For the past couple of days, the story of Said Musa (also here) has made waves in the UK and Europe while little has been reported here in the US. This Afghan Christian faces death for his faith in Christ.
He has said, “I also agree . . . to sacrifice my life in public [where] I will tell [about my] faith in Lord Jesus Christ, son of God, [so] other believers will take courage and be strong in their faith.” The Apostle Paul said similarly, “I am ready to be offered up,” and “My earnest expectation and hope is that Christ be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death.”
Many people seem shocked over his situation, but it simply reminds us of the reality of the world we live in:
1) The innocent die.
In Job 4.7, Job’s friend Eliphaz asked the question, “Who ever perished, being innocent? or where were the righteous cut off?”
We should do what we can to promote religious freedom around the world, and to end this type of persecution. But if Said dies for his faith (something he is willing to do, by the way), it is not because of a lack of faith, prayer, or outside intervention. We should pray for him – that whatever the outcome God will get great glory to Himself. Pray for his faith to not waver and for grace to triumph.
2) Persecution is prevalent.
Most American Christians think of persecution as Christians being thrown to the lions in the first century. Some may be familiar with the image of an Inquisition Court. Fewer still understand that persecution and martyrdom are alive and well in our time.
According to Voice of the Martyrs website, there are Christians in over 40 countries suffering from persecution for their faith. A number of reputable sources claim that more Christians died for their faith in the twentieth century than in the nineteen previous centuries combined.
3) Democracy is insufficient.
Despite the high hopes of some, democracy is not the cure-all for the world’s ills. Some time ago Palestine had democratic elections and who did they choose? Terrorists. Afghanistan threw off the domination of the Taliban, had elections, and chose a constitution. Now they will put a man to death because he had the temerity to choose another religion. Egypt’s recent revolution brought change, but uncertainty about their future is strong.
Choice without character will lead to chaos. Give freedom of choice to a people whose belief system is predisposed toward violent intolerance of other belief systems, and you will get Said Musa sentenced to death.
The Harsh Reality
These are realities in our world. If nothing else, this story should bring home this stark truth: Never expect too much from human attempts to improve our world. Hasn’t happened yet. Never will.
Reality is, there’s only one hope for this world!