The murder of Stephen wasn’t the end. The church buried him. They had services for him. After that though, a great persecution broke out in Jerusalem against the church. The same man who had approved and signed off on Stephen’s murder now sought to put an end to this Jesus movement so he started hunting down the gatherings. He was searching the cities for those who had been hosting groups. When he found them they would be punished. They were drug from their homes, arrested, and imprisoned for their faith.
In North Korea, right now, there are churches who live this way. It is estimated 37% of the culture there is Christian but they must hide. They cannot share their faith. Stories say that in the country Christians are tortured for information. They are put in concentration camps. They are used as test subjects for military experiments.
The saddest part is that most adults refrain from telling their children about Jesus. They wait until they are much older to share with them the truth of the gospel because if the child slips up and shares what they believe the entire family will be punished, possibly killed.
The persecution of the church is not a historical thing. Right now, as you read this, people are hurting, suffering, hiding, because of the gospel.
Take time today and pray for those who are persecuted. Pray for our brothers and sisters in hiding.