What do all these countries have in common and the list is not exhaustive?
North Korea; Saudi Arabia; Afghanistan; Iraq; Somalia; Maldives; Mali; Iran; Yemen; Eritrea.
They are the ten most dangerous countries in the world that persecute Christians.
Most of them are Islamic dictatorships the exception being North Korea where Islam cannot get a foothold because Kim Jong Un considers he is the God of Korea and must be worshipped.
In North Korea, you can be put in a prison camp if you are caught praying to someone else.
Interesting that both Afghanistan and Iraq were set free from Islamic dictatorships by Christian countries and yet they delight in persecuting Christians.
In most of the countries, if you are born into an Islamic family and through the miraculous intervention of God you become a follower of Jesus, you are usually dished out a death penalty unless you recant.
I read of one young man who was visited by God supernaturally and converted to Christianity and started up a ministry to help former Muslims cope with life after Islam. His family were incensed because in their eyes he brought shame on the family. Their mantra was once a Muslim always a Muslim.
Some of his relatives confronted him one evening at his ministries centre and said if he did not return to Islam they would kill him. He refused saying how could he give up someone who had died for him to bring forgiveness and freedom.
His relatives brought out knives and cut him to pieces where he stood whilst he was alive. The young man was 23 years old.
That is not an unusual story.
In a country not on the list, the Hindus attacked a small Christian village and burnt all their houses down to the ground. The families ended up living under tarpaulins on the street. A Christian ministry took up their cause and raised money to build new homes for them. It reached my post box so I sent them enough money to pay for a new home for one of the families.
On the other side, the persecution often brings a strengthening of faith and a greater determination to be a disciple of Jesus. Like the believers in China who said do not pray that we might escape suffering but that we might be worthy of the suffering they experience.
Makes you think, doesn't it?
And in so many cases, Christians are left destitute and homeless, ending up in refugee camps or eeking out an existence on the street and living under tarpaulins.
Knowing what I know, can I ask you to consider supporting financially those ministries who are ministering into the lives of these people. We are told in scripture to consider the least of our brethren and these people in these countries are definitely the least of our brethren.
I know that in many cases, without the help financially and materially from Christian ministries they would die on the street and their children would be dead before they reached the age of one because of malnutrition.
I would have been devastated if any of my children or grandchildren had died before the age of one so that is one of the reasons why all my giving for overseas ministry is to those helping these devastated saints who are unable to help themselves.
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