Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Works of Mercy Bouquet: Ransom the Captive

Ransoming the captive has changed in connotation over the centuries.  I still wonder what our obligation is as Catholics.  I don't feel it right to negotiate with terrorists, however, we are called to set captives free.  Not captives justly jailed because of laws broken, but those held prisoner by governments and individuals holding captives for political power, persecution, and exacting terror.

The Church was built by the blood of martyrs and the persecuted.  Today, the assault on Christianity is rampant.  The number of martyrs is growing exponentially and there are many who say this is the greatest age of Christian martyrs.  The persecution of Christians around the world is an overwhelming heartbreak and dire situation.  I would love to sit down with ISIS and convince them to ransom the captives of their reign of terror, however that is not realistic.  Because of all this, I have postponed writing this post, what could I do?  What can I tell my readers to do?  Then I saw an article asking for prayer for Pastor Saeed Abedini, and knew God wanted me to write this very imperfect post.

Seek out information on those held captive.  Captive doesn't always mean locked behind bars.  There are those who are held captive by fear by terrorists, or neglect by apathetic care givers.  Read updates on sites like The Voice of the Martyrs and International Christian Concern.  Become active in pro-life activities and organizations to bring a voice to those imprisoned without voices--the elderly, unborn, and disabled.  Information is power, and knowing the truth gives wings to those who cannot speak for themselves, educate yourself and share what you have learned.  This is how strength in numbers grows, and spotlights are shined in the darkest corners.
Sign petitions to set captives free and raise awareness.  If you need a place to start, go to human rights page and see what you can do to set a captive free.
Visit Free Pastor Saeed and read the story of an American citizen, jailed in Iran while building orphanages for three years for his Christian faith.  He is an American, and is still held captive, and he is not the only one!  Learn his story and share it, because if this poor man can be jailed for years, any of us can.  Do not let his story be forgotten, his wife and children need him home.
Support organizations on the ground ministering to people held captive by poverty, fear, and persecution.  Samaritan's Purse, Mary's Meals, and Operation Christmas Child take your gifts and bring them right to those most in need.  When choosing a charity, choose carefully.  Find one that puts its effort into serving, not all charities are created equal.
Lastly, PRAY.  Pray for the conversion of our enemies and the release of all captives.  This Saturday, September 26, 2015 marks three years of imprisonment for Pastor Saeed.  His wife and young daughters have asked for a day for prayer for his release.  Please pray at noon that this American husband, father, and Christian maybe set free, along with the countless prisoners of conscience around the world.  Pray for the persecuted that they may be ransomed and protected.
It is not that Pastor Saeed is more important than any other prisoner, it is that his story is the story of far too many prisoners, many that we will never know their names.  Please rally and pray on his behalf and for all the Pastor Saeeds that feel forgotten.  Thank you.
Linking up with Jenna.

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