David Curry, head of Open Doors USA, penned an editorial for USA Today last month where he admonished American churches for not being more concerned about the worldwide persecution of their brothers and sisters in Christ.
For instance, in May, extremists in Nigeria—where The Tide® (www.thetide.org) global radio ministry has recorded and broadcast Gospel radio programming for more than 10 years—abducted 17 Christians right from their church choir practice. The believers are being ransomed, and the women could be sold into slavery, raped or worse.
This was just one of many attacks on Christians in Nigeria, where 3,731 Christians were killed last year, Curry said.
“If such violence had occurred in Nashville rather than Nigeria, it would dominate nightly news broadcasts and saturate social media feeds,” he wrote. “American churches would be launching fundraising campaigns for victims’ families and addressing it in their weekly gatherings. In this case, however, the American church has barely acknowledged it. … American churches must do better.”
The Tide Director Don Shenk said one of the ministry’s goals is to raise awareness about Christian persecution worldwide, especially among American churchgoers.
“It’s important that American Christians are aware of the atrocities our brothers and sisters around the world are facing,” Shenk said. “It’s for this reason that The Tide ministry educates about our work and the people we are reaching. This is accomplished through radio updates, church visits, newsletters and the media. It can be difficult to identify with people who are so far away and who are experiencing strife we may never see. However, we all have one thing in common—we are children of God, and He commands us to go out into the world and share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We are one family, and we wouldn’t think of letting down our earthly family members if they were suffering.”
The Tide ministry has been broadcasting Gospel radio programming in Nigeria since 2009 and today reaches millions of listeners in 11 languages with the hope of Christ. With nearly 500 people groups and more than 470 languages spoken in Nigeria, which is the most populous nation in Africa, the potential for Christ to change lives in Nigeria is tremendous.