For more on my Lenten Focus, see my Ash Wednesday post. A quick summary is that I am spending Lent fasting and praying for the Persecuted Church, and I invite you to join me.
In focusing on the destruction of churches, I don’t want to suggest that these losses are on par with the violence done against humans. As C.S. Lewis wrote, “There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations – these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat.”
But the attack on churches are certainly attacks on Christians. It’s an attempt to drive Christians from their homes and exile them from communities. And the pain Christians must feel seeing their places of worship destroyed–places that generations may have worshiped at, or that they’ve built with their own hands–must be devastating.
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In Iraq, ISIS has destroyed countless churches, including an 1,800 year old church in Mosul. Throughout the Middle East, in Syria, Egypt, and many other nations churches are being attacked. Outside the Middle East–in places like Nigeria, India, and China— churches are also targets.
Christian holidays are an especially dangerous time, with attacks increasing as attention to Christianity increases. Enemies of the church seek to make the biggest statement, and attacking Christians at worship on their most holy day does that.
Pray for vulnerable Christians during Holy Week, for their safety and the safety of the buildings they call sacred.