On Sunday, November 1, Christ followers around the world will recognize the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP) – a global prayer movement for Christians who boldly witness for Christ at any cost in nations where Christianity is not welcomed.
Each day, millions of Christians around the world are persecuted for their faith. From Pakistan to Kazakhstan, Nigeria to North Korea, Christians routinely face discrimination, harassment, violence, and even death for their faith in Jesus.
Over the years, IDOP has served as a platform to highlight the stories of persecuted Christians and mobilize the global Church to respond to their plight. Moreover, in so doing, IDOP has also been a source of solidarity and encouragement to persecuted Christians by reminding them that they are part of a larger, global family of believers.
“When we ask persecuted Christians how we can help them, the first thing they say is ‘Pray for us!’” says Todd Nettleton, spokesperson for The Voice of the Martyrs (VOM) and host of VOM Radio. “IDOP is a direct response to their #1 request.”
In advance of IDOP, VOM, a nonprofit organization serving persecuted Christians since 1967, has released a new video telling the story of Christians in the Central African Republic who were forced to flee their homes when Islamists attacked.
The video, Janette: Central African Republic, also tells of the courageous faith that leads them to forgive their persecutors.
“You and your church will be inspired to pray for and support Christians like Janette who have lost everything because of their Christian faith,” VOM states.
Janette: Central African Republic is available for free download (or to request as a free DVD) at persecution.com/idop, along with additional free resources for individuals and churches, such as presentation slides, a church bulletin insert, a sermon outline, a guide with tips and ideas for churches, and a free sheet music to the Keith and Kristyn Getty hymn “Christ Our Hope in Life and Death,” featured in this year’s video.
IDOP resources are also available for purchase, including a set of prayer map posters highlighting countries where Christians are persecuted, a special issue of VOM’s magazine, and prayer reminder bookmarks/brochures.
To view, download, and/or purchase the resources, click here.
“A pastor from Vietnam once said, ‘When you pray for us, you are serving with us in Vietnam!’ On IDOP Sunday—and really every day throughout the year—you can serve with our persecuted brothers and sisters by bringing their needs before our Father in Heaven,” says Nettleton.
“Pray for 600 imprisoned Christians in Eritrea. Serve with imprisoned pastors in China—and pray for their families also. Pray for Christians facing growing threats in India. Pray for Janette and those who share her story. Please pray for persecuted Christians!”