Missions Box News invites you to join tens of thousands of Christians on Sunday, November 4th, in prayer for our brothers and sisters around the world who are persecuted and are suffering because of their faith in Jesus Christ.
It’s not likely that most who read this have ever faced persecution. Yet, persecution of Christians is more widespread than ever before. According to the International Day of Prayer,
Some scholars estimate more Christians have been martyred in the past 10 years than in every previous century combined.
Open Doors USA estimates that more than 215 million believers in 60 countries around the globe face high levels of persecution because they have decided to follow Jesus.
Although we are asking Christians to join us to pray for the 215 million people, we also need to recognize that there are 195 officially recognized countries around the globe. That means that Christians face high levels of persecution in close to 30% of the world.
Persecution can take on many forms. Persecution may be slander, threats, harassment, and abuse. However, it is increasingly taking on the form of imprisonment, torture, and execution.
While many Westerners assume that Islamic terrorists are the leading source of persecution of Christians, campaigns promoting ethnic nationalism are nearly equally accountable for bringing terror to followers of Jesus. Nationalism claims that Christianity is a cultural and political threat – an enemy of the people and/ or the state.
Nationalism in Eastern nations takes on an anti-minority form in which the dominant ethnic and political authorities seek to prevent the spread of the Gospel through anti-conversion laws. There are several entities that seek the complete eradication of Christianity in their countries.
In the United States, nationalism takes the opposite, anti-establishment route. It will follow that route in the U.S. until evangelical Christians are clearly in the minority.
Regardless of where Christians live under the constant threat of persecution, there are two things that they request most often. Neither is relief from persecution. Rather, they ask for prayer and copies of the Bible.
So, how can we best pray for those who currently live under constant persecution?
- Pray that believers will be strengthened by persecution.
- Pray that persecuted believers will be able to forgive their persecutors.
- Pray that the Lord will supply food, supplies, and sources of help.
- Pray for divine protection from the schemes of the enemies of the Gospel.
- Pray that the Gospel will continue to spread despite persecution.
- Pray for the comfort of those whose families have disowned them because of their faith.
- Pray for the conversion of unsaved families of believers.
- Pray for the comfort and protection of Christian being held captive in prisons and labor camps.
- Pray for strong, faithful pastors who encourage believers to be faithful to Jesus.
It is a good thing to set aside a special day for prayer for persecuted believers but it is even better to pray for them continually. Having begun a good work praying for them, let us continue to do so faithfully and without ceasing.
To read more news on Christian persecution on Missions Box, go here
- Open Doors, The International Day of Prayer
- International Christian Concern, International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted
- By Steve Evans (originally posted to Flickr as Congo) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons