Mission Issues

Thinking and re-thinking missionary issues

Facing Persecution

Well, this is my first post on the blog since arriving in Russia. What a country! It’s so amazing to me to see each year, since I’ve been coming here the first time in 2001, that the infrastructure keeps on improving. On Sunday, as I was preaching in the church I was amazed to see how many people are attending. Every year this church is also growing in number (although it is still fairly small) and it was a real pleasure to be there. I had flown with a Northern Africa airline and spent two days with local Christians in the country of origin, visiting other Christians, getting an opportunity to visit a huge church and also going to a Bible School where I was asked to take one of the lectures on missions before continuing to Russia.
While speaking to the local church leader in this country and later speaking to a pastor in Russia, I realised that the persecution of Christians is a reality. Some of the persecution is very subtle. In Russia the times are past when Christians had to fear for their lives, But Protestant churches are still viewed with great suspicion and TV programs in which sects are discussed, often include mainline Protestant churches in such programs. Oh boy, it was quite a shock today to find out that I am considered to be part of a sect while teaching here! Hopefully, as times go by, the situation will change.
In other countries, such as the one I visited on my way to Russia, persecution is a much greater reality. The pastor I met with has been threatened. Attempting to convert anyone to Christianity is against the law and may be punished by death even though Christians are allowed to meet freely.
South Africa has, as far as religion is concerned, one of the most liberal laws in the world, For many Christians this is a great concern. I for one feel that it may be to our benefit as the preaching of the gospel can freely take place. Laws within a country will not promote the gospel of Christ. All that can really promote it is when people experience in their own lives the benefit of serving the living God.
One of the blogs I follow concerns the persecuted church. You can see the blog here. The fact is that persecution is a part of the daily life of millions of Christians all over the world.

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Monday, April 21, 2008 - Posted by | Theology

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