Thursday, June 23, 2011

The most vulnerable part: Children of the persecuted Church

Khmu children in Southeast Asia
Do you have children?

If so, to what lengths would you go to protect them? What sacrifices would you be willing to make for their well-being? Your immediate answer might be, “Anything! I’ll do whatever it takes to ensure their safety and happiness.”

But for our brothers and sisters in restricted nations, these questions are incredibly difficult. Like any parent, they want the best for their children; they want their kids to be healthy and happy, to have stability and protection. But they also desire that their children learn the way of our Lord—to put Him first in their lives, regardless of the outcome.

From a young age, children of the persecuted Church learn that following Jesus does not guarantee a life free of danger or heartache. The reality is that many Christian children suffer threats, the loss of home or church, oppression from the community, and even death in their families.

“Children are the most vulnerable part of the suffering church,” Carl Moeller wrote in an article for Crosswalk. “They are highly susceptible to the impact of being persecuted for their faith. In lands where Christians are oppressed minorities, the youngest, weakest members of society are at particular risk because no one in power will advocate for them.”

Perhaps the earlier questions should be rephrased. Do you have children? If so, to what lengths would you go to ensure they understand their calling as Christ’s representatives? What sacrifices would you be willing to make as a family to whole-heartedly follow Him?

The Voice of the Martyrs is committed to standing with families and children of the persecuted Church as they seek to make Jesus their first priority. In the July edition of our monthly newsletter, we share stories of children who are suffering for Christ’s sake in Sri Lanka, India and Nigeria and how you can get involved in showing them love and support. You can sign up for your free copy here.

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