Monday, May 30, 2011

Remembering Their Sacrifice

Memorial Day draws to a close and for many it was a day for family gatherings, remembrance celebrations of lives given in sacrifice for our country and the placement of flowers on the graves of loved ones.  Did you know there is another group of individuals whose memory we should also cherish?  The Christians around this world who are martyred for their faith.  Until last week I did not realize that around 176,000 Christians are martyred in a year.  One Christian gives up their life for their faith every three minutes.  I realize this number was provided in 2009, but I suspect the number could be low instead of high. 

Open Doors USA provides an annual World Watch List of the countries where "faith costs the most".  Their rating system ranges from Severe Persecution (North Korea) to Some Problems (Malaysia).  It's reported that in North Korea they test chemical and biological weapons on Christians. An estimated 40,000 to 60,000 believers are imprisoned for their faith.

"They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented—
of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth."  Hebrews 11:36-37

The top 10 worst countries to live in as a Christian:
  1. North Korea
  2. Iran
  3. Afgahanistan
  4. Saudi Arabia
  5. Somalia
  6. Maldives
  7. Yemen
  8. Iraq
  9. Uzbekistan
  10. Laos
It's sad to note that eight of the top ten are Muslim countries.  Could there possibly be any connection between this religion and the persecution of Christians? 

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