Open Doors USA CEO David Curry claims that American pastors are "failing to teach a biblical theology of persecution," while there is a rise of Christian persecution worldwide.
Open Doors is a non-denominational ministry. It serves in the world's most oppressive regions and empower and equip persecuted Christians.
Curry is now urging American believers, especially pastors, to pay attention to what’s currently happening in places like Nigeria. Boko Haram, the Jihadist group, that operates in Nigeria is responsible for more than 34,000 deaths since 2011.
Curry remarks "There are now 91 million Christians in Nigeria and many others in India, China and other places around the world continually trusting Jesus for protection while facing persecution."
Curry is imploring pastors and leaders in the West to come back to “reality” and keep their congregations informed while encouraging them to pray for those in danger.
When asked by a reporter: Why do you think the western world is in such a slumber concerning persecution?
I think it's a failure of leadership. I think it starts there. This is a bit of an indictment, but I think pastors ... they're not teaching their church about it, they're not teaching a biblical standard, they’re not teaching a theology of persecution.
The New Testament was written by persecuted Christians. They’re books of the Bible that start with Paul in prison, and at the end, he’s still in prison. But we're not hearing that gospel in America, and I think it's created a chasm between us and the rest of the world. We are not living in reality. So I think it's an indictment of the leadership here in America and the West, it's not to say it can't turn around, but we need to have every church, every Sunday, talking, praying in some way about their persecuted brothers and sisters. It's a universal calling in the scripture that we are to pray for people who are in chains in the name of Jesus as if they were our own family and understand the theology of suffering.
I think that's part of it. I think then the rest of it is that we as American Christians are inundated with media at the same place as everyone is, we take our marching orders on what's important by what's on our Twitter feed. That’s a very unhealthy way to prioritize what's important because it's what's urgent but it doesn't allow us to focus on the things that are timeless and important. We're going to need to, just like everybody else, pull back from the fatigue of the constant media barrage of bad news from everywhere, and figure out, what are we called to focus on?
Curry is right. We are too used to our comfort and riches that we have become immune to the suffering of our brothers and sisters around the world. Forgive us God for focusing on ourselves and not our family around the world. Please pray for the persecuted believers around the world.