This Sunday November 12 is the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP). The following are some links and resources about believers around the world who are suffering for their faith. I haven’t thoroughly researched all of these sites and organizations, so read at your own discretion. Unfortunately some of them are theologically ecumenical, and some are mainly focused on political action that they hope can force religious liberty into countries that are currently opposed to it. However, even though political activism wasn’t a topic Jesus talked about when teaching about persecution and even though it isn’t our main ministry to our persecuted brothers and sisters, these sites still have helpful information. And regardless, imbalanced methods of dealing with persecution don’t change anything about the persecution of true believers worldwide. They also doesn’t change our responsibility to help however we can. So here are the links:
- Voice of the Martyrs website
- Critical Prayer Requests for strategic nations (PDF file)
- World Persecution Map (PDF file)
- Friends of the Martyred Church
- Frontline Fellowship (Africa)
- The ABC’s of Serving the Persecuted Church (Kids of Courage) (PDF file)
- Operation World
- John Piper sermons on suffering, risk, and courage
- Wikipedia bio of Richard Wurmbrand, persecuted Romanian pastor who wrote Tortured for Christ and founded Voice of the Martyrs
This is a good opportunity to spend some time interceding for our suffering fellow-believers. I would also encourage you to use the IDOP to stir up the body of Christ wherever you’re at to remember and care about and pray for and help these precious sufferers and future martyrs. Here are some ideas:
- Set aside some personal time to pray specifically for the persecuted church.
- Sit down with your family (especially your children), tell them about the realities of Christian persecution in the world, and tell them some specific stories about persecuted Christians.
- If you’re fellowshipping with fellow-believers outside of the formal church service, mention the IDOP and pray together sometime while you’re hanging out.
- Pull a small group of friends together to pray through some of the strategic prayer requests.
“Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering” (Hebrews 13:3).