The Problem of Western Indifference Regarding Persecution

Header image courtesy of VOM USA

Over 260 million Christians live in places with high levels of persecution. Every day they face danger and struggles, yet most of the West is ignorant or indifferent. Why?

Todd Nettleton with Voice of the Martyrs, USA says the problem is two-fold. There are problems both with the Church and the government.

The Church’s Neglect

1 Corinthians 12 talks about the Body of Christ. The Church should be eagerly watching and caring for every member. However, often the Church does not see or seek out those actively suffering with persecution.

Nettleton says, “It’s a misapplication of Scripture, which calls us when one part of the body is suffering, the other parts of the body are supposed to feel that. If we are cut off, [we] can’t feel that and so there’s the aspect of the Church and why doesn’t the Church pay more attention?”

Some of that answer may be ignorance. Voice of the Martyrs, USA seeks to change that. One of their purposes is, “To promote the fellowship of all believers by informing the world of the faith and courage of persecuted Christians, thereby inspiring believers to a deeper level of commitment to Christ and involvement in His Great Commission.”

However, the Church is not alone in a quiet response.

The Government’s Disinterest

Government leaders do not often actively pursue these issues for several reasons. Nettleton details two of those reasons.

  1. Government officials work for re-election. Many elected officials do what they believe voters want to see. Nettleton says, “I think in some cases, it is, they don’t think their voters care about that. And they work for voters. And so we as voters, we need to let them know this is a priority to us. This is something we think about when we go to the ballot box.”
  2. America is in debt. Telling a foreign government to change their laws and treat Christians better is tricky when we owe them more than we can pay. Nettleton explains, “It’s hard for us to do that because the borrower is the servant of the lender. And so, there is an economic reason why some of our government officials are hesitant to raise the issue of persecution with foreign governments.”

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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Anna Deckert


  • Ask God to strengthen persecuted believers around the world.
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  • Contact your local congressman and ask what they are doing to help reduce persecution worldwide.

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