International (MNN) — Christians around the globe are gearing up for increased persecution.
Tomorrow marks Day One of the Muslim observation of Ramadan. Ramadan is a month in which Muslims pay special attention to their religious duties within Islam. Some of those may include fasting during the day, praying more, and increased giving to the poor.
But for Christians living in the Muslim world, the heightened responsibility to Allah that some Muslims feel during Ramadan can be dangerous.
"Many months of the year, Christians can blend into the population like everyone else. But when Christians are eating or drinking during the day (during Ramadan), it makes them targets for the persecution that their fellow countrymen can exhibit among them," explains Carl Moeller, president and CEO of Open Doors, USA.
This is not just a theory or possibility. Moeller says during Ramadan, "Christians in Muslim-dominated countries experience a severe increase in persecution worldwide."
Year after year, Christians have faced increased hardship during this Muslim holy month. As Muslims focus on serving God, some hone in on the Quran's commands to eliminate Christians.
This year, tension may even be worse than normal. The Arab Spring uprisings have heightened hostility toward Christians, says Moeller.
"We look across the whole region and see the rise of radical Islam as a result of these revolutions throughout the Arab world. We see Christian communities in almost every one of those countries directly or indirectly threatened by radical Islam."
As Ramadan begins, the biggest need is prayer. Pray for the safety of believers, especially in nations experiencing hardship like Syria, Egypt, Iraq and Nigeria. But pray also for Muslims to come to Christ during this next month. You can still get your copy of "30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World" which will provide insights and suggestions on how to best pray. Click here to get it.