When I was younger I would hear about something called the "persecuted church". I knew it sounded bad and that I was supposed to pray, but I didn't really know what to think about when I heard that term.
I've learned a little bit about the world and the "persecuted church" since then and continue to learn more each day. One thing I know is that the term comes back to one thing... real life people, who each have very real stories.
A little less than two months ago, my wife and I traveled overseas. During the trip we had the privilege of meeting some special students and had them share their stories with us. I'd like to share one of those stories with you:
I come from a large family in a Central Asian country where 98% of the people are Muslim. In my country, Christians are persecuted and many of the churches are hidden when they meet. People are not permitted to speak openly about Christianity. In fact, the police came to my father twice telling him that he could not share his faith with his own family. They threatened him with prison time if he continued. My father was not a "good man" before he came to Christ, but afterwards his life changed and he set a very good example for me. Most of my family were Muslims until one family member heard about Christianity while in Moscow, Russia. Eventually many in my family accepted Jesus as their Savior. God has given me a good and blessed time learning about theology and ministry.
This young man went on to thank me for the way that Keys Ministries has helped him. He hopes to be involved in an evangelistic ministry in his home country when his education is complete. He is one of many "real life people" who represent the "persecuted church".