Christians Worldwide to Observe International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church

Suta-compressedChristians worldwide will be observing the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church today by joining together to intercede for those who daily suffer for their faith in Jesus Christ.

“Religious freedom is a fundamental human right,” states a video produced by the World Evangelical Alliance. “In spite of this, religious freedom is fast declining around the world.”

Statistics show that 80 percent of global persecution is directed against Christians as over 100 million believers face persecution each day.

“In countries like Eritrea, Iran and Sudan, countless Christians languish in prison for their faith,” the organization outlines. “In Pakistan, India and Nepal, Christian face discrimination and marginalization because of their faith. In Sri Lanka, pastors are beaten and harassed for their faith. In places like Iraq, Syria and Nigeria, Christian families live in constant fear of violence and death.”

Open Doors USA also produced videos outlining the plight of Christians in China and North Korea, where following Jesus is often a crime.

“In 1949, China became a communist country and placed severe Christians on the Church. Restrictions were so tight that it was seemingly impossible to bring even one Bible into the country,” it outlines. “The citizens of North Korea are forced into a god-like worship of their leader Kim Jung Un, and Christianity is seen as a threat.”

Open Doors notes that over 50,000 Christians are being held in prison camps in North Korea, and that 2014 was one of the worst years of Christian persecution in contemporary history with an increased number of beatings, rapes, kidnappings and murders worldwide.

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Both World Evangelical Alliance and Open Doors USA are offering free resources for pastors to help congregations remember those suffering and in chains, such as prayer sheets for specific nations, prayer calendars, videos and slide shows, and bulletin inserts encouraging prayer for the persecuted.

“Can we today pause our busy lives and think of those who are enduring persecution for the sake of the gospel?” asked World Evangelical Alliance Director Godfrey Yogarajah.

“Let us remember those who have not eaten for days because they are given nothing to eat, those languishing in prison, Christian families who have watched their homes burn to the ground, pastors who are beaten and tortured for their faith and enduring physical pain, Christian families and children living in constant fear of violence, those who have lost their loved ones, those who are facing death, even right at this moment, for refusing to denounce Christ,” he said.

“If you or I were in such a situation, what would you ask your wider Church family to do for you?” Yogarajah inquired. “Let us unite in prayer for the persecuted Church in the spirit of oneness that Christ commanded: ‘For, if one suffers, we all suffer.’”

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  • Jeff Brown

    a whole day, dedicated to asking an omniscient god for something he already knows you want, and, in his omnipotence, refusing yet again to grant it?

    maybe you need a different approach to your problems.

    • Dave_L

      You do not understand the nature of God, or the nature of prayer. I would share it with you but your tone indicates that you would not be receptive. Meanwhile, perhaps some reading this will begin to pray for you. 🙂

      • Jeff Brown

        please share it with me, paying particulat attention to the objective evidence. i have never observed anything that indicated that god existed, or that prayer had any effect. i would be happy to examine the proof that YOU understand the nature of god, because i don’t believe you do.

        • Dave_L

          As I said; ” I would share it with you but your tone indicates that you would not be receptive.”

          • Jeff Brown

            as i said “please share it with me”

            you are correct that i would be hard to convince, but certainly not impossible. do you have doubts about the validity of your evidence?

          • Dave_L

            “Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did. But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men,” (John 2:23–24)

            Miracles produce belief in those who see them. But notice that Jesus did not commit himself to those who believed because of physical evidence. Why? Because we only see and understand God through faith. People who have faith believe in God. But many believe in God for other reasons and do not have faith.

          • Jeff Brown

            why have faith in jesus and the biblical god, when there are so many other gods to choose from, any one of which may or may not be the true god?

            why choose THAT one? what compelling evidence makes you so sure THAT one is the correct one … besides faith, which is just another way of saying “because i WANT to!”?,

          • Dave_L

            “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,” (Galatians 5:22)

            Notice that faith is a Fruit of God’s Spirit. This means that a person must house God’s Spirit before they can grow faith.

            So it is not a matter of choice on the part of the Christian. It is something that God does and you find out about it later as you begin believing in Christ.

            “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.” (John 15:16)