Millions pray on IDOP Sunday

By November 9, 2006

USA (MNN) — The International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church is November 12, and many Christians will be commemorating the event in different areas of the world. But, the common theme is prayer.

President of Open Doors, USA, Carl Moeller, won’t be in the United States this year. “I’ll have the pleasure, actually the benefit, of being with our brothers and sisters in Gaza at the Gaza Baptist Church, which is the only evangelical church in Gaza.”

Christians have been caught in the crossfire between Israel and Palestinian fighting. As the area becomes more influenced by Islamic militants, Christians are being targeted.

Moeller says this is the reason Christians need to be praying for believers who are persecuted for their faith. He tells us about their requests. “Mostly, they ask that they would be given the strength to endure persecution so that their churches could still grow, but they would be given strength to give grace to those around them and to be able to stand strong despite the persecution.”

While many may believe the persecution hurts church growth, Moeller says differently. “Our brothers and sisters in places like China, for many, many years,” says Moeller, “have told us persecution is good. We can’t believe that, but, then they say when there’s no persecution the church doesn’t grow. When there’s persecution, the church grows.”

Moeller gives us an example of that. “One pastor we knew was put into prison. When he was put in prison his church was 90 people. When he came out, the network of believers in his house church 20 years later was 4,000 people,” says Moeller.

The church is growing in Gaza as Open Doors is there to dedicate a new building for the Gaza Baptist Church.

While this day of prayer is for persecuted believers, Moeller is hoping it has an impact on the church in free nations. “We want to encourage the church in (the West), to encounter the persecuted and become faith walkers with them and trusting God that He would deliver them from such horrible circumstances and to uplift our own faith and spiritual courage.”

Mission Network News will be airing a special hour-long broadcast called featuring Johan Candalin with the World Evangelical Alliance, songs from Discovery House Music and prayers from people in India, the Middle East, China and more. Contact your local radio station for air-times or listen on our website.

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