“The constitutional freedom of religion is the most inalienable and sacred of all human rights,” Thomas Jefferson, 1816.
In this statement, one of our Founding Fathers expressed an important truth about religious freedom. As election week begins to unfold, it’s easy to worry over what’s to come or what would happen if we lose those religious rights. However, for millions of people across the globe, the freedom to practice their religion is as farfetched as Americans wondering how they could live without it.
In America on Sundays, many families get up and eat something quick for breakfast. Mothers run around looking for hair bows and shoes that never seem to be in the right places. Meanwhile, other COVID protocols allowed families to sit on the couch in their PJ’s watching their preacher on Zoom, Facebook, or television. Regardless of what method of church attendance, there was little fear of persecution.
Think back to 2015. Hearts broke when headlines announced ISIS had murdered 21 Christian men on a beach in Libya. Today, many still suffer from persecution. In Laos, a 15-year-old boy named Seng was kicked out of his house for refusing to renounce Christianity. In Ethiopia, pastor Negus was murdered for his faith after refusing to give money to rebels. In Vietnam, Dinh, a 49-year-old woman, was burned by local officials for choosing to stand with Christ.
Open Doors USA reported the following in January 2020:
- Last year, 2,983 Christians were killed for faith-related reasons.
- 3,711 Christians were detained without trial.
- 9,488 churches or Christian buildings were attacked.
Likewise, Voice of the Martyrs (VOM) reports 30,000 Christians have been displaced from their homes, are losing loved ones, and are lacking basic needs due to government attacks on their faith.
Living in the land of the free and the home of the brave means that we aren’t as familiar with persecution as many others. Yet, across the world, Christians are being forced from their homes, murdered, and tortured due to their faith. And today, November 1st, VOM is encouraging believers to join them in praying for persecuted individuals around the world.
This week, many of us are worried, troubled, and ready to see the results of the election. However, so many of our brothers and sisters across the world, don’t have the option to vote for the protection of sacred human rights, much less religious freedom. Instead of worrying who’s governing, their only concern is to boldly proclaim the name of Christ, no matter the consequence.
Pray for the persecuted.
Finally, brothers, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored, as happened among you, and that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men. For not all have faith. But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one. And we have confidence in the Lord about you, that you are doing and will do the things that we command. May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ (2 Thessalonians 3:1-5).
For 50 years, Voice of the Martyrs has been reaching out and ministering to the persecuted. Today, they are hosting a global international day of prayer for those suffering. Due to COVID, the ministry is also hosting a free online Virtual Advance conference. Speakers include VOM staff, testimonies of persecution, and worship music by Keith and Kristyn Getty. To attend the virtual conference, click here.
At icommittopray.com, VOM regularly updates and posts prayer requests concerning situations involving persecuted brothers and sisters worldwide.