Remembering Christians who are persecuted for their faith.
Christianity is being suppressed in China and strangled in Muslim countries while the West looks the other way. The West readily accepts the idea of Muslim states yet reacts in horror at the thought that a country might consider itself Christian. We readily tolerate Muslim countries squeezing out the Christians but insist that once-Christian nations remove even the symbolic trappings of their faith from the public square.Image by Stewf via FlickrHerod has his current imitators. In 1991, China’s state-run press noted the role of the churches in undercutting Communism in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, adding that if China did “not want such a scene to be repeated in its land, it must strangle the baby while it is still in the manger.” Al-Qaeda has declared that all Middle Eastern Christians should be killed, and many Christians in Iraq have cancelled their Christmas celebrations lest they be targeted.
The cosmic battle between good and evil found its ground zero at the Cross. The outworking of Christ's victory achieved there was initiated in the early persecutions against those who named his name; it continues to this day. Fortunately, we know that "he shall reign forever, and of his kingdom there shall be no end". But, until then, "there shall be blood".
Every true Christian identifies with the persecuted and weighs the cost of following Christ in his own life. We remember them as our brothers and sisters at this time of year.