Imagine living in a place where you were not free to study and discuss the Bible openly. Where faith in Christ and belief in the teachings of the Bible were not only discouraged, but actually dangerous. How committed would you be to God's Word and ways in a place like this, where your beliefs could threaten your home, your family, even your life?
For millions of believers around the world, this imaginary place is an everyday reality. They are our brothers and sisters in Christ, their faith is strong and true and they worship the same God that we do. Theirs is a secret church, underground, hidden from the eyes of earthly authorities. But they are growing--often thriving--among those who would kill followers of Jesus Christ if given the opportunity.
More On the Persecuted Church
There are many resources online where you can learn more about the plight of persecuted Christians around the world, and become involved in prayer and support of the cause of Christ in these nations:
What If Being a Christ-Follower Wasn't Designed to Be Easy?
In America we often hear some version of the following: "Your life will be much better as a Christian. You'll have fewer problems, a happier outlook and be more blessed with the comforts of life you need."
What if this wasn't true? In fact, what if being a Christ-follower meant persecution? What if it meant being outcast from friends and family, living in fear of personal harm, or losing the comforts of life? The Bible confirms throughout the New Testament that the life of a Christ-follower will often not be one of happiness, but suffering.
It might be tough to hear, but sometimes it is in our suffering that God is really glorified. Think about it--if life is really tough, and we still acknowledge God and our faith grows in the midst of difficult times, then He gets the glory for our actions. After all, it's easy to say, "God is faithful" when things are going great. It's harder to believe when things are not. If you want to know more about honoring God through suffering, read the book of Job.
More on the “Theology of Suffering”
Much has been written on the suffering of Christians in the world. Here's what some other prominent theologians have said:
- Christ's Holy Sufferings by Martin Luther
- Luther’s Theology of the Cross by Carl R. Trueman
- The School Of Suffering by John Newton
- The Bruised Reed by Richard Sibbes
- Affliction Sanctified by Richard Sibbes
- Why Christ Suffered Max A Forsythe
- Consider Jesus Thoughts for Daily Duty, Service, and Suffering by Octavius Winslow
- The Problem of a Suffering Christian by A.W. Pink
- Why Does God Allow Some of His Servants To Suffer? by George McGuinness
- A Pastoral Biblical-Theological Study of Suffering from Hebrews by C. R. Biggs
- The Doctrine of Suffering By J. Hampton Keathley, III , Th.M.
- Why Is There Suffering? By Sid Litke , Th.M.
- Religious Principles of the Scottish Martyrs by Dr. Andrew Symington
- Making Sense Out Of Suffering Dr. Peter Kreeft
- Why? Series Dr. David Platt
Pray for the Persecuted Church
For a guide to praying for brothers and sisters persecuted around the world, visit the Global Disciple-Making area of the Brook Hills web site.