Saturday, March 25   Sign in or Register
Evangelical Focus
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud

Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.

Faith at the workplace
Do you agree with the EU Court of Justice that religious and political symbols can be banned at the workplace?



Suffering for the gospel

November, a month to pray for the persecuted church

The IDOP joins millions of Christians worldwide, to pray for those who suffer because of their faith in Jesus. Resources are offered by several organisations with facts and prayer requests.

SOURCES Open Doors, Biblegateway, EAUK, WEA AUTHOR Belén Díaz, Evangelical Focus MADRID 04 NOVEMBER 2015 18:34 h GMT+1

Today, more than 100 million Christians worldwide face persecution for their faith in Christ. Christians in countries such as North Korea, Somalia, Iraq, Eritrea, Nigeria, India, Pakistan, Sudan or Sri Lanka risk their lives everyday.

Beatings, physical torture, confinement, isolation, rape, severe punishment, imprisonment, slavery, discrimination in education and employment, and even death are just a few examples of the persecution they experience on a daily basis.

According to The Pew Research Center, over 75% of the world’s population lives in areas with severe religious restrictions (and most of these people are Christians). The United States Department of State, reports that Christians in more than 60 countries face persecution from their governments or surrounding neighbours, only because of their faith.



The International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP), started in 1996 with a resolution on the worldwide persecution of Christians passed in both the US House of Representatives and the US Senate.

Many Christian organizations, along with tireless advocates for the persecuted Christians, convicted by the realization that more people had died for their Christian faith in the twentieth century than in all the previous centuries combined, met for the first time and issued a “Statement of Conscience and Call to Action” in which they pledged “to end our own silence in the face of the suffering of all those persecuted for their religious faith.”

After that inaugural event, a smaller team, formed by local Christian organizations and the U.S. representative of the World Evangelical Fellowship (WEF, now World Evangelical Alliance), began to meet regularly to plan the first International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church.

That first IDOP took place on September 29, 1996, with 110 countries actively taking part on the event. Among those 110 countries were Sudan, China, and Iran, some of the countries that today, according to Open Doors, are at the top of the World Watch List of the most dangerous places for Christians to live.


Iraqui Christian women. / Reuters

In the modern church calendar, the moth of November is set apart to remember and pray for the persecuted church. In 2015, the specific dates are November 1, 8, and 15.



“The International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church, gives us the privilege of joining together with over half a million churches in 150 countries to pray for the suffering church”, affirms Godfrey Yogarajah, Executive Director WEA Religious Liberty Commission.

“It plays a vital role in encouraging and strengthening the persecuted church and also awakening churches in places where there is no persecution”, he adds.

“We call on Christian leaders from all denominations to adopt IDOP as an annual event in the Church calendar, we must make sure that the plight of the persecuted Church is heard", UK Evangelical Alliance (EAUK) general director Steve Clifford says.

“The persecution of Christians does not stop, specially now with the difficult situation in Syria and Iraq; from North Korea to Colombia, the Body of Christ is suffering, and we need to be there for them in prayer”, the Religious Liberty Commission of the Spanish Evangelical Alliance states, encouraging Christians in the country to take action.



The Religious Liberty Commission of the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA), has set apart the first two Sundays of November to remember thousands of Christians around the world who suffer persecution, simply because they confess Jesus Christ as Lord.


A Nigerian soldier with hostage women and children freed from Boko Haram last April. / Reuters

The WEA has a specific webpage with many resources to help churches organise their own IDOP activities.



The UK Evangelical Alliance launched its Religious Liberty Commission last February, as a collaboration with several organisations like Release International, Open Doors, and Christian Solidarity Worldwide. They marked the IDOP for the UK on Sunday, 15 November 2015, and urge churches to unite in prayer for those across the world suffering for their faith.

Among the resources they have created to equip churches throughout UK and worldwide, they made a video with testimonies of persecuted Christians, prepared presentations and different materials for the churches to use, and organised different events in several cities during the whole week.

At the beginning of the IDOP 2015 campaign, Open Doors organised a webcast, with guests from North Korea, Iraq and Kenya, that can be used by anyone, along with all the other resources that this organization has available for the IDOP.

There are other organizations which have resources, for all those churches and Christians that want to participate in the IDOP, like Critical Prayer RequestsInternational Christian Concern and The Voice of the Martyrs.

The official hastags #IDOP, #IDOP15, and #IDOP2015 , can be used in social media to comment, denounce, share or support anything related to the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church.

Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.” Hebrews 13:3




    If you want to comment, or


YOUR ARE AT: - - November, a month to pray for the persecuted church
Israel, the UN resolution and the long conflict Israel, the UN resolution and the long conflict

Shira Sorko-Ram, pastor and journalist in Israel, shares her views and a historical and biblical context on the latest events.

