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I recently heard a missionary being asked what had changed most in society in the five years since he moved away from Australia.
His answer was that he noticed that the Australian media had become increasingly active in their intolerance of Christian belief.
When individuals speak out about issues of human sexuality, they are regularly censored and persecuted for their comments.
This week, when federal senator Cory Bernadi published pro-life comments against abortion, he was reportedly subjected to a flood of public and private hatred.
We should expect more and more of this as God’s word clashes with the world that stands in opposition.
But this is not something that should surprise us.
After all, Jesus said, “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matthew 5:11-12)
To help us understand what is happening on the ground in South Sudan, here is an excerpt of a letter from the Archbishop of South Sudan, who writes to ask the worldwide Anglican church “to pray for us and lobby your governments to come in to end this senseless war.” He continues:
The crisis began as a political struggle… but it turned into a military struggle which later on took the dimension of ethnic problems. And we as the Church are deeply concerned and worried that if the situation is not contained it will lead into chaos which will be uncontrollable. Also we are worried that the fighting may turn into genocide or ethnic cleansing. […]
Also do appeal to some charitable organisations and agencies to please help alleviate the affected people as some of them are now dying of hunger, diseases such as diarrhoea and malaria, particularly the children. Although there are some NGOs present providing some assistance, the humanitarian crisis has reached a breaking point.
Please pray for South Sudan, and give online via the Anglican Aid special appeal, or in marked gifts via our church collection bags.