Blind Spots and the Persecuted

One aspect of the definition of “blind spots” speaks to the intentional ignorance and the persistent lack of insight or awareness about a specific area of one’s belief or behavior, the recognition of which would be painful.  Few – or you might say that almost no – Christians in Western culture can say that they have ever been seriously persecuted for their faith.  It is doubtful that we actually know someone who has been persecuted.  It is appalling and disgraceful that these same believers never give thought to supporting the persecuted church worldwide.  One persecuted believer that has spent decades being tortured in prison made the statement, “I suffer more from the complacency of the West than from persecution.”

There is no adequate way to describe the plight of the persecuted church.  It is difficult to talk of the unspeakable physical and psychological torture that they endure and, many times, do not survive.  They are ostracized from their families, blacklisted in their communities, and expelled from their countries.  Under constant possibility of arrest, they hold secret meetings to sing, pray, and encourage themselves in the Scriptures, which are usually single pages, hand copies, or passages they have memorized.  They must suffer with whole families being separated, many times for years at a time.  And still they are not deterred from witness.  When and if they are released from prison, most return immediately to ministering.  They pray for their persecutors. 

What will we do?!  What must we do?!  Let us begin with REPENTANCE for our willful ignorance and indifference for the persecuted Church.  Then let us READ THEIR STORIES so that we might become acquainted with them, so we are able to pray for them consistently.  We must RESEARCH ways in which we can help in tangible ways.  There are reputable faith-based organizations that are effective in this kind of guidance.  And let us REJECT any foolish superstition that helping them might put us in harm’s way.  And what if it does?!

Be consistently mindful of those in bondage [for their testimony of Jesus Christ] as if you were imprisoned with them.  Regard their persecution as though it was happening to you…as if you were wearing their bodies.  We are one Body in Christ.  Hebrews 13:3