International (MNN) — Tomorrow is Christmas Day, the perfect time to target Christians. Floyd Brobbel with Voice of the Martyrs Canada says persecutors normally get noisy during the Easter and Christmas holidays, issuing threats and launching attacks. See our past coverage here.
This year, things have been surprisingly quiet. “I’m not sure why that is; it doesn’t change what’s happening on the ground,” Brobbel says.
Even if they’re hidden from the headlines, believers in hostile nations pay a high price for following Jesus. Iran arrests dozens of Christians each year in the weeks leading up to Christmas. Last week, Boko Haram released a three-minute video promising more attacks on believers in Nigeria as Christmas Day approaches.
For persecuted Christians, the Advent season is both a blessing and a curse.
“During Christmas time comes celebration, but also this ominous threat of possible attack [or] violence against families who are Christian within their communities,” Brobbel says.
Send a Christmas blessing to persecuted Christians
In North Africa, 2020 brought increasing hardships to Algerian believers. See our coverage here. Despite authorities’ intensified efforts to close down churches, Algerian Christians pressed on to share Christ’s love and offer theological training.
This Christmas, Voice of the Martyrs Canada is partnering with various churches throughout Algeria to distribute thousands of packages filled with essential items to Christian and Muslim families with school-age children. Within each of the communities, a Christmas party will be held – providing opportunities to extend God’s love to Muslim children and their families.
Most importantly, pray. “Pray not only that our brothers and sisters would sense the Lord’s presence and sense His peace but that they would actually see peace. Maybe instead of violence, things turning towards reconciliation,” Brobbel suggests.
Ask God to change the hearts of those who don’t know Him.
“Christmas is a great time to remember those that walk in darkness; maybe neighbors or people we know that don’t understand the reason why we celebrate Christmas.”
Header image courtesy of VOM Canada via Facebook.