Thursday, October 29, 2015

Remembering Them In Prayer

This is about that time of year.

I'm not talking about Halloween.

I'm talking about the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP), which is observed every year on the weekend of November 2.

Who Are The Persecuted Church?

The persecuted Church consists of followers of Jesus in restricted countries and areas of the world (as shown on the map below, courtesy of Gospel for Asia. These believers live in countries where Communism, Buddhism, Hinduism and most often, Islam, is the state religion. They suffer everything from discrimination, government harassment, threats, social or family ostracism to violence, arrests, jail, prison or death in connection to their faith in or service for Christ. Their main resquest to us Western Christians is, "Please pray for us!"

Why Does Prayer Mean So Much to Persecuted Believers?

As followers of Jesus, we believe that God moves in power when we pray. This means much especially to persecuted Christians outside the West, who are usually literally forced to trust God totally, because they usually have little in the way of material possessions and face the reality of persecution and can easily identify the enemies they face to following Jesus. So they come to know, firsthand, what it means for God to move in power and unmistakably in their lives and in the lives of their families and communities. I have read plenty of accounts where their lives and experiences read like the modern-day Book of Acts! So when they ask us to pray for them and they sense our prayers because of God moving in their lives and giving them strength to stand firm in faith, it means everything to them

What Can We Do?

We can pray, give, and we can raise awareness. I wonder if the silence of so many pastors and other believers in the West about global religious persecution of our brothers and sister who share our faith but not our freedoms, is because of lack of awareness. There are many ways we can stand with our fellow believers who share our faith but not our freedoms, but prayer is the most important Yes, it is hard to know what to pra about but there are websites where you can educate yourself, learn how to pray, raise awareness through their updates, and even donate for the strengthening of severely persecuted followers of Jesus and the the furthering of the spread of the Gospel in persecution countries and areas of the world. The links are provided below at the bottom of this page.

Voice of the Martyrs

Open Doors USA

Voice of the Martyrs and Open Doors USA have offices in many countries throughout the world. If you are not in the USA, you can find these offices closest to you.

Gospel for Asia

God's blessings to you as you stand with persecuted believers not only during IDOP but every day of the year!

The above video and the map have been provided courtesy of Gospel for Asia.

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