This fall, there have been several reports of attacks on Christians in both North America and around the world. Some have died for their faith.
It would be easy to be intimidated by this, but God wants us to “to take courage.”
Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord! (Psalm 27:14 ESV)
Here are a few of the stories:
In Compton, California, Reginald Moore, the 65-year-old pastor of Upper Room Christian Church was shot and killed on Oct 24, 2021 as he was leaving his church after leading a Bible study. Members of the church said they refused to be intimidated by the violent attack.
In Nashville, TN, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives announced that it is offering a $1,00 reward for any information on who was behind the Molotov cocktail thrown at Axis Church on Sept 13, 2021. Though the firefighters were able to put out the fire before it destroyed the building, it nevertheless damaged the sanctuary and the equipment the church used for its online services.
In Mexico, Evangelical Christians in San Rafael Tlanalapan were forced to leave the village in September after being threatened with crucifixion or a lynching by traditional Catholics in the town, located 60 miles outside of Mexico City. According to reports, the threats started after a sermon by the town’s Catholic Priest on Sept 4, 2021, when he stated that the evangelical Christians, numbering about 70, should be pressured to leave the village.
In Washington, D.C., an atheist organization sent letters to members of the US congress who were sponsoring the National Prayer Breakfast stating they should no longer be supporting the event that has been held annually since 1953. The event, traditionally held on the first Thursday of February, averages 3,000 attendees from around the world. And, in a rare show of unity, includes politicians from both the Democrat and Republican parties.
In Haiti, officials have verified that at least some of the 17 Christian missionaries and families, kidnapped by the 400 Mawozo gang on Oct 16, 2021 are still alive. The gang is demanding $17 million for their release. Two weeks earlier, Pastor Jean-Pierre Ferrer Michel was kidnapped as he stood outside his church in Port-au-Prince. The kidnappers, disguised as Haitian police, have since released Michel after the church paid two ransoms.
In Chesterfield County, VA, Pastor Wade Runge read a message on Sunday, Oct 24, 2021, forgiving the people who had vandalized the bus that M3 Church uses to transport and feed the homeless in their community. All of the buses windows were broken. In a social media post, Pastor Runge said, “My heart aches and my head hurts thinking how we are going to work this out. But I can tell you, I will not quit! There is too much work to be done and lives to be helped.“
In Nigeria, gunman attacked Emmanuel Baptist church in the village of Kakau Daji during its Sunday Morning Service on Oct 31, 2021. One Christian was killed and several were injured when gunman entered the church firing their weapons. According to reports, dozens of people attending the service were kidnapped. It is expected that the gunman will demand a ransom for their release.
In Nashville, TN, Ezekiel Ndikumana, the pastor of Light Mission Pentecostal Church, was forced to tackle a 26-year-old man armed with a gun who walked to the front of church during its Sunday morning service on Nov 7, 2021 and demanded everyone stand up. Ndikumana who was on the platform, pretended he was leaving through a backdoor, and then turned and tackled the man once he turned towards the congregation. Many believe, Ndikumana’s action saved what could have potentially been a massacre, as reports allege the gunman told police he was Jesus and said that people in churches and schools should be shot.
In China, Bitter Winter reports that in October, a group of kindergarten students were visiting the Ningde Science and Technology museum in Fujian province. While at the museum, they were forced to watch several cartoon videos declaring that the Church of the Almighty God was branded as an evil cult.
In Libya, International Christian Concerns reports that 17 Coptic Christians in that country have gone missing since Sept 30, 2021. It is uncertain what has happened to the believers, but there are concerns they were kidnapped by terrorists.