INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER FOR THE PERSECUTED CHURCH 2017

by Kathy Jackson, CCC Member

Abdul tensed as he heard the angry voices nearing his home in Central Asia. Suddenly, a group of young Muslims crashed through his door and began threatening him. “If you don’t renounce Christ, you’ll regret it!” they shouted. But Abdul refused. ”I might be kicked out of the village, I could be beaten, but Jesus went through it all. If my Lord faced persecution, who am I not to expect the same treatment?” he said. (As told to an Open Doors worker.)

Even though it may be difficult for us to hear a story like this, it reflects the everyday reality for millions of Christians. They live with the constant threat of persecution for their faith – the threat of intimidation, isolation, beatings, imprisonment and even death – and they choose to follow Jesus anyway.

In the Bible it says, “Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body” (Hebrews 13:3). If you are like me, you want to remember and support our brothers and sisters everywhere who are in prison, mistreated, or suffering, but are unsure what can be done from so far away.

What do you think is the number one request for support from persecuted Christians? It’s not financial support or Christian materials. It’s prayer! The persecuted church understands the power of prayer, and they desperately need us to stand with them in this way. Therefore, this Sunday is the 2017 International Day of Prayer for the persecuted church. We at Christ Community Church will participate in this event by spending a few minutes during our worship service praying together for our persecuted brothers and sisters.

In addition to praying together this Sunday, we can “remember” and support persecuted believers throughout the year. "How?", you may ask. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Get informed about persecution by receiving update emails from organizations that support Christians who are being persecuted. Open Doors and The Voice of the Martyrs are two such organizations.
  • Follow these same organizations on Facebook and other social media.
  • Pray on a regular basis for the requests you receive.
  • Write letters of encouragement to persecuted believers. More information is here.
  • Consider a financial donation to an organization that supports the persecuted church.
  • Advocate for religious freedom for all people in all countries.
  • Join me this coming Saturday morning at Briarwood Presbyterian Church for a prayer breakfast/conference for the persecuted church. Get more information on the conference here.

I look forward to praying with you this Sunday!


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