good old USA.
In Romans Chapter 12:1(NIV), we are called to offer our “body as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God.” And in America that means reading and living God’s word, worshipping with God’s people, and spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In countries like Indonesia, it could mean risking your life for just attending a faith-based community center. God wants us to live for Him, but in some countries, even in the 21st Century, people are indeed dying for Him.
We must realize the opportunity to reach the lost is greatest in this country, the land of opportunity – not too mention the milk and honey we have in abundance. Yes, if the Gospel message is to reach around the globe, America must continue to be a leader in bringing compassion and hope to the world. And we must remain a stable nation that supports freedom of worship from sea to shining sea.
Pray for the believers who live in regions where your faith can get you killed. And pray for the brave men and women who risk their lives to bring the Gospel into these dangerous regions.