US: When Brethren Fall: Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church (Writers Opinion)


Date:                  June 18, 2015


By Brian Nixon, Special to ASSIST News Service

Praying for each other outside AME church

ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO (ANS – June 18, 2015)-- It doesn’t take a genius to recognize that the persecution of Christians is at an all-time high around the world. According to Open Doors, the ministry started by Dutchman, Brother Andrew, the persecution of Christians has reached “historic levels[1].” Yet when one thinks of persecution, we normally don’t think of the United States of America. Rather, our minds wander to the Middle East or Africa. After all, one asks, wasn’t America founded upon a Judeo-Christian worldview? The answer of course is, yes, the European influence upon America was founded upon a Christian ethic.

But as the recent news of the massacre on Wednesday night at Emmanuel A.M.E Church shows (where nine innocent people were killed), America—black, white, Middle Eastern, Asian, or Native American—is not immune to persecution. This particular hate crime focused on African Americans, making it that much more heinous. But it must be noted that they were African American Christians, people who were studying the Bible and praying; they were seeking Christ and His kingdom.

How our hearts should ache.

As the various media outlets look for answers to the crime (as they should), we Christians need to provide a different kind of answer: those from God’s word and witness—the testimony of His people working in love.

Pastor who was killed useIn a tragedy like this, there is no room race politics or parading. Rather, our response as Christians should be one of prayer and provision for our fallen brethren and their families.

When one part of the Body of Christ suffers, we all suffer; when several of His children are hurt, we all are hurt. Why? We stand as a body of One (Ephesians 4:5-6).

Remember to pray for the Emmanuel A.M.E Church and the families affected by this horrific crime of persecution, one filled with hate for people of color. But let this tragedy be an opportunity to demonstrate our love for one another (John 13:35); let the heartbreak of this event turn our hearts towards our brethren around the world facing similar tortuous acts, showing them the of love of Christ, and showering them with the prayers of His people.

For more information on this tragic event, click here: or here

Photo captions: 1) Members of the Charleston community prayed together across the street from the scene of a shooting at Emanuel AME Church, Wednesday, June 17, 2015, in Charleston, South Carolina. (Photo: BGEA) 2) Fallen friend in Christ, Rev Clementa Pinckney, pastor of the church, who was also killed in the massacre 3) Brian Nixon.


Brian NixonAbout the writer: Brian Nixon is a writer, musician, and minister. He’s a graduate of California State University, Stanislaus (BA) and is a Fellow at Oxford Graduate School (D.Phil.). As a published author, editor, radio host, recording artist, and visual artist, Brian spends his free time with his three children and wife, painting, writing music, reading, and visiting art museums. To learn more, click here:

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