When Your Community Turns Against You

July 3, 2013 by Open Doors in Stories of Persecution

Joseph Momo was the head chief of the Bangang community in West Cameroon. Two years ago, Chief Joseph and his wife converted to Christianity and the Bangang community was outraged. The couple had to flee after extremist members of the community attempted to kill Joseph’s wife. Now, they are unable to return to the community where they have lived their whole lives. Last year in Ethiopia, Islamic extremists attacked and killed Debela Mergesa, whose zeal for the gospel will always be remembered. Despite numerous attempts to keep him from promoting his Christian faith-including death threats-Debela followed the Lord’s calling and continued spreading the message of redemption. Due to his unwillingness to waiver in spreading the gospel, Debela ended up paying the ultimate price. He was murdered at the hands of his own community. Several years ago in Acteal, Mexico, more than 30 Christian men were falsely charged and imprisoned, because of their faith. Some of these men have been released, and some still remain in prison. Those who have been released are banned from ever returning to their communities. Community is something we were created for. We were created to commune with God and with one another. Ecclesiastes 4:9 says “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil.” Many of us have multiple communities that we are a part of; our families, our churches, our group of friends… these groups play a pivotal role in our lives. What would it be like to be stripped of these communities, simply for your faith in Christ? Can you imagine being ostracized, forced to flee or even receiving death threats from members of your community? This is reality for Christians such as the Momo family, the Mergesa family and the Acteal prisoners. Christians, however, are part of a community which is stronger than any other community base: the body of Christ. Though we are often thousands of miles away from one another, we are still united in Christ. Though many of our brothers and sisters face rejection from their earthly communities, we can come alongside them in prayer, faithfully lifting up their requests to our heavenly Father who cares for every need of His children. Here are some ways for you to get involved in this vital community: – PrayWriteTravel