Countries Where Christians Could Face Immediate Arrest

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Did you ever have a dream that you knew was very significant and you tried to remember that dream next day and just couldn’t? Perhaps later in the day something triggers your memory and it floods back to you – that dream or nightmare! I was reminded of this experience recently in my daily reading where I have reached the Book of Daniel, Chapter 2. Here we see that Nebuchadnezzar had a dream and next morning he couldn’t remember what it was but unreasonably he expected his sorcerers and magicians to not only interpret the dream – but to know what the dream was!

Praise God, Daniel steps in and this fervently praying man of faith has the dream revealed to him “in a night vision” by the living God whom he serves (Verse 19) When Daniel reveals this to him, Nebuchadnezzar then affirms… “Of a truth it is, that your God is a God of gods, and a Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, seeing thou couldest reveal this secret.” (Verse 47)

Nowadays some people would only have to hear such words and immediately jump to the conclusion that the king had become a servant of Daniel’s God but this is certainly not the case; Nebuchadnezzar has many humbling lessons to learn before yet another dream becomes reality in his life and he ultimately lifts his eyes up to heaven and in his own words… “I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation.” (Daniel 4v34) It took a long time before the king recognised that “the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.” (Daniel 4v32) In the end, praise God, Nebuchadnezzar humbled himself and worshipped and honoured the “Lord of kings.”

Directly after the revelation and interpretation of that dream, back in Chapter 2, the King promoted Daniel and his three friends, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego but in the very next chapter he builds a huge “image of gold” – something which must be worshipped or face the consequences of “a burning fiery furnace.” (Chapter 3v6) Clearly the king at this point has forgotten his previous words concerning Daniel’s living God and “Lord of kings.”

I recently learned of two men who had visited North Korea – where bowing to statues and also the carefully preserved bodies of previous leaders of the regime is the ‘norm.’ No one can visit this country independently but these two, although accompanied by state guides, carried hidden cameras with the intent of getting some “secret footage” about how life really is for the “man on the street.” In order to do so, they did everything in their power to prevent being singled out or noticed, which meant perhaps forgoing some principles as regards the expected “bowing deeply” to statues of members of the Kim dynasty. Even many nominal Christians are uncomfortable with such a gesture but a real Christian would baulk at the very idea.

Those who know the Lord and serve Him can never bow to any statue – even if it means having to face a “burning fiery furnace.” There are many political/religious regimes in the world where Christians face horrendous persecution and there are countries where even the possession of a Bible is an offence punishable by death.

I realise, as a Christian, that there are countries which I would never visit – unless, of course, the Lord called me into such dangerous territory to serve Him. Here, in western civilization, the Bible is often taken for granted and our very freedom to worship is often taken for granted too but I feel that there are days ahead in even the most “civilised” of regimes when persecution will be the lot of those who follow the God of Daniel and who take a stand on the controversial issues of our day.

We must pray for and support persecuted brothers and sisters of those lands where tyranny reigns supreme – lands where the citizens waken each morning to poverty and another gruelling day in the face of severe brainwashing and sheer terror, with many of them even imprisoned for their faith.

But praise God… political and religious ideologies, personality cults and worship of so called “great leaders” and false prophets may come and go throughout the history of this world but the God of Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego endures forever. Some day the statues of the “Kim dynasty” will fall, all worldwide objects of worship will fall, the proud will be abased and those who exalt themselves or their political or religious ideology above the Creator of Heaven and Earth will be brought to nothing.

“And at the end of days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation:” (Daniel 4v34)

“That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2v10&11)

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2 Responses to “Countries Where Christians Could Face Immediate Arrest”

  1. Cathy Says:

    I agree with what you say Elizabeth. I pray the Lord give us courage to stand for him no matter what comes our way.

    “Here, in western civilization, the Bible is often taken for granted and our very freedom to worship is often taken for granted too but I feel that there are days ahead in even the most “civilised” of regimes when persecution will be the lot of those who follow the God of Daniel and who take a stand on the controversial issues of our day.”

  2. Countries Where Christians Could Face Immediate Arrest | PEACEMAKERS Says:

    […] Countries Where Christians Could Face Immediate Arrest […]

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