Like many mothers here in Canada and around the world, I was able to celebrate Mother’s Day on May 12, 2013. There’s nothing more wonderful than spending this special day with your family. Even as I enjoyed the delicious breakfast my husband had given and as I watched my mother’s face light up as her grandson gave her a picture he had colored and a kiss, I couldn’t help remembering the mother who would not experience this joy.
Just recently I subscribed to The Voice of the Martyrs Canada (VOM) newsletter and was moved by the stories of Christians who endured various trials and were persecuted for their faith. I got a free copy of the book Tortured For Christ, written by Richard Wurmbrand, the founder of VOM, an organization “dedicated to helping, loving and encouraging persecuted Christians worldwide”. I knew that there were Christians in other parts of the world who were killed or imprisoned because they refused to renounce their faith but was not privy to their sufferings until I read the newsletter and prisoner alerts on the website.
On Mother’s Day, I thought of Asia Bibi, a Pakistani woman who was arrested by police in 2009. Before her arrest, she along with many of the local women worked on the farm of a Muslim landowner. Many of these women pressured Asia to renounce her Christian faith and accept Islam. There was a discussion among the women about their faith and after she reportedly told them, “Our Christ is the true prophet of God and yours is not true,” the women got angry and they beat her. Read the rest of Asia’s story at http://www.prisoneralert.com/pprofiles/vp_prisoner_197_profile.html
Asia is from a country where “Muslims who convert to Christianity are often threatened or killed by their family because of the shame associated with such a conversion. Breaking the blasphemy law, Section 295c of the penal code – blaspheming Mohammed – is punishable by death. Blasphemy accusations against Christians often occur in retaliation for personal or commercial disputes.”
Asia is still languishing in prison and there are times when she is discouraged. She has had to spend another Easter and Mother’s Day without her family. Her husband has been encouraging her to hang on to her faith. Letters to officials have been written on her behalf and over fifteen thousand letters of encouragement have been written her.
Apparently Pakistan is a dangerous place for a Christian woman. I just watched the video below of a woman named Shafia and the horrors she and her family endured for their faith. In the midst of this, though, she found peace and took comfort in the knowledge that she is a daughter of God.
Check out other videos of women who are persecuted for their faith and the widows of martyrs at http://persecution.tv/video?task=videodirectlink&id=942
Today, let us hold our brothers and sisters in Christ in prayer. Let us take action to let them know that they are not suffering alone. Write letters of encouragement. Write to the officials. Get prisoner and prayer alerts via email so that you can pray for the persecuted. Check out http://www.persecution.net to see how you can get involved. And don’t forget to give God thanks for being able to worship Him without fear of persecution or imprisonment or death. Thank Him if you are blessed to be living in a country where there is religious liberty.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you (Matthew 5:10-12).