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Praying for the Persecuted Church

November 3, 2014 No Comment

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CANADA – November 9 marks the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP), an annual event that sees Christians in more than 130 countries remember suffering Christians in prayer.

“Today around the world more than 200 million are suffering for their faith in Jesus Christ,” IDOP’s website explains. “Join with us as Christians across Canada unite for our brothers and sisters who suffer because they declare their faith in Christ.”

This has been a particularly difficult year for Christians in many countries. In particular, Iraq has seen deadly violence perpetrated against Christians in recent months as the Islamic State has taken control of much of the country, expanding from its previous base of operations in war-torn Syria. Other events of persecution noted in the media in 2014 included the April kidnapping of more than 200 Christian school girls in Nigeria by the Islamic group Boko Haram. The group recently reported that the girls were forced to convert to Islam and then married off.

The severity of persecution against Christians in 2014 mirrors similarly harsh treatment around the globe in 2013.

“We as Christians today follow in the footsteps of those who have gone before us,” noted Rev. Dr. Leonardo Neitzel, LCC’s Executive for Missions and Social Ministry. “As the Church is an Apostolic, Missionary, and Confessing body, it is also a martyrological body—a Church that suffers for the sake of Jesus’ love and the salvation of many. And while we suffer with the suffering, we also rejoice with those who are being brought to faith in Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord.”

As the Church is an Apostolic, Missionary, and Confessing body, it is also a martyrological body—a Church that suffers for the sake of Jesus’ love and the salvation of many.

“Our Lord Jesus Christ calls us to pray for His Church,” Dr. Netizel continued. “I encourage our congregations to keep the Persecuted Church in prayer—that God would instill in the faithful around the world courage and comfort in the knowledge of the Gospel.”

IDOP’s theme for this year is “Rejoicing in Hope,” and is drawn from Romans 5:1-5. “Through Him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”

For additional information and resources, visit IDOP’s website here: www.idop.ca. Watch the 2014 IDOP video trailer below:

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