With persecution of Christians at its highest rate in recent times, Gospel for Asia is calling for a chain of prayer to encircle the globe on Nov. 3 for the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. Prayer resources are available at gfa.org/info/idop.
“Stripped of their rights, fleeing their homes, beaten by their own family members, imprisonment and martyrdom are all part of what it means to stand firm in the Christian faith in many parts of the world,” says Dr. K.P. Yohannan, Gospel for Asia (GFA) founder and president. “We must stand with them through earnest prayer.”
Yohannan says there are millions of Christians around the world who are persecuted for Christ.
“Based on the promise of God about the time leading up to Christ’s return, persecution will only get greater,” Yohannan says. “We can expect persecution.”
The violence of the Arab Spring that began in December 2010, which saw uprisings in a number of Middle East and North Africa nations, was often specifically targeted against Christians. In Egypt, at least 40 Coptic Christian churches and other Christian properties, such as bookstores and schools, were attacked and burned. Tens of thousands of Christians have fled the violence and kidnappings targeting their communities in Syria. Two suicide bombers attacked a Pakistani church in September, leaving at least 81 dead and 140 injured.
In India, a Christian family hosting a house church was invaded as they prepared for dinner on Good Friday. The father and son were severely beaten, all because people wanted to drive Christians out of their community.
“The Bible tells us that the prayers of the righteous effect change,” Yohannan says. “Last year on the International Day of Prayer, we asked you to pray for the release of Pastor Ugyen, who was imprisoned for showing a film about Jesus and leading people to believe in Him. His miraculous release after three years in prison is witness to a faithful God who hears and answers prayer.
“We must not let our persecuted brothers and sisters stand alone. Let us all pray for those who are facing great danger for boldly believing and sharing the love of Jesus.”