Around the world, at least 260 million Christians face persecution for their faith. According to research, 2983 Christians were killed for their faith in 2019. On average, that is 8 Christians killed for their faith every day! The suffering of persecuted Christians is very real and intensifying by the day in places such as North Korea, India, Pakistan and Nigeria. Sadly, though brothers and sisters in the Lord share our faith, they do not enjoy our freedom.
The Bible in Hebrews 13:3 command Christians to pray for those suffering as if they themselves were suffering. In other words, the Bible calls us to not only remember those who suffer but to also be one with them in their suffering. In keeping with this scriptural command, the International Days of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP) has united millions of Christians in prayer for the suffering Body of Christ around the world. After all, as the Bible says: If one suffers, we all suffer.
Over the years, the IDOP has served as a platform to highlight the stories of persecuted Christians and mobilise the global Church to respond to their plight. Moreover, in so doing, the IDOP has also been a source of solidarity and encouragement to persecuted Christians by reminding them that they are part of a larger, global family of believers.
We believe that God uses the prayers of his people to strengthen and deliver suffering saints. However, in order to pray for these suffering brothers and sisters, we must first listen to their stories. It is only in knowing their plight that we can truly identify with them in their suffering.
We invite you, therefore, to join us this year on 1st and 8th November as we unite globally to pray for the persecuted. Let’s pray that in spite of the pressure and persecution, our suffering brothers and sisters –where ever they may be in the world — would stand firm in their faith, hold fast to the promises of God, and live victoriously in Christ.
WEA Religious Liberty Commission