Why it’s so important to pray for the persecuted church

by Open Doors Canada

Many people today think of the persecuted Church as some foreign entity in a distant land. But the persecuted Church is the body of Christ – they’re a part of us.

A believer praying in Indonesia. "For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ" (2 Corinthians 1:5 NIV).
A believer praying in Indonesia. “For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ” (2 Corinthians 1:5 NIV).

When a pastor is thrown in jail for witnessing about Jesus, that’s our brother being imprisoned. When a woman is ostracised from her community for being a Christian, that’s our sister being rejected. When a young girl is violated for her faith, that’s our daughter being violated. And when a teenage boy has to flee his home for converting to Christianity, that’s our son fleeing.

So we want to invite you to join us in interceding for our persecuted family, during our International Day of Prayer (IDOP) on November 13, 2016.

Meet your brothers and sisters…

In Iraq

“Living as a Christian in a Muslim world isn’t easy. I have to hide my Bible, but the contact with my fellow believers makes me strong.” – Believer from a Kurdish Background.

Almost two years ago, the Islamic extremists of Islamic State (IS) attacked Mosul and the surrounding area, causing thousands of Christians to flee their homes. These displaced believers haven’t been able to return ever since. Christians in Iraq face abduction, violence, sexual abuse and even death. Believers from a Muslim Background (BMBs) face difficulties in all areas of life. Pray for strength and provision for displaced Christians, and for courage for BMBs to continue following Christ despite the pressure they face to return to Islam.

 In Nigeria 

“As a body we have suffered a lot of loss as a result of the activities of Boko Haram and other Islamic extremists. They have bombed and burned down many churches, killed many people and destroyed many properties.” – Damaris, Widowed Believer

The levels of pressure and violence against Christians remain high in Nigeria. This has resulted in the killing and displacement of many Christians. Attacks from Boko Haram and Hausa-Fulani Muslim herdsmen, who frequently carry out cruel attacks on Christian villages in Nigeria’s middle regions, are the cause of the violence. Pray for protection for Christians in the country, as well as comfort for displaced Christians.

In Bhutan

“Hinduism and Buddhism are closely related, so Hindus get some degree of freedom. But for us Christians, this is not the case. We cannot build churches.” – Jampa*, Believer

Buddhism is the state religion of Bhutan. With a low tolerance for other religions, life is difficult for Christians. Christian converts from Buddhism or a tribal background face strong pressure from their family, friends and neighbours to recant their faith and return to Buddhism. Children face discrimination at school. Pray that the government will officially recognise the Christian minority, thus allowing them to worship and evangelise freely.

In Indonesia

“I thought we were alone and forgotten; no news ever mentions us anymore.” – Karunia*, Church worker and victim of a demolished church

Indonesia has the largest Muslim population in the world. Conversion to Christianity is not illegal, but Believers from a Muslim Background (BMBs) living in strictly Islamic areas face strong pressure from family and friends to recant their faith. Christians also face problems in registering their church buildings and at times have suffered violent attacks. Pray for strength and growth for the body of Christ despite the restrictions on registering new churches, and that BMBs will stand strong in their faith.

Visit www.idop.ca for resources to join in prayer for the persecuted church today. See Faith Today‘s numeric breakdown of persecuted Christians.

(*Representative names used for security purposes.)

One thought on “Why it’s so important to pray for the persecuted church”

  1. “Followers of this Matthew 5:10 living in places like those you mentioned ( and many others) intimately know of the persecution Jesus was speaking. Those states see that following the ideas of Jesus is a threat. Americans, on the other hand, should give daily, abundant thanks to God. They live in an exceptional state of grace– the first amendment of The Constitution guarantees their freedoms of religion, speech, and thought – although, even we non-progressive interpreters of scripture, are beginning to face at least public shaming and in some cases, legal prosecution for living out our faith …

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