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Delores Stariana

International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church

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In a few weeks the International Day of Prayer is coming up. This is an article my mother wrote for it.

 

 

 

On September 26, Iranian officials threatened to increase Pastor Saaed Abedini’s imprisonment from eight years because the arrested American pastor has shared Jesus with hopeless prisoners in the notorious Evin Prison. They had originally arrested him for participating in a house church during a visit home to Iran. His wife and two small children have not been allowed to contact him since his arrest.

 

In February ISIS in Libya beheaded twenty-one Egyptian Coptic Christians for their faith. They, and other groups such as Boko Haram, have attacked, killed, raped, sold into sexual slavery, or forced into marriages thousands of Christians across the Middle East and northern Africa because of their faith. Thousands have fled their homes in Iraq and Syria. In one night 100,000 Christians fled Mosul, Iraq, ahead of invading ISIS fighters.

 

In early October, a Muslim mob burned a church in Aceh Singkil, Indonesia. They are demanding the razing of ten other churches.

 

On October 12, a radical Hindu mob invaded the home of Pastor Chamu Hasda Purty and shot and killed him in Sandhi, Jharkhand, India.

 

But persecution is less and less a force that is somewhere else. Over there.  In other lands. On October 1, a troubled young man challenged Umpqua College students with the question, “Are you a Christian?’ Those who admitted they were he shot in the head, killing nine. Others he wounded. Then he killed himself.

 

Italian sociologist, Massimo Introvigne, a representative of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, has announced that a Christian is murdered for his faith every five minutes in today’s world. That’s 105,000 Christians per year.

 

November first through eighth is a week of focus on the escalating persecution of Christianity around the world. November 8 is the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church.  Please encourage your family and church to remember those who are suffering. For ideas on ways to educate yourself and others, you can visit www.idop.org, www.persecution.org/idop, www.persecutedchurch.org, and other sites for ideas.

 

“Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.” Hebrews 13:3.

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