I Have A Dream For Persecuted Christians

August 28, 2013 by Open Doors in Stories of Persecution

Dream Fifty years ago today, Martin Luther King Jr. stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and delivered one of the most powerful speeches in recent history. The “I Have A Dream” speech was instrumental in changing the course of civil rights in America. As we dwell on this historic day, Dr. King’s words continue to ring true… we desire freedom for all people. And as Christians, we recognize that many of our brothers and sisters around the world are persecuted and are not free to openly practice their faith. So what can we learn from MLKJ’s speech when it comes to supporting persecuted Christians around the world? “Unity,” says Dr. Ken Hutcherson of Antioch Bible Church in Kirkland, Washington. “There is a great deal of division in the church; division through denominations… and even division in those denominations. We need to be united as the Body of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 12:26 says that we are one Body… “when one member suffers, we all suffer; when one is lifted up, we all rejoice.” “Dr. King’s speech is a call to everyone,” says Hutcherson. “It represents all people, no matter their race, color or religion. We need to stand up for those who do not have freedom… that is why Dr. King made this historic speech. He saw that only some people had rights and knew that he and others were entitled to the same freedoms.” So how do we support our brothers and sisters living in countries like North Korea where they do not have the same freedoms as we do? How do we unify the body of Christ? The number one thing that persecuted Christians ask for is our prayers. Not only do they ask us to pray for them, but they ask us to pray for their persecutors. Christians in North Korea pray and have asked us to pray for Kim Jung-Il and now Kim Jung-Un. They do this because they know their true freedom is found in Christ alone, and that He can change the hearts of their persecutors. The other thing that persecuted Christians ask for is that we would share their stories. They are not alone in their struggles when we know their stories and are praying for them. They are instead comforted by the unity of the Body of Christ. As we reflect on the extraordinary words of Dr. King today, let us remember our persecuted brothers and sisters in prayer and by sharing their stories, knowing that true freedom is found in Christ alone:

“I have a dream today . . . I have a dream that one day

every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain

shall be made low. The rough places wild be made plain,

and the crooked places will be made straight. And the

glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see

it together. This is our hope. “

“When we allow freedom to ring–when we let it ring

from every city and every hamlet, from every state and

every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and

Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join

hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual,

“Free at last, Free at last, Great God a-mighty, We are

free at last.”

-Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 08/28/1963