The Persecuted Church
Chinese Christian praying in prison
Photo: © Lightstock
Persecution Today Takes Many Forms
It is easy for Christians in Western Europe and in the United States of America to forget that in many countries of the world today it is illegal to be a Christian. Many brothers and sisters in Christ are facing extreme persecution and even death for their faith in Jesus Christ. The forms of persecution include:
• Harassment & threats against individuals and churches
• Eviction from their homes and confiscation of houses & property
• Arrest, imprisonment & torture for alleged 'proselytising' at meetings
• Burning of churches & the homes of Christians
• Trials & long terms of imprisonment for leaders of house churches
• Execution of pastors and church members as 'traitors against the state'
All these types of persecution have occurred over the centuries in most parts of the world and are reminiscent of the persecution of Jews and other minority groups.
The Cost Of Commitment
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, an evangelical German pastor executed by the Nazis in 1945, wrote in his book The Cost of Commitment: "When Christ calls a person, he calls him to come and die." Jesus himself said: "The servant is not greater than his master."