Churches worldwide take part in International Day of Prayer for persecuted Christians

(Pixabay/Myriams-Fotos)Christians are encouraged to pray for the persecuted Church every first and second Sunday of November each year.

Churches in over 100 countries took part in the International Day of Prayer last Sunday to intercede for Christians who are being persecuted all over the world.

"Scripture affirms that the Christian life is a call to glory through suffering. Accordingly, on a daily basis Christians around the world face persecution in various forms, including discrimination, physical assault, violence and even death," the World Evangelical Alliance said in a statement.

"The Bible in Hebrews 13:3 command Christians to pray for those suffering as if they themselves were suffering. In other words, the Bible calls us to not only remember those who suffer but also to identify with them in their suffering," it continued.

According to Christian News, this year marks the 20th observation of the Day of Prayer which was first launched in Iran in 1996 after a Christian leader was murdered in the Islamic country. Christians are now praying for the persecuted on the first and second Sundays of November every year.

Resources such as prayer points, devotionals, Sunday School materials and hymn sheets are being provided to churches for free.

The Religious Liberty Commission released a statement determined to end "silence in the face of the suffering of all those persecuted for their religious faith."

Release International created a video to highlight the persecution happening in the South Asian country of Sri Lanka.

Godfrey Yogarjah, the secretary general of the National Christian Evangelical Alliance in Sri Lanka, stated that Christians are almost considered as an underground church in the country.

He said that Christian churches have been attacked and closed down by authorities in the past few years.

"We've had extremist groups like the Bodu Bala Sena, which is comprised of extremist Buddhist monks that have gone around attacking churches, closing churches, and sometimes the police have accompanied them," Yogarjah added.

Christian advocacy group Open Doors USA is encouraging Christians not just to pray for the persecuted but to pray with them so that they will stand strong for Jesus Christ in times of trial.



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