I looked up the word persecute on an online dictionary and this is the definition I found...
persecute: to harass or punish in a manner designed to injure, grieve, or afflict; specifically : to cause to suffer because of belief
Sounds about right, huh?!? I'm pretty sure I've never ever REALLY been persecuted for my beliefs. There have been times when I've felt angered because of the way people interacted with me or because I was treated as an annoyance when I shared my heart but that about sums up my grievances with society as a whole.
I grew up in a home where on Sunday mornings my mom put rollers in my "already" curly hair and we all packed out the station wagon for the 6 minute trek to church. I sat in a pew next to my grandmother and rummaged through her purse searching for breath spray or gum. I traced the wrinkles in her hands with my little nubby fingers as she sang the hymns. Life was good and life was EASY! We grew up in the safety of knowing that after church we could eat lunch with family and friends or down the street at the nearest buffet. I never once was concerned that we'd be taken to jail or pulled into the streets for joining together to worship the ONE who had redeemed us from everything we deserved. Know what I mean?!?
As I grew older we moved to a neighboring town where things moved at a faster pace. My family attended a very large church in order for me and my brother to have lots of great Christian friends and accessibility to great Christian resources which I am unmistakeably thankful for. Does this sound anything similar to your life? Possibly it is very familiar and possibly it doesn't ring true at all. Maybe you didn't grow up in a Christian home or don't have a relationship with THIS JESUS I'm referring to even now in which case this post really won't apply to you at all but regardless I'm guessing you too, have not suffered for the sake of Christ. It just doesn't happen in the western world today.
I recently watched a video posted on my good friend's website and was utterly sickened and angered! I spent the last few minutes of the video crying and trying to understand why and how I could be seeing WHAT I was seeing. I pray you, too, won't close your eyes to what is happening around the world to our brothers and sisters in Christ. We as believers MUST get on our knees praying for these brothers and sisters that are suffering but even more we must decide right here and now whether we are willing to GIVE our lives for what we believe. I don't mean have our lives taken...that is something completely different. I MEAN TAKE UP OUR CROSS AND FOLLOW AFTER HIM AND BE WILLING TO GO ANYWHERE AND DO ANYTHING FOR THE SAKE OF CHRIST.
I'm posting 2 videos. The first one is the response to the second. Francis Chan is discussing his thoughts about the video that I'll link at the end. I'm simply going to link the unedited film and obviously you don't have to watch it but I encourage you to at least watch the first. It will leave you feeling as if we need to come up with a new definition for the word PERSECUTION!!!
Orissa has one of the worst records for violence against Christians, due in part to the activities of a religious fundamentalist group. Many churches have been destroyed and Christian workers continue to be attacked. There is a law prohibiting conversion and, since 2000, baptism requires the permission of the government. About a year ago, Hindu radicals went on a "bloody rampage that left 50,000 Christians fleeing for their lives into the state's forests."
I want you to be aware that this is hard to watch but I definitely don't think we should close our eyes to the realities the people of Orissa face. ALSO NOTE THIS IS NOT FOR CHILDREN!!
LINK TO ORISSA VIDEO