THE REPORT OF THE PERSECUTED CHURCH:
"The Yemen Constitution declares that Islam is the state religion and Sharia Law is the source of all legislation. This makes Yemen the 14th country where Christians face the most severe persecution. There is some religious freedom for foreigners, but proselytization is prohibited. Muslims are forbidden to convert to another religion. Yemenis who leave Islam may face the death penalty. Christian converts from Islam face persecution to such a degree that they need to live in secret. Missionary activities by expatriates have led to detentions and deportation " (Open Doors, 2015).
Many Christian converts are forced to lose their rights of citizenship, and public status. It is extremely difficult to be banned from public places and encounter social stigma simply, because of one's faith. Many who lose their rights of citizenship suffer the loss of living in their country of birth, the right to work, to vote, and the identity that comes from belonging. In the past, one's identity was tied to where one lived. What if you were told you could no longer be an American, vote, or have possessions, as a direct consequence of your profession of faith in Jesus Christ?
FOOD FOR THOUGHT:
Just think for a moment about the Decree on a Passport, "The Secretary of State of United States of America hereby requests all whom it may concern to permit the citizens national of United States named here to pass without delay or hindrance, and in case of need to give all lawful aid and protection!" We as Americans have been truly blessed. Let us not take for granted our freedoms and help others who are struggling to be free too!
Romans 12:16 AMP
"Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty (snobbish, high-minded, exclusive), but readily adjust yourself to [people, things] and give yourselves to humble tasks. Never overestimate yourself or be wise in your own conceits."
Philippians 3:20 AMP
"But we are citizens of the state (commonwealth, homeland) which is in heaven, and from it also we earnestly and patiently await [the coming of] the Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah) [as] Savior!".
QUESTIONS FOR DEEPER REFLECTION:
1. In countries where the trust of the people is blindly put in man and government we see many consistent things: terrorism, suffering, and torture. In Psalm 146:3, we are instructed, "Do not put your trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save". In what ways do you think we place our trust in men, and government?
In Hosea 4:6, God describes His people, ... "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge." When countries and governments fail to follow the creator's plan they lack knowledge needed to bring healing to the nations. Ask God where you have been lukewarm and trusted men rather than God? Ask God to reveal where you may have forgotten the instructions given through the wisdom of God's word and have suffered for a lack of knowledge.
God we thank you for a new and imperishable citizenship we, as Christians, have in Heaven! When we lose earthly citizenship there is a far greater glory within your kingdom and promises. God we ask you for the Yemenis who lose their sense of belonging when they lose their earthly citizenship and all the rights that come with that citizenship, help them embrace their heavenly citizenship and all the promises and blessings that are theirs through faith.
God I ask you to bring a strong unity of Christianity in the midst of a divided and torn nation that perishes for a lack of the knowledge of who You are! Reveal yourself in mighty ways, in dreams, visions, and through your undying love. God, we pray you will loose your scripture through the radio, TV, and internet; send forth Your word of life that it may not come back void. (Insert any additional) In Jesus Name, Amen.
Want to know more about your unshakable citizenship in Heaven? Read Philippians.