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This year International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church is on November 10th. One out of every nine professing Christians face persecution, isolation and violence worldwide.
The persecution of Christians around the world has increased this last year, with intense incidents of violence perpetrated against Christians in Nigeria, India, Sri Lanka and Burkina Faso, among many others.
In some countries, churches are closed, Christians are forced to flee their homes, they are socially isolated, discriminated, and even killed for their faith.
“PRAY FOR THOSE WHO COURAGEOUSLY WITNESS CHRIST”
“The International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP) unites millions of Christians across the globe to pray for those who courageously witness Christ at any cost”, the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) explains.
It was created with the aim of serving “as a source to bring awareness of Christians that undergo oppression, mobilizing prayer from the global Church, and to provide support and confidence to oppressed Christians”.
IDOP 2019: “PERSECUTED BUT NOT ABANDONED”
This year, the IDOP is on 3th and 10th November, with the theme 'Persecuted but not abandoned', inspired by 2 Corinthians 4:9.
Godfrey Yogarajah, executive director of the WEA Religious Liberty Commission, invites Christians and local churches to “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, hold fast to the promises of God, and live victoriously in Christ”.
“Pray that they would relentlessly follow Christ, remembering that they are...'persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed'", he added.
“TOO MANY TO COUNT, TOO MANY UNKNOWN”
The campaign comes with a video that highlights recent persecution of Christians, including the bombings that killed 259 people in Sri Lanka, the violence in Nigeria, and crackdowns on churches in Algeria.
“Too many to count, too many unknown. All because they bear the name of Jesus”, the video stated at the beginning regarding the persecution found across the world.
OPEN DOORS ASKS TO PRAY FOR INDIA
One out of every nine professing Christians face the immediate potential and/or actually suffer “beatings, torture, confinement, isolation, rape, severe persecution, imprisonment, slavery, (death), and discrimination in education and employment”, Christian persecution watchdog group Open Doors points out.
During this year IDOP, Open Doors specially asks Christians to pray “for India, that recently moved into the top 10 on the Open Doors World Watch List of the most dangerous countries in the world for Christians”.
The IDOP website provides resources “designed to help you pray effectively for the persecuted”, because “in order to pray for these suffering brothers and sisters, we must first listen to their stories. In other words, we must hear their cry”.