Pray for the Persecuted Church
Posted Dec 01, 2016 by Kris Eldridge in Missions
Contributed by Gary Klingler, Fellowship Bible Church.
Just a few weeks ago, on November 6, the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP) was held. Unless you receive news feeds from mission organizations that specialize in ministry to the persecuted church, it’s not likely you would have even heard of IDOP. The day passed, but the persecution of God’s people around the world continues. They need our prayers, not just one day a year, but every day.
At the bottom of this article is a list of organizations that have at least one of their core values as serving and ministering to the persecuted church. They may not all fit our doctrinal statement to a “T”, but they do grasp the meaning of Galatians 6:9-10: “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith."
What about people we know who are working with those who are currently being persecuted for their faith? Take Juan and Timoteo (not their real names) and their families who are from our Fellowship family. They serve in Southeast Asia and the Middle East. In both areas, to respond to the call of Jesus on one’s life is an invitation to persecution. Yet the glory to come is so worth it to them and those with whom they share Jesus. Would it be to us?
In India, new believers who convert from any of the Big Four there (Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism) or Islam can almost be guaranteed to be persecuted. Fellowship supports and sends people to India to share the Good News. Why? “Because the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. Romans 8:18”.
Nate and Steve work in different parts of Western Europe. They left the comfort of life in Atlanta and went to work with refugees. Most of them are Muslims. Many left their countries because their lives were in danger just for not joining ISIS or the Taliban. Some actually left to try to convert people to Islam, but found Jesus in the process. Is life simple when they come face to face with Jesus and decide to become his follower? Anything but simple. In many cases, following the Nazarene signs your death warrant. You become a marked person and your house or other possession may be identified with the Arabic symbol ن. It’s the first letter of our English word “Nazarene”. The cost for a Muslim or Hindu to follow Jesus is high. Job loss, beatings, ostracism, death. Any or all. Even in Europe.
In relatively moderate Turkey, where one of our single gals is working, leaving Islam to follow Jesus can get one killed. Death threats to team members in Jordan forced one of our Fellowship partners to move to another part of the world.
II Timothy 3:12 says that “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted...” If life is a piece of cake for us, then maybe we need to evaluate our level of godliness.
Above all else, PRAY for the persecuted Church and those who work with them.
- Spend some time learning about the persecuted church. The above websites are helpful.
- Pray for a people group with many persecuted Christians.
- Start a “Persecuted Church” prayer group. Let us know about it and we’ll help.
- Invