“Faith of our fathers! living still
In spite of dungeon, fire, and sword;
O how our hearts beat high with joy
Whene’er we hear that glorious word.”
This hymn, written by Frederick Faber in the 19th century, obviously has to do with Christians suffering persecution — and the inspiration that their heroic witness gave to their fellow Christians. Indeed, we are always inspired by stories of Christians who maintain their faith in the face of persecution or death.
Persecution has been a part of the church’s life from the very beginning, and is still part of its life today. We all know about the Roman persecution of Christians in the first century, but might not realize how pervasive persecution of Christians is in various countries around the world today — in China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Iran, and many other countries.
We need to pray for Christians who endure persecution today — to make ourselves aware of their stories — and to be inspired by their heroic witness. Let me encourage you to pray for persecuted Christians today.
— Copyright 2005, Richard Niell Donovan