Some American Christians consider persecution antiquated and believe that it happened thousands or hundreds of years ago but doesn’t happen today. The Voice of the Martyrs® indicates that “More Christians have been killed for their faith in the 20th century than have been martyred in the total history of Christianity.” In fact, all over the world, violence against Christians is intensifying. Here in America, the violent tones are escalating. Hostility is still on a psychological plane. But in the rest of the world, our brothers and sisters are in some cases dying, and in many cases experiencing physical torture as a result of their faith.

SRI LANKA – the National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka has reported increased threats and attacks against Christians. Last month, a mob of 50 people armed with rods attacked members of the King’s Revival Church while they were returning from a Sunday worship service. Four members were assaulted, including a child. The assailants also threatened believers belonging to the Tamil ethnic group, telling them they would be imprisoned if they returned to the church. Then, in another incident, a group of protestors gathered on the road near a church filled with worshippers and threatened them with violence. They prevented the scheduled service.

Ten students returning by railway to Believers’ Church Bible College were beaten by a group of masked men. Another group of attackers dragged a student into their van and severely beat him. One of the students ran for help, but was followed. A security guard who attempted to intervene was also attacked.

Pray for believers in Sri Lanka. Ask God to protect and encourage them. Pray for grace to forgive their persecutors. Pray that their testimonies will draw nonbelievers into fellowship with Christ. Isaiah 40:31

IRAQArchbishop Paulo Faraj Rahho is still in the custody of kidnappers who are demanding a ransom of $2.5 million. A church source says the conditions for the leader’s release are “impossible to fulfill.” Pray for Archbishop. Ask God to protect Christians in Iraq. They live under dangerous conditions in Baghdad. Pray for them to remain faithful and strong despite harsh conditions. Psalm 91

INDIAHindu extremists have assault the newly-elected president of the Balaghat Christian Association for providing legal help to victims of an earlier Hindu extremist attack a few weeks ago. The Hindu extremist group, Bajrang Dal, targeted Dr. Robin Singh, a medical doctor and Christian leader, “because of the legal and administrative help offered to Tom George, Sunil Lal and others who had been dragged from a Lent meeting and beaten with bamboo poles, sticks, rods and other weapons. They struck him with their fists and wooden sticks, as well as kicked him, to deftly give him internal injuries.” Pray for believers injured in both attacks. Pray God gives Christians in India courage to stand for Him despite persecution. Also pray believers will forgive their persecutors. Psalm 103:1-5

INDONESIANoviana Malewa is a beautiful 15-year-old girl – except for her scar. There is also a sadness in her eyes and level of resolve coupled with insight much deeper than that of a typical teen.

Last fall, Noviana and three other teens were on the way to their Christian high school near Poso, Indonesia. Suddenly, from alongside the footpath and out of the tropical foliage sprang six masked men, all dressed in black and wielding machetes. Noviana was no match for such forces. But she fought bravely. She was struck across the side of her face and neck with a machete. She fell to the ground and rolled down into a ravine. Above, she heard her friends screaming. Then, a van of soldiers arrived, rescued her and took her to a hospital. She was the only survivor out of her peers that day. She has been hidden away in a Christian village and placed under police protection, pending a trial. Her testimony will be critical in court.

The radical Muslims who had killed her friends and thought they had killed her are still looking for her. It has been too dangerous for her to even attempt a hospital visit until recently.

Pray for Noviana. Pray for the intense Muslim-on-Christian persecution in Indonesia.

It shouldn’t surprise us. In John 15:18, Jesus said that if the world hated Him, that it would hate those who follow Him. How will we handle such open persecution when it comes to the United States? It is coming!

Adapted from a report by Voice of the Martyrs

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