The reality is staggering. Almost twice as many Christians were killed for their faith in 2013 than were martyred in 2012. But what can Christians who are free to practice their faith do? And how can we involve children without exposing them to too much tragedy?
1. Pray for the persecuted and for your family’s role in serving them.
My journey to becoming involved with the persecuted Church began with a prayer.
2. Read the stories for yourself.
I had heard about persecution as a child; I listened to the stories of martyrs of long ago. But I never imagined the enormity of today’s persecuted Church. When you read, do it prayerfully. Know yourself. Reading about persecution is hard. It’s uncomfortable, and it hurts. If you know that there is a certain type of crime or vile deed that you cannot read about for whatever reason, please don’t. It will make it harder to share the other stories with your children. Here are some sites where you will find current reports from around the world and other helpful resources:
3. Help your child understand what the Bible says about persecution, both the causes for it and the never-ending hope that Jesus gives.
Without the hope of Heaven, and without the understanding that God takes an unspeakable tragedy and brings good out of it, persecution is beyond tragic.
4. Share what you learn with your children.
Extreme caution online is needed, as most sites about persecution are written for adults to read. You may consider showing your children a picture of the person in the story and retelling the story in your words. Do whatever you feel is best for your family. Here are two sites that are written for children that share about the persecuted Church:
- Kids of Courage, by The Voice of the Martyrs carefully and delicately, shares stories of persecution, as well as ways children can become involved in taking action.
- Exploring with Jake published a series called Modern Witnesses that shared stories of the persecuted Church in a child-appropriate way.
5. Talk to your children and help them find ways to express what they are feeling.
Both are critical. Children, especially sensitive ones, need to have a way to process the information they are learning, so they don’t hold it inside. Help them pray. Show them how they can write letters to persecuted Christians in prison or do a craft that will remind them and others to pray. Assist them to plan a presentation they can share with a Sunday School or co-op group. Encourage them to write a song, draw a picture, write a story—whatever is on your child’s heart. Whatever you do together as a family, remember that the one thing the persecuted Church asks for the most is prayer. It’s the one thing every one of us can give.
Source cited: http://www.worldwatchmonitor.org/2014/01/2935607/
Bonnie Rose Hudson lives in central Pennsylvania. Along with spending time with her family and writing, making kids smile is her favorite thing to do. Her heart’s desire is for every child to feel the love of God and know how special they are to Him. Stop by her author’s blog at WriteBonnieRose.com or connect with her online at Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, and LinkedIn.
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