Q.DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: I’ve been shocked recently by news reports about churches being bombed and Christians in various parts of the world being killed for their faith. Are these reports true? I thought things like this didn’t happen today. What can be done? — V.T.
By BILLY GRAHAM
Tribune Media Services
A. DEAR V.T.: Yes, these reports certainly are true and, in fact, we hear about only a small percentage of them, for millions of Christians today live in places that are hostile to their faith. It has been estimated that more Christians have died for their faith in the last 100 years than in all the previous centuries combined.
Why is this? One reason, of course, is because there are more Christians today, and they can be found in almost every country of the world. But often they’re very much in the minority — and others look down on them and consider them a threat to their society or religion. It shouldn’t be this way, of course; in my own travels I’ve discovered that Christians are almost always honest and hardworking, and are doing all they can to help others and improve their society.
We should never forget that Jesus was misunderstood and hated by many in his own day — and they eventually crucified him. Paul and the other early missionaries often met with persecution, and even death. Jesus warned his disciples, “No servant is greater than his master. If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also” (John 15:20).
What can we do? First, pray for your brothers and sisters in Christ who are in danger because of their faith. Pray, too, for those who seek to help them. In addition, take steps to strengthen your own faith in Christ, so that you may resist the temptations and pressures every believer faces from an unbelieving world.
© 2012 Tribune Media Services 12/13