The plight of persecuted Christians is worse than ever. That is the conclusion of a recent report by Aid to the Church in Need. It documents that the persecution of Christians today is worse than at any time in history. “Not only are Christians more persecuted than any other faith groups, but ever-increasing numbers are experiencing the very worst forms of persecution.”
In some countries the situation is already severe, so it is hard to imagine how it could be any worse. Other countries, like China, have seen intolerance on the rise, as evidenced by a clampdown on dissident clergy and the destruction of churches.
In light of this, I was deeply convicted by my recent interview with Johnnie Moore. He came on Point of View to talk about his new book The Martyr’s Oath. He begins the book and began our interview by talking about attending a Bible school graduation ceremony. The students repeated this martyr’s oath in which they pledged their lives and deaths to Jesus. He felt like he was standing in the book of Acts, witnessing “a raw, first-century Christianity” that he had been shielded from in America.
It says things like: “As He has given His life for me, so I am willing to give my life for Him. I will use every breath I possess to boldly proclaim His gospel.” It later goes on to say, “Though persecution may come, I know my battle is not against flesh but against the forces of evil. I will not hate those whom God has called me to love. Therefore, I will forgive when ridiculed, show mercy when struck, and love when hated.”
Johnnie Moore often asks himself, “Why are so few of us in America willing to live for Jesus when others are so willing to die for Him?” It’s a good question all of us should ask ourselves.