Suffering Church Action Week - Love Not Hate
In his Gospel, John tells us that, as friends of Jesus, we can expect to be hated by the world without cause. Jesus warned His followers, “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first ... If they persecuted me they will persecute you also.” (John15:18,20). As Christians we follow the King of Love who entreats us to love not hate. We are called to live out Christ’s command to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us (Matthew 5:44). He demands of us a much higher standard than that is found in the world (Matthew 5:48).
Around the world, trends in Christian persecution point to a spread in extremist violence and radical teachings, as well as a creeping suppression of Christian faith in the next generation. Often we hear of persecuted Christians, enduring vicious hatred and even threats to their lives, responding with love and grace towards those who abuse them. Suffering Church Action Week (SCAW) is an opportunity for us to stand with our Christian family, in every corner of the globe, and demonstrate Christ’s love to each one of them, whatever they are facing.
Order your SCAW 2018 Resource Inspiration Pack!
Getting resources for Suffering Church Action Week couldn’t be easier. Just order our free Love Not Hate Inspiration Resource Pack, and we’ll provide you with everything you need to get started.
There are many ways to show your love for persecuted Christians around the world this Suffering Church Action Week. You may wish to commit to praying regularly for a project, a country, or Christians in particular context of persecution. Every Barnabas Aid magazine includes a Prayer Diary to aid and inspire your prayers each day. Barnabas Fund offer free resources to help you plan a Sunday service or Bible study session. There are also activities for youth groups, including a role-play game through which young people can experience the injustice suffered by Pakistani Christians who work in brickkilns.
A Sunday service: “Love not hate”
Among the resources that may be helpful for your “Love not Hate” themed service or meeting are our sermon outline, overview of trends in Christian persecution, suggested hymns and songs, and also our encouraging hymn for 2018: “The son of consolation” by Maude O. Coote, to the tune of SS Wesley’s Aurelia. Your service could be on Sunday 28 October or Sunday 4 November (or any another Sunday that suits your church calendar).
Show your love in a practical way with a church offering
If you wish to give it to a particular project or need, your church could make a donation to our Victims of Violence Fund. Or you could choose a specific project that helps victims of violence, such as the Santal Christians in Bangladesh whose homes were burnt down by police in riot gear. Barnabas Fund is building new houses for them, on safe, church-owned land. Alternatively, you could give to our General Fund and we will use your gift wherever the need is greatest. This funding enables us to react quickly to emergency situations, and to meet needs that are too sensitive to publicise. You might like to fundraise to help suffering Christians by holding a coffee morning at your church, asking members of the congregation to donate cakes and sandwiches.
Raising awareness through social media
Go to our Facebook page: facebook.com/BarnabasFund. On Facebook, you will find the SCAW post pinned to the top of our page. Please like our page and share the SCAW post with your friends and family – ask them to do the same!
Suffering Church Action Week is a great opportunity to learn about and bring to the attention of others the plight of our persecuted brothers and sisters. But you can help support, strengthen and sustain them, not just for a week, but all year round by pledging a monthly gift to become part of an essential, continuous life-flow to needy Christians living with pressure and persecution across the world.
By joining Living Streams you can sustain a family living in poverty, support an evangelist or pastor in their ministry, sponsor a child throughout their school years, or strengthen suffering Christians through the grace of God’s Word by investing in the gift of a Bible each month.
You can join Living Streams or find out more by visiting the Living Streams webpage or contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01672 564938. Barnabas Fund will give regular news updates to all who join Living Streams by committing regular support. If you choose to sustain a family or sponsor a child, we will also send you a prayer card with a photograph and details of persecuted believers you are helping.