In our little American bubble where we are free to worship without fear that the government will imprison, torture or kill us, we rarely think about our brothers and sisters in Christ across the world who do face that.

Today Lakeland worshiped like an underground church (at least, as much as we could simulate it). We met together in darkness, crowded together in a small space. No hymnals (too risky to get caught with a book of worship songs) or words on a screen (no money for technology)–just a guitar and our voices. Often these secret churches don’t have a steady pastor and the members might have to take turns preaching without copies of Scripture. We were asked to recall verses that would encourage each other (without using cell phones or Bibles). We heard stories of people who were martyred or persecuted for their faith in Jesus Christ.

Thank You, God, for the people who continue to praise you even when they are being put to death. Their faith humbles me and teaches me.

If you would like to learn more about the persecuted church or want to help our brothers and sisters with prayers or gifts, visit The Voice of the Martyrs.