This Lent Season Consider - Persecution of Christians has Exponentially Increased in this Century

This morning I read an article by a Catholic writer George Weigel on Christian Persecution in the 20th century. It has been estimated by some Catholic circles that over 150,000 brother's & sisters have perished for their faith. The number is most probably higher. 

With the increasing influx of radicals in Syria, Africa, and the heavy hand of governments in North Korea, Iran, and the Middle East; many, many have lost their lives for naming the Name of Christ. In Matthew 24 we see in the Last Days persecution will exponentiate - and we see that today.

Hebrews 13.3 writes "Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body" 

I remember a statement by Richard Wurmbrand when I heard him speak as a kid at a conference on the Persecuted Church that while he spent those 14 years tortured for his faith in a communist prison there were times that angels would come an visit him and minister to him. Once he was told by an angel that they were there because the free church was praying for him in bonds.

I'd like to share a few excerpts from George Weigel's article  on persecution:
"We have been living, and we’re living now, in the greatest era of persecution in Christian history. More Christians died for the faith in the twentieth century than in the previous nineteen centuries of Christian history combined. And while the character of the persecutors has changed, from the lethal heyday of the twentieth-century totalitarianisms to the first decades of the twenty-first century, the assault on the Christian faithful today is ongoing, extensive, and heart-rending. Solidarity with the persecuted Church is an obligation of Christian faith."

Where it is happening:

(image courtesy of Open Doors)
Today when Christians get upset that they have to wait in line for their favorite Starbucks' drink or they get depressed because no one likes what they write on Facebook - they need to remember their brothers and sisters who have lost family, homes, all their belongings for the sake of the Gospel. One writer put it this way; Christians in the west need a good lesson on "Sufferology" - how to suffer well for the true treasure, gold tried in the fire. 

Mark Moore writes: "163,000 Christians die every year for their faith. Half of all the Christians who have ever died for their faith did so in this century alone, some 35 million" Read Mark Moore's essay on statistics of the persecuted church and how you can help. Also read websites like: Open Door's and Voice of the Martyrs to be educated and updated how you can pray.

This season of Lent is coming upon us - let's not focus on what we have to give up for God for Lent but what our brothers and sisters have lost for Christ's sake and that we remember them in prayer.