USA (MNN) — According to Open Doors USA, there are more than 200 million Christians who face persecution for their faith in Christ. It could mean the loss of a job. Some are kicked out of their homes or villages. Many face beatings, imprisonment, or even death. Why? For simply being a follower of Jesus Christ.
Christian organizations who support the persecuted church set aside the second Sunday of November each year to honor those who suffer for Jesus. This year, Mission Network News will be airing a special broadcast not only to honor these believers, but to encourage everyday Christians to remember them, pray for them, and ask the question: "Do I count it a privilege to be persecuted?"
On a general scale, Christian persecution has become a humanitarian crisis of unprecedented proportions. According to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, persecution has become especially prevalent in countries like India and Iraq, while countries of particular concern that have been known for consistent religious and human rights violations include North Korea, China, and Sudan.
But the United States government is not alone in its monitoring of the crisis. Many Christian ministries and nonprofit organizations have made it their mission to advocate and provide humanitarian support for those in the persecuted church, most of whom suffer a range of abuses from societal or even family ostracism, physical abuse, kidnapping, or false imprisonment on an almost daily basis.
According to Executive Director and Anchor of Mission Network News, Greg Yoder, "This broadcast is special. We're honoring the heroes of our faith: men and women who not only are brave enough to endure persecution, but who count it privilege to do so. I can't help but wonder if I would be that heroic."
On the weekend of November 12 and 13, Christians radio stations from around the world will be airing the Mission Network News International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church Radio Special. It will feature the music of 33 Miles, Matthew West, and Chris Tomlin, as well as a message by President of Open Doors USA Dr. Carl Moeller. MNN will also feature national Christians praying for their nations — nations that are known for being persecutors of Christians.
Yoder says, "Our goal is three-fold: To encourage Christians globally to understand that persecution is a way of life for many Christians, especially in creative access nations; to honor heroes of the faith for being bold in their witness for Christ; and to pray for those who face harm every day as they attempt to be Christ to people in a real way."
The MNN IDOP Radio Broadcast is a production of Cornerstone University Radio. It's being offered free to any radio station wanting to air the broadcast.