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18 October 2017

Press release

Pray for the persecuted Church this November

Pray for the persecuted Church this November

This November Christian organisations are coming together to encourage the Church to pray for fellow believers who suffer because of their faith.

Around the world, many Christians risk harassment, discrimination, imprisonment or even the risk of death simply for trying to live out their faith or worship together.

The Religious Liberty Commission of the Evangelical Alliance brings together Christian Solidarity Worldwide, Open Doors UK and Release International. Under the banner of One Month, One Church, One Prayer, we are calling on Christians to take time in their services to remember believers who are persecuted when they pray, meet together or share the gospel, or simply because of their faith. 

Dr David Landrum, director of advocacy at the Evangelical Alliance commented: "This is a chance for us to pray for believers around the world who suffer because of their faith in Jesus. We're joining together to encourage the Church to join together in prayer."

The month is centred on the International Day of Prayer for the persecuted church on 19 November. 

The global picture is sobering. In Iran believers may be forced to worship together in private homes, running the risk of arrest and imprisonment by the security services. In Northern Nigeria armed raids by Fulani herders have claimed the lives of innocent men, women and children and forced others from their homes into camps for the internally displaced. In Indonesia some churches are facing closure by the authorities and congregations attempting to meet together on Sundays face hostility from their neighbours.

Lisa Pearce, chief executive officer at Open Doors UK, says: "The shocking rise in the persecution of Christians worldwide must be a priority for the whole Church, not just a concerned few. That's why we are uniting with fellow ministries to call the Church to wake up to the crisis and to be family to those who are suffering for the faith we share."

One request that is always made by Christians who are under pressure is for prayer, and this something that every Christian can do.

Paul Robinson, chief executive officer at Release International, said: "IDOP is the one big opportunity for the global Church to intercede for its persecuted brothers and sisters. In places such as Eritrea, China and North Korea Christians have been imprisoned for many years and they are comforted and strengthened when they know we have not given up raising their voice here in the UK."

Mervyn Thomas, chief executive of CSW said: "We warmly encourage Christians to unite under the theme of 'One Month, One Church, One Prayer', be it individually, in a small group or with your whole church, to pray together as a worldwide family and stand together with those who are persecuted for their faith."

The Religious Liberty Commission has produced a video and prayer for churches to use on 19 November, or throughout the month. Christians are encouraged to share the video with their church and to meet together in prayer, while remembering those in other countries whose attempts to do the same are blocked, or who can only do so at great risk to themselves and their families.

Father God,

As one Church, united under your holy headship, and knowing that we are all one family in Christ;

We pray for those who suffer in your name all over the world, our brothers and sisters, who share in that same great gift of salvation through your son, but who face injustice, oppression and even death because of their faith in you.

We want to walk with them as they journey through the valley of darkness, and we pray knowing that you are a God of compassion, comfort, and justice; who always hears their prayers, never leaves them and will forever be their fortress and shield, whatever they face.

We pray that you will grant them strength, courage, and protection from those who seek to harm them because they follow you; guidance and wisdom for when their path seems impossible to tread, and hope for a future where they have the freedom to worship you without fear.

In the name of Jesus,

Amen


A video version of the prayer is available online at www.eauk.org/rlc, and the prayer can also be accessed through the Prayermate app.  

Media Enquiries

Danny Webster
Tel: 07766 444 650
Email: d.webster@eauk.org

Notes to Editors

  1. The Religious Liberty Commission is made up of Christian Solidarity Worldwide, Open Doors and Release International, all members of the Evangelical Alliance who work to support the persecuted church.
  2. Each organisation have dedicated resources to help churches engage with the International Day of Prayer, and to guide Christians in their prayers.
  3. Spokespeople are available for comment.
  4. Information about the RLC, and the video and prayer, are available online at www.eauk.org/rlc


The Religious Liberty Commission
The persecution of Christians worldwide has become such a significant issue that Christian Solidarity Worldwide, Open Doors and Release International have joined together to form the Religious Liberty Commission.

The Religious Liberty Commission (RLC) is a commission of the Evangelical Alliance that brings organisations working on behalf of persecuted Christians together to speak with one voice. Each member organisation has its own distinctive mandate, but all feel the issue of Christian persecution is so important they want to speak together regularly to raise awareness of key developments globally, in a significant and collaborative way. Visit www.eauk.org/rlc.  

The Evangelical Alliance

We are the largest and oldest body representing the UK’s two million evangelical Christians. For more than 165 years, we have been bringing Christians together and helping them listen to, and be heard by, the government, media and society. We’re here to connect people for a shared mission, whether it’s celebrating the Bible, making a difference in our communities or lobbying the government for a better society. From Skye to Southampton, from Coleraine to Cardiff, we work across 79 denominations, 3,500 churches, 750 organisations and thousands of individual members. And we're not just uniting Christians within the UK – we are a founding member of the World Evangelical Alliance, a global network of more than 600 million evangelical Christians. For more information, go to www.eauk.org.