November 14: Churches Reminded to Pray for the Persecuted
Churches across the United States and around the world are preparing to “remember those in bonds” (Hebrews 13:3) on Nov. 14, the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP).
Begun in 1996, IDOP is a day for intercessory prayer and citizen action on behalf of persecuted Christian communities worldwide.
“As our staff meets with persecuted Christians around the world, their first request is that we pray for them,” says Todd Nettleton, Director of Media Development for The Voice of the Martyrs — USA. “IDOP is a day when the collective Body of Christ joins together to answer their request.”
Some churches devote the entire day to persecuted Christians, while others hold a special prayer time during their regular service. It is estimated that more than 100,000 churches have taken part in IDOP activities since 1996, and churches in more than 130 countries have participated.
“Our persecuted family is not asking us to pray that the persecution will stop,” says Nettleton. “They’re asking us to pray they will remain faithful to Christ in spite of the persecution and pressure they face.”
The Voice of the Martyrs has developed a special IDOP Church Resource kit, including a four-minute video presentation, that encourages church congregations to pray and that provides ideas about practical ways to help persecuted Christians. Visit www.persecution.com/idop for more information on the resource kit, as well as downloadable resources to help your church pray effectively.
“This is an important day in the church calendar,” says Nettleton. “But we don’t want it to be something a church crosses off their list and doesn’t think about for 12 more months. Our hope is that this one day of prayer leads to 364 more days of prayer and action on behalf of our persecuted brothers and sisters.”