International (MNN) — Thousands of Christians suffer each year for their faith. The month of November is dedicated to pray for these persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ.
The International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP) was
observed a few days ago, and another day of prayer is coming up on
The persecution of Christians can take many forms. Many are beaten or
deprived of food to the point of starvation. Others suffer mental
torture. Families have turned children away from their homes, and
schools have refused students to return. Houses are burned, possessions
are destroyed, and many are ultimately killed.
Gospel for Asia says 14,000 believers are martyred worldwide every year. However, this number only includes reported cases. Actual numbers may be much higher.
On October 20, an elder of a GFA-sponsored church in Nepal was murdered for praying. And in late September,
innocent worshippers at a historic church in Pakistan scrambled for
safety as two suicide bombers left 81 dead and 140 injured.
GFA founder and international president KP Yohannan says, “Sometimes, even when we pray for the persecuted, the Holy Spirit reveals to us that we can be part of the answer to our prayers.”
As the month of November progresses, churches are urged to continue the emphasis on the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted. There are free resources for churches and individuals at www.gfa.org/info.idop. Included are practical ways Christians can pray for the persecuted.
Yohannan urges, “Join Christians around the world in spending time praying and fasting in tears over a map of the world where our fellow believers are suffering for their faith.”
Pray that persecuted believers will stand strong in their faith. Pray that they will "fear no evil" and that God will be their comfort in life and in death.