- by Mariela.cadence
- April 11, 2022
On Easter Sunday in 2019, suicide bombers in Sri Lanka attacked three churches and three hotels, killing 269 people and wounding another 500. Archbishop Ben Kwashi from Nigeria, heard the news just before he was to preach at an Easter Sunday church service. Archbishop Kwashi is familiar with persecution. His own home has been attacked by Fulani Islamist militants on several occasions. Last year, in his country Nigeria, 4,650 Christians were killed for their faith, more than in any other country in the world (Open Doors World Watch List 2022).
Persecution appears to be growing. The Watch List reported that last year, 5,898 Christians were killed for their faith, over 1,000 people more than the previous year.
As he preached that Easter Sunday, Archbishop Kwashi declared: “The resurrection of Jesus is a total defeat of death and of those who would want to use death to scare people off from faith in Jesus. His resurrection has made death powerless against all who believe in Jesus Christ.”
“His resurrection has made death powerless against all who believe in Jesus Christ.”
This Easter, Anglican Aid is launching our Persecuted Christians Support Program. We are supporting Christians suffering persecution in the Diocese of Jos in Nigeria as well as in Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Yemen, and Pakistan.
We are seeking people to pray with us. It takes God’s empowering Spirit to help our brothers and sisters to endure. Please sign up here to receive a monthly e-mailed prayer update for persecuted Christians.
The day after the Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka, Archbishop Kwashi said: “Meanwhile, in this Easter week let us remember that the one who drew alongside two sad and discouraged disciples on the Emmaus road was the Risen Christ who yet still bore the wounds of the cross. By death he has destroyed death and he will be with us until the very end in the power of the Holy Spirit. The Risen Lord be with you!”
A prayer for persecuted Christians:
Eternal Father, almighty shepherd of your people,
You have promised that those who follow Jesus will be persecuted. We pray for your children around the world who are suffering mistreatment, imprisonment, loss of possessions, and threats of death for their allegiance to you. By your mighty power keep them faithful to you. Be their shield and defence, their refuge and their stronghold.
Shelter them under the shadow of your wings, that they may not fear their enemies, and help us to uphold them in prayer, that together we may walk in the light of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and not be ashamed to confess him as Lord, to the glory of your name, Amen.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade.”
1 Peter 1:3,4
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