The Stories from the Persecuted Which Grab My Heart
One of the best parts of working here at Open Doors is the devotional time we have every day together as a staff. Sometimes, we will have prayer requests from our co-workers in other countries. The other day, we received this prayer request from a country in Central Asia:
Dear friends, Number of raids and arrests of believers in the region has increased in 2013. Among them is the arrest of a sister who is a leader of few home churches. Left by husband and all her relatives because of her faith, she has been deeply involved in leading church and spreading Gospel among local population. She had been arrested and fined about 8 times last few years. This time, few days ago, after a search of her house, finding few CDs with seminars on Christian faith, few books and other materials, a criminal case has been opened against her. That means she might be put to prison for about 2-4 years….Few days ago, a group of secret police forces, dressed in military form wearing masks and automatic guns, broke into a house of a pastor in a village. When they broke in, they asked “are you Masih?” Masih means “Messiah”. It is the title police use to identify Christians. After he said “yes, I’m” he was immediately arrested and house was searched, and even though nothing was found, and arrest was done without providing any official documents, he still was arrested by false accusations made up by people instructed by police. There were few cases like this, at the same village, during last few months. We are informed that some of local church members are afraid to continue to meet. Please for them. Pray that they would be able to overcome the fear and pray for wisdom how to continue to meet and to spread Gospel.
This prayer request very much grabbed ahold of my heart. At first, I wasn’t sure why this prayer request stood out to me more than others, but then I slowly began to realize why…
My home is my sanctuary, as the old saying goes. I love coming home after work to hang out with my husband and our bunny rabbit. My husband and I will watch TV, or he will play a video game while I draw. Half way through the week, the house is less than clean, with laundry on the chair and different papers lying on the coffee table, which usually will not be picked up till the weekend. But it doesn’t matter, because our home is ours and I never have to worry about government officials barging in, inspecting all of my belongings and arresting me for anything that is deemed as ‘Christian material’ in my home.
This is not the case for my brother and sister in Central Asia.
These believers never know if their house will be invaded by government officials, which makes it a very difficult place to be at rest. They are constantly being monitored for their faith, never knowing if they will be caught by these officials.
So as this weekend approaches, will you join me in praying for our persecuted brothers and sisters? That God would grant them rest, despite the ongoing persecution that they face.