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Carthage wept when Rome fell.

A friend and I were talking outside of church about the news. He was bewildered that the Muslim community in the Philippines cared about the Muslim problems in France. I explained that Islamic believers have a highly developed sense of spiritual community. They ignore political boundaries and value spiritual unity more than anything else. They put aside the sectarian differences that divide them for the power of the spiritual bonds that join their hearts and souls.

My friend called my attention to the fact that our Christian faith was also born in the Middle East, but we don’t have such a transcending relationship. I appreciate Christians having a relationship with the Muslims in their community. I think it reflects the love of God. But I also think we should remember the bleeding Christian church that is suffering like no other group in the world.

We must never forget that we are members of a unified body of Christ. The other day I was reading about suffering in Nigeria. How is the North American church represented there? In other countries, are we constantly aware of the needs in areas stricken by ebola or under attack by ISIS? Do we gather in groups for prayer for the children kidnapped and parents burned in their churches? Should we not be active in relieving the hunger of Christians who are fleeing their homes in the Middle East?

A teacher once said casually that Carthage wept when Rome fell. When I pointed out that they were historically mortally enemies, he replied that the Christian community did not recognize such earthly walls.

Focusing on the church in North America often leads us to believe that all is well with God’s people, and we forget the agonies of the church in North Korea and China who look to us for letters, prayers, support, and Bibles. Are we aware of the requests for prayer and support needed by Christians who are suffering so much? Are our schools and churches teaching the biblical principle that we are responsible for every member of the family of Christ in every land?

There are many resources available to remind us of the church worldwide.

Organizations such as The Voice of the Martyrs provide names and addresses for those who wish to give their prayers an incarnation in letters of sympathy and support. World magazine offers a Christian perspective on world news. Open Doors has an active ministry to the persecuted church and provides materials for “Persecuted Church Sunday.” Crossroads Bible Ministry reaches out to people in prison.

The website provides a prayer and information guide that families can use at the supper table each evening.

Finally, our own denominational ministry, World Renew ( reaches out to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, and to shelter the homeless in North America and in other lands.

We encourage our churches to join in a National Day of Prayer, but we must also call our churches to a World Day of Prayer.

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