2015 Worst Year of Christian Persecution in Modern Times
2015 was the worst year in modern history for Christian persecution. Thousands of Christians have died at the hands of Muslim extremists, hundreds of thousands have been displaced and homeless as ISIS has ravaged whole towns and villages. The terror and horror commited in the Middle East and around the world continue to make headlines. As such a new book packed with stories of Christian survivors who when faced with a life or death situation had the courage and tenacity to follow Christ.
In I Am N: Stories of Christians Facing Islamic Extremism (David C Cook, March 2016), readers are invited into the persecuted world through real-life stories from Christians holding onto faith in the midst of extreme persecution. Readers will be inspired, encouraged and challenged by the faith and courage of brothers and sisters in Christ around the world.
When ISIS militants moved into Northern Iraq, Christian owned property was idenitified and mark withe the Arabic letter or "n" on homes and churches. This mark conveyed the accusation that the occupants were "Nazarenes" - or followers of Jesus of Nazareth rather than Islam - giving the ultimatum to convert to Islam and stay in the community, leave or die.
Dr. Jason Peters, Associate Vice President of Connection for The Voice of the Martyrs (VOM) said, "These stories are all about inspiration. Inspiration for believers to commit to pray and stand alongside their fellow brothers and sisters in Christ suffering around the world. We will not let them suffer in silence or serve alone. We want to encourage people to get involved. We want to learn from their example in courage and forgiveness in the face of ther spouse being killed or their children suffering or being kidnapped."
Stories like that of Khalida Marriam who was eight months pregnant with a baby boy, when a bomb exploded at All Saints Church in the old quarter of Peshawar, Pakistan. Two suicide bombers killed over a hundred people, injured at least 150 in what became the deadliest known attack on Pakistani Christians in history. Khalida lost her baby but not her faith, as Christians from around the world offered support and prayer allowing her to get treated at a local hospital.
VOM writes, "Even after such terrible attacks, survivors such as Khalida still trust God wholeheartedly. They still place their hope in him. They still praise him. They still thank members of the body of Christ who help them."
What was it that was challenging your faith today? It's easy to forget our seemingly minor pains when we begin praying for the persecuted Church around the world, afterall they are our brothers and sisters.