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The world is convulsing, and in many instances, Christians are at the receiving end, a brutal receiving end quite often. Consider the situation in North Africa, East Africa and the Middle East. The fragile peace enjoyed by Christians as minorities in those areas have been shattered, and there are arising new Pharaohs who ?knew not Joseph?. The Coptic Church in Egypt is facing her greatest persecution in Ages, with mobs attacking churches and killing believers. In Syria, the rebels armed by Europe and the US are not only facing their stated enemies, but also decimating the Church as part of their agenda. ?It is sad to hear a Syrian Christian leader lament “The West wants to arm the seculars or ‘West friendly’ people, well we, the Syriac Christians those people. We want arms to protect our communities,” he said. “We spoke to western diplomats asking for help, and everyone ignored us”. Meanwhile, the massacre and decimation continues. Nearer home, it is not all at ease yet in the North of Nigeria.?

You will be surprised that even Christians in Europe and North America are facing a new kind of persecution arising from the Gay lobby. It is no longer enough that gays be accorded their right to be what they have chosen to be. It has become illegal for Christians to believe what they believe about ?gay-ness?. And the repercussions are beginning to show: A church forced to vacate their rented hall in a hotel because the Pastor preached to his congregation that being gay is against the word of God. The owner of the facility was petitioned to eject the Church, and he did. Jurisdictions are considering limiting promotions in Government service to those who have never held any discriminatory opinion on account of ?race, gender, nationality, sex and sexual orientation?. Read between the lines?you know where this is heading. And in a short while, if the agenda is pursued to the logical conclusion, it will be illegal for Pastors to refuse to conduct wedding ceremonies for gay couples in their Church, based on conviction and conscience. The gays can practice what they believe, but the Church is fast loosing that privilege!

Has the Lord Given you Rest?

A small story in the book of Joshua illustrates a dire need in the Church today:

?And to the Reubenites, and to the Gadites, and to half the tribe of Manasseh, spake Joshua, saying, remember the word which Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, saying, The LORD your God hath given you rest, and hath given you this land.? Your wives, your little ones, and your cattle, shall remain in the land which Moses gave you on this side Jordan; but ye shall pass before your brethren armed, all the mighty men of valour, and help them;?? Until the LORD have given your brethren rest, as he hath given you, and they also have possessed the land which the LORD your God giveth them: then ye shall return unto the land of your possession, and enjoy it, which Moses the LORD’S servant gave you on this side Jordan toward the sunrising.? Jos 1: 12 ? 15.

There are some places in this world today, and the southern part of Nigeria is thankfully one of them, where we still have some relative peace and freedom. Like the Reubenites, the Gadites and half tribe of Manasseh, we need to utilize this ?rest? to march before our brethren in prayer. It is time to ask, like the Prophet Amos:? ?O Lord GOD, cease, I beseech thee: by whom shall Jacob arise? for he is small? (Amos 7:5 ?). We have to begin to learn not to take our liberty for granted. We have to learn not to wait until it begins to happen here. Evil is gaining ground, one inch at a time. If we do not wake up now, we may wake up too late one day to discover that it is not only there, but it has arrived here as well. Did Boko Haram not taunt the Islamization of Nigeria as one of their agenda? And they are working towards it.

The admonition to pray for people in authority can no longer be limited to the authorities in your country in this new Global Village. We must see it in the same terms as the call to Jeremiah: ?I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant.?? It is a transnational assignment. The greatest pressure for the gay lobby in Nigeria is not coming from within; but from the rulers of Europe and America. The greatest influence on popular opinion today, thanks to the internet and cable TV, is coming from outside the shores of the country.

A Call to Prayer

This is an appeal to our various Church leaders at various levels: spare the time to pray for the hurting world. Take this as seriously as the prayers for personal peace and prosperity ? the nations need healing and deliverance. Private prosperity and personal well-being will be meaningless in a society that is marred by violence and religious intolerance. ?And seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be carried away captives, and pray unto the LORD for it: for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace? Jer 29:7.

May God help us to be faithful.