As the persecution of Christians worldwide continues to grow, churches in the UK and Ireland are invited to stand with our Christian family under pressure for the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church on November 6.
IDOP, as it is known, was launched in 1996 by the World Evangelical Alliance. This worldwide annual day of prayer is held typically on the first Sunday in November.
Churches in the UK and Ireland are being invited to use that Sunday, or another Sunday in November, to stand with Christians who face violence and discrimination because of their faith.
Release International, Open Doors and CSW will be taking part in an online event, hosted by the Evangelical Alliance, at 7.30pm on Sunday, November 6.
The event will feature the stories of survivors of persecution from China, Cuba, and Iraq.
To help churches hold their own special services of prayer, a range of resources is available on the Release International website. These include a downloadable film, presentation slides and sermon outline for speakers, prayer points, testimonies, and songs.
The three-minute film introduces IDOP and highlights several countries where Christians are imprisoned because of their faith.
- China, where the authorities have strengthened their crackdown on the church, tearing down crosses, demolishing churches, and imprisoning pastors.
- Eritrea, where Christians have been imprisoned indefinitely without trial, many for more than a decade.
- Iran, where leaders in the underground church face arrest and lengthy prison sentences, and
- Pakistan, where Christians are vulnerable to false accusations of blasphemy, which can result in murder at the hands of vigilantes or jail.
The film features stories of pastors and prisoners of faith from each country.
Says Release International CEO Paul Robinson: ‘The Bible tells us to remember our brothers and sisters who are imprisoned for their faith and to share in their sufferings – it’s a question of empathy, of standing together.
‘On this International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church, we have the opportunity to come together to do just that – to truly count them as family, to stand with them, and to lift our voices with theirs in prayer. Do join us!’
To register for the online event, please click here.
Release International is active in some 30 countries. It works through partners to prayerfully, pastorally, and practically support the families of Christian martyrs, prisoners of faith and their families. It also supports Christians suffering oppression and violence, and those forced to flee.