In Matthew 10, Jesus tells his disciples that when they are persecuted in one town, they are to flee to the next (10:23). Just a few verses later, He says, "So have no fear of them." (10:26)
In Acts 4:23-31, the Jerusalem church prays for and received boldness to speak the word of God. Immediately after this request, a great persecution arose (Acts 8:1) that scattered these bold believers throughout the nearby regions. They were scattered, but did so, as history attests, preaching the Gospel everywhere they went.
When Hebrews 11 talks about hero of the faith, Moses, it says he left Egypt (11:26) "not being afraid." (11:27)
Whatever our practical response is to those who feel pressured to leave their countries, one response that we must never forget is to pray for renewed boldness (Acts 4:23-31) and strength to face persecution.
While the question of fleeing persecution is one that is far more easily addressed from behind our keyboards than from behind the borders of a restricted nation, the Bible’s compassionate call to "not be afraid" (Proverbs 3:25) is one we joyfully, mercifully, and prayerfully echo to the rest of the Persecuted Body without shame.
Any additional assistance to potentially traumatized believers must be done with wisdom, charity, boldness, strategy, and with the loving assistance of that individual's local church.
- When believers flee in Scripture, they do so strategically, not fearfully.
- Along with Scripture, our first response should be to pray for boldness (Acts 4:23-31).
- A believer's local church is key to helping persecuted Christians strategically change locations for the sake of the Gospel.