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Summary: In observance of the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church, we must understand that persecution is a battle that is real.

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The Noise of Battle

International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church

Intro: Video from Open Doors

In the 20th century more believers were martyred for their faith than all the previous centuries combined.

An estimated 200 million Christians currently live in areas where their faith in Christ means daily discrimination and persecution.

Eritrea: In Eritrea over 400 believers have been imprisoned in “punishment cells.” These metal containers have no windows and only a small door, subjecting the prisoners to near suffocation and intense physical discomfort. As the sun scorches the African soil, the temperatures rise to an almost unbearable level. Some of these Christians are singled out for a specific punishment. They are hung on a tree to imitate Jesus hanging on the cross. Insults are hurled at them as they are beaten. Their tormentors demand that they recant their Christian faith. Sometimes, security police allow families to post bail for their jailed relatives, issuing a stern warning to them to never again meet for worship or evangelize anyone, anywhere.

** For more info go to www.opendoorsUSA.org.

We are called to stand united with those who are persecuted for the glory of Christ.

“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. Pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains.”

Colossians 4:2-3(NIV)

It is us who live in freedom who can encourage those in chains.

I. The Battle Is Real

Sometimes we think that because we can’t see or don’t experience something, it is not real. Persecution is real. The results are lives being tortured or ended because of standing with Christ.

Jesus told us that Christians would experience persecution.

“You have heard that the law of Moses say, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you.” Matthew 5:43-44(New Living Translation)

Peter told Christians not to be ashamed for suffering.

“However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.”

1 Peter 4:16(NIV)

Jeff Young with stories of persecution.

**Sudanese Boys- {page 17}

The four young Sudanese boys cried and screamed out for their mothers but they refused to repeat the words that would mean saving their lives yet renouncing their Christianity. Their red blood began to flow across their black skin, but they would not give up their faith in Christ.

The older teenage boys looked in horror. They had seen their Southern Sudanese families murdered by sword-wielding Islamic fighters. Now they watched as their four young friends and relatives – the youngest only five years old—were beaten to death.

Already the soldiers had forced each older boy to lie over hot coals and ordered them to repeat the Muslim creed and join the Islamic faith.

There were fourteen boys and thirteen girls abducted in the raid that day. The girls have never been located and were likely sold as slaves or concubines in Northern Sudan. All of the boys were tortured, but none relented.


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