Troubles are a part of the Christian life as the spark flies upwards. There will be persecutions. Freedom of religious expression and freedom of speech are not guaranteed; they are dependent on the laws of one’s country. Further, freedoms written down on a piece of paper sometimes never leave the page; they are not enforced in practice. Additionally, there are often unofficial rules at play, cultural norms, which may go against the written laws and are intolerant of the freedoms provided by those laws. Christianity is a global religion and a global body. When any member suffers we all suffer. When any member is glorified we are all glorified. This is why we must be mindful of those who are being persecuted throughout the world because spiritually we are suffering along with them.
According to this Newsweek article Christian persecution throughout the world is worse than it ever has been (although honestly I’m not sure how they could measure that successfully). Therefore, I am thankful for those organizations that expose the persecutions of Christians throughout the world. I am writing this article to draw attention to these persecutions but also because I think it is very tempting to villainize our persecutors. We are commanded to pray for all people, particularly those in positions of authority. We are also commanded to pray for those who persecute us. So, with that being said, I pray that all Christians that are being persecuted are blessed and strengthened and I pray that all those who persecute Christians are blessed and forgiven. If Christians had not prayed for the Roman emperors would there ever have been a Constantine?