Lindsay Brown: Islam and the Gospel in Europe Lindsay Brown: Islam and the Gospel in Europe

Is the arrival of thousands of Muslims to Europe a threat to Christianity? What is the growth of evangelical churches in Eastern and Southern Europe? An interview with theologian and Lausanne Movement representative Lindsay Brown.

Giovanni Traettino: “Pope Francis is my brother in Christ” Giovanni Traettino: “Pope Francis is my brother in Christ”

Evangelical Focus asked the well-known Pentecostal pastor about his “open” approach to Roman Catholicism. Traettino defended his position about ecumenism during the Italian Evangelical Alliance 2016 assembly (8-9 April, Rome).

Efraim Tendero: Relationship with Roman Catholicism and other current issues Efraim Tendero: Relationship with Roman Catholicism and other current issues

The World Evangelical Alliance Secretary General participated in the Italian Evangelical Alliance assembly (Rome, 8-9 April). In this interview with Evangelical Focus, Bp Tendero talks about the need to listen to local churches and to face challenges like the refugee crisis and climate change. 

Thomas Bucher: Vision of the EEA Thomas Bucher: Vision of the EEA

Influence in society, evangelical identity and projects in Europe. An interview with Thomas Bucher, secretary general of the European Evangelical Alliance.

Evi Rodemann: Youth and mission Evi Rodemann: Youth and mission

“We want to see the youth not just being equipped, but also being multipliers”, Evi Rodemann director of Mission-Net. The European Congress took place in Germany from December 28 to January 2.

Greg Pritchard: European Leadership Forum Greg Pritchard: European Leadership Forum

Pritchard explains the vision of ELF, comments on the 2015 event in Poland and reflects on what it means to have an "evangelical identity".

Pablo Martinez comments on Evangelical Focus’ launch Pablo Martinez comments on Evangelical Focus’ launch

Author and international speaker Dr Pablo Martínez discusses the main challenges in Europe nowadays and hopes Evangelical Focus will be a useful tool to help build bridges between churches and society.

‘Reconciliation’ in the Basque Country ‘Reconciliation’ in the Basque Country

Bilbao hosted the Spanish Evangelical Alliance's annual meeting (assembly). Politicians, professors and evangelical representatives shared views on social reconciliation. The theme was also analysed from a theological perspective and in workshops. 

WPF17: A look at the world’s current issues WPF17: A look at the world’s current issues

A selection of pictures of World Press Photo 2017.

‘Progress of Europe, deeply connected to Bible’ ‘Progress of Europe, deeply connected to Bible’

Indian author Vishal Mangalwadi spoke about how the biblical worldview shaped the West. 300 professionals attended annual GBG meeting on faith and work in Cullera (Spain). Photos: J.P. Serrano, S. Vera.

Impressions of Lausanne's #ylg2016 Impressions of Lausanne's #ylg2016

Around 1,000 young Christian leaders from 150 countries are participating in the 2016 Lausanne Younger Leaders Gathering, to reflect on global mission.

“Spain, we pray for you” “Spain, we pray for you”

Hundreds of evangelical Christians from many denominations marched in Madrid (Spain) to pray for their city, the authorities and asking God to bring hope to its society. Many gathered in other cities on June, 11.

How does erotic love feature in the Bible? How does erotic love feature in the Bible?

Richard Winter, Psychotherapist and Professor Emeritus of Covenant Theological Seminary, answers the question.

Proverbs 31 Proverbs 31

A powerful video recites Proverbs 31:10-31, from the Bible. Produced by World Relief. 

‘You are a… Christian?’ ‘You are a… Christian?’

A clip by Tracey Ullman's Show (BBC, in the UK) gives a humorous approach to how Christians are perceived in the labour market.

What historical obstacles do European missionaries need to overcome? What historical obstacles do European missionaries need to overcome?

Teaching Director of Youth for Christ in Sri Lanka Ajith Fernando answers the question.

You-To live-How? You-To live-How?

The Roldan Camacho are a Spanish couple with deafness. They tell us how the whole family experiences everyday life through sign language. A video report by Gabriela Pérez.

“Who can help me? I want to become a Christian” “Who can help me? I want to become a Christian”

Nikos Stefanidis of ‘Helping Hands’ in Athens (Greece) shares the story of an Afghan lady who decided to follow Jesus.

Philip Yancey interview Philip Yancey interview

An 8-minute interview with Philip Yancey on the role of Christians in a secularised society. Recorded in Madrid, September 2016.

An interview with Prof. John Lennox An interview with Prof. John Lennox

New atheism, the definition of "faith", Christianity in Europe, the role of the Bible in mission, and the need to listen more. An exclusive interview recorded at "Forum Apologética" (Tarragona, Spain) in May 2016.

Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube

EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.

Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.