The bullet-riddled body of South Korean Christian pastor Bae Hyung-kyu, killed by Muslim extremists in Afghanistan, was found last Wednesday, the day he would have turned 42. His brother told reporters his funeral would be delayed until the other hostages returned to South Korea.
South Korean Christians are a wonderful group of people. They take being Christian very seriously. It defines who they are an what they do.
And so, many have gone to Afghanistan to help with reconstruction and, presumably, to quietly witness to their faith. (Have you noticed -- the West views it as wrong to witness to the Christian faith in Muslim countries, but right to witness to the Islamic faith in so-called Christian countries?)
A second brave Korean brother in Christ has now reportedly been killed.
Are they martyrs? I'm not sure what the technical definition of a martyr is, but they were certainly killed for being and doing what they are -- Christians.
Do secularists bother going to Afghanistan and other needy spots to provide aid? Do militant atheists bother? On the whole, no. And, if they do go, it is usually when someone else -- like western governments -- is paying. Christians go, and pay their own way.
Having gone and been killed in the line of duty, two dear brothers are now in the arms of Jesus, having run the race and finished the course. A crown of life is laid up for them.
Thank God for South Korean Christians.
"Father, we thank you for the South Korean Christians who exhibit the sweet savour of Christ, who bear witness to the One whose scars bear witness to his suffering for them. The Scripture says that "if we suffer with him, we shall reign with him". Help us to remember that suffering for Christ is part of our holy calling. We thank you for each one who is witnessing to You in the world today. We pray that you would bless them with your presence, that you would strengthen them and make them fearless. We remember Daniel, and pray that in your sovereign will you would deliver those who are in peril.
Lord, we wait and look for the Day when evil is quashed and Christ's reign on earth is begun. Our hearts pull at You now, and ask you to come quickly. You are wanted and needed here. Forgive us our sins. Lord, come and help us now."