1 Corinthians 4:12 (NIV)
We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it;
In the early 1990's, Bishop Haik Hovsepian-Mehr was an Armenian pastor in Tehran, Iran. He was an evangelical who openly shared his faith and spoke out for religious freedom. He did not believe in succumbing to government pressure and chose instead to "tell the world" about the plight of Iranian Christians. He said: "If we go to jail or die for our faith, we want the whole Christian world to know what is happening to their brothers and sisters."
In December 1993, Bishop Haik was the chairman of Iran's Protestant Council and he courageously sent out an open letter to Western media publicizing fellow pastor Mehdi Dibaj's imprisonment. Then on January 19, 1994, Bishop Haik disappeared from the streets of Tehran. The authorities reported his death to his family on January 30. But his and other Iranian Christian martyrs deaths have not been in vain. Michael G. Maudlin, author of "Have You Seen Jesus Lately?", reports that: "In 1977 there were only 2,700 evangelicals in Iran out of a population of 45 million. Of these only 300 were former Muslims. Today, there are close to 55 thousand believers, of whom 27 thousand are from Muslim backgrounds."
Throughout the world today, there are millions of Christians enduring persecution. Take a minute to pray for them.
Dear Lord, we pray for strength for those who are persecuted for their faith. We pray that they would remain faithful. Help us also be faithful when we are persecuted. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.