Sunday November 3, 2019 was the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. It came and went with little attention or thought by many around the world, particularly in Western nations where we take freedom from persecution for granted. Yet in countries like Eritrea in the Horn of Africa hundreds of Christians are jailed, violence ravages the populace, and children are left without care. This in a nation who recently witnessed the Prime Minister of neighboring Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmend Ali receive the Nobel Peace Prize for negotiating a resolution to the 20-year military border conflict with Eritrea.
According to Voice of the Martyrs, there are more than 40 countries around the world where it is illegal to own a Bible, to share your faith in Christ, change your faith, or to simply teach your children about Jesus Christ. Persecution is nothing new to the Church, Jesus told His disciples, “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you… but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you.” Christians in the 1st Century embraced persecution as a way of life, and understood it to be of the highest honor when arrested and suffer dishonor for preaching Christ and Him crucified.
This was not and is not the case for those suffering for proclaiming the saving grace of Christ’s atoning death for the sins of mankind. These are the ones Jesus spoke of when He said, “you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.”
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Dennis Call joined the Army as an infantry officer shortly after the 9/11 attacks on our country, serving fourteen years on active duty. During his Army service, Dennis deployed for thirty-three months to Iraq and Afghanistan in support of the Global War on Terror. Prior to joining the Army Dennis served as the Director of College Ministries at First Baptist Church in Texico, N.M. where he mentored students at Eastern New Mexico University in Portales, N.M. Dennis and his amazing wife Katie live in Colorado Springs, CO with their five children (four boys and one super sweet daughter).