Persecution is nothing new in the believer’s world. We are disregarded, mocked, shunned, but many of us never experienced or will experience being set on fire, tortured, raped, or worse because of our faith in Jesus Christ.
The Bible talks about how Jesus, Paul, Stephen, John the Baptist, and others who forgave their abusers.
The same holds true for today’s followers of Jesus Christ.
The sad fact is persecution of epic proportions is rapid in the world, and although it’s not as blatant in a democratic society—believers are suffering in the name of Christ.
But they are also forgiving in the name of Christ.
Pakistani Christian teen Nouman Masih died after two unidentified Muslim men burned the 15-year-old alive after throwing petrol on him, and lighting his body on fire in April, 2015.
The boy suffered burns over 50 percent of his body, and said he forgave his attackers after the incident.
Masih was closing the tailor’s shop where he worked at when two extremists approached and asked his religion. Masih replied ‘Christian,’ and according to the British Pakistani Christian Association, the attack ensued. Masih died five days later in the hospital from his injuries.
Radical Muslims targeted Christians in West Africa burning over 69 churches and killing 10 people, CBN News reported in January.
In a follow-up interview, Pastor Musa Issa said he forgives the men.
“My prayer is that they would come to know Jesus and that the Lord would touch them even in a dream. I want God to do to them what He did to Paul the Apostle when he persecuted Christians. God touched him on his way to Damascus. I want those men to experience the same touch from God!”
A girl was mutilated by Hindu extremists in India after they bombed her house in 2008--she was 10 at the time.
What did this amazing girl tell the press, she had forgiven her attackers?
“We forgive the Hindu radicals who attacked us, who burned our homes. They were out of their minds. They do not know the love of Jesus. For this reason, I now want to study so that when I am older I can tell everyone how much Jesus loves us. This is my future.”
Thousands of Christians and people are imprisoned in labor camps in communist North Korea under Kim Jong-Un. There is a reported 50, 0000 or more believers suffering living on mouthfuls of cabbage and porridge before they are send to work coal mines, farms or construction. Scores of believers are tortured to get confessions.
What can we do?
We can pray and put our money into action by supporting organizations that fight these battles daily.
We can thank God for these people who were not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ.
“Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”- Matthew 5:10-12