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31 October 2016

Charities mark International Day of Prayer for the persecuted Church

Charities mark International Day of Prayer for the persecuted Church

Open Doors, Release International and Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) are marking International Day of Prayer for the persecuted Church (IDOP) with new resources to help Christians pray.

IDOP will take place this year on 20 November.

Open Doors found that more than 7,000 people were killed for faith-related reasons during reporting for the 2016 World Watch List.

Release International is focusing on the situation in Sri Lanka, with a new film and petition available for use in churches.

Open Doors has produced a resources pack to help Christians pray for their brothers and sisters suffering in the Middle East.

You can see CSW's resources on their website, along with a promotional video .

Persecution on religious grounds takes place around the world with Christian's often experiencing persecution through social violence and governmental pressures, or through familial pressures and gender-based violence. 

Paul Robinson, chief executive at Release International, said: "We thank God that the gospel is bearing fruit around the world, but it is coming at a high cost for many of our brothers and sisters. 

"They often choose to pay the price even with their lives, knowing their sacrifice will help to grow the Kingdom of God, but they need our help and prayers to do so. That is our responsibility and one we must take seriously. 

"IDOP plays a significant part in this, when churches around the world stand united in prayer for the persecuted body of Christ so please encourage your church to be involved."

Mervyn Thomas, chief executive of CSW said: "At CSW we're passionate about prayer; it's the foundation on which the rest of our work is built.
We've been so privileged to see some incredible answers to prayer: from nation-changing developments through our work at the UN, to the release of prisoners, and everything in-between. 

"At the same time, there are still many prayers we're yet to see answered. That's why, together with the other members of the RLC, we're calling for an outpouring of prayer for the persecuted Church this November. 

"We know that our prayers have the power to change the course of history." 

Lisa Pearce, CEO at Open Doors said: "We cannot stand by while extremists attempt to destroy the church in the Middle East."

"The ancient Christian community and new converts need our prayers, our advocacy and our support now more than ever."

CSW, Release and Open Doors are members of the Religious Liberty Commission, along with the Evangelical Alliance. The Commission aims to speak with one voice about the persecution of Christians around the world and to encourage prayer and advocacy on their behalf.