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Thankful for the Christian Martyrs

Seven-year-old Anmol Courtesy: Gospel For Asia

This Thanksgiving I'm thanking God for our brothers and sisters in Christ who were martyred recently for their faith in Jesus.

I'll be praying for the families of more than 80 Christians who died last September when crazed Islamists bombed worshippers at All Saints Church in Peshawar, Pakistan. It was the worst attack against Christians since the country's founding in 1947.

I'm thankful for the bold witness of Egyptian Christians who stood firm last August as Muslim militants burned their homes, churches, and businesses. I'm thankful for the two Copts who were killed in Sahel Selim, Egypt when they refused to pay a jizya tax imposed on them by Islamists.

I'm thankful for the hundreds of Nigerian Christians killed this year in attacks by the Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram.

And there are many other Christian martryrs around the world--all worthy of our thanks. Martyr means witness. They've been bold witnesses, and I feel privileged to have met, talked, and prayed with many of them around the world. I'm encouraged by their overcoming spirit.

My heart especially grieves when the victims are little children like 7-year-old Anmol.

According to Gospel for Asia, he went missing Nov. 17 after attending Sunday School at Believers Church in northern India. Last week, his body was discovered in a pond. Anmol had been tortured and beaten.The coroner reported he had drowned.

Anmol was kidnapped and brutally murdered because he and his family loved Jesus. His father, Harish had reportedly led many Hindus to Christ and had received countless threats from Hindu militants.

Now, little Anmol is in Heaven and his father is without a son.

This Thanksgiving, I'll be thanking God for the sacrifice of His son. I'll also thank Him for Anmol and his family, for their obedience and courageous witness for Christ.

As we Americans gather around the dinner table with loved ones this Thanksgiving, let's thank God that we live in a nation that is free from the type of persecution experienced by Anmol and his family.

That's what I'll be praying.

What are you thanking God for this Thanksgiving?

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