Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Matthew 5:11
This is another one of those hard teachings of Jesus, especially to those of who have never undergone real persecution. In fact, when we were thinking about moving to a Muslim country, I was amazed at the looks people gave me when I tried to explain that our mail would be read and our telephone conversations would be monitored. Then the real shocker was when I told people to never ever refer to us as missionaries (because the term “missionary” does not have a positive meaning in many lands).
It’s true. It’s many lands, it’s a crime to be a missionary. If you lead someone to Christ, it is dangerous for the person and his/her family if the authorities find out about the conversion. Such is the case of many of our Brothers and Sisters in Muslim, Hindu, and Communist lands.
And yet, the church is often vibrant (and possibly secret and underground). Growth occurs and the authorities scratch their heads because they think they’re rooting out the problem.
Pray today for Christians in the Indian state of Orissa. As many as 10,000 Christians have had to flee their homes, and up to 500 people have died at the hands of the Hindus. There isn’t a lot of news coming out of Orissa so the reports are sketchy.