Mike Pohlman

Senior Pastor of Immanuel Bible Church in Bellingham, WA

The Gates of Hell Shall Not Prevail

 

I was recently made aware of a Newsweek article by Ayaan Hirsi Ali entitled, “The Global War on Christians in the Muslim World.” Ms. Ali is deeply concerned about the fact that across the Muslim world, Christians are being murdered for their faith. Here’s how she opens:

We hear so often about Muslims as victims of abuse in the West and combatants in the Arab Spring’s fight against tyranny. But, in fact, a wholly different kind of war is underway—an unrecognized battle costing thousands of lives. Christians are being killed in the Islamic world because of their religion. It is a rising genocide that ought to provoke global alarm.

The author proceeds to give examples of this rising genocide in nations like Nigeria, Sudan, Pakistan, Indonesia, Egypt, and Iran. To this Ali concludes:

It should be clear from this catalog of atrocities that anti-Christian violence is a major and underreported problem. No, the violence isn’t centrally planned or coordinated by some international Islamist agency. In that sense the global war on Christians isn’t a traditional war at all. It is, rather, a spontaneous expression of anti-Christian animus by Muslims that transcends cultures, regions, and ethnicities.

I am grateful for this article because it is helping bring the very real tragedy of Christian persecution to people beyond the Christian community (remember this is Newsweek notChristianity Today). And I certainly share the author’s outrage at the apparent “conspiracy of silence” surrounding the “bloody Christophobia currently coursing through Muslim-majority nations from one end of the globe to the other.” However, I do part with Ms. Ali when she warns that, “Nothing less than the fate of Christianity . . . in the Islamic world is at stake.”

The Lord Jesus Christ promised, “I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matt. 16:18). And I know that Christ’s church will consist of a “people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation” (Rev. 5:9). The Lamb was not slain in vain and no level of persecution — however horrific — will thwart God’s plan to build His church.

So even as we work and pray for the protection of God’s people around the world, we do so knowing that the kingdom of God is on an irreversible, triumphant march around the globe. Indeed, the fate of Christianity depends not on the end of persecution, but on the power of God.

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About Mike Pohlman

Mike serves as the senior pastor at Immanuel Bible Church in Bellingham, Washington. Mike is a former church planter in the Pacific Northwest, and served for three years as the executive producer of The Albert Mohler Program, a nationally syndicated radio show dedicated to Christianity and culture. Mike has a PhD in American church history from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Mike is husband to Julia and father to four wonderful children: Samuel (12), Anna (10), John (9) and Michael (4). When not pastoring, Mike loves sports, music, and hanging out with his family.

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