Each week I hope to give you a story or some information about what is occurring within the Persecuted Church. Are you aware that in 2016 there are 68 countries on the globe which are classified by Voice of the Martyrs as Restricted, Hostile, or Monitored regarding the Gospel of Jesus Christ?
Restricted = countries where government-sanctioned circumstances or anti-Christian laws lead to Christians being harassed, imprisoned, killed or deprived of possessions or liberties because of their witness. Also included are countries where government policy or practice prevents Christians from obtaining Bibles or other Christian literature.
Hostile = nations or large areas of nations where governments consistently attempt to provide protection for the Christian population but where Christians are routinely persecuted by family, friends, neighbors or political groups because of their witness.
Monitored = areas being closely monitored by Voice Of the Martyrs because of a trend toward increased persecution of Christians. The frequency and severity of persecution do not currently meet the criteria of the Hostile category.
You can go onto the website of Voice of the Martyrs (www.persecution.com) and view a map and also a detailed Global Report for 2016 which gives information on all 68 of these countries.
WHY is this important for us to know? Because as Christians living in a nation where we are FREE to worship the Lord we need to be THANKFUL for that and not take it for granted. Then, we need to PRAY for our persecuted family around the world, because they are counting on US for prayers and hoping we do not forget them!