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International Day of Prayer: 'Persecuted Church must know they are not forgotten'

A coalition of Christian organisations is mobilising prayer around the world for Christians who are suffering for their faith ...

A coalition of Christian organisations is mobilising prayer around the world for Christians who are suffering for their faith. 

The 17th International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP) takes place on Sunday 3 November, and to more effectively raise awareness in UK and Irish churches about persecution of Christians, the Evangelical Alliance, Release International, Christian Solidarity Worldwide and Open Doors have joined together to form the Religious Liberty Commission (RLC). 

Steve Clifford, general director of the Evangelical Alliance, said: “The Evangelical Alliance is part of the RLC because it is our brothers and sisters, members of our family, who are suffering and even dying for their faith. We cannot, and must not, ignore their plight. They must know they are not forgotten by us.”

As part of the Commission’s aim to inspire Christians to pray, it has produced a special video for IDOP, which is available for use in churches and church meetings. The three-minute film has an introduction by Baroness Berridge of the Vale of Catmose.

The IDOP video highlights the plight of Christians who face violence and discrimination under militant Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism and features powerful interviews from Nigeria, Sri Lanka and India.

Florence from Nigeria describes the day militants broke into her home and killed her son and nephew when they refused to convert to Islam. A church youth leader from India describes a raid on his church by Hindu extremists, and a pastor in Sri Lanka tells of the day his church was burned down by militant Buddhists.

IDOP began in 1996, when a coalition of Christian organisations decided that the global Church could no longer be silent. They were appalled by the realisation that more people had died for their Christian faith in the 20th century than in all the previous centuries combined. In response they pledged to end “our own silence in the face of the suffering of all those persecuted for their religious faith.”

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