As a small child I sang the song, “Onward Christian Soldiers.” I pictured in my mind, machine guns, mortars and perhaps a plane or two dropping bombs like was performed on the movies I watched in black and white on TV. I didn’t as a small girl know people faced death or became martyrs for Christ. I lived in the safety net of my mother and father, my church and United States, who allowed freedom of worship.
How would you like to face the possibility of death, watching your love ones hacked to death or gun downed because you attend church? Unfortunately, I held anger against the perpetrators and yes, maybe hatred towards these people who wish to destroy Christianity. Yet, Jesus didn’t teach this. He said in Matthew 5:44 “I say this to love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”
Times are changing and have changed. Today in church I listened to a young woman, a spokesperson for our district from Voice of the Martyrs, discuss but a few for want of time talk about the murders of Christians taking place every day. A young, African girl described how her parents were gunned down in their church by men. She said, she knew she’d see her parents in heaven.
A man, Max, described how his church family in Columbia were riding in a bus and taken hostage by a gang of terrorists. The group ranging from young to old, lined up according to the instructions of the terrorist and were shot. Max survived after receiving two gun shots. Today, the person who shot him and murdered those blessed saints because Max believed in what Jesus taught him, is now a Christian. After all Jesus is our example. When he hung on the cross He asked God to forgive those who persecuted Him and said, they know not what they do.
Here is another example of a Godly man who lost his life for the glory of Christ. Pastor Lawrence Kazungu Kadenge murdered on February 2, 2014 while guarding the Glory of Ministries Church in Momboasa. He was murdered for preaching the gospel too close to a mosque. He left behind his widow and thirteen children. The mosque is believed to recruiting Islamic expremists for Somalias al-habaab terrorist organization. An alteracation occurred between the youths wielding daggers and the police returned fire when a policeman and a young man was killed. The Mombasa’s pastors fear for their lives because they have received threatening text messages alluding to the fact, they are next if they continue to preach the gospel. Kenya is listed as 40th on Open Doors World Watch List of the 50 most persecuted nations. In which the persecution comes from Islamic extremists, especially al-Shabaab or at-Shaabab-inspired groups.
Another atrocity occurred when Charles Mathole, a leader of Mombasa’s Redeemer Gosphel Church in Mtopanga was found dead on October 20, shot in the head with the Bible in his lap.
On October 21, Bishop Wilfred Lai, Chiarman of the Mombasa Church Forum stated, “that no attack on Christians or their church leader sill deter us from our way of worship and our freedom of religion. To the perpetrators of these heinous attacts, we hereby state that we ill not be intimidated and will continue to worship our Lord in our churches.”
Kenya has a Christian majority of 85% and has little history of interfaith tensions. However, in the past recent years persecution has occurred.
Each of these examples touched my heart. Tears fell as I read about these beautiful men for Christ who lost their lives.
I wonder if the church of this country meaning Christians those who attend church and those who don’t attend church but claim they’re Christians would be willing to give up their lives in the name of Jesus. I wonder if those who claim to be Christians and believe they are going to heaven because of their good works would stand up to receive a bullet or watch their son or daughter chopped to death in the name of Jesus?
Wake up my friends, easy street is fast coming to an end in this country. Our freedom to worship without persecution is under attack. We too are going to face persecution the same as my brothers and sisters across the world.
Please pray for the persecuted Christians across the world. Please pray for the families of those murdered and the church members.
For Voice Martyrs web site this is their web address if interested.
Jesus said “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” Luke 9:23
God bless you all. Remember Jesus is coming soon. Are you ready? Have you asked Him to come into your heart? I John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is able and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Ask and you will receive forgiveness no matter what you have done. Your slate will be wiped clean. It is through his blood we are cleansed. Accept the gift and believe. sle