When you went to church last Sunday, did you know you’d be coming home afterwards? Back to preparing the Sunday lunch, an afternoon stroll, resting before the week ahead…
Imagine if going to church was literally taking your life in your hands – running the risk of an explosion, or gunmen bursting into the congregation; not knowing if you’d see your friends and family again, let alone prepare lunch for them.
That’s the reality of life for thousands of our brothers and sisters in Christ around the world.
Over the past year, 5,898 Christians were murdered for their faith, 5,100 churches and Christian buildings were attacked, and 3,829 Christians were abducted.
That’s why for many, the only place they can worship Jesus is in an underground church. It’s the reality of life for a group of believers in Eurasia. Since the mid-nineties to the current day, 13 international Christian workers and an unknown number of local believers in this area have lost their lives for their faith. For doing something that we can so easily take for granted. Going to church.
But we worship a God who has overcome death and who can achieve the impossible.
Risking everything for God’s word
A small group of believers in a province in the Middle East, called the Anvard* people, have taken great risks in order to make progress with a Bible translation project. Six of them took a week off work – which is a risk in itself because of the questions that could attract – so that they could travel up to 10 hours to attend a week’s workshop on the foundations of translation. And they did this not in a quiet, peaceful location, but in a country that is in the midst of a civil war and in danger of a total collapse. These Anvard people risked their lives for the sake of God’s living word. They had part of the New Testament, but now they want the whole of the New Testament. This means so much to them that they are taking complete ownership of the translation project.