In this Missions Friday interview, Jeff King, the President of International Christian Concern, shares his experience working with the persecuted church in 65 countries. Often, when we think of persecution, we think of the early church. But in fact, Christians are more heavily persecuted now than at any time in history. Radical Muslims are the main perpetrators, and sometimes radical Hindus or oppressive regimes. In fact, the oil-wealthy elite of Saudia Arabia fund many of the world's militant Islamic groups that terrorize Christians.
Often, we think of such persecution as a bleak, dark experience. But, according to President King, persecution has a positive effect on the church because persecution promotes revival. President King saw this firsthand in Cuba and China. Nonetheless, as Christians in the West, we're to care for our persecuted brothers and sisters, because Jesus lives inside of them.
King also reveals a key to understanding a person's decision to die for Christ. As President King beautifully puts it, the Christian not only made Christ their king, but made Christ their treasure. As a result, it isn't difficult for them to die for Jesus. Because they long-ago sold out to Jesus, they've already been living as martyrs. Moreover, their faith illuminates the question, “What does it mean to be a Christian?”
To learn more, visit persecution.org, where you can read daily updates on the persecuted church. You can also sign up for a free newsletter, new book(let), and donate!