Monday, January 14, 2008

Would You Go To Church If You Knew You Might Die?

Since the US-led invasion in 2003 the number of Iraqi Christians has decreased from 1.2 million to approximately 600,000, with many Christians fleeing to bordering countries in search of safety. The US occupation of Iraq has led to increased persecution of the already small minority of Christians in Iraq. This past New Year's Eve seven churches were bombed in a coordinated attack.

But not every Iraqi Christian is fleeing their homeland.

“We have decided to continue to go to church, let them bomb us, we’ve had enough,” said “Daniel” (name withheld for security reason) to AINA. “It’s our country too. If they want to wipe us out, they’ll be able to do it anyway. I will die proud,” he said in defiance of increasing Christian persecution.

I wonder if I value the fellowship of the saints so highly that I would willingly endanger my mortal flesh, as well as the safety of my family, in an effort to seek and savor the grace of Christian community we know as the church? Is this Iraqi Christian crazy, or does he see within the community Jesus purchased with his blood a treasure of greater value than the certainty of a comfortable, safe existence free from danger and uncertainty?


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