Sally, Indiana - Ellen Crossworth, a young mother of four loves her hobby of blogging. Each day, faithfully she gets up early, fixes herself a cup of coffee and sits down to read her Bible. After that she dutifully sits down in front of her computer and updates her blog site. It is a simple site entitled "Cross Words" and is comprised mainly of her thoughts and inspirations she finds daily in Scripture. Over the past two years she has gained a daily readership of about 75 persons. While not a huge number, for Crossworth she feels it is an accomplishment.
"I'm not a so-called uber-blogger by any means" she says. "But it's exciting to know that there are about 75 people out there that think of me every day, and that what I'm writing is actually impacting someone's life. That really blesses me to think about."
But lately Crossworth has found herself a little "down" about her blog. The trouble all started about two weeks ago when an anonymous commenter began making upsetting statements about her blog.
"There was this one commenter who started replying to posts, telling me how stupid I was" she said. "He called me ugly, and said that I was a 'weak-minded fool.' That really hurts and cuts me to the quick."
Unfortunately for many Christian bloggers, Crossworth's story is not unique. With a rise in the popularity of blogging over the past five years, many people are having the face the harsh reality that not everyone likes what they are saying.
"I get hate emails now" said Lucas Thompson, whose blog, Theology for Today averages almost 900 hits per day. "People leave nasty comments all of the time. People curse me out. I've even had death threats."
With the popularity of blogging becoming even more and more widespread in Christian circles, many churches have begun to address the issue of "the persecuted blog." Crossworth's own home church of Temple Baptist has taken this issue to heart.
"We know from Scripture that those who seek to live truly Christian lives will face persecution" stated Crossworth's pastor, Andrew Perry. "The blogosphere is no exception to this. Here are the faithful servants going out there day after day, fighting for the truth only to be ridiculed and scorned by the masses."
So, in an effort to raise awareness around the world, Temple Baptist held its first annual "Day of Prayer for Persecuted Blogs" this past Sunday.
"The whole service was a tremendous success" stated Perry. "We sang lots of praise songs with a blogging theme such as It is Written, and Thy Word is a Lamp unto My Feet. We even had one of our own praise band members write a new song for the occasion entitled I Will Never Stop Blogging About You. I gave a special message about persecution, and at the end of the service we had an especially moving time when we all joined hands and gathered around worship center and prayed for persecuted bloggers throughout the world."
"It was moving" said Crossworth. "Everyone was so encouraging to me telling me to 'Never give up' and 'keep fighting the good fight of the blogosphere.' I couldn't have been more moved."