USA (MNN) — Earlier this month, Open Doors USA’s David Curry was the guest speaker at a breakfast held by Temple Emanuel, a Jewish temple in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Persecution Bonds Jews and Christians
Open Doors USA Breakfast at Temple Emanuel, August 2, 2017. (Photo courtesy of Beth Stolicker)
There, in the burnt golden room, history made a visit to the breakfast.
Various speakers shared the somber and at times hopeful stories from the Holocaust. The stories reflected both the destructive heart of human kind, but also the love which lifts up the weary in times of trial.
However, the stories also served as a warning. Religious persecution isn’t something to be ignored, but something to be confronted. And it was the history of their own religious persecution that prompted this particular Jewish temple to help awaken their local community to Christian persecution.
“Many people don’t know, even in the Christian community, that there’s been this sharp increase over the last several years in the persecution of Christians — not just in the Middle East, but in Asia and other places,” Curry explains.
David Curry talks about Christian persecution while at Open Doors USA’s Breakfast at Temple Emanuel, August 2, 2017. (Photo courtesy of Beth Stolicker)
“And so, what we’re trying to do is raise the temperature, raise the level of discussion on what’s going on to Christians, and make sure that people know.”
Curry hopes this breakfast is one of the many catalysts in getting Christians and others involved in both understanding what persecution is and how to help.
Religious persecution is essentially the denied freedom of conscience — the ability to live in line with one’s religious convictions and beliefs.
Understand Religious Persecution
“If you look at the major crises around the world, the famine in Nigeria is a religious liberty issue because it was brought about not through agricultural challenges, but because of Boko Haram — this extremist group that’s been attacking these groups and killing farmers and killing Christian farmers. So, that’s just one example,” Curry shares.
Another example includes North Korea. The country is set up to believe and worship the power of its dictator, Kim Jong-Un. North Koreans can be punished for denying Jong-Un’s deity.
Joe Aboosh, and Iraqi Christian, shares his story at Open Doors USA’s Breakfast at Temple Emanuel, August 2, 2017. (Photo courtesy of Beth Stolicker)
Breakfast-goers also had the chance to hear from guest speaker, Joe Aboosh. Aboosh is an Iraqi Christian refugee who came to the United States in 2008.
Like many Iraqi Christians, Aboosh stayed in his home in Iraq until he was forced to leave it and everything he had built. Living off his savings, Aboosh and his family lived in Jordan for some time before coming to the US.
Some, like Aboosh, have had to leave the region they’ve called home and travel across the Atlantic Ocean. Yet, a lot of Christians from Iraq and Syria, including Aboosh, hope to return home, rebuild from ashes, and to share the Gospel with their people.
But to do this, these persecuted Christians need help. As Aboosh concluded his story, he pleaded with the audience, asking them to help the persecuted Christians. And the quickest way to help is through prayer.
Help the Persecuted
So, please pray. Pray for Christians’ safety around the world. Also, pray for the people who are persecuting Christians, that they would have what Curry calls a Saul-to-Paul conversion. And finally, pray for the leaders around the world to speak out against religious persecution and for them to take action against it.
Open Doors USA Breakfast guests at Temple Emanuel discuss Christian persecution while examining Open Doors resources, August 2, 2017. (Photo courtesy of Beth Stolicker)
Other ways to get involved include advocating on behalf of persecuted Christians, raising awareness, and researching persecution. Another way to help is by writing to senators and congressmen about religious persecution.
Open Doors also offers tangible ways for Christians to help their persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ.
For example, Open Doors is helping move persecuted Christians back to the Middle East. It’s called the “Christian Community Restoration” project. And it’s helping get Middle Eastern Christians, like Aboosh, home.
To learn more or donate to the “Christian Community Restoration” project, click here!
For more ways to take action, click here!