Scripture Reading — Ephesians 6:10-20
Pray … that … I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel.
Ephesians 6:19 —
Bat Ye’Or is a Coptic Christian from Egypt. From the bitter history of her own people she describes what it is like to live in a country where it is against the law to speak of Christ. In her book, The Decline of Eastern Christianity Under Islam, she details the dhimmitude (ghettoization) of Christians, such that a cross cannot be displayed openly on a church, Christians cannot “beat the corrugated board” to call people to worship, and the young have to convert to Islam if they want to land a decent job. In this culture jihad (holy war) is followed by long periods of dhimmitude (ghettoization).
Bat Ye’Or shows how Hitler learned his tactics of exterminating and forcing Jews into ghettos from jihad and dhimmitude when he saw that the world soon forgot the genocide of Armenian Christians in Turkey (1914-18).
In the communist world similar tactics have been used to pressure Christians into denying their faith. In Japan, social pressure is used to discourage people from becoming Christians. Even in free-speech America, the saying “Just don’t talk about religion and politics,” makes it difficult to say anything about Christ in “polite” society. People stiffen up immediately if you do.
All of this shows that talking about the gospel is often one of the most difficult things to do in a world ravaged by sin and evil. In Christ we need to be fearless.
Even when conversations turn icy, Lord, help us to cheerfully, lovingly, and bravely make known the mystery of the gospel, the good news of your love for us all. In Jesus, Amen.