7.15.2008

The 40 Day Fast: Eritrea & our family in chains



Today I am blogging for a different reason.
I am part of a project called "The 40 Day Fast".
Blogging with me today is:
Natalie Grant

please check out her post as well.


The little country of Eritrea has been on my heart for a long time. The Lord put it there and I pray, I weep, I intercede for my brother and sisters. The current info from the Voice of the Martyrs site is this:

Eritrea

Eritrea is dominated by war and drought. The Eritrean Marxist government ordered all independent Protestant churches to close in May 2002, declaring only a few religions were legal.

Religion: Muslim 47.97%, Christian 47.43%

Ideological Influence: Military dictatorship/Communism

Persecution: Magos Solomon Semere, 30, died in military prison in February 2007, four and a half years after he was imprisoned for worshipping at a banned Protestant church. He died from relentless physical torture and lack of treatment for pneumonia. He was the third Christian killed within a year. There are at least 2,000 Eritrean Christians now under arrest without trial or legal charges, solely for their religious beliefs. Under the totalitarian regime of President Isaias Afworki, religious repression has escalated further in the past two years.

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And of those 2,000, many are being held in metal shipping containers! I hate it... but we serve a God who is bigger then those horrible circumstances... and He commands us to PRAY.

Hebrews 13:3
"Remember the prisoners, as though in prison with them, and those who are ill-treated, since you yourselves also are in the body."

There have been more Christian martyrs in the last century then in all of history.

It is estimated that at least 1 Christian will die for his or her faith every 3 1/2 minutes.

Average Christians Martyred each year since 1800s

1800 ~ 2,500
1900 ~ 34,400
1970 ~ 377,000
2000 ~ 160,000
2008 ~ 175,000
2025 ~ estimated 210,000

Since the birth of the Church in 33 A.D., 70 million Christians have been martyred. And today there are approximately 200 million Christians living under Persecution.

There are bold Christians everywhere standing up for their faith in the face of imprisonment, torture, and death.

Why are so many Christians, young and old, willing to lay down their lives for their beliefs? In the face of certain pain and death of themselves and/or loved ones, why do thousands die every year, for a belief that many in our country call "a lie"?

Because they know without a shadow of a doubt that what the Bible says is true. They do not argue over doctrine, or what color chairs will look good in their church… most times they do not have a church; they simply love the Lord and have hope and joy, despite overwhelming circumstances that demand their very lives.

Many times it is hard to comprehend these stories and statistics we read or hear about until faced with it personally.

A few years ago, I was in Russia and a Pastor there was talking to me about the church in His country and the church in the United States.

“Only 10 years ago,” he said, “the church in Russia was under persecution. It is still fresh in everyone’s mind. Now we have this window of Freedom, and we are going to use every opportunity we’ve got. We know at any moment that this freedom can be taken away. Christians in America don’t function like that, do they?”

That was a sobering day for me. What was I doing with this Gospel that has been entrusted to me? What is the church in America doing? If God’s demonstration of His own love for us, was that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us, (Romans 5:8) why should we stop at anything less then giving our lives wholly and completely to Him, and sharing this message of the hope of Salvation?

The responsibility is laid upon Christians to use this freedom, we fight so hard for, and declare who Jesus is to everyone we can. Paul exhorts us in Galatians 5:13, to not use this freedom granted to us as an opportunity for the flesh, but that through love we should serve one another.

Here's some of their faces from Eritrea... in the beginning of June, 34 more were arrested for gathering together. Being accused of treason because of worshiping Jesus. Daniel knew what this was like... and the Lord saved him from the mouths of lions... and the Lord can do it again.

Naizghi, Dr. Gebremeskel, Pastor Tesfatsion Hagos
Haile Naizghi, Dr. Gebremeskel, Pastor Tesfatsion Hagos
Write a letter to a prisoner in jail: http://www.prisoneralert.com/

Find out more at: Voice of the Martyrs or Open Doors

8 comments:

  1. Anonymous12:01 AM

    Kjere, thanks for writing this. Are you fasting for 40 days?

    Love, Snax

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  2. Thanks... And no. I am not fasting for 40 days. The point of the project is to make people aware and prayerful beyond themselves. Focused not on feeding our flesh but serving others

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  3. Kjaera,
    Thanks for talking about the persecuted church. There is so much going on that many do not realize. I'll be praying for you today and for the church.

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  4. transitionpete7:37 AM

    Thanks for this post! Our small group just had a conversation about Eritrea and the persecution there via Voice of the Martyrs! It is CRAZY to think that this kind of persecution happens around the world -- and we're so cush and comfy here in the "western" world.

    Prayers for you and Eritrea today!

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  5. Praying for you today. This is dear to my heart also.

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  6. Thank you so much for sharing your heart. I am praying for you today.

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  7. This is a great post, thank you for being a part of the 40 day fast.

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  8. Anonymous8:41 AM

    This is unbelieveable. I thought that this was happening only in China now. Is a government in Africa doing this? We Liberians, like the Americans, should not take the freedom to worship the Lord Jesus for granted. It is time to pray.

    ReplyDelete

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