Pray for the Persecuted Church
In Hebrews 13:3 we read, “Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.”
Believers who are suffering for their faith in other countries are our brothers and sisters. We’re called to feel their pain with them.
Just this year, we’ve witnessed devastating attacks in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, multiple church buildings being demolished in China, Nigerian Christians being killed by Boko Haram, violence against Christians by extremists in Burkina Faso, continued oppression of believers in Algeria…and more. All of these have been well-documented and made headlines.
According to the 2019 World Watch List, from November 1, 2017 to October 31, 2018:
• 4,305 Christians were killed for their faith.
• 1,847 churches and other Christian buildings were attacked.
• 3,150 believers were detained without trial, arrested, sentenced or imprisoned.
According to many who study world trends, Christians are the single most widely persecuted religious group in the world today. It is estimated that 1 in 9 Christians worldwide are being harassed in some way, all because they carry the name of Jesus. That’s over 200 million Christians.
Christian churches around the world have set apart the month of November to remember and pray for the persecuted church. We have a prayer gathering at Grace that you’re welcome to attend (see bulletin for details). To hear personal stories and learn how we can more effectively pray, check out the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (www.idop.org).
The Bible tells us that believers “should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it” (1 Corinthians 12:25-26). May that be true of us.