Sunday, November 11th has been designated as the Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church.
Around the world today Christians are being persecuted for their faith. More than 70 million Christians have been killed for their faith since 33 AD. This year an estimated 160,000 Christians will die at the hands of their oppressors and over 200 million will be oppressed, persecuted, arrested, tortured, rapped, beaten or jailed. In many nations it is illegal to own a Bible, share your faith, change your faith or allow children under 18 to attend a religious service. In 1998, 82% of those killed worldwide because of their religious convictions were Christians.
It is interesting that the Apostle Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 3:12 that “everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” Paul did not see the suffering he endured as exceptional, but rather typical for anyone who wants to live a godly life.
In the minds of many American Christians persecution today is limited to far off countries. This is not true. Persecution is present in our own region. In the past 12 months Christians have been arrested or killed for their faith in Mexico, Cuba, Columbia, Argentina, Honduras, Peru, and Venezuela.
How to pray for persecuted Christians – 1) encouragement to go on, 2) faithfulness that God will provide, 3) for the persecutors, 4) provision, that the persecuted will be provided for.
Hebrews 13:3 states, "Remember them that are in bonds as bound with them, and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body."
Also: Matthew 25: 34-40, Matthew 5:10, 1 Peter 3: 13-17, 1 Peter 4:12-14.