Blessed are the persecuted
For over two decades, every November, the global Church has united in prayer for our persecuted brothers and sisters around the world. Today, more than 300 million Christians live in places where they face persecution for their faith in Jesus Christ. Staggeringly, this is one in eight Christians, globally.
The International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP) is a global event dedicated to praying for the persecuted. In Hebrews 13:3, we are told that Christians should pray for those suffering as if they themselves were suffering. In other words, the Scriptures command us to empathize, identify with, and pray for our suffering brothers and sisters in Christ.
Over the years, the IDOP has served as a clarion call for the Church to remember those who face persecution in different parts of the world. In so doing, the IDOP has also served as a platform to amplify the challenges faced by persecuted Christians and draw global attention to their stories.
At the World Evangelical Alliance, we believe that prayer can deliver suffering saints. However, to pray for the persecuted, we also believe that it is important to first know what they are going through. The IDOP is organised, therefore, to equip the Church to pray for the needs of the persecuted in an informed manner. To do this, we produce an array of resources to aid the Church in its prayers. These resources are freely made available on IDOP.org.
This year, inspired by Matthew 5:10, the IDOP is held under the theme “Blessed are the persecuted.” Our aim this year is to call the global Church to pray that our brothers and sisters would know that they are blessed when they face persecution because of righteousness and that they would not lose heart, knowing that their reward is great in heaven.
We invite you, therefore, to join the IDOP on 7th and 14th November 2021. Let’s pray together that the persecuted would be strengthened to stand firm in the promises of God and serve Him victoriously, despite their difficult circumstances.
Bp. Dr. Thomas Schirrmacher
Secretary General & CEO
World Evangelical Alliance