“Blessed are those who have been a persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. ‘Blessed are you when men cast insults at you, and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, on account of Me. ‘Rejoice, and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.’”
(Matthew 5:10-12 NASB)
In the midst of the presidential primaries here in the United States, it’s easy to forget about our brothers and sisters in Christ who live in countries that make following Jesus extremely difficult.

Open Doors, a ministry focused on serving persecuted Christians around the world, just released their 2016 World Watch List. This list details the top 50 countries where Christians are persecuted on a regular basis. Many of these countries on this list are the most challenging to get into, let alone to do Christian ministry within.

Global Training Network is now involved in 72 countries globally. Out of those 72 countries, 20 are on the 2016 World Watch List. This past year, I spent time in two of the countries mentioned (India and Ethiopia) where Christians face (according to Open Doors) “severe persecution.”

As you may remember, we were all horrified last April as we watched the following story play out on the nightly news: 28 Ethiopian Christians who were blindfolded and beheaded (12) or shot (16) by members of ISIS as they knelt on a beach along the Mediterranean Sea.

Below is the brand new 2016 World Watch List. I encourage you to remember in prayer our brothers and sisters in Christ who live in these countries and face regular persecution because of their Christian faith.

“Remember those in prison, as if you were there yourself. Remember also those being mistreated, as if you felt their pain in your own bodies.”
(Hebrews 13:3 NLT)