Out in the Open
“Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”Matthew 5:10
Some time ago in our team’s travels, we met with a group of Bible college leaders who seemed, at first, to be very open and unhindered in their sharing of the gospel. However, we soon learned that these leaders were being constantly monitored, making sure that they did not speak against the state’s religion or government. It was indeed surprising that these fellow believers could carry on with their daily lives with a public Christian status and recognize that their lives could change or be lost in an instant.
Often, when we think about persecution, we imagine Christians hiding or fleeing because of the threat of imprisonment or death. But not all persecution causes people to hide or flee. For many, persecution is a threat that determines how they live their day-to-day lives. Such is the persecution these partners face. They are known leaders of Bible colleges and seminaries having to develop creative ways to submit to the authority of governments in order to keep their schools functioning and their discipleship ministries afloat. Creative methods, faithful obedience, and an unending commitment to God are the bold markers of these Christians living their lives out in the open.