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Where is the Church Growing?

The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church.

Tertullian, a Christian writer in Carthage, North Africa, wrote these words about 170 years after Jesus was crucified. He wrote them in a defense of Christianity to local officials. Christians were being persecuted but the Church was growing.

Tertullian wrote to answer charges that Christians were criminals and disloyal to the Roman empire.

These words were true in Tertullian’s time and place.

Historians have shown that in other times and places intense persecution exterminated Christian communities.

What about today?

There are about 195  nations in the world.

About a quarter of them persecute Christians. In some, Christians are denied full rights in the economy, education, or the right to worship. In others, Christians are imprisoned, tortured, and executed.

Open Doors, which advocates for persecuted Christians, lists the top 50 persecuting nations led by North Korea and Afghanistan.

There is another list of the 20 countries where Christianity is growing the fastest. Many of these countries are also on the list where there is the most severe persecution.

At least today, Tertullian’s response to Roman persecution holds true in some of most difficult nations of the world to be a Christian.

The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church.

Questions for consideration:

Will you pray for the nations where Christians are persecuted?

Will you pray for the 20 nations where Christianity is growing most rapidly?

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