International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church
Women and children around the world continue to suffer for their faith in Jesus. Prayer is our strongest weapon. We have the opportunity and responsibility to intercede for those who are:
In Ethiopia, Tsige, the widow of an Ethiopian church leader, often feels very alone in her small rented room. She is the only evangelical Christian in her town, the nearest evangelical church being an hour and a half away by bus. Her husband Dantew was martyred in July 2002, hacked to death by militant Orthodox priests and their followers, while Tsige and Dantew's two teenage sons, Zelalem and Dawit watched in horror. In order to complete their schooling, the boys live apart from their mother, a teacher.
In remote parts of China and some countries in Central Asia, kidnapping and stealing of brides is still part of the local custom. Christian women thus end up being married to Muslim men against their will. Please pray for Sarah in Uzbekistan and many others like her. Join them in praying that their husbands will find Jesus.
In Egypt, Pakistan, Colombia, Sudan, and Nigeria, Muslim families, guerrilla fighters, or Muslim bandits hold Christian girls and women against their will. Grace Nandom was one of sixty women recently released in Plateau State, Nigeria. Grace is now pregnant after being sexually abused by her captors. Her husband too was captured and later killed.
In North Korea, China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Eritrea, and Mexico, Christian men and women suffer in jail, while their families miss their presence at home. Miss Li from Jiangsu, China, writes, "We have suffered great persecution. Many of the church leaders have been arrested and fined. Some were beaten and thrown in jail. Brother Cui was sentenced to five years. Please pray for his wife 'sister Li.'"
Beaten and Abused
In Eritrea, seventy-seven soldiers, fifteen of them women, are in military prison for refusing to deny their "Pentecostal" ("non Orthodox") beliefs. They are tortured, assaulted, and sexually abused by the prison staff.
By God's grace and the prayers of Christians around the world, persecuted believers are able to persevere. "All I do is wait patiently for the Lord's return," a Mnong tribal believer writes from Vietnam's Central Highlands. "God promised to deliver the just that they may be with Him forever." There is hope because God does what He promises.
This year the international emphasis on prayer for persecuted Christians around the world will be the week of November 6-15. For more information and materials, go to http://www.idop.org.