IDOP 2016: Sorrow and Triumph
Scripture affirms that the Christian life is a call to glory through suffering. Accordingly, on a daily basis Christians around the world face persecution in various forms, including discrimination, physical assaults, violence and even death.
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 also to identify with them in their suffering. In keeping with this scriptural imperative, for 20 years, the International Days of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP) has united millions of Christians around the world in the spirit that scripture commands: If one suffers, we all suffer.
According to statistics, persecution is the daily reality of at least 100 million Christians around the world. These Christians, who face routine harassment and difficulties, often suffer in silence and isolation. Over the years, the IDOP has served as a platform to highlight their stories and advocate 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.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the IDOP. Since its genesis in 1996, the IDOP has grown substantially and today is observed in more than 100 countries across the world. 2 decades on, the IDOP movement, is stronger, bigger and far-reaching than ever before. This is testimony that God is at work powerfully through the ministry of the IDOP.
We believe that God uses the prayers of his people to strengthen and deliver suffering saints. Based on scripture, we are also convinced that though sorrow maybe the present reality of those suffering for Christ, triumph is their ultimate reward.
We invite you, therefore, to join us this year 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, holding fast to the promises of God in Christ.
World Evangelical Alliance, Religious Liberty Commission (WEA RLC)
“God uses the prayers of his people to strengthen and deliver suffering saints.”