Christians face daily threats around the world in countries where freedom of faith is a far cry from reality. For example, international leaders in India and North Africa have power structures to acquire and maintain power, and minority groups are pushed aside. SOM International has witnessed this dynamic for over a decade on multiple continents around the globe.
Christians are the number one persecuted people group in the world. Why do Christians take the lead in affliction?
- The Gospel brings transformation (Revelation 21:5), and people hate change. Jesus’ heart is to restore a sinful and broken world, but many governments, systems, and peoples have adopted the entrenched “status quo” opposing change. For instance, centuries of ingrained Islamic social patterns in North Africa have limited Christians from having a strong voice.
Pray for the Holy Spirit to break down walls of resistance through key leaders that have a heart for the Lord. Biblical examples of key “agents of change” in positions of influence include Joseph, Esther, Daniel, and Nehemiah.
- The Gospel presses for surrender and the Holy Spirit’s control (Luke 9:23), contrasting structures and systems built upon man-made power. North Korea, for example, places extreme controls on their people’s minds, bodies, and souls, which keeps the vast majority in strict compliance and isolation.
Pray for the Holy Spirit to work supernaturally to engage the lost to experience Christ’s love in nations where the freedom to think for oneself is nearly impossible.
- The Gospel challenges demonic activity and Satan’s nefarious kingdom of sin.From the beginning of creation (Genesis 3), Satan has been at work to undermine faith and to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:However, light exposes the evil deeds of the night. In India, tribal leaders, Hindu priests, and principalities oppose messengers of the Word and truth.
Pray that the Father overrides the kingdom of darkness with His love, power, grace, and peace. Pray that His workers stand firm despite the great cost.
- The Gospel presses against economic barriers and entrenches financial structures that limit freedom for the industry. The grace of Christ empowers the poor and the outcast to find meaning and purpose. For this purpose, SOM International is working with previously unemployed widows to create new jobs in the sewing/embroidery industry.
Pray that the Lord would give encouragement and strength to believers to venture further and deeper into creating expanding work opportunities for the poor and disenfranchised.
- The widespread expansion of the Gospel has spread the Christian faith into untapped areas. The greater the expansion of Jesus’ spirit of freedom, the greater the opposition. Given that, the growth of SOM church planting in remote places continues to face an uphill climb against cultures opposing Christ.
Pray that the Lord would cleanse the Land and prepare the soil of men’s hearts as the Word goes forth across the globe.
Ultimately the Lord is using persecution to expand His Kingdom and to set apart His people to mature in faith. “But we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance character; and character, hope” (Romans 5:3–4 NIV).
Christians may be the world’s most persecuted faith group, but they are committed to taking the Good News of Jesus Christ to every tribe and nation. SOM International exists to serve those who risk much for Jesus worldwide.