“Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you are also in the body.” Hebrews 13:3
In the last 36 months: I’ve walked on a beach near Tripoli in Libya that looks a whole lot like the beach where the twenty-one were beheaded; I’ve met in secret with the widow and fatherless toddler of a Christian martyr in a different country; I’ve been in a Christian church in Egypt that was destroyed shortly afterward; I’ve been in a city in Iraq where now Christians pay a slave tax to ISIS or are executed; I’ve met with a national brother in the capital city of his country who, due to his occupation, will be executed the day it is discovered he is a Christian; I’ve met with underground church leaders from another country who have been jailed, had wives and children taken from them, and lost their businesses.
Due to my personal encounters in the countries of North Africa and the Middle East, the statistics representing the persecution of the Christian church in the region are more than just numbers to me. They represent friends of mine and their families and their local churches; members of the our bigger family of God that I happen to be privileged to know, but that are just as much your family as well. Every time a believer is oppressed, jailed, or executed for the faith, it is your sibling being persecuted for the faith; your family that has a suffering member.
The Holy Spirit said it like this, “Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you are also in the body.” Hebrews 13:3
One silver lining in the ISIS crises is that they are causing a keener awareness in the Church in the West of the suffering of our brothers and sisters in the region. Every photo and article of another Christian martyr gives a face and a name to our family members in that part of the world.
And as the persecution of our brothers and sisters becomes more and more personal to us, we are led to ponder what Hebrews 13:3 looks like in the 21st Century. How do we ensure we remember them and think about them so that we pray for them? How do we raise awareness of their condition among the global church so that more and more pray for them? How do we publicly identify with them and stand with them?
In an on-line world, our virtual platforms and mouthpieces are powerful tools. A member of our congregation and a devout brother, Jacob Abshire, is very gifted in utilizing the on-line world for Kingdom advancement. He has created these graphics for use as profile pics and banners and made them available free of use as a powerful way for believers to practice Hebrews 13:3.
Would you consider utilizing these graphics for a few days on your social media platforms to generate awareness and prayer support for the persecuted church?