Two Sundays ago my pastor mentioned that that Sunday was a day set aside to pray for the persecuted Church. This reminded me that I have been remiss in following through on one of the purposes for this blog: to highlight the struggles of the saints around the world, saints from both the past and the present. I have saved these links for the past few weeks so that you could know some concrete examples of brothers and sisters suffering for their faith.
These first links concern the recent outbreak of violence against Christians in the state of Orissa in India: this is from Ben Witherington's blog concerning the violence in general (click here and then scroll down to 10/16/80 to "Blessed are the Martyrs who Die in the Lord Henceforth), this is from Christianity Today concerning an attack on a nun, and this on the conversion of a 19 year old from Hinduism to Christ.
These are stories from the BBC and Christianity Today. The first concerns violence against Christians in Mosul, Iraq; the second concerns the murder of a Christian Aid worker in Afghanistan who represented an agency called Serve Afghanistan.
The violence that has engulfed the Congo is not religious in origin, yet there are many Christians and Christian agencies in the region. We need to pray for their situation as well as all those who are suffering because of the fighting. These four stories give the background to the current fighting: from Christianity Today, from the Christian Science Monitor, and these two stories from the BBC. The BBC has recently published two sets of pictures of the conflict, here and here.