Standing with today’s persecuted Christians is central to our mission. But it is also important for us to draw inspiration from those who have gone before us…We have established this date, coinciding with the anniversary of the martyrdom of the Apostle Paul, as an annual day of remembrance called Day of the Christian Martyr. — Cole Richards, President of The Voice of the Martyrs
Your group or class may want to practice and perform the skit below as part of the observance of Day of the Christian Martyr.
In the following skit from the Kids of Courage VBS curriculum, a Christian prisoner recognizes that he is a link in the chain of faithful Christians from the past who have sacrificed for Christ.
Links in the Chain
Several Links in the Chain
Small table and chair
Paper and pen
Several signs with the name of a Christian martyr on one side and the student’s name on the other (see below)
Optional: strips of construction paper, partially completed paper chain, tape
Old torn clothes for Prisoner
Uniform for Prison Official
(The Prison Official is seated at a table. A pen and paper are on the table. The Prisoner is standing by the table.)
Narrator: Several years ago, police locked a Christian in prison in a country where Christians were persecuted. The prison officials asked the prisoner to sign a statement. The statement accused other Christians of breaking the law. If the prisoner signed the statement, the other Christians would be arrested.
Prison Official: Sign this statement! Things will go easier for you if you just do what I say.
Prisoner: The chain keeps me from signing this.
Prison Official: But you are not in chains!
Prisoner: I am. I am bound by the chain of witnesses who gave their lives for Jesus throughout the centuries. I am a link in this chain. I will not break it.
(Prisoner and Prison Official exit.)
(Optional: Provide background music that includes a song about faithfulness to God.)
(Students, Links in the Chain, enter single file and stand in a line across the stage. As students take their places one by one, they recite the name of someone who sacrificed for Christ, and if desired, a phrase about that person’s sacrifice. Each student may hold up a sign with the name of a Christian on it. Examples include: “Stephen, the first martyr for Christ” and “Paul, who said ‘the word of God is not chained.’” Others can include heroes from Christian history and modern persecuted Christians.)
Narrator: The apostle Paul asked his friends to “remember his chains.” We may not be called to die for our faith. But we can be links in the chain by remembering those who are persecuted and by praying for them. We, too, are bound by the chain of witnesses who gave their lives for Jesus throughout the centuries.
Links in the Chain: (speaking one by one) I am a link in the chain. (As they speak, they may turn their signs over, revealing their own names on the back.)
(Optional: The audience can be allowed to respond by coming forward at the end of the skit, lining up, and saying one at a time when recognized, “I am a link in the chain.” If desired, have available a short paper chain made of construction paper and give students strips of paper for each to add to the chain as they say it. A teacher may help by taping the links as they are added.)