Terrorism, Harassment Takes Its Toll on the Church In Africa

Pastors at a 2013 Frontline Shepherds Conference in Ghana. (Image courtesy Global Advance)
Pastors at a 2013 Frontline Shepherds Conference in Ghana.
(Image courtesy Global Advance)

Persecution comes in many forms. Terrorism. Harassment. Being shut out from business opportunities. No allowance for a building permit to hold church services. Being forced unfairly to leave a current facility or face unbearable fines. Beatings. Torture. Threats. Even murder.

In February 2012, Newsweek reported a 309% increase in terrorist attacks against Christians since 2003 in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Since that report, there’s been even more violence targeted against minority Christians in Muslim areas.

What happens to the pastors and church leaders over the years? They feel isolated, weary and demoralized. David Shibley with Global Advance says their teams are taking advantage of the summer season to respond to that need, specifically in Africa. In one area, Shibley says, “We’re going to be bringing pastors out of a very volatile area where radicals have taken over the city where they are courageously pastoring.” He explains that in the city where these church leaders work, militants have “bombed several churches. Several Christians have died through the violence. The pastors are discouraged.”

Global Advance has big plans for these leaders this summer. They’re plan? “First of all, just to affirm, encourage, strengthen, and refresh them, but also to equip them to go back into the spiritual battle.”

Revelation 11:15 declares where history is headed: “The kingdom of the world will become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ!” That’s partly why Global Advance is so focused on resourcing, explains Shibley. “The dual aspect of the Great Commission is to proclaim the gospel to everyone, but also to make disciples of all the nations.”

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Ruth Kramer

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