Persecuted For Righteousness’ Sake

Meriam  Ibrahim

“I am a Christian,” Meriam Ibrahim told the judge at her sentencing hearing in May, “and I will remain a Christian.”

The case of the 27-year-old Sudanese woman sparked international outrage when she was sentenced to die by hanging for refusing to renounce her Christian faith. At the time she was eight months pregnant and has since given birth to a baby girl. 

Ibrahim was released Monday when an appeals court ruled that a lower court’s judgment was faulty. However, yesterday when Meriam and her husband attempted the leave the country, they were arrested again.

The original criminal complaint was filed by her Muslim brother. He said that the family was shocked when Ibrahim had married a Christian, Daniel Wani, a U.S. citizen. In Sudan a Muslim woman’s marriage to a Christian man is illegal, therefore she was charged with adultery. Even though Meriam was raised as a Christian by her mother, the government considered her to be a Muslim because that is her father’s religion.

The case of Meriam Ibarhim is nothing new in Sudan. The Islamic militant government has burned “Christian villages,” taken their children as slaves, and tortured worshipers of Christ.

It reminds us of Jesus warning, “Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you” (John 15:20)

We have been blessed in America to enjoy freedom of religion. The first amendment of our Constitution, the Bill of Rights, says in part, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

There are readers of ThePreachersWord around the world who do not enjoy this right. In 27 countries Christians are subjected to extreme or severe persecution. If they are believers in Jesus they must worship in secret. Undercover. Hiding. Fearful of governmental persecution. While Muslims can freely worship and practice their religion in America, Muslim controlled countries are not quite so tolerant of those professing faith in Jesus. In fact, our supposed friend and ally Saudi Arabia allows no expression of Christianity. No Bibles. No crosses. No Jesus! The price for conversion to Christ is death!

While persecution is increasing in Islamic lands, there is also more scorn and ridicule heaped upon Christians in our country. Yes, we still have freedom to worship in the USA, but there is an elitist intolerance for our beliefs in the sanctify of life, the sacredness of marriage, and Biblical values.

We need to give thanks for the blessings we enjoy. But we need to be ready to suffer. Prepared to be persecuted. Even willing to die for our faith. The day may come when these “rights” we now cherish are taken from us. What then?

Let us be aware and warned by the apostle Peter’s admonition:

12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.

13 But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.

14 If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.

15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler.

16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name. (1 Peter 4:12-16, ESV)

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman

6 Comments

Filed under Culture

6 responses to “Persecuted For Righteousness’ Sake

  1. It is always good to be reminded about our brothers and sisters who are doing it tough. Too often our focus is way too limited and our ‘suffering’ blown out of proportion.

  2. tommythornhill

    We had better wake up. Many of us have never had to face the situations this lady has faced. Would we be as strong in our convictions as she if faced with a similar choice?

  3. Pat

    I am Canadian and persecution of Christians is alive and well in Canada.

    There is a journalist for the Toronto Sun newspaper, Ezra Levant, who has been busy garnering attention and raising money to fight back against Anti-Christian intolerance. The following is a short summary of what is happening, taken from his newspaper column Straight Talk. It came to my attention via email.

    “”””””In recent months, the Law Society of Upper Canada and the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society have both voted to ban from practising in their provinces any student who graduates from the new law school at B.C.’s Trinity Western University. Its law school, slated to open in 2016, is accredited, like any other university. Ontario and Nova Scotia will ban any graduate of this school from working as a lawyer, at all, in private or in public, no matter how they conduct themselves. They won’t even be allowed to draft a will or a contract.

    There are other Provinces that will be voting to ban these lawyers from their law societies coming up.

    …Anti-Christian bigotry has taken over the city council of Nanaimo, B.C. On May 5, those politicians voted 8 to 1 to ban a Christian-themed leadership conference that was scheduled for their city’s convention centre just four days later. The conference – called Leadercast, based in Atlanta, was to be simulcast on TV screens in Nanaimo. The Christian-theme leadership conference and its organizers weren’t even told about the city meeting that was being held to denounce them. You see, City councilors condemned the event as “hateful”, compared it to the Nigerian terrorist group Boko Haram, and said the decision to ban the event from public property was no different than if they had voted to ban an organized crime ring, too. One councilor, actually suggested that city hall politicians have the power to interfere with the conference, and literally to black out the simulcast when a Christian pastor was scheduled to speak.”””””””

    As a Canadian I am deeply saddened and troubled. One always thinks “this can’t happen in our own backyards” but it does. Our countries are walking on a slippery slope and are dangerously close to falling off the edge. I find I am being torn. A part of me is scared and angry at what I see happening, and the other part is lamenting “Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

  4. Stephen Segrest

    I took the time to read about the background of the instances Pat describes in Canada. The underlying issue is (oh boy, here we go again) — homosexuality.

    A private college in Canada “wants” to create a law school, where a requirement of admission and attending would be that a person could not be gay. A large organization of lawyers in Canada (equivalent to the American Bar Assoc.?) proposes that if the college adopts this requirement, they will try to enact standards not allowing a person from this college to practice law.

    The Law Association argues that such a requirement is discriminatory, and is against the law as same-sex marriage is now legal in Canada. Legal analysts say unless resolved, this will probably end up in the Canadian Supreme Court.

    But, I thought Pat’s 2nd story shows the “bigger picture”. A city council in Canada voted 8 to 1 not to allow a Christian themed business leadership conference to be held at a public convention center. The reason given was corporate sponsorship from Chic fil`A — and Dan Cathy’s public remarks on homosexuality last year. It should be noted that this business leadership conference had nothing to do with the issue of homosexuality.

    Here is why this story is so sad. The city council (like so many others in the secular world) hear the “name” Chick fil-A, associate discrimination against gays, and then just “clicked off”.

    Anybody who knows me knows that I’m a big admirer of Mr. Cathy (going to numerous speaking engagements like at Florida College). I also disagreed in how Mr. Cathy initially handled this gay issue last year. To his credit, Mr. Cathy has evolved on this (where he had a leader in the gay community attend the Chick fil-A bowl in Atlanta with him). This started my Biblical questions to Ken on (1) how do we as Christians hold to our Biblical teachings but (2) also follow Christ’s 2nd most important Commandment?

    With a negative perception of Christians in the secular world as anti-gay, people just “click off” — not even allowing the bringing of the “Good News” to them. Dan Cathy’s message of applying wonderful Christian principles (having nothing to do with homosexuality) in business is something everyone should hear, and hopefully winning some souls.

    Being defined in the secular world as “anti-gay” is not the label Christians want. If the Early Church could figure out circumcision et. al. so that it didn’t divide Christ’s Church (for “BOTH” Jews to Gentiles, and Gentiles to Jews), we can figure out how to deal with homosexuality.

  5. Stephen Segrest

    From the Public Religion Research Institute:

    “Three-quarters (75%) of Americans incorrectly believe it is currently illegal under federal law to fire or refuse to hire someone because they are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender. Only 15% of Americans correctly say that such discrimination is currently legal under federal law, while nearly 1-in-10 (9%) offer no opinion.”

    http://publicreligion.org/research/2014/02/2014-lgbt-survey/

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