But in other parts of the world, the persecution is much more intense. China, North Korea, northern Africa (e.g, Nigeria, Sudan), Syria, and Iraq have seen particularly intense persecution in recent years--exponentially worse than the subpoenaed pastors in Houston. They are worthy of our prayers.
But we need not think that God has forgotten them. God still knows and loves his people. And even the persecution which Christians face comes because God loves his people.
The following words are from the Apocrypha. They are a sort of interlude in between sections speaking of the persecution and butchery that God's faithful people were subject to in Jerusalem and Judea. This was occurring sometime around 180 BC, give or take. The Greek forces--the Ptolemy's in Egypt and the Seleucid's in Syria--were taking turns trying to control the land of Palestine. So the faithful Jews were getting attacked and slaughtered by both forces. Many were killed. Others were forced into hiding. While God's love appeared to be hidden, it was not withdrawn. The following words from the Apocrypha help us understand what God does through persecution and that he still loves his Church regardless of what it looks and feels like. We do well to take these words to heart--as God is still God and we are still his Church.