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with spreading the gospel. (Photo by Global Advance)
Central Asia (MNN) ― In a country that stresses religious freedom, it is often difficult for Americans to understand what it means to live and die for faith. Global Advance reports about pastor Ibrahím, a man who knows first-hand the dangers of pursuing God.
Ibrahím lives in a community of radical Muslims. His country, unnamed for security reasons, is one of the "Stan-Nations," all of which are Islamic countries in which the persecution of Christians is not uncommon. The region, in general, is charged with violence.
When Ibrahím converted to Christianity, his Muslim friends decided that it was necessary to kill him. It was their "sacred duty" to stop the spread of Christianity, and this was the way to do it.
His friends informed him that he could say goodbye to his wife before they stoned him. Ibrahím chose to keep the situation from his wife, and told her he would be right back. He did not want to risk her life or alarm her.
The friends took the new Christian to the local dump. There they began beating him. One man picked up a large rock to complete the act of murder by hitting Ibrahím in the head. At this, Ibrahím launched aloud into prayer for his abusers and their children. His prayer was not in vain.
The man holding the rock dropped it and yelled, "I cannot kill the man that is proclaiming blessing over my children!" God was watching over His faithful child.
Many Christians around the world experience similar situations every day. Unfortunately, their stories don't always end the way Ibrahím's did.
According to one of Global Advance's sources, February 2012 saw a 309% growth in Christian-targeted terrorist attacks in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.
You can help. Though there is not always a direct solution to this violence, there are ways to strengthen, encourage, and support Christians who are undergoing persecution. One of ministries of Global Advance is the Persecuted Church Fund. The money raised will go to support these efforts. For more information on this and other Global Advance ministries, click here.
Pray for continued strength for Christians who are persecuted, and for the increase of their faith. Pray for the success of the gospel in these countries so resistant to it.