But one man's wise words on this topic have haunted me for days. I read them in this month's Voice of the Martyr's magazine, in a a piece about a Laotian man who was once a communist governor. When he accepted Christ as his Savior, his former government friends threw him into prison. They tried to beat him to death; they tried to starve him. But he lived 13 years in prison. The details of his story are moving and inspiring, but it was his wise council to Americans that most struck me:
"I want to encourage believers in America to be strong in their faith. I know many Americans have not accepted Jesus Christ yet, but you have the freedom to proclaim Jesus and share the gospel. Go evangelize in the name of Jesus because you can. You have the right to read the Bible, to pray and go to church. Please do that."(Emphasis mine.)
Throughout the world, there are millions* of Christians who are not legally allowed to attend church. Therefore, we free Christians must go to church. There are millions of Christians who cannot obtain a copy of the Bible, and - should they manage to get their hands on a smuggled copy - can only read it in secret. Therefore, we free Christians must read our Bibles. There are Christians who cannot pray publicly. Therefore, those of us who can, must. And there are millions of Christians who risk their lives by teaching others about Christ. Therefore, we must share the Gospel whenever possible.
* According to the World Evangelical Alliance, over 200 million Christians in at least 60 countries are denied fundamental human rights because of their faith.