International (MNN)— Thousands of Christians are martyred for their faith each year. To remember those who have lost their lives because of their faith in Jesus Christ, the month of November is especially dedicated to the persecuted.
Gospel for Asia says 14,000 are martyred around the world every year because of their faith. However, this number only includes reported cases. Actual numbers have the possibility to be much higher than that.
Though the first International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP) was a few days ago, another day of prayer is coming up on November 10. Christians are urged to continually pray through the month of November, and beyond.
The persecution of Christians has both physical and mental forms. Many are beaten or deprived of food to the point of starvation. Others suffer misunderstanding or mental torture. People have turned children away from their homes and schools have refused students to return. Houses are burned, clothes are destroyed and many are ultimately killed. This all happens because they claim the name of Jesus.
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 closes with, “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 healing will come into the lives of the persecuted. Pray those persecuted will continue to stand strong in their faith in the name of Jesus Christ.