“Why can’t we just celebrate the season with others? Why trouble us with sad words about suffering? Would it be right for Americans to remember only General Eisenhower on the day commemorating victory, while forgetting those who gave their lives in war?”1
Those words reminded me of two truths that I must not forget this Christmas. The Baby whose birth we celebrate this Christmas came to die to save us from our sins. (John 12:27) Our sin was that bad; there was no other way we could have peace with God.
Because Jesus died and came back to life, we are free to know God and are compelled to tell others of the price He paid to give us life and peace. But many tonight are not free to tell others openly. They face abuse, torture, or even death.
Please pray with me for all those who are not free to celebrate Christmas and worship the Lord openly tonight. If you’d like to explore the topic of Christian persecution with your children in a sensitive and age-appropriate way, I’d be honored if you’d consider using my Christmas unit study A Martyr’s Christmas, which is written for elementary-middle school aged children. It is a simple way to explore Colombia, India, Turkey, and Algeria while meeting men and women who have suffered for their faith in Christ at Christmastime.
For more resources to help you teach your children about Christian persecution today, I invite you to check out my book Asia: Its People and History, which introduces elementary and middle school students to the history of six Asian nations. It shows what life is like for Christians in these nations today and how to pray for them. It also shares ways we can pray for the lost. There are also a number of FREE supplemental resources that you can use independently or alongside the book.
1. The quote above is from The Voice of the Martyrs December 2013 newsletter. In the newsletter, the words of Richard Wurmbrand, their founder and a man who spent many years in desolate prisons, are edited and excerpted from The voice of the Martyr’s December 1994 newsletter.