Thursday, March 27, 2008

Easter—Where you can get arrested.

Our daughter has a passion for sharing the good news of Jesus Christ with those who do not know him. Last year she was in a country that gives lip service to religious freedom. While she was in that country, the government was cracking down on churches in another part of the country. Pastors were being arrested and sent to camps for their re-education. She was not there for Easter. She was a part of a team that was preparing the way for reaching an unreached people group.

She is once again in a country that is hostile towards Christians. On the other side of the country the government has been closing Christian churches and arresting pastors. All of this is going on in North Africa. She works with Muslim refugees. She is building relationships with Muslim women and girls. For Easter, she and her co-worker invited several women to join them for a special get together. They wanted these women to know that Jesus rose from the dead. It was a low key gathering with a low key (but eternally important) message.

I understand the desire of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to want to work with indigenous churches around the world. This makes a lot of sense. A person from a particular culture is the best person to deliver the gospel message to another person of that same culture. But here is the problem… what about those places where there is no indigenous church?

The PCUSA basically ignores unreached people groups. It saddens my heart that my daughter has to go through a “para-church” organization to help fulfill the Great Commission.

A Catholic priest was recently arrested in the region of the country where she is serving. You may ask, “What was his crime?” His crime was that he prayed with a man! I feel bad for that priest and the Catholic Church—but at least there was a Catholic priest in that country!

Christians around the world live, serve, minister and evangelize in hostile environments. They celebrate Easter with the knowledge that they could be arrested—even killed. We must pray for them. Additionally, we need to encourage the PCUSA to have a heart for unreached people groups. Who will take the gospel to them?