Many Christian communities in contexts of persecution live under constant threat of violence from extremist groups, their local communities or the authorities. There are frequent reports of attacks by Islamist groups such as Boko Haram in Nigeria and Cameroon, al-Shabaab in Somalia and IS in Syria and Iraq; Islamist attacks have also taken place in other countries such as Pakistan, Tanzania, Kenya, Bangladesh and the Central African Republic. Christian gatherings in Sri Lanka are often violently disrupted by militant Buddhists, and Hindu extremists in India frequently carry out acts of anti-Christian violence. Christians also endure brutal treatment under some Communist regimes.
Anti-Christian violence is carried out by government authorities in some countries. Forexample in Eritrea, Iran and Sudan Christians may be subjected to violence, brutality or even torture at the hands ofthe police or prison guards. Believers imprisoned for their faith in North Korea, where the state demands absolute devotion to the ruling family, are tortured and worked to death in labour camps; some are executed.
Barnabas Fund’s Victims of Violence Fund helps to rebuild shattered lives by providing medical care, legal assistance, places of refuge, small business start-up costs or vocational training that victims of anti-Christian violence may need to help them a fresh start. It also cares for the families of prisoners and helps Christians who have suffered injustice from the authorities.
Lift up Christians whose lives have been torn apart by violence. Ask the Lordto bring peace where the threat of attack has left people feeling vulnerable and uncertain. Ask also that He will meet all the material needs of those who have been left impoverished and destitute after being forced to flee their homes. Pray that vulnerable Christian communities will find in the Lord a mighty rock and refuge (Psalm 62:7) when they have no earthly safe havens left, and ask Him to give them the courage they need to maintain a loving witness to Him in the face of violence.