the reality of Christian persecution & what you can do to help (from home or abroad!)

Okay, so you clicked on this post, probably expecting a tear-jerker or maybe a heart-puncher that left you down in the dumps for who-knows-how-long, right? You may be expecting some real kick-you-in-the-you-know-what talks from a man at a podium that just looks like fire and brimstone.

Well, let me put your mind at ease. I am not one of those writers.

My only goal in writing this post is not to guilt-trip you, but to encourage you. I’m not about putting you down, but firing you up to GO AND BE THE HANDS AND FEET OF LOVE.

Because you are called and commanded (Hebrews 13:1-3).

Because you have the ability (Philippians 4:13).

Because if you don’t do something, who will? (Tweet this!)

So, I ask of you. No, I beg of you, dear one, to feel the weight of what I’m trying to tell you in this post and do something about it.

I realize that many people, especially in America, have no clue what happens overseas, how severely Christians suffer, or even what being a Follower Of Christ really means.

And that breaks my heart.

So let’s get some edumucation, shall we?

In North Korea, Christians and their families (even if their families don't believe in Christ) are interrogated, sent to labor camps, or killed on the spot. Churches services are a HUGE risk and must be done in extreme secrecy. Check out this post for more info, stories, and ways you can help.

In Afghanistan, converting to Christianity basically means that you're "insane," according to Muslims, and you can possibly be forced into a psychiatric institution...if you're lucky. The alternative is to face beatings and violent death from your community. Believers risk everything to tell others about Christ, endangering both their lives and the people that they tell. Read this post to learn more.

In Syria, Christians have no political or social rights, and they are literally targeted for violent attacks. Their own families turn against them, some even threatening murder. Read this post for more info.

In Nigeria, being a Christian means that you run the risk of being physically injured, losing your property and livelihood, and being killed. This post has more info if you're interested. 

In China, Christians are forcibly taken away from their spouses and parents, barred from participating in baptisms or weddings, and are often threatened and bodily harmed. Check out this post to hear more.

And these are just a few.

If you’re a Christ-follower, this is your family. Your brothers and sisters. People who you are literally united as one with. This is your Body, and your Body is suffering.

Do you get it?

Are you listening?

Please, let's do something!

“Okay, Keela, I get it. But what can I do to help? I’m thousands of miles away.”

I’m glad you asked!

1.) Pray

Prayer is ridiculously powerful and, honestly, the most important tool in our tool belt for helping our persecuted family. Prayer shakes the foundations of the earth and travels miles to places we can't go to. Use it.

Prayer points:

  • that they will stand firm in the faith

  • that they will have God's peace that surpasses all understanding

  • that they will obediently and boldly go wherever God calls them

  • that God will give them safety

  • that they will forgive those who persecute them

  • that God will send out workers who will help them (you!)

Tools:

Ideas:

  • Pray for the persecuted at your small group or bible study

  • Ask your church staff if they can pray for the persecuted at every church service and/or put it in the church bulletin

  • Get a group of friends and do prayer meetings

  • Get a group of friends and pray through text or phone call

  • Ask your social media followers to pray

  • Set an alarm to pray everyday for the persecuted

  • Pray for them when you bless your meal

2.) Write

Write to persecuted Christians around the world. Yes, you can! FO' FREE. Encourage them in the faith, remind them that you're praying for them, send love!

3.) Donate

Okay, so maybe hands-on stuff isn't your thing. That's fine! We each have different roles to play. Your role could be to equip and send missionaries overseas to help the persecuted or provide the funds to get resources to restricted nations.

Did you know that people literally wait their entire lives and risk everything to get their hands on a Bible? You can be the one to bless them with one. (Tweet this!)

Side note: I have donated to the following organizations, and I can vouch for their legitimacy and integrity.

Tools:

4.) Volunteer

You don't have to go abroad in order to be a missionary. You can do it at home, sitting on your couch with a bowl of ice cream on your lap (I can testify to this!).

5.) Fundraise

Okay, so maybe you don't have the money to donate...but you know what you can do? Fundraise to get the money!

Ideas:

  • Sell T-shirts and give the proceeds to organizations that help the persecuted church (the links above are good resources)

  • Do a lemonade stand

  • Simply ask people to give!

  • Instead of a tip jar, set up a donation jar

  • Set up your business to donate a portion of its proceeds

  • This site has a bunch of ideas for fundraisers

6.) Petition

Um, yeah, you do have a voice, so demand that powerful voice of yours to be heard! You can influence political change around the world.

7.) Tell others

People don't know what's going on in the world, and they need someone to tell them. Take a leap of faith, and be that person!

Ideas:

  • Share on social media or your blog (Tweet this to get started!)

  • Tell your church or small group

  • Send your friends a link from VOM to pray

  • Ask your family to pray with you for them

  • Pray out loud for them in a public place

  • Put up a poster or hand out brochures at your school/workplace

  • Share this post ;)

How To Bring It Up In Conversation

  • I was reading an article earlier that broke my heart. Would you like to hear about it?

  • I was praying this morning for my persecuted family. Can you pray, too?

  • Did you know that many Christians all over the world die for their faith everyday?

  • Have you heard about this new opportunity to donate/petition/volunteer?

Oh, hey, and this might be a freaking fantastic opportunity to share the Gospel!

8.) GO!

If you feel the call to do more, then don't hesitate. GO and help your persecuted family. Find an organization that will send you and equip you. Go into restricted nations and share the Good News, no matter the cost. 

Build the kingdom, follow Christ, obey His command to go.

Our family needs us to move and to get off our lazy bums and help them. Our family is hungry and desperate for what we can give them.

So, my dear friend, after hearing about our brothers and sisters suffering all over the world, I have one question for you: Are you prepared to lose everything, even die, for the sake of Christ? (Tweet this!)

Okay, I know I said only one question, but I changed my mind. I have another: What can you do today to help our beloved family?

I'm in tears as I write this, because I don't want my brothers and sisters forgotten. I don't want to abandon my family, God's dearly beloved children. I don't want us, as a community, to sit in our comfortable church pews and go through the motions and sing our worship songs with insincere hearts and forget what being a Christian means -- giving up everything and following Christ. (Tweet this!)

Friend, I plead with you. Do something.

My King, thank you for giving me the freedom to share you with others, without the fear of losing my family, my belongings, or my life. Lord, i know that others don't have that freedom, so i lift them up to you right now. be with them, Lord, and equip them with whatever they need to walk in obedience with you. encourage their hearts, strengthen them, and give them peace and hope in whatever trials they are facing. i pray for my readers, Jesus. convict them and inspire them to help the persecuted, to live completely for you. lead them, guide them, and move in them. may they be on fire for you, giving up everything to follow your great name. use them for your glory, to build your kingdom. in Jesus' name, amen.

How are you going to help the persecuted Church? What ideas do you have? Comment below!