Then and Now: The Persecuted Church

May 11, 2017

Believe it or not, the persecution of Christians has been a world-wide issue for decades. Billy Graham spoke of the persecuted church in the 1950’s just as his son, Franklin Graham, speaks on it today. Sadly, the numbers of Christians who have been persecuted for the sake of Jesus Christ keeps rising.

Billy Graham visits a church in North Korea with son Ned during a trip in 1994.

THEN: 1951 Billy Graham – Hour of Decision Excerpt

“… Christians are having to pay for their faith in many foreign countries. Well documented news reports coming from various parts of the world indicate that more Christians were tortured and slain in 1950 than all who died under the iron heel of Rome during the first hundred years of the Church. The persecution of our fellow Christians in other parts of the world transcends anything the world has ever known. Over 20,000 have been slain for the name of Christ in Korea alone since the war began… In more than two-thirds of the world it is now dangerous to publicly acknowledge Jesus Christ. Why? … We are living in a world that hates… We are told in Scripture to love our neighbor as ourselves. We are told even to love our enemies… Hatred is threatening our society.”

Franklin Graham stands inside a church destroyed by ISIS in Qaraqosh, Iraq, a traditional Christian village.

NOW: 2017 Franklin Graham Article

“As I walk through the burned-out shell of a church near Mosul, Iraq, just a few weeks ago, our translator told me that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria graffiti scrawled on the walls read, ‘You love life, we love death.’ Members of ISIS had painted their flag written, ‘We have come to drink your blood.’

It’s one thing to destroy a building, but Christians are dying for their faith. And it’s not just in Iraq…

Indeed, more than 75% of the world’s population live in areas with severe religious restrictions, and 215 million believers suffer “high, very high or extreme persecution” in the 50 countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian, according to Open Doors USA and the Pew Research Center.”


Join us in praying this week as the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Franklin Graham host the first-ever World Summit in Defense of Persecuted Christians.

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