We here at Grace Tabernacle are launching a new program on our blog! We will be showcasing a person, people, or a topic that needs your prayers for every week. We would appreciate it if you could keep these spotlights in your prayers throughout the week during your devotionals and throughout your day. This week we will be praying and talking about the persecuted church. A great source to learn more about the persecuted church and how to make a difference can be found at Persecution.org, the Voice of the Martyrs. Most Christians in the United States have no idea as to how much the church of God is persecuted around the world, here are some shocking statistics and information about Christian persecution...
Persecution By Mark Moore
I. Vital Stats and Facts about Persecution of Christians
1. 163,000 Christians die every year for their faith. Half of all the Christians who have ever died for their faith did so in this century alone, some 35 million!
15,000,000 of these were Orthodox or Catholic Christians who died under the Soviet regime between 1917 and 1980, primarily in prison camps.
2. Persecution tends to rise with evangelistic effectiveness.
3. The top ten persecuting countries are: Burma/Myanmar, China, Egypt, Iran, Laos, North Korea, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan (2 million since 1985), Vietnam.
4. After fierce lobbying, American legislators agreed to levy punishments ranging from diplomatic protests to economic sanctions against countries that persistently persecute Christians and other religious minorities.
5. Those killed for their faith (by millions): Christians, 70; Muslims, 70; Hindus; 11, Jew s, 9; Buddhists, 4; S ikhs, 2; B aha’is, 1 and all others combined, 5; T otal = 169 (the numbers don’t add up because of rounding up to millions).
6. Worst eras for Christian martyrs:
a. Roman persecution of early Christians
b. 12th - 14th centuries when Genghis Khan and Tamerlane massacred millions of Christians.
c. 1970's – 230,000 per year.
d. 2025 – 210,000 (estimate).
II. Terrifying Slaughters
1. 1630: some 300,000 Christians in Japan (mostly Catholic) were executed often by crucifixion. Seventy of them were crucified upside down on the beach at low tide so that they would drown when the tide came in.
2. 1920-1930: 200,000 Russian Orthodox priests, monks and nuns were slaughtered. Many crucified by nailing them to the door of their churches or stripped naked, doused with water and left to freeze in the winter air.
3. Recently in Iran one Christian was injected with Radioactive material and then released. Probably to die a slow death.
4. 1960-1970's: During the cultural revolution in China, some 400,000 died.
5. 1970's: Under Idi Amin, 100,000 of the 300,000 killed were Christians.
6. 1994: As many as 500,000 of the 700,000 Rwandans killed were believers.
7. Since 1970: as many as 1,000,000 Christian and Animists have been killed in Sudan by the Muslims of the north.
III. Myths of Persecution
1. The church grows when it is persecuted.
Fact: Due to persecution, the number of Christians in Turkey have dropped from 32% to 0.2% this century. In Syria they dropped from 40% to 10%. Iran went from 15% to 2% and Iraq from 35% to 5%.
2. Martyrs are church leaders or evangelists. Most Christians who have died have not born direct witness to their faiths. They are sweep away in a flood of ethnic cleansing or trapped in war torn regions. Prison camps have been more common that crosses.
3. Christians are primarily martyred because of their testimony of Jesus. The social, economic and political factors listed below have much more to do with Christian deaths than preaching the gospel.
If you have a smart phone, please download the app VOM Prayer Calendar. Here are two snapshots of what the app looks like on a Samsung Galaxy s5...
This app alerts you once a day to what person and country that needs prayer the most on that day, I have set the app to notify me in the morning during my devotional time to pray for the need of the day. There is extensive information about the country, the statistics, and the condition of the church in the country you will be praying for. Once you pray for the request, you submit that you have prayed and it will show you how many people have prayed for that requet that day so far. We highly recommend this app!
Please join us as we lift up our fellow Brothers and Sisters in Christ around the world, as we now see we are blessed here in the United States to be able to practice our faith as we wish. Unfortunatley, it seems we unpurposefully do not take full advantage of the freedom we have and are not aware of how blessed we truly are to be able to celebrate our faith so openly. I believe that if we do not appreciate and exercise our freedoms that God has given us, it will be taken away. Please pray! Please make a difference. We know that every prayer and every action can and does make a difference in the Kingdom of God.
We URGE you to please visit PERSECUTION.ORG for more vital information on what you can do to make a difference.