Just a few days ago I heard about pastor Rashid Emmanuel’s arrest. I was trying to figure out how to help him. Then, within 36 hours I was grieved to discover that Rashid had been shot to death in Faisalabad, Pakistan, after being exonerated from false accusations of blasphemy against prophet Muhammad.
Apparently enemies printed up flyers with blasphemies and put Rashid’s name at the bottom. Shahbaz Bhatti, Pakistan’s minister of minority affairs commented: “I personally don’t think that anyone who wrote derogatory things against Muhammad would put their names on the bottom,” he said. “This was just to settle a personal issue.”
The Gospel from the Grave
Please pray for the comfort and protection of his grieving family and church. May God be pleased to honor Tertullian’s remark in the life of Rashid Emmanuel: “the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church.” May this modern martyr’s death bring new life to many in Pakistan as the gospel is faithfully preached from his grave, reminding his neighbors, countrymen, and the church that Jesus will return to avenge his blood and redeem those who share his faith:
They cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, ahow long before you will judge and cavenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, guntil the number of their fellow servants and their brothers should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been (Rev 6:9-11).
Unfortunately, Rashid is among many modern martyrs. In fact, the 20th century saw more martyrs than all prior centuries put together. The Center for the Study of Global Christianity notes: “The effect of Christian martyrdom on evangelization over the centuries has been profound. Naturally, Christians have almost always insisted that martyrdom should not be deliberately sought for; but when it happens, the news spreads widely, and unbelievers including persecutors are converted. Martyrdom can be termed the final witness, the complete personal statement of faith in Christ, the ultimate proclamation of the gospel.” (emphasis added) May Rashid’s death have just this effect, “news spreading widely, and unbelievers including persecutors are converted.”
For more information on the persecuted church, go to www.persecution.com, the website of The Voice of the Martyrs.