I live in the United States where I live a persecution free life. Crimes against Christians in America are very minimal when looked at in the grand scheme of life. I have posted (here and here) on the topics of how the civil liberties of Christians are being debated in the U.S. Court system before. These things are so minor compared to the lives that Christians live elsewhere in the world. Christianity in the United States of America does not really cost me anything and it can be very easy to forget that. This doesn't mean that we ignore the issues we face here. It means that we cannot forget–as it can so easily be done–our brothers and sisters in Christ that face life and death struggles. It means that we need to do something about it.
I came across an article about the persecution of Christians the other day. To be perfectly honest it was the type of article that I would usually skim. I would think about the situation being awful and say a quick prayer for those suffering. But this article caught my eye. It was about Nigeria. My wife was born in Nigeria and I have often thought about how it would be nice to take a trip to see where she was born. I have even taken time to find the small little town in which she was born. The push pin on the map below is her birth town of Onyadama.
While her being born in Nigeria brings this story a little closer to home it is still so far away geographically, culturally and politically:
"Reports coming out of Nigeria over the past several days show that the group whose name means 'Western education is evil' is launching a new terror campaign aimed at killing Christians and Jews in northern Nigeria.
"Human-rights group International Christian Concern’s Jonathan Racho confirms the reports and says the news is 'alarming.'
"'The reports indicate that members of Boko Haram recently declared a war on Christians in northern Nigeria. The group vowed to eradicate Christians from certain areas in Nigeria,' Racho said.
"'The spokesman for the group (Boko Haram) say the group will launch a number of attacks targeting Christians,' Racho said. 'So there are alarming developments even as we speak.'
"Estimates put the casualties in Boko Haram’s campaign at more than 100 dead since Christmas."
Prayer is a great first start but there are other avenues that are available. While organizations do need donations in order to be able to advocate for the persecuted; we can also put pressure on our politicians to put pressure on Nigeria to protect those that are being persecuted. We are the church and we have a duty to do whatever we can to protect our fellow Christians whether they live next door or around the world.