The Current State of Christian Martyrdom
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The Current State of Christian Martyrdom

A brief review of Christian martyrdom in the Twentieth and Twenty-first Centuries—it may be an eye-opener.

More Christians were killed for their faith in the Twentieth Century than in all the centuries before it—an estimated 200 million. We live a difficult and demanding time. Jesus promised us that the requirements he set before us would not be easy. In the United States it is still a safe place to be a Christian, but this should not make us blind to the needs of those who suffer mistreatment and abuse for the sake of Jesus.

John and Betty Stam

John and Betty Stam were killed by rampaging bandits in Jingde in South Anhwei, China in December, 1934. They were members of the China Inland Mission founded by Hudson Taylor.

Jim Elliot, Pete Fleming, Ed McCully, Nate Saint, and Roger Youderian

January 8, 1956, Jim Elliot, Pete Fleming, Ed McCully, Nate Saint, and Roger Youderian were killed by natives when trying to witness to them about Jesus and his saving grace. There have been several books about the faith and sacrifice of these five men and about the eventual conversion of members of the tribe and those who participated in the attack on them. End of the Spear and Through Gates of Splendor are currently available.

Shakeela Bibi

On March 9, 2009 Shakeela Bibi started to a Bible study at the small Presbyterian Church in Sang-Wail, Pakistan, carrying with her a freshly baked loaf of bread to share with the group. When she opened the door to leave, she was met by crowd of men intent on destruction. They fired guns at the cross on the church and beat her with bamboo sticks. Sixteen people were injured and Shakeela was dead when the noise subsided.

 Necati Aydin, Tilmann Geske and Ugur Yuksel

On April 19, 2007 Direct News reported the death of three young Christian men in southeastern province of Malatya, Turkey, were killed by five young Turkish Muslims. Necati Aydin, Tilmann Geske and Ugur Yuksel were tortured in the office of the Christian printing business where they worked. They died in pain and torment professing the name of Jesus.

Jose and Emilse Rodridgez

On May 7, 2009, two men entered the home of church leader Jose Rodridgez and his wife Emilse Maria del Carmen in Columbia and shot them to death while two of their children witnessed the incident through a window. Heidy, 9 and Ambar, 2 were in the garden when the strangers arrived at the home. They hid themselves outside until the men were gone. The dead bodies were riddled with bullets from the guns of the guerrilla warriors when the children entered. Heidy gave elegant testimony of her faith: “My parents now are in heaven. And we--we are under Lord Jesus.” The two-month-old baby boy Juan was not injured.

These are only a few of the thousands of stories of those who live in fear for their lives. Their stories are difficult to read, but they instill in me a powerful incentive to witness and pray, to be joyous in my salvation, and to share Christ everywhere.  Read their full stories at the links below and stories of others, too. 

John and Betty Stam

Shakleela Bibi

Three Christian in Turkey

Jose Rodridgez

Persecution.org

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Comments (5)

Hi Gayle, I also read about and hear about the continues death threats to Christians all over the world. But I also hear about the miracles that God does for these workers. Everytime I hear about them I'm blessed and at the same time reminded of my inadequacy in my share of the work. Have a nice day and may we continue fighting the good fight of faith.

Mary Jane, thank you for reading and commenting. It always startles me to be reminded of the threat people face for the name of Christ, but to find a friend here who shares this faith is wonderful!

Robert Lloyd Russell

Great summary.

I recently had the privilege of releasing transcripts from some of Jim Elliot's spoken messages in a new book entitled: "JIM ELLIOT: A Christian Martyr Speaks to You" that is available online at all the mainstream sources.

Robert Lloyd Russell

Great summary.

I recently had the privilege of releasing transcripts from some of Jim Elliot's spoken messages in a new book entitled: "JIM ELLIOT: A Christian Martyr Speaks to You" that is available online at all the mainstream sources.

Thanks for reading my article and for making more information available to the public. I appreciate your interest.

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