According to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, 79.5% of the population of the United States is Christian. When I look at this number, it causes me to ask, “Where are all these Christens?” I have not heard the voices of Christian men and women raised in opposition to the atrocities happening in the Middle East. I have not heard the church speak out about the Christians losing their jobs and businesses across the United States, because they do not support same sex marriage.
Where is the church? Do we believe what God told Paul the Apostle: Now the Lord spoke to Paul in the night by a vision, “Do not be afraid, but speak, and do not keep silent; (Acts 18:9).
We have not been called to be silent in the face of great Christian persecution. We should not cower in the shadows, afraid to speak out because it is not politically correct to stand for Christ and those being persecuted in His name. If we truly believe in God and what Christ did on the Cross, we should not act in fear. We should be the most fearless people in the world.
We have seen Christians in the private sector and in the military lose their jobs because they would not cave in to political correctness. They stood upon the Word of God, trusting in Him. They believe and live the words written in Acts 4:18-20, when Peter and John were released from prison:
So they called them and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.”
We have to decide whether it is right to be obedient to man instead of God. Do I remain silent about sin, because secular society has decided to “evolve” in their thinking and embrace sin, all in the name of tolerance? When it comes to sin, the Bible is quite clear. There is no evolution on what sin is. It is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. God has not changed His mind, so we must not change ours, to accommodate society’s demands.
As Americans, we have become very complacent. We have not experienced the tremendous persecution Christians have experienced around the world. Because we have experienced great freedoms in this country and enjoyed unbelievable comfort, we have fallen asleep. In many ways, we have become isolationists. We do not think about what is happening in our country, much less around the world, because it does not affect us directly.
It is time to take the blinders off and look around. American freedoms are being taken away. Christians in America are beginning to experience persecution, unlike anything we have seen in the past. If we remain silent, religious liberty will disappear and we will be experiencing what is happening in many countries around the world.
What is happening around the world? Religious persecution is on an increase around the world. According to Pew Research, in 2007, social religious hostility was at 20% and in 2011 it rose to 33%. The percentage of people living under high or very high levels of social hostility towards religion went from 45% in 2007 to 74% in 2011. These numbers are frightening. Anti-Semitism is on the rise across Europe and the Middle East. In the same study, Pew Research found harassment of Jewish people reach a high in just seven years. In 2007 26% of Jews experienced harassment. This increased to 39% in 2013.
Christians and Jews are being murdered in their offices, in restaurants and on the street. In the Middle East and Northern Africa, Christian men, women and children are being crucified, beheaded and burned alive. Young girls are being sold into slavery, with girls as young as 9 years old being raped by old men, not once but repeatedly.
The Christian world is experiencing incredible persecution, but the Christian people are silent. There is no outcry about these atrocities. The silence is almost deafening. Are we reading our Bibles? Are we praying? Are we taking the time to be silent and hear from the Lord? Are His people going to fall on their faces before His throne and pray for His people? Are His people going to write letters, make phone calls and speak in the public square about the persecution of His people?
If we have read our Bibles, we know God’s people have suffered from the beginning. It is the work of Satan. It is his desire to destroy God’s people, but, again, if we have read our Bibles, we know the end and He wins—so we win. We do not have to live in fear. We have to live boldly proclaiming God’s Word, standing by God’s people, both the Jewish people and the Christians. If we make a stand for Christ, we will be able to say, like Paul the Apostle:
holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain. Yes, and if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all (Philippians 2:16-17).