NEW YORK, NY – Christians around the world are invited and encouraged to engage in prayer and supplications on behalf of our brothers and sisters in Christ who are being persecuted for their faith. Sunday, November 3, has been set aside as the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church.
We should not be surprised that Christians are being persecuted around the globe. Jesus told His disciples, “If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you.” (John 15:20) If anything should surprise us, it is that we who are reading this are not being persecuted for our faith in Christ.
According to Christians in Crisis,
- 43 million Christians have been martyred over the past 2,000 years.
- Half of those were martyred in the last century.
- More than 300 Christians die per day because of their faith in Christ.
- 200 million Christians face persecution each day.
Open Doors, compiler and publisher of the annual World Watch Report, estimates the number of persecuted Christians is more than 245 million.
One out of every nine professing Christians face the immediate potential and/or actually suffer “beatings, torture, confinement, isolation, rape, severe persecution, imprisonment, slavery, (death), and discrimination in education and employment.”
Some Christians in America have felt a sampling of the fallen world’s hatred, but, by and large, we have endured “polite persecution” and harassment at best.
By way of contrast, here are a few of the persecution trends that Christians around the world have been facing in 2019, according to Release International.
- In Nigeria, there is a deliberate plan to destroy and take over the predominantly Christian communities in the region.
- In China, the government wants Christianity to be a very minor activity held by unimportant, older people.
- In Afghanistan, it is illegal for an Afghan to become a Christian.
- Christians in Pakistan continue to risk imprisonment, loss of home and assets, torture, rape, and even death as a result of their faith in Jesus.
- Christians in Iraq continue to face persecution from Islamic State and other terror groups.
- There is a campaign to try to stop the spread of Christianity, to arrest those who are leading house churches and those involved in evangelism and teaching. The authorities are determined at all costs to exterminate the Farsi-speaking church.
The International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church has “served as a platform to highlight the stories of persecuted Christians and mobilize the global Church to respond to their plight,” according to the National Association of Religious Broadcasters (NRB).
A recent NRB press release added that the day has also been “a source of solidarity and encouragement to the persecuted Christians by reminding them that they are part of a larger, global family of believers.”
Please pray for those around the world who refuse to deny Jesus Christ in the face of intense, relentless persecution, and even death. Our brothers and sisters are counting on your prayers.
To God, be the glory.
To read more news on World Missions on Missions Box, go here.
- Voice of the Martyrs, Join a global prayer movement for persecuted Christians
- Open Doors, International Day of Prayer for persecuted Christians
- National Religious Broadcasters, 2019 International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP): Sunday, Nov. 3
- Christians in Crisis, website
- Release International, Persecution Trends 2019
- Gospel for Asia, Photo of the Day