Monday, 16 April 2012

Jesus cares about climate change, do you?

Throwing litter on the streets, not turning off the TV after watching it, keeping the water running when brushing our teeth, not unplugging our chargers are things that some people, consider as insignificant damage to the environment. On the other hand, we readily blame big factories and business leaders for the awful amount of carbon they release when manufacturing their products. Either way, the majority of the world’s population particularly the people living in developed countries play a major role in the destruction of the environment, which in turn causes climate change. It may sound stark to put it this way, but the reality is equally ruthless.

Daleep Mukarji’s excerpt from The Church Has Left The Building raises awareness on the severe impact that carbon emissions from western countries have on climate change in the world. As a result, developing countries find themselves struggling the most to cope with this situation, as they suffer droughts, hurricanes, floods and extreme heat. The climate changes almost yearly and communities are left stripped of their crops, because of droughts plunging them into more severe poverty. Christian Aid, among others, has launched a campaign to fight against climate change, but it shouldn’t be only left to global organisations to proactively tackle the issue. If we really want to prevent future natural disasters and reduce the risk of global warming’s effects, we must all be concerned about the current climate situation enough to want to bring about change.

For many, the issue seems hopeless and for others, they don’t see why they should care. However it is the responsibility of the church to rise as an army, to fight for the conservation of our good old nature. There are too few people who care and Christians need to make the difference. Why should we take accountability to rescue the environment? Because we know better! We believe that God created the world and the Bible states that God reveals himself through nature. The glory and beauty of God are to be seen through His creation. An evidence that the environment matters to God is the fact that He sustains it all the time (Colossians 1: 16-17). Concurrently, if we love God we also want to love his creation. None of us would be happy to see our hard work being destroyed and undoubtedly, it is no joke to God to witness his once perfect creation, being constantly polluted and even harnessed to harm others.

Considering that the poorest people in the world are the most affected by climate change and its result, it becomes a justice issue where Christians should intervene. We shouldn’t forget that one of our callings is to establish righteousness on earth (Jeremiah 22:3), hence fight for what is right and against any type of injustice. Let’s join hands to support the poor as they have very limited means to confront climate change and let’s do all we can possibly do to reduce our energy consumption! We need to face the issue, raise awareness of its urgency and take action as soon as possible. All for one in this battle!

You can find out more about why we need to care for the environment by following this link

How can you help?

-pray for the conservation of environment and for the Spirit of God to convict businesses which significantly abuse the environment

-pray for effectiveness of organisations campaigning against unnecessary carbon emissions which affect the climate and poor countries

-join or donate to a Christian or an ethical environmental organisation:

-reduce your consumption of water and electricity

-raise awareness about the issue when you have the opportunity

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

How can you help a persecuted Christian?

Did you ever realise how privileged you are to go to a worship service every Sunday without dreading any threat or danger? If you have been involved in evangelism and any public Christian festival, this is also something to be thankful for, because for millions of Christians in the world, it is a dream yet to come true.

Out of the 200ish countries existing in the world, 50 among them are either closed to Christianity or allow a very restricted practice of it; which works out as one quarter of the world nations. These figures should spur us on to create strategies to tackle the issue, not only to help a Christian in need of support, but also given that Christ entrusted us to spread the much needed good news till the ends of the earth and make the world disciples.

In fact, Christians have strived to fulfil this command for centuries, yet the battle is still on as Christians have been suffering ruthless persecutions over the years. To date, there are still countries completely closed to the gospel of Christ. Even though unrelenting Christians have done the amazing job of translating the Bible into over 2000 languages, yet many countries remain unwelcoming to it, forbidding its entry into their territory and any type of Christian activity. Moreover, those who happen to be Christians in those places know their lives are on the line, as they can be brutalised, tortured, thrown into prisons or even killed if discovered. For instance, in Bangalore City, a pastor and two other Christians who got severely beaten by 35 Hindu Extremists for holding a Bible camp were unable to even lodge a complaint with the police as they feared further atrocities inflicted on them.

There are millions of undercover Christians experiencing those conditions and lately, the World Evangelical Alliance reported that over 200 million Christians in at least 60 countries face persecution each day and they are also denied fundamental human rights solely because of their faith. It is estimated that between 150,000 and 165,000 Christians are martyred each year.

For many Christians in liberal countries this is just one more echo of what they’ve heard before, and for others it may be shocking news, but are we going to do something about it? Jesus himself mentioned that his followers would be persecuted but does this mean we shouldn’t care? There are actually serious implications of Christian persecution.

In Colossians 4:2-3 The apostle Paul, one of the most persecuted Christian in history, solicited the church prayers for him and his counterparts so that they would have freedom to spread the Word. He then reminded them of his chains, symbols of the persecutions he endured, to pinpoint that they presented a hindrance for the furtherance of their mission. Today, countless concealed Christians can resonate with Paul. Indeed, Paul’s petition was only a reflection of the heart cry of every persecuted Christian.

Those hostile countries towards Christians are still holding strong onto their forbidding laws. Consequently, millions of people living there are missing out on hearing about Christ while on the other side, Christians hide and suffer in silence. We trust God to keep them strong as they already incredibly are, but maybe are they counting on some external help and intervention?

How can you help a persecuted Christian?

You can help persecuted Christians by:

- Praying constantly for them; Ephesians 6: 18 encourages us to pray for all the Lord’s people

- Getting in touch with them and showing them that we care

- Getting in the know of their needs and providing for them

- Advocating for their human rights to be respected and their freedom to practice their faith

-joining a movement combating Christian persecution

-praying for nations and countries and places where Christianity is prohibited or severely restricted

-praying for organisations involved in helping persecuted Christians

-raising awareness about Christian persecution and creating a movement to fight against it


- What first step have you taken today after reading this information?

- If you belong to a church or a Christian group/community, In case you don’t already, raise the issue there, pray about it and discuss about actions that can be taken.

Facts about persecuted Christians



3. (Christian Persecution Magazine)

Movements to join:

1. Christian Solidarity Worldwide

2. Christian Freedom International

3. Voice Of The Martyrs (VOM)

4. Release International

5. International Christian Concern (ICC)

6. OpenDoors

8. Human Rights watch