"Christian refugees have revealed how they linked arms to form a 'human chain' in a desperate bid to stop Muslim migrants throwing them into the sea after an argument about religion". (Daily Mail)
"I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me." John 17:20-21
If you haven’t read the story of what happened when an argument over religion erupted on a raft filled with migrants from Africa, follow the link above to do so. The Christian refugees told how formed a human chain to stop Muslim migrants from throwing them into sea. This was after over 10 others had been thrown overboard. You cannot read a story like this without having a variety of responses. I want to highlight just two points from this recent event.
The first is very simple. Christians are being killed all over the world right now. Who is doing the killing is not what I want to focus on. Instead I want to point out that the stories we read in the news of attacks on Christians are not limited to a particular race or ethnic group. In the last couple of months I have read of attacks and persecution against Egyptian, African, Indiana, and Asian believers. We may divide ourselves into ethnic groups, but our enemies do not do so.
That brings me to my second point. These believers linked arms in order to protect themselves. They realized they were much stronger together than apart. It’s time that affinity issues like music styles and service lengths stop dividing us and instead that we come together. We need to have each other’s backs and fronts. We need to see our Christian identity as first and foremost in our lives, because it is all our enemies see. It’s time we rethink the things that divide us and focus instead on coming together. If you know anything about Africa, you know that they have their own division issues, usually along tribal lines. The Christians on this raft were from different countries and different tribes, but they all came together when their unity became a life or death matter. What are we waiting for?
So how do we come together, practically? Well, if your local congregation is made up of just one ethnic group, you can begin to pray and work towards changing that. You can also connect with other congregations in your area that may also be homogeneous, but made up of different ethnic groups. Begin to come together for prayer and encouragement. These are two things we all need right now. It's time we link arms with other believers around us.