Monday, October 31, 2005

[I saw] the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God ...

[NB: I wish to apologize for my lack of posts -- I let RL take over, but I intend to find time to post as much as possible. That means more than once every five months!]

(source: Assist News)

As we move into November, and towards the international day of prayer for the Persecuted Church, I received the above article in my e-mail.

Indonesia has had a policy lately of forced transmigration, moving Muslims into areas that were primarily Christian. Indonesia is itself primarily, officiallly Muslim, and this has caused difficulties. These problems are exacerbated, as Reuters noted in a recent article: "In addition to religion the newcomers often have cultural and language differences with locals. Politicians and security forces have sometimes been charged with exploiting the differences for their own ends, adding to the potential for violence."

This violence exploded over the weekend, and resulted in the beheadings of three Christian girls, 16- to 19-years old, who police said were attacked by six machete-wielding men as they walked to school on Saturday (Oct.29). This is, sadly, only the latest manifestation of this violence. According to Reuters, Muslim-Christian clashes in the Poso area killed 2,000 people from 1998 through 2001, when a peace deal was agreed.The agency says that while the worst violence abated after the deal, there have been sporadic outbreaks since. Bombings in May in the Christian town of Tentena killed 22 people.

While I don't discount the changes in Western ideologies and lifestyles which increasingly marginalize biblical Christians, this is what real persecution is all about. This is our future, in some sense -- what is now only rhetoric will someday be action. Words will become deeds.

Especially remember to pray for our brothers and sisters on November 13 and November 20, 2005. But pray for them other times as well. More than 200 million Christians today face beatings, imprisonment, torture, hardship and even death because they refuse to deny Jesus Christ. They need you to remember them.

1 comment:

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