Church in Chains Conference – September 11th, 2010

Lord willing I hope to attend the annual Church in Chains Conference on Saturday September, 11th next in the Athlone Springs Hotel, County Westmeath in the Republic of Ireland. The special guest speaker this year will be Pastor Manuel Arias from Chiapas in Mexico who will tell of the long struggle for justice for a group of prisoners known as “The Innocent of Acteal.”

Church in Chains, an independent charity which is based in Ireland, encourages prayer and active support for persecuted Christians throughout the world. Evangelical Christians in particular appear to be targets for terrible forms of persecution, which persists in countries as diverse as Afghanistan, Egypt, Uzbekistan, Mexico, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Eritrea, China, North Korea, Pakistan, Indonesia, Iran, and Iraq to name but a few.

As recently as July last, two Pastors (who were brothers) were shot dead outside a court in Faisalabad, Pakistan. These two young men (30 and 32) were being led in handcuffs back to the jail when the murder occurred. Their crime…? Attempting to spread the gospel, for which they were facing blasphemy charges.

How thankful I am to live in a country where I am free to worship the Saviour, to seek Him in prayer, to read His Word and to tell others of His love. But I am ever aware that the devil is active and that some day even in my own country there may arise those in high places who oppose the liberty that Christians currently enjoy.

Jesus said: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10v28)

We live in dangerous days, when the evil one is igniting the fires of hatred amongst those who are actively opposing the gospel and who hate the very name of Jesus. To Christians who read: please pray for brothers and sisters all across the world who are facing isolation; who are ostracised by their families; who are imprisoned for their faith and who may be facing torture and death. You may not know them all by name but the Holy Spirit will assist your prayer… “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” (Romans 8v26)

I have discovered, nevertheless, that not everyone who attends this particular conference is a Christian, even though they may find it of interest and are not antagonistic. For this reason it is good to be led of the Spirit in conversations with those we meet and to look for opportunities to witness.

My books: “A Biblical Journey through the Irish Year, Singing on the Journey Home and the children’s book: “God Made You, God Loves You, God Saves You” will be available there, along with handcrafted scripture bookmarks – which are free with the books. With regard to the latter, my prayer as always, is that the Lord would use the words He has given me to touch hearts, whatever their spiritual needs might be.

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