Editorial: Pray our brothers and sisters continue to grow in faith in midst of persecution

22 August 2023

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Today is International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief, when the world’s spotlight falls for 24 hours on victims of persecution and repression.

Today also many of our brothers and sisters in Pakistan are sifting through the ashes of their homes in Jaranwala trying to salvage what little they can after the devastating anti-Christian riots in the city.

The horrors of the violence they experienced at the hands of a rampaging mob will undoubtedly remain with them for many, many years to come.

A mob sets fire to furniture outside a church in Jaranwala during rioting in the city

We pray that today many people will pause to heed the cries of Christians in Pakistan. They are a small and despised minority and endure daily discrimination and poverty, as well as targeted violence that can erupt as suddenly as it did in Jaranwala, simply because of their love for our Lord Jesus Christ.

Agony goes on

Similarly, our Church family in Middle Belt and northern Nigeria live under daily threat of violent attack from Islamist extremists who murder and rape at will. At least 11,000 of our brothers and sisters have been killed since 2015 – and that’s a conservative estimate.

While in Nagorno-Karabakh believers are dying from starvation because the Christian enclave has been cut off from Armenia by a months-long blockade of the Lachin Corridor by Azerbaijan.

Yet still their agony goes on.

Hence, we request all our supporters to join with others around the world to pause for a moment to remember those who are persecuted for their faith, to pray for their safety and security and to plead that our Lord will continue to grow their faith in the midst of persecution and suffering because of their faith in Jesus Christ our Saviour.

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