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Glorifying God While Keeping Secret Believers Safe

However, it is a short step from glorifying God to engaging in triumphalism, which can only serve to create difficulties for our new brothers and sisters in such lands. Neither should conversion figures ever be inflated and exploited by Western Christian organizations simply to raise finances (which is little different from the motives of the Sheikh appearing on Al-Jazeera). As such, this whole issue raises an important question for all Western Christians, namely, the need to publicize figures at all, which can only serve to make the situation of Christians in some lands even more precarious. If Christians working quietly on the ground in such countries do not feel the need to bandy about the growing numbers of conversions to Christianity, why should we? It is our brothers and sisters in other lands who may well pay the price.

That is not to say that by exercising wisdom and keeping silent will necessarily end persecution of Christians. Embattled Christian minorities will find likely find themselves increasingly persecuted as they attract more converts, while persecution for our faith is inevitable (Matthew 5:11). In the meantime, rather than publicizing wide-scale statistics of decisions for Christ, perhaps we should be glorifying God and praying for our persecuted brothers and sisters in other lands privately, while publicly drawing attention to the suffering of such Christians to governments and others to help bring it to an end.

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Category: Living the Faith

About the Author: Calvin L. Smith, Ph.D. (University of Birmingham, England), is College Principal and Tutor in Theology at King's Evangelical Divinity School. He is also Editor of the Evangelical Review of Society and Politics. He is the author of numerous books and articles, editor of Pentecostal Power: Expressions, Impact and Faith of Latin American Pentecostalism (Brill, 2011) and editor of The Jews, Modern Israel and the New Supercessionism: Resources for Christians (King's Evangelical Divinity School, 2009). http://www.kingsdivinity.org/about/17-college/about/75-faculty-calvin-smith

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