An International organization, Stop Persecution urges all to pray for the persecuted Christians this Christmas.
In a memoir they write:
” As we approach the closing days of 2013, we are increasingly aware of violent persecution against Christian men, women, and children in many countries of the world, particularly in the Middle East, South Asia, Northern Africa, and North Korea.
- A rising tide of persecution against Christians around the world increases year by year.
- In particular, the celebrated “Arab Spring” has quickly become the “Killing Season” against whole populations of Christian men, women, and children.
- Persecution against Christian people includes torture, imprisonment, and murder – as well as strategic, targeted, systemic discrimination in employment, housing, education, and safety, as well as hundreds of Churches burned in 2013 alone. More than 80 churches have been burned in Egypt, just since June 2013, in hateful revenge for the cutbacks in extremist Muslim Brotherhood power.
- Christian men, women and children are now the most frequent target of persecution in the world. As much as 75% of persecution globally is presently against Christians. In Peshawar, Pakistan two suicide bombers attacked a large Church, killing 129 people just as a worship service was over. It took two hours for a hospital to send an ambulance, even though the hospital is ten minutes away. So it seems that terrorists may be either suicide bombers or hospital administrators.
- Churches full of believers have been surrounded by gangs of heavily armed militants during public worship. These militants force the believers to remain in the Church building while the militants burn it down. All the worshipers are then killed by the fire of the building or bullets.
- In many countries it is a capital crime to become a Christian or to invite others to become Christians – or even to show hospitality to Christian neighbors.
- Christian men, women and children have been persecuted at many times in history, but rarely with such ferocious intensity and vicious abuse. It is time for all people of good will to stand with these brothers and sisters.
Religious liberty is the most treasured and most empowering human liberty, and it is the vibrant root of all other liberties. Our religious liberty is established by Divine endowment, and through the Bible’s teachings. It is also endorsed by the American Declaration of Independence, the First Amendment of the US Constitution, and the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
What is the plan? During this Advent – starting December 1 and going through Christmas – and for the days following, please let us use prayer powerfully to unite with our persecuted brothers and sisters, wherever they are.”