Front Page Mag: Now that the year is behind us, Open Doors provides a recap of some of the most telling stories of global anti-Christian persecution from 2019.
Last year, on Easter Sunday, the holiest day of the Christian calendar, Christians who were in the midst of their religious services in Sri Lanka experienced the bombing of three of their churches.
Three hotels were also bombed. Over 300 people were killed, with 176 children losing either one parent or both.
Islamic militants were responsible.
In Burkina Faso, in West Africa, one particular church was repeatedly besieged. On one specific Sunday, its pastor and five congregants were shot immediately after a service.
Pastor Pierre Oult, an 80-year-old man who had spent the previous four decades serving his church and village community, was talking with his congregants after the service outside of his church at around 1 P.M. In other words, the Pastor was here of one spirit with his brothers and sisters in the faith around the planet who, as a matter of course, through friendly conversation, continue their celebration of the oneness of God and His creation after official services have ended.
This one Sunday, however, would be different.
A dozen men on motorcycles—men who had been “radicalized” by Islam, according to the members of the Pastor’s village—surrounded the Pastor and his flock. They gathered them under a tree and took their Bibles and cellphones. Then, one after the other, the Islamic militants shot dead Pastor Pierre Oult and five of his congregants. Read More …
Opinion: From the perspective of Christians living in the west, it must have felt like the tribulation had begun.
I wonder how we in the US would hold up under the same circumstances? Would we be strong in persecution, or would we cave? Would we plead for our lives and renounce Christ?
Acts 11:19-21 The church grew in persecution:
“Now those who were scattered after the persecution that arose over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to no one but the Jews only. 20 But some of them were men from Cyprus and Cyrene, who, when they had come to Antioch, spoke to the Hellenists, preaching the Lord Jesus. 21 And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number believed and turned to the Lord.
Persecution happened to the Thessalonians. In Paul’s absence, false doctrines crept into the early church saying that they had missed the rapture and were now suffering in the Day of the Lord.
Paul reminded them that there is an important difference between persecution and wrath. 1 Thess. 5:9 “For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ”, and the church was strengthened.
According to a new Pew Research Center report, there are already more Christians in Africa than any other continent. But as Christianity grows in Africa, so does the persecution of Christians. Judging by the growth of Christianity, the African church is following the growth of the early church.
In the western church today doctrines that strengthen Christians have been lost to allegorical and figurative interpretations of Scripture. In fact since the time of Augustine up to 4/5’s of prophetic Scripture has been lost to men’s interpretations.
While the early Christians had the OT and Paul’s teaching, we have all that and the books of 1st and 2nd Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews, James, 1st and 2nd Peter, 1st, 2nd 3rd John, Jude and the Revelation of Jesus Christ that literally and chronologically ties all of Paul’s writings together.
Without the literal word of God, false doctrines similar to the ones the Thessalonians experienced are even more pernicious today. And even now, most denominations avoid the teaching of eschatology, giving rise to scoffers.
“knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, 4 and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” 2 Peter 3:2-3
Thanks to Vason for sending in the Front Page article.