THE REPORT OF THE PERSECUTED CHURCH:
Somalia is ranked # 2 on the Open Door Watch list. "With no functioning government in Somalia, Christians are targeted by Islamic terrorists and clan authorities. As the government gains more control, state actors are joining the vicious two to persecute Christians. The only type of Christianity in Somalia is Christian converts from a Muslim background. Persecution in the country is very severe. Islamic religious leaders maintain publicly that there is no room for Christianity, Christians and churches in Somalia. Islamic terrorists, in the form of al-Shabaab, as well as other radical Islamic groups, have intensified the persecution of Christians" (Open Doors, 2015).
In societies where castes and social position are tied to one's identity, it is easy to see what a trial is for many individuals who come to Christ to lose their social acceptance, friends, and become social outcasts in a society that has no room for Christians or their faith. Can you for a moment stop to think what this could be like? What if you went to work and everyone ignored you, and your bosses and coworkers would revile and accuse you endlessly when they declined to address you at all? Surrounded by people and yet you are not one of them.
Romans 12:17 AMP
"Repay no one evil for evil, but take thought for what is honest and proper and noble [aiming to be above reproach] in the sight of everyone".
John 16:2 AMP
"They will put you out of (expel you from) the synagogues; but an hour is coming when whoever kills you will think and claim that he has offered service to God".
QUESTIONS FOR DEEPER REFLECTION:
1. Formoment, think about these radical Islamists. Do you think that they share something with Saul who later became Paul?
2. Is it possible, that they really believe they are doing some service to their god?
FOOD FOR THOUGHT:
Proverbs 14:12, says "There is a way which seems right to a man and appears straight before him, but at the end of it is the way of death." This way of man lacks knowledge of the most High and causes us all to fall short of the Glory of God. Why do you think that Saul was [not only] consenting to [Stephen’s] death [he was pleased and entirely approving?] (See Acts 8, AMP).
to reveal areas in your life where you may think you are doing some service to God but, are actually persecuting Christ or hindering His will in your or another's life?
God I pray earnestly for the Christians who endure the terroristic environment of Somalia and have faithfully come to Jesus from the Islamic faith. I pray that there would be a powerful restoration of a functioning government which would give freedom to all faiths. I pray that as these things occur the civil wars, famines, and droughts, which have plagued the nation of Somalia for far too long would cease. I declare the voice and tongue of terrorism is stopped. I declare that the Words of God be loosed and the freedom of Christ is already emerging with profound voice and an unquenchable fire! (Insert any additional) In Jesus Name, Amen.
Want to know more about the Gospel message that made a Saul into a Paul? Read Galatians Chapter One.