by Terry J. Hallock

What If They Come for Us?
Terry J. Hallock
International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church
Matthew 5:10-12
November 14, 1999

You and your family have just gone to bed when suddenly you hear screeching tires in front of your home. As you peer out of your bedroom window you see a huge truck out of which pour men in military uniforms each carrying a weapon. They run towards your front door and burst in to your home. Your family screams in terror as they ransack the house. The officer in charge approaches you and declares, "You're under arrest." He handcuffs you and marches you to the truck waiting outside. As the soldiers hold back your family, you are driven away to the local prison where you will surely be beaten -- perhaps even killed. Meanwhile your children are taken from your home to either be sold in slavery or held in a government school under guard until they convert to the sanctioned state ideology.

What is your crime? Are you a murderer or terrorist? No. You are simply a Christian. You've been observed attending Christian services of worship. You've been overheard sharing the Gospel. You've attended Bible studies and prayer meetings. And you've been seen carrying the Bible in public. Government authorities have deemed your expressions of faith a disruption of the social order and deserving of severe punishment.

I'll come back to your story in just a moment, but for now consider the fact that the scene I've just described takes place in one form or another every minute of every day everywhere on the planet. Prayer for the Persecuted Church, Inc. states that "over 200 million Christians now face intense persecution for their faith and over 250 million undergo some form of discrimination, with Communist governments and some Islamic regimes being the most flagrant offenders. In fact, more Christians were martyred for their faith in the 20th century than in the previous 19 centuries combined. Christians who aren't killed are often subjected t ...

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