Third sunday of Lent

Lent With Our Persecuted Brothers and Sisters
Esther approaches the king (Picture credit:


Purim came early this year. But although Purim was celebrated February 25, prayers have been rising to God from many Christians for some months for the reawakening of the spirit of Esther and they continue today. For those of us who want to obey God’s command to defend the persecuted, we need that spirit to be their advocates!

You know Esther. Haman, a court official, had convinced Ahasuerus, King of Persia, (aka Xerxes) to order the annihilation of every Jew in the kingdom. Mordecai tells his young cousin, Queen Esther, what is to happen. She, he says, can speak out and save her people. He declares that God has put her, a Jewish orphan girl, in the position she is in “for such a time as this.”

Likewise, God has put Christians in America and wherever else there is religious freedom for such a time as this. Following Esther’s example, we can be effective advocates. We learn that:

Advocates know they are GOD’S INSTRUMENTS and behave accordingly. Esther tells Mordecai to fast, and she and her attendants will also fast. She must do business with God (who, interestingly enough is never mentioned by name in the Book of Esther) before she faces the king.

Christian advocacy, likewise, should be grounded in prayer. Prayer and fasting will heighten our awareness of being instruments of the Lord on behalf of the persecuted. Prayer ensures we’re open to whatever God has in store.

Sometimes there’s a “coincidence” that changes the situation. Other times God uses a “chance” encounter to connect us with just the right person. And when we know we are God’s instruments we can have faith that God is still in control even when it doesn’t seem as if He’s answering prayer.

Advocates have a SENSE OF URGENCY

Esther approached the king to make her plea without being summoned because the situation was so urgent. Unannounced visits were a capital offense unless the king granted her favor and extended his scepter to her.

We who are advocates for persecuted Christians today rarely have to take our lives in our hands that way (so far). But a sense of urgency for the persecuted – knowing they are being arrested, tortured, enslaved, or dying means we should make advocacy a priority.

How urgent is it that we speak up for our persecuted brothers and sisters? The 2021 World Watch List from Christian human rights organization Open Doors reported that 340 million Christians globally experience severe persecution. That’s 1 out of every 8 Christians worldwide.

Advocates have a STRATEGY

The plan Esther devises to counter Haman’s murderous intentions shows great political intelligence. It also shows keen understanding of human nature – she’s not fooled by Haman being “star-struck”[1] at the thought of being invited to her feast.

Even though the situation was urgent, Esther set it up over a series of days for just the right effect. She invites the King and Haman to two banquets that she’s prepared. She waits until the second banquet to appeal to her husband’s love with the unthinkable revelation that she and her people are to be destroyed.

In the same way, advocates for persecuted Christians must be strategic. We must not just be as innocent as doves, but as wise as serpents, Jesus said. Or be like the tribe of Issachar whose men were Torah scholars “who understood the times and knew what Israel ought to do.” (I Chronicles 12: 32).

Christians today need to be innocent (without guile), but not to be ignorant. We need to understand the times, not just for our persecuted brothers and sisters, but for what we ourselves are facing.

When I think of doves, I think of mourning doves that sit immobile in the middle of the sidewalk and then freak out and fly away with much noise when you approach. The unfortunate creatures seem terrified of everything!

Maybe’s that’s the problem with some in the Western Church today. Too much fear. More fear than Christians imprisoned in North Korean camps and hiding in the Burmese jungle. We need to ask for the courage and boldness of Esther!

Finally, it seems as if God added His own touch to Esther’s plans. He used Haman’s own arrogance and murderous hatred for Mordecai to hoist him on his own petard, to launch Divine vindication.

During a bout of insomnia King Ahasuerus gets a bedtime story from the “Book of Memorable Deeds.” He is reminded that Mordecai uncovered a plot against his life and has never been thanked! Later, wanting to reward Mordecai, he asks advisor Haman, “What shall be done for the man whom the king delights to honor?” Naturally, Haman thinks he’s the guy!

Then the honors – a royal robe, the king’s horse, and a parade – are given to Mordecai and not him. Haman’s hate increases, if that’s possible!

(Perhaps this also motivates those who hate followers of Jesus – whether in a mosque in the Islamic world, a great hall in Beijing, a big tech corporation or media headquarters in America, or a globalist’s mansion in Switzerland? They perceive that the favor of God rests upon people for whom they have nothing but contempt.)

Dear Father God:

Thank You for protecting the children of Israel through the advocacy and wisdom of Esther. Please increase the spirit of Esther in your Church today so that we who worship in freedom will speak out for our persecuted brothers and sisters.

Just as You had plans for the Hebrew people and stopped their annihilation, we know You have plans for Your Body all around the world. We ask You to deliver those who are being persecuted. Expose today’s Hamans and their evil plots and plans all over the world. Give freedom to Your people so that Your message of salvation goes throughout the nations and brings many who are lost into Your Kingdom. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Suggested Actions

  • Share reports about persecuted Christians on social media –exposing the evil plots against them, just as Esther exposed Haman’s evil plot. 
  • Watch the videos of these two celebrations of Purim 2021. 1. The Esther Call, by the ministry of Georgian and Winnie Banov. Georgian Banov knows something about persecution and about a country being overtaken by Communism. He fled from Bulgaria for freedom in the 1970’s. 2. A special Feast of Purim Event during the weekly World Prayer Network Prayer Call.  
  • Listen to this oldie-but-goodie song by Wayne Watson, “For Such a Time as This.” Extra credit: watch how the song is used in this excerpt from Touched by an Angel (2000)! It was an episode about slavery in Sudan, where Christians have been brutally persecuted.

[1] No pun intended!

Don’t forget to check out our new KGI Global Advocacy social media accounts. Just created:

Katartismos Global Advocacy | Facebook @KGIglobaladvocacy 

KGI PersecutedChurchAdvocacy (@FaithofKGI) / Twitter

Katartismos Global Advocacy (@kgiglobaladvocacy) • Instagram photos and videos

And watch for our Easter Appeal to support Herz Werk, a Christian ministry reaching out to trafficked women, boys, and girls. Coming this week!

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