So often I feel removed from the persecuted church. Pastor Rob Turner, of Apex Community Church in Dayton, OH., just recently said in a sermon that perhaps one of the reasons why the churches in our country aren't facing persecution is that perhaps we have redefined discipleship so much that it's not worth getting beaten over. I highly recommend you listening to his sermon "Absolute" on October 24th, 2010 (you can check it out HERE). Regardless of whether or not we see/feel the persecution going on in this world, it definitely exists. Please, let me encourage you go to this website and read about Sayed Mossa. Sayed is in prison in Afghanistan for converting from Islam to Christianity. His letter reveals that he has not only faced imprisonment without formal charges, legal representation, or equal protection, but he is experiencing emotional, physical, and sexual abuse. His appeal is heart-wrenching, signing it "Your Destitute Brother."
The reality is, many of our brothers and sisters are facing unjust treatment across the world for their faith. And no, although we can't fly across the ocean and physically save them there are action steps that we CAN take.
(1) Pray for the persecuted church. A few great resources are International Christian Concern: www.Persecution.org and the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church: www.idop.org
(2) Pray specifically for Sayed. Pray that he will stand strong in the face of persecution and that the Lord will free him from his captives.
(3) Pray for the salvation of those who are torturing Sayed. I love the story of Paul in Acts 16 when Paul's jailer came to know Christ. I pray that the same scenario will be said of Sayed and his persecutors.
(4) Write your Congressman and the White House!!!!!!! Seriously folks, it's way too easy to be lazy. Go to this website Write Your Representative and this one to Write the White House. It takes just a few seconds to make a request. Less than five minutes and you don't even need a stamp.
Alright... I want to leave you with this encouraging verse. Regardless of what we can/cannot do, our Lord is sovereign and He is the defender of the oppressed. Take courage not in what we can do, but what our Lord can do.
Psalm 10:17-18: "You, LORD, hear the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry, defending the fatherless and the oppressed, so that mere earthly mortals will never again strike terror."