Can you imagine being beaten daily in prison and condemned to capital punishment for the “crime” of publicly professing Jesus Christ? This is the reality for many fellow believers around the world. Did you know you can bring those persecuted believers hope? There are several practical ways you can encourage and even be part of setting them free!
Practical Way #1: Voice of the Martyrs is a great resource in finding out what is happening to persecuted Christians around the world. By visiting their website you can access stories and updates of Christians persecuted for their faith. This website has pictures and stories of Christians that are imprisoned, why they were imprisoned, how long they have been imprisoned and their conditions in prison. There are also stories of people who were persecuted but released and amazing stories of the Gospel being preached in places like North Korea and the Middle East.
Practical Way #2: After visiting the Voice of the Martyrs website you can start to pray for individuals and unreached people groups that are mentioned. Keep a prayer journal as you pray for these people and countries. Consider getting the book Operation World (you can order it here so you can read of countries that are unreached or closed to the Gospel and start being dedicated to pray for them.
Practical Way #3: Petition for the release of these persecuted prisoners. The Voice of the Martyrs has links that you can use to petition for the release of these imprisoned Christians; these petitions are sent to the government of the country where they are imprisoned. THIS IS IMPORTANT because the more people who petition for the persecuted prisoner the higher the chances are for the government of that country to release them.
Practical Way #4: Write letters of encouragement to these faithful believers. When you click on the face of a prisoner you will see on the left below their picture a place that says “Write letter” (right above that is also the place where you can e-mail the government for the petition of their release), and when you click on this you can choose 12 phrases and it will translate it for you into their language. Once you have chosen one of the 12 phrases it will be sent to them from Voice of the Martyrs.Here is a link to write a letter to one of the prisoners, a 37 year old Pakistani woman who has been in prison since 2009. Letters of encouragement can be crucial in helping these brothers and sisters in Christ know that they are not alone and that other believers are thinking of them - a very special ray of hope!
Practical Way #5: There are many different projects or financial donations you can help with that send necessary needs to strengthen Gospel outreaches, or help in several other ways like: financially help the families left behind when a Christian is martyred, support medical missions that help provide medical treatment to persecuted Christians, help fund or assemble parachutes that Columbian missionaries use to reach violent FARC guerrillas, and many other different opportunities. If you’re interested in any of these, visit this link.
God can use you to strengthen and encourage persecuted Christians all over the world and you don’t have to leave the house to do it – amazing how God uses technology! Don’t keep this to yourself - share your ideas with your church, friends, or Bible studies and find ways you can all work together to strengthen the persecuted church!
Hope McCleary graduated from Mesa State College with a degree in Mass Communications. After graduating she spent two years working in local news at KKCO 11 News in Grand Junction, Co. She decided to give up her career in the media to share the message of Christ full-time. She joined full-time staff with Master Plan Ministries the summer of 2012 and got married to Forrest McCleary in September of 2012. Through her own personal ups and downs in college Hope has a heart for college women understand their worth as God’s daughters, to see them grow in their faith, to grow in the unique gifts God has given them, and to stand firm in their faith even with the pressures of the world all around them. Hope’s interests include world and local missions, photography, singing, playing guitar and writing music, reading, meeting new people, coffee, and hiking.
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