How would you rate 2014? Good? Bad? Somewhere in-between? Emily Fuentes with Open Doors USA says it’s been a rough year for the global Church.
There has been more persecution in 2014 than any year in recent history.
“Even non-Christian news agencies and secular news agencies are paying attention,” Fuentes notes. She’s been with Open Doors for the past decade.
“My entire time here, I have never seen, first of all, the types of stories (the widespread persecution) or the significant increase globally in persecution.”
From the ISIS crisis to Nigeria’s kidnapped schoolgirls, much of this year’s persecution springs from a single source: radical Islam.
And yet, hope prevails.
In many cases–and 2014 is no different, stopping the Church is like killing weeds: the more you try to eradicate them, the more they grow.
“It would seem like in countries where there’s so much more persecution, it would have that effect of stopping the growth of the Church, right? That’s what these governments or Islamic extremist groups are all attempting to do,” Fuentes says.
“But the most amazing thing that we’ve seen over the years is that, in fact, it causes the Gospel to flourish.”
Most importantly, pray.
“We know that prayer has moved mountains and changed the course of history. It’s changed leaders’ hearts, it’s changed nations,” Fuentes states.
“Persecuted Christians have seen this over and over again.”