Voice for the voiceless
"Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute." Proverbs 31.8
What a versatile scripture! This verse speaks (sic) for those whose destitution is material poverty and for those who are impoverished through physical impairment or deprivation of freedom, including that of religion - in places where that is curtailed. It lays upon those of us who can the responsibility to be their champion.
Unfortunately this responsibility is often neglected, either through ignorance (of the extent of suffering and persecution in society and in the world today) or through misunderstanding the call as one among many options. If we aspire to follow Jesus we shall make it our business to acquaint ourselves with suffering and we shall use what influence and what room for manoeuvre we have to address it.
More believers were martyred in the 20th century, than in the previous 19 centuries of the Christian era combined! And the suffering continues, as regimes around the world become increasingly compliant with the demands of religious extremists and intolerant of "foreign" religions. We should not be advocating for special treatment (of one religion over another) but for fair treatment for all: a level playing field, on which all faiths can practice and compete - with mutual respect and on equal terms.
If we are confident in the existence of truth and in its ultimate expression in the face of Jesus, then we have nothing to fear and everything to gain...