Lost in the attention on the elections, a day to pray for persecuted believers around the world took place last Sunday.
The International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church was observed November 6 and united millions of Christians around the world to pray for each other. Prayer was particularly focused on Christians living in dangerous regions.
More than 360 million Christians, or one in seven globally, live in places where they experience high levels of harassment and attacks simply because they are Christians, according to Open Doors’ World Watch List. Persecuted believers routinely face legal issues, worship restrictions, discrimination, imprisonment, physical torture and even death for following Jesus. In 2021, nearly 6,000 Christians globally were killed for their faith.
The day of prayer annually raises awareness of the difficult circumstances many Christians face in countries such as North Korea, China, India and Nigeria. Held annually in November, the event takes place in a month traditionally devoted to remembering the martyrs and saints of Christianity.
“When we ask persecuted Christians what they need the most, their preeminent answer is ‘your prayers,'” said David Curry, CEO of Open Doors USA. “The International Day of Prayer gives us a specific opportunity to actively pray for — and stand with — our brothers and sisters who are standing firm in the faith despite living in areas where the gospel is opposed.”
You can continue to pray for others around the world. One way is to directly connect directly with persecuted believers around the world through the Open Doors prayer app. Available for free in the Apple App and Google Play stores, the app highlights real stories of Christians in areas where persecution is most intense. Users can watch videos, scroll through videos, share requests and click “pray” to let persecuted Christians know fellow believers are supporting them.
Open Doors also has assembled a free downloadable digital kit with a video, bulletin insert, slides and presentation outline to help share the stories of persecuted Christians with churches and small groups. While the specific day is past, the materials can be helpful in keeping the issue on the forefront of minds as we move into the Christmas season.
For more than 65 years, Open Doors has worked in the world’s most oppressive regions, empowering and equipping persecuted Christians in more than 60 countries by providing Bibles, training and programs to help those who have been marginalized for their faith. Open Doors publishes the World Watch List, an annual report on the 50 countries where it is most difficult to live as a Christian.
For more information, visit www.opendoorsusa.org.
–Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice
Our hearts grieve for brothers and sisters around the world who suffer unrighteous abuse. And they continually have our prayers. May God look upon their sufferings and show them mercy.