Have you ever considered what it must be like to be a surgeon? I'm asking because the overwhelming majority of people in life, are not surgeons. Most of us will never go to medical school and most of us will never learn to cut into a dead corpse and take out a heart in order to do a heart transplant on someone. Truth be told, you would not catch me near a corpse or blood or anything remotely that gory! I don't have the stomach to even look at medical shows on television where they do these types of things.
I bring this up because every day I read through a number of news articles about Christians being persecuted all over the world. Some days, to be honest, it's pretty depressing. I get to read about how Muslims are chopping off the heads of other Christians, or how Boko Haram has decided to murder more of my brothers and sisters in Christ. When I'm not reading about that, I'm reading about how Christians in China, Indonesia, North Korea and other countries are being tortured and imprisoned for their faith in Christ. It can get a person down, especially when you consider that despite your efforts to inform other Christians about it, so many of those Christians you're trying to inform just hit the snooze button, yawn and then go back to sleep. It gets very old.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not into depressing people. I certainly don't want to complain that the overwhelming majority of the Christians I know are clueless about the plight of the persecuted church, but I have to admit that there are some days when I really would like to give a loud speech and tell people, "Look, your Christianity is not what Christians all over the world are living out as Christians."
I mean, seriously, how hard is it to write a letter to a persecuted Christian? How hard is it to give a few dollars a month to get bibles into a restricted nation? How hard is it to pray every day for the persecuted church?
It really isn't that hard at all. The Voice of the Martyrs has a great mobile phone app, which according to the Android page where downloads are recorded, there are between 1000-5000 downloads of the app. But did you know that every day there are only between 250-400 people who actually use the app to pray? Why download an app that you're not going to use? I don't understand it.
Did you know that there are about 15 profiles of persecuted Christians on our Prisoner Alert page that could use some letters of encouragement? We've highlighted one of those believers every week for years. How many have you written?
What about Asia Bibi, we've had a Call for Mercy Petition going for Asia for over a year now and we've been trying to get one million people to sign the petition, which is asking for a Call for Mercy for her and yet there's just over 619,000 signatures and only 212, 494 of those are from the United States! How hard is it to sign a petition?
The Voice of the Martyrs Facebook page has over 122, 000 likes but only two to three percent of the people who have liked that page engage with the content on that page. I think that's pretty sad.
However, I have to say that the reason I feel this way sometimes is because I do this every day. Just like a heart surgeon does surgery and understands the ease of how to do that, and the necessary information to know, I think it's the same way with our jobs. I'm sure some heart surgeons get sick and tired of telling people to eat a low fat diet and to get plenty of exercise. And yet, I bet that same surgeon rejoices when he sees one of his cardiac patients recover fully and then live a healthier lifestyle.
My point is this, I know I am called to spread the word about the persecuted church and get the word out every day about what's happening. I realize that if something doesn't directly impact your life, that you're not going to pay attention to it. That's pretty evident by the little remnant of Christians online I see engaging this issue on a daily basis. However, I have to say that we - especially as American Christians - need to not neglect our education and understanding of what is happening with the persecuted church. There could come a time when Christians in America are persecuted by our government. There could come a time when Christians in America are imprisoned for simply being a Christian.
My hope and my prayer is that we consider this, while we still have our religious freedoms available and while we are free to speak on behalf of those who need all of us to pay attention, write letters, pray and even give money to causes that support the persecuted church.
And do not neglect praying for the people, like me, and others who work tirelessly behind the scenes, on a daily basis, who are just trying to help everyone know that the persecuted church IS our family and that when one part of the body suffers, we all suffer.
Remember, one day it might be you who is in prison. One day it could be you, who needs prayer. Some day it could be you, that we don't want people to forget.
Take action today and support those who need YOU to do that.