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Sunday, April 24, 2011
Easter is NOT Allowed for Many
What a joyful weekend for those of us who celebrate the risen Lord! As an American, what a sweet privelage it is to be able to attend any of the thousands of services on Sunday & celebrate with family & friends! I wish I could be home to celebrate this joyous season with my family & church family.
But I must share that there are MILLIONS of Christians who are not allowed to hold Easter services. Even if they are, they face the threat of violence. In some villages in Yemen there only exists secret Christian communities who cannot reveal their identity in Christ as terror group Al Shabaab
Is on the prowl like a roaring lion seeking to devour Christians- as they recently did Thursday to a 21 Yr old Christian convert from Islam.
In North Korea believers are THE MOST oppressed & persecuted. A survivor of the political concentration camp said this:
"since The North Korean War (in Korea they call in June 25 War) the No. 1 enemy is God. Kim II Sung hated God most." Soon Ok Lee, survivor of N Korea
In Indonesia they foiled an attempt to bomb a church on Easter.
In Iraq & Egypt Christians & churches have been targets of violence. Even though Egypt toppled Mubarak's regime, they are demanding a more Islamic state which puts native Christians in danger.
In Nigeria the new President Elect is Christian and bc of that, THIS WEEK ALONE, the Muslims who were supporting the Muslim presidential candidate went on a murder rampage, burning churches, raping, beheading, and setting to fire HUNDREDS of Christians- their bodies lined up all over the place. Even if Christians there wanted to go to Church, their church has probably been burnt down.
The Ivory Coast is similar, except they replaced the Christian president with a Muslim & they have been killing Christians & burning churches.
I can go on about other countries... But I'll share this one last story.
In Kuwait, thankfully there ARE services for Christians. However, many of the work force here work 12+ hours 6 days a week or more. Many are trafficked- promised a nice salary & a specific Job but end up getting paid far less IF THEY EVEN GET PAID AT ALL and become human slaves.
I went to the salon today & one of the ladies who works there, Gigi, a Philippina, went on vacation for 42 days. Good for her bc sponsors end up taking & keeping their passports so they won't escape. Anyway, the rest of the ladies in the salon are not allowed a day off until she returns. So these ladies work 12 hour shifts & will be working 7 days a week for the next 42 days. They asked their boss if they could attend an Easter church service but they were still waiting for an answer & most likely it will be a "no." one of the ladies asked me to keep them in prayer bc of this.
Then there's me. I work a night shift beginning at 9pm and ending at 6am. I can't make any of the chapel services- even the 6am Sonrise service on base. So I'm pretty bummed about that but at least I've got my iPod full of worship music & my guitar.
So I plead with you dear brothers & sisters to remember those who wish to celebrate Resurrection Sunday but face gruesome persecution. Please pray for God to encourage them & give them strength to stand in confidence, on the faith in the Lord Jesus even if it means death or torture.
Please say a prayer for Alma, Mali, Mona, & Gigi, the ladies at the salon I go to.