Sunday, July 06, 2008

Freedom of Worship

Closing out the holiday weekend, this Sunday is a great time to thank God for blessing us with freedom to worship as we choose. I'm constantly reminded by news from other countries that many Christians aren't nearly so fortunate. Here's one historical example from Greg Kundra, a CBS Evening News writer and Catholic deacon (hat tip: Anchoress):
In the early 1970’s, during the Vietnam War, the Archbishop of Saigon was a man named Francis Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan. The Communists saw him as a threat. And on the feast of the Assumption, August 15, 1975, he was arrested and sent to prison. Without ever being tried, or sentenced, he was shipped off to a prison in North Vietnam. He stayed there for 13 years, nine of them in solitary confinement.

There are many parts of the world today where you can be imprisoned or killed for practicing the Christian faith, especially if you're a convert from Islam--North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Iran, etc. Open Doors has a list of persecuting countries that makes a good prayer guide.

On a more positive note, the Anchoress also has a great post about Jesus, the incarnation of God in the flesh, about what it means that He was a man who walked the earth. In light of the persecution in the world, it's good to be reminded of the power of the Gospel.

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