Matt 16:24-25 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. ESV
I found my thoughts focusing upon the persecuted Christians throughout the world. Did you realize that Christians as a people group are the single most persecuted group in the world? Did you realize that of all the martyred Christians since the time of Christ Jesus, half of them have been martyred in the last century alone? I am not sure of the exact numbers but I believe that the number range maybe close to 100,000,000 Christians have died for their faith in the last century or so alone, with most of these occurring in the last half of the century and the beginning of this one.
Christians are dying for their simple faith in Christ Jesus every minute of everyday. They are not dying because of their hatred for the western culture or governments. They are not dying because they have some kind of a holy war against others. They are not dying because they are strapping bombs around themselves seeking to destroy themselves and any others they can along the way regardless of who they may be. They are not dying because they are out trying to destroy others for any reason at all. No!