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Courage and Persecution

The 8th grade Bible students have been learning about the persecution of Christians around the world. In class, they had the privilege of hearing from a missionary to India who had recently experienced persecution because of his faith. Matthew Johnson (pseudonym) and his family started a church in a large city in southern India four years ago. While their church is flourishing, they have experienced resistance and hardship including Matthew being separated from his family, deported to Singapore for 6 weeks and told to cease all ministry activity. The students had thoughtful questions for Mr. Johnson, and were surprised to learn about the persecution Indian Christians face when they decide to follow Jesus, such as physical violence and being disowned by their families. This unit has given the students a glimpse of what it’s like to be a Christian in other parts of the world and has helped them develop a new appreciation of the religious freedoms we often take for granted in the United States.