From time to time we may hear a snippet of some atrocity facing our Christian brethren around the world. But most of the time, it is just a snippet, and those snippets are too few and far between. Meanwhile, Christians all over the globe face the most horrendous persecution. They are kidnapped, raped, beaten and killed. They are falsely arrested and imprisoned. They are targeted by radical Muslims and by extremist governments. And all the while, we sit by and do nothing. (read here for a little summary of some of the things that have been going on; and lest you think it's a biased report, read here for a more "mainstream" report).
Two things stand out to me about this. One, how does our government stand by so silently on this. We are so quick to condemn those who would infringe on the "rights" of Muslims, gays, and a host of other politically correct "victims." But slaughter a few Christians? No big deal. In fact, sadly, in many of these cases our government is actually supporting the very people carrying out these atrocities; see Syria for example. The silence is as sad as it is deafening.
And yet, two, the silence from our churches is even worse. Several years ago our oldest daughter took a homeschool course with material from Voice of the Martyrs. It was an eye opening thing for our whole family. Since then, we've tried to bring attention to the persecuted church in our own church fellowship, and even have one of our Sunday School classes that regularly takes up offerings for ministries like VOM. But even that is probably too little on our part.
Most churches, like ours, would rather spend our time and energy fighting over what songs we sing, and who gets to use our building (and whether or not they should have to pay for the electricity they use while using it), and what Bible translation we read from, and what color toilet paper we use in the women's restroom. OK, so that last one might be a bit of an exaggeration. But sadly, not much of one.
The American church, and the Western church in general, enjoys such an enormous amount of blessing and freedom, and we fail to see it. Not only are we to be ashamed for how little we stand up and fight for our persecuted brothers, how little we even think about them and pray for them; but our failure to appreciate our blessings may soon lead to a loss of them. We see daily examples of the eroding freedoms in America and the increase of "persecution" even here. And while some see that, and bemoan it, we fail to have equal concern for the real persecution around the globe.
So what's the solution? At the very least, we ought to make an effort to keep up with what's going on around the world, whether it's from reliable news sources or ministries like VOM. That information should then lead us to action; to prayer at the least, and maybe to support of various ministries attempting to serve in those places. Maybe we should even write some letters, contact some legislators, and urge our seemingly blind government to speak up about some of these things. Whatever it is, the deafening silence needs to be overcome with an outcry of protest to the world, and prayer to our King.