TITLE: The Source of Persecution
By Charles Salmon
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The Source of Persecution
The following is quoted from Crosswalk.com’s Religion Today Feature Story dated January 16th. I feel it might be of interest to our readers.
“Persecuted Christians soon willingly forget hardships and forgive torture and beatings they have experienced when they see the unlimited number of lost souls who are coming to Christ and experiencing salvation.
That was the thrust of a message by Pastor Paul Ciniraj Mohamed, the Director of the Salem Voice Ministries, based in Kerala, India, as he inaugurated a day of fasting and prayer for persecuted Christians at the annual conference of the SVM held in Malabar, India on Friday, January 12.”
Much of the conflict in our world today involves religious issues and rivalries. America is viewed by many as a Christian nation and, for this reason, seen as an enemy to any other religious faith. I am certainly aware of the economic, social, and political interests, but there is obviously a very strong religious element in the present conflict. Like it or not, the “War on Terror” is a war against Islamic fascism.
The escalating conflict in our world today may be due, at least in part, to the Church’s success in spreading the Gospel of Christ. As Christianity becomes more widespread, inroads are being made into lands held captive by idolatrous philosophies. Satan and his demon forces will not tolerate decimation of their ranks. There is bound to be conflict and we may be witnessing the beginnings of the great final battle of good and evil preceding the Lord’s return.
The article quoted above also named a professor Ilyas Ba Yunus, who reported that Al Jazeera, a leading Islamic newspaper, admitted six million Muslims in Africa convert to Christianity every year. He also claims 35,000 Turks converted to Christianity last year, two million ethnic Muslims in Russia have converted to Christianity, and 200,000 British and 10,000 French Muslims have accepted Christ.
If the foregoing is even half true, my guess is persecution of Christians will continue to escalate. Christianity’s teachings about forgiveness and love for one’s enemies will be severely tested.
Christians have often suffered persecution when the Gospel has been effectively presented. The first persecution of Christians came as a result of jealousy; “Then the high priest and all his associates, who were members of the party of the Sadducees, were filled with jealousy.” Acts 5:17 NIV.
In many lands, those who embrace Christianity face the real possibility of losing their jobs, their homes, and even their lives because of their faith in Jesus. We should all take time to pray for these persecuted Christians. And, let us never take our freedom for granted.
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