Current Events – The Great Crisis

In the great crisis soon to pass, the faithful servants who “would fearlessly serve God according to the dictates of conscience, will need courage, firmness, and a knowledge of God and His Word, for those who are true to God will be persecuted, their motives will be impugned, their best efforts misinterpreted, and their names cast out as evil.” Acts of the Apostles, 431.

In more than 40 nations around the world today Christians are being persecuted for their faith. In some of these nations it is illegal to own a Bible, to share your faith in Christ, change your faith or teach your children about Jesus. Those who boldly follow Christ—in spite of government edict or radical opposition—can face harassment, arrest, torture and even death. Yet Christians continue to meet for worship and to witness for Christ, and the church in restricted nations is growing., October 31, 2013.

In various parts of the Muslim world, religious minorities are facing a reign of terror. In the Middle East, persecution has become so terrible and widespread some experts are predicting that non-Muslims may be entirely driven from the region known for millennia as the cultural crossroads. The situation facing the religious minorities has become ever more perilous with a shocking series of attacks that have garnered international media attention. Christian minorities of all faith communities are being targeted. So are Baha’is, Mandeans, Yizidis, Zoroastrians, Ahmadiyas, Druze, Jews, and other minorities in such countries. In recent weeks: in Pakistan, the Taliban for the first time bombed a church packed with Sunday worshipers, killing 85; Somalia’s al-Shabaab terrorists crossed into Kenya where they hunted down and shot dead dozens of non-Muslims in a shopping mall; and, in Egypt, Muslim Brotherhood supporters, scapegoating Coptic Christians, went on a rampage against churches and monasteries, destroying 40 of them. In Iran, the entire Baha’i leadership languishes in prison, as does American Christian pastor, Saeed Abidini. And in Iraq, over the past decade, some two-thirds of the ancient Christian community, fifty percent of the Yizidis (an off-shoot of Zoroastrians) and ninety percent of the Mandeans (followers of John the Baptist) have fled after being targeted by terrorists and abandoned by their government., September 13, 2013.

“For it is written, He shall give His angels charge over thee, to keep thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone (Luke 4:10, 11). …

“We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed (II Corinthians 4:6–9). “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal (II Corinthians 4:17, 18).” Early Writings, 28.