In Nigeria, at least one church has been attacked nearly every month this year. Hundreds of Christians have been killed or wounded by Muslim terrorists in 2012. These believers endure persecution almost every day, unsure of when the next attack will occur.
More than 100 million Christians are persecuted globally, and it's getting worse every year. A recent report by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life found more than 75 percent of the world’s population lives in countries where social hostilities or government restrictions rose substantially from 2006 to 2009.
The most powerful way Christians in the West can show their support for the millions of persecuted Christians around the world is through prayer. Millions will gather in churches, small groups and homes Sunday for the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. IDOP began in 1996 and today is one of the largest prayer events in the world.
“When you hear our stories and pray with us, that is how you can be one with us,” says Esther, a Christian widow from Nigeria. “The Bible tells us in Christ we are one body and when you pray with us, you bring the body of Christ together.”
The top 10 persecutors of Christians on the Open Doors 2012 World Watch List include North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Somalia, Iran, Maldives, Uzbekistan, Yemen, Iraq and Pakistan. Nigeria is No. 13.
Open Doors USA’s One With Them campaign is a call to action to unite with persecuted believers. The website for One With Them offers numerous materials for IDOP such as a pastor’s guide, IDOP videos and bulletin inserts. To download IDOP materials, go to OneWithThem.com.