Remember to pray for persecuted Christians

Published 12:46 am Saturday, October 22, 2016

If you were arrested for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you? For us, that’s a question for self-examination, but millions of Christians around the world face that possibility every day. Imagine looking over your shoulder because you are studying a Bible or worshipping in church. If you are caught, you could be jailed, beaten or even killed.

“Since Jesus laid down His life, 43 million Christians have become martyrs. Right now 200 million people face persecution for believing in Jesus and 60 percent of those people are children,” according to Christians in Crisis International Ministry, a prayer advocacy ministry for persecuted believers.

Christian are persecuted daily for their faith. In China, more Christians are in prison or under some form of detention than any other country in the world. Christians must gather in secret house churches to worship. The Scripps-Howard News Service reports that more Christians were killed in the 20th century than in the previous nineteen centuries combined.

Last year, 21 Egyptian Christians were beheaded in Libya by radical Islamists. These Christians experienced brutal and barbaric consequences for their faith in Christ. Christian Aid Mission recently reported 11 indigenous Christian workers near Aleppo, Syria were beheaded and crucified for not denying Christ..

Nov. 6 has been designated as an International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. The website for the IDOP states that more than 200 million Christians today do not have full human rights because they confess Jesus as Lord and Savior!

What should we do? The Apostle Paul tells fellow Christians that if one member of the Church suffers, all suffer and if one member is honored, we all rejoice together (1 Corinthians 12:26). Hebrews 13:3 states, “Remember the prisoners as if chained with them, those who are mistreated, since you yourselves are in the body also” (NKJ).

We must pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ. The International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church is a global day of intercession, not just for those suffering for their faith – but also for their oppressors and the nations that promote or ignore it.

“We believe that prayer changes things. God invites us to present to Him our requests and to pray without ceasing. Persecuted Christians often plead for prayer to help them endure. The most we can do is the least we can do – pray,” the International Day of Prayer website emphasizes.

The Apostle Paul, who suffered beatings and imprisonment and was eventually executed for his faith, writes, “All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:12). As Christians in America, we have not suffered as severely as Christians in other countries, but our Biblical values have been attacked and morals mocked.

When you and I attend church this Sunday, we will carry our Bibles, sing hymns, hear preaching, and pray together without fear of persecution. While we’re sitting in our comfortable buildings on comfortable pews, let us not forget Christians in other countries whose faith cost them more than we will ever know.


– Jan White is an award-winning columnist. She can be reached at