03 January 2017
Could you join with the persecuted Church during 2017?
Violent persecution is set to rise in 2017 according to Release International.
The persecuted Church charity and Alliance member reports worrying trends around the world.
Christians in the UK are being urged to join with their Church family suffering persecution.
Paul Robinson, chief executive at Release International, said: "2017 looks set to be a harsh year for many Christians, under authoritarian regimes and at the hands of militants."
"Our Christian family will need our prayers and our practical support."
Persecution is likely to be worst in the Islamic world where pressure is expected to come from both the state and Islamic militants.
Release also reports worrying trends in India and China where recorded attacks from Hindu militants have increased dramatically, and where pressure is building on unregistered churches.
Paul Robinson said: "Around the world Christians face an increasing array of violent persecutors.
"These include the brutal Islamic State in the Middle East, heavily armed militants in Nigeria and Hindu extremists in India.
"Our report on the likely trends of persecution in 2017 is a wake-up call to take our prayers and practical support for our persecuted family to a new level."
Christian Solidarity Worldwide, Release International and Open Doors UK 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.
You can find information about the persecuted Church and ideas and resources for prayer on each organisations website.
Image: CC Geetanjal Khanna