Suffering for Christ

Dear church, 

Often we take for granted that we don't have to suffer for being Christians (except for sometimes feeling awkward or being ridiculed) but for many Christians in in the world today, their faith means risking their lives to follow Jesus. 

This week I bring you the sad news of someone who was killed for their faith in Christ. While these details are graphic and sobering, it's important to remember that the good news of Christ is one worth dying for, as we believe that peoples' eternal existence is at stake. 

My question to each of us would be: Are we ashamed of Christ? What are we risking for Christ? How do we need to walk by faith in our relationships? How can we pray for/support our brothers and sisters who face persecution? For more testimonies and ways you can pray for our brothers and sisters who are being persecuted for their faith, visit persecution.org.

Pastor Han Chung-Ryeol, 49, was brutally murdered on Saturday, April 30, in Changbai, China.
He pastored a church near the North Korean border and helped countless North Koreans come to know Christ. He leaves behind a wife, a son and a daughter.
Pastor Han reportedly left his church building in Changbai at 2 p.m. on April 30. His body, mangled beyond recognition, was discovered at 8 p.m. He had been repeatedly stabbed in his stomach and his head had been hacked with an axe. All of his personal belongings, including his cell phone, were stolen.
In February, the North Korean government issued an order for Pastor Han to be kidnapped, brought to North Korea and interrogated. Despite the threat, Pastor Han continued his work in Changbai.
Pastor Han was known for helping anyone who crossed into China from North Korea. He would help in practical ways, like food or clothing, and introduce each person to the gospel. Then he would send them back to share Christ inside North Korea and help their families.
Since planting his church in 1993, Pastor Han had helped orphans, sex-trafficked women, soldiers and the famine-starved, among others.
Pray for Pastor Han’s family and those inside North Korea whom he has helped, as they have been rounded up for questioning. Also pray for those who killed him.