The news reported this week that "The death toll from a hostage standoff Sunday at a Catholic church in Baghdad has risen to 58." It is another example of modern persecution and martyrdom of Christians.
This leads me to explain something again. Virtually every weekend in worship, we pray for the movement of Christianity in a country. Those countries are from a "World Watch List: Where Faith Costs the Most," which you can find at OpenDoorsUSA.org. The list represents the 50 countries where persecution of Christians is the worst.
So, we pray for Christians and for the advancement of Christianity in those havens of assault on the Christian faith. But we do so remembering, as the Apostle Paul wrote, "Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms" (Eph.5:12). And we do so in obedience to Jesus: "Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you,pray for those who mistreat you" (Lk.6:27-28).