Sunday, October 16, 2011

Why do they hate you?

"But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you."-Matthew 5:44

I'm going to be real with you all, this is not your average post about some devotional I had. This is just bluntly my thoughts being typed out on my computer screen. It might not even be intelligible. To the few and proud westerners that are reading my thoughts, what precedes after this intro can seem really raw and gorey. The images at the bottom are not for the "faint at heart". These are just a few of the numerous stories that happen everyday to the persecuted church. For those of you that are unfamiliar with the pictures below, they depict a burning of christian corpses that Sunni Muslims committed. It took place in Nigeria and happenings like these still take place daily. As a matter of fact, 70% of Christian face persecution to this day.

When seeing these images below I was truly shaken. Questions started plaguing my mind instantly to the tone of; why do Muslims hate me, why do they hate people of God,  or why do they hate Jesus so much? I had to calm myself down and breathe because I know that not all Muslims do this. Muslims are not an evil satanic force that wants to conquer the world and put every Christian to the flames. You wouldn't know it from the numerous persecution stories, but Islam is actually a peaceful religion. So I had to refine my question and ask why do these extremist hate me? Why do they hate you God? I honestly don't know this answer and  maybe it is a lot more complicated then what meets the eye, but this is something open ended for the reader to decided. 

In all actuality, Nigerian Muslims are not the only ones persecuting Christians. In Eritrea, Africa,  professing Christians are put into shipping containers until they recant. Do you know how hot a shipping container is? I have been in one and it literally feels like an oven. It is musty and extremely hard to breath once the sun goes up. I couldn't imagine what its like being put in that with dozens of other people. Persecution is not only in Africa, it is also in the Middle East and China. China still puts Christians in prison for sharing their faith to others. 

All this truly breaks my heart. Hearing about these stories of people being tortured, abused, killed, molested, raped, all because of their belief sickens me. I can't possible imagine the pain that these individuals go through. I can't imagine the weight of the tears they shed or the scars they have to bear because of their love for God. I honestly don't know if I could pick up that cross and walk down that road which they tread on daily; can you do it? What breaks my heart just as much is the responses I hear about the persecution. The anger in people's voices. Some cry out for vengence and others want them exterminated. Is this what Jesus would want? That is called Hate and Jesus has called us to love. How about the nonchalant apathy? Would Jesus agree with that?
If there is a challenge burried somewhere in this mental spiel of mine it is love. Love those who hate us. Love those people that burnt all those Nigerian Christians alive. Love those people that killed the pregnant women and raped the families daughter. Love the person that forces the Christian child to become a soldier and commit such horrible notrocities. Don't only pray for the victim, but pray for the aggressor. Pray for the persecutor. Pray for the Muslim man that decapitates the "infidels". Pray for the Chineese Secret police who kills and throws believers in Prison. I challenge you to start praying. The persecuted need your prayers, but so do the persecutors.

Any way thats all for now.... Here are some of the photos

Sorry, I thought I could post more but I just can't look at it anymore