Next Sunday, November 1st, has been designated as “International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church.”
I can’t implore you strongly enough to pray, every day, for our Brothers and Sisters in Christ, around the world, who are being persecuted for their faith in Jesus. I urge you to include these men, women, and children, and their families and churches, as part of your daily prayers.
We must, every day, heed the words of Hebrews 13:3:
“Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; [and] them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.”
When we pray for those in prison for their faith, we must remember that the gospel came to us in letters written from jail.
Here’s a look at the facts, from The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission:
“Christians are the most persecuted religious group worldwide. An average of at least 180 Christians around the world are killed each month for their faith. (Source: Open Doors USA)
Christians in more than 60 countries face persecution from their governments or surrounding neighbors simply because of their belief in Christ. (Source: U.S. Department of State)
One of the worst countries in the world for the persecution of Christians is North Korea. With the exception of four official state-controlled churches in Pyongyang, Christians in North Korea face the risk of detention in the prison camps, severe torture and, in some cases, execution for practicing their religious beliefs. North Koreans suspected of having contact with South Korean or other foreign missionaries in China, and those caught in possession of a Bible, have been known to be executed. (Source: Christian Solidarity Worldwide)
In 41 of the 50 worst nations for persecution, Christians are being persecuted by Islamic extremists. (Source: Open Doors).”
I’m going to share a couple of resources with you.
First, here is a video from “The Voice of the Martyrs” to promote this year’s International Prayer event. It is the true story of Pastor Pastor Suta. Please note that this is a true story, and parts of it are tough, but it will give a glimpse into just what our Christian Brothers and Sisters are facing, every day of their lives:
Next, here is a list of Scripture Verses, from “The Voice of the Martyrs,” entitled “Persecution in the Bible.” I put it in .pdf format, so you should be able to enlarge it, and print it for personal study:
Persecution in the Bible
Here’s the same list in .jpg format:
As we commit ourselves to pray, every day, for our persecuted Brothers and Sisters in Christ, to renew our goal and desire to “Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity,” let us also remember the words of Pastor Suta, from the video:
“When you pray for the persecuted, please remember to also pray for those who persecute.”