The International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church, November 3

This Sunday, November 3, is the. International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church.

Persecution in the headlines

In recent weeks the persecution – and martyrdom – of Christians in Iran, Pakistan, Egypt, Kenya, Syria — to name a few countries – has made the headlines. For every case that makes the news, there are tens that do not.  Even in the USA there seems to be a growing incidence of cases where the ability for Christians to freely practice their faith is meeting with opposition from both the government and secular groups. Almost 75% of the world’s population lives in countries with sever religious restrictions, according to the Pew Foundation.

Whether or not your church chooses to “Remember the prisoners, as though in prison with them, and those who are ill-treated, since you yourselves also are in the body” (Heb 13:3), you can make the persecuted the focus of your personal prayers, not only on November 3, but at all times. www.Persecution.com and www.worldwatchlist.us/ are two excellent sites with information about the international scene.

The 50 countries where Christians are most persecuted

Persection

Biblical basis to pray for those who persecute and the persecuted. 

Jesus directs us to “pray for those who persecute you” (Matt. 5:44). Paul enjoins us to pray “or kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity” (1 Timothy 2:1-2).

It seems fitting to also pray that those who suffer because they are Christians will respond to perpetrators in Jesus’ way: “But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you” (Luke 6:27,28). Indeed may believers – including us – use these occasion to boldly witness to our faith in Jesus Christ, as did the early Church and ever since.

But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. AND DO NOT FEAR THEIR INTIMIDATION, AND DO NOT BE TROUBLED, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always {being} ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame. For it is better, if God should will it so, that you suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong. 1 Peter 3:14-17

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