Christians across the world will be praying for their persecuted brethren this Sunday in the first of two annual International Days of Prayer for the Persecuted Church.

Held on the 5th and 12th November, the first International Day of Prayer - organised by the World Evangelical Alliance's Religious Liberty Commission - was held in 1996. Originally designated as for the first Sunday in November, a second Sunday was added later to allow more people to be involved.

Godfrey Yogarajah, executive director of the WEA RLC, said, in a statement written for this year's event, that persecution remains "the daily reality of at least 100 million Christians around the world".

"These Christians, who face routine harassment and difficulties, often suffer in silence and isolation," he said. "Over the years, the IDOP has served as a platform to highlight their stories and advocate their plight. Moreover, in so doing, the IDOP has also been a source of solidarity and encouragement to persecuted Christians by reminding them that they are part of a larger, global family of believers."

Calling on churches to join in the day, he added: "Let’s pray that in spite of the pressure and persecution, our suffering brothers and sisters - where-ever they may be in the world - would stand firm in their faith, holding fast to the promises of God in Christ."

The IDOPs are supported by a range of Christian organisations around the world including Open Doors, the Australian arm of which is this year calling on churches to spend five, 10 or 30 minutes praying for the persecuted church.

"We want to see God strengthen His church in the most dangerous countries on the planet," the organisation said in a statement. "Our prayer is to see those who are being persecuted supported, and to see nations transformed for Christ from the inside out."

Open Doors Australia is offering a range of free resources for churches to download via www.opendoors.org.au/idop.

Voice of the Martyrs in Australia has also produced a resource kit can be found at https://vom.com.au/idop/.

 

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