Dear Readers of Country Squire Magazine, this Sunday I wish You all well and trust that You and loved ones are healthy and happy.
This week I would like to focus on persecuted Christians around the world. A growing number of people it seems, as many countries fail to prevent harm coming to those of the Christian faith. For the 16th year in a row, North Korea tops the list of 50 countries ranked for the worst persecution of Christians in the world, according to the Christian watchdog organisation Open Doors USA. A close second is Afghanistan, which jumped up one place since last year’s ranking. With the exception of North Korea, all the countries that cracked the top 10 are predominantly Muslim and most are in the Middle East and Africa. Incidents of persecution include forced conversions, attacks on churches, murders, arrests, etc. Pakistan has recently been in the news for its blasphemy laws which were used to imprison the Christian lady Asia Bibi. According to the Vatican 300 million Christians are persecuted in 21 countries.
It is not my job to get involved in politics (or this week my prayer might be for a certain Vicar’s daughter to open her eyes!) but it is my job to recognise the persecuted, to illuminate their predicament and to pray for them. So this week, while I wish You all well for the week ahead, I ask You all to pray for those persecuted Christians whose life on this earth is tough but who shall inherit the Kingdom of God.
Around the world, many believers are persecuted — imprisoned, even killed — for their faith. Since Jesus laid down His life, 43 million Christians have become martyrs. Right now 300 million people face persecution for believing in Jesus and 60% of those people are children. Let us pray for these persecuted believers and for the souls of those who have died in Your name, Lord Jesus. That those who persecute may see the wrong they are doing and come into the light of faith.