IDOP for the Persecuted Church

November 11 has been dedicated as the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. I thank God daily that I was born in America with all the freedom we have. Many Christians here believe we are persecuted because our Christian rights and values are being challenged. Although I agree that this is a form of persecution, I see it as a minor discomfort when I compare ourselves with Christians around the World who face much harsher circumstances: Imprisonment. Torture. Beatings. Kidnappings. Death. That is persecution that we in America cannot even comprehend, except through the stories we read.

Today is the day that we pray for our fellow Christians who face this persecution daily. Those in China, India, the Muslim worlds in Africa and East Asia.

Prayer works. We can already see its affects. We need to continue to pray for those persecuted, but let’s not forget to see the wondrous things that God is doing in these nations:

In China:

The most significant nation in [Asia] is China where the dynamism of the 130-million-strong Chinese Church is phenomenal. Society is wanting change and many people, even senior Communist Party members, are coming to be see that economic reform, in the absence of ethics and without social and political reform, tends to generate both wealth and widespread corruption. Calls have started coming from every level and area of society for ‘cultural transformation’ and for openness. There is even public acknowledgement that religion, specifically Christianity, can assist with the formation of a ‘harmonious society’. China is a state in transition. As it changes, Vietnam, Laos and North Korea – all totalitarian states where, as in China, Christians are persecuted and imprisoned – will be affected.*

In the Muslim world:

Amidst this chaos and disappointment, greater numbers of Muslims are now hearing the gospel message and meeting Christians. This is thanks to international travel – Muslims travelling out and Christians travelling in – and borderless information sources such as radio, satellite and the Internet. Historically few Muslims have converted to Christianity, so the rate at which Muslims are coming to Christ now marks a wonderful new trend. A few courageous ‘trailblazers’ have put their lives on the line to demand their right to freedom of religion. This of course generates heated debate and violent resistance from Islamic fundamentalists.*

God is working, and He’s using thousands upon thousands of willing Christians to spread His Word.  Take some time and pray for them today.

*Information taken from www.idop.org.  Other websites about the persecuted church and the organizations trying to help: CSI-international, Persecuted church.org. , Voice of the Martyrs, The Bible League., Gospel for Asia.

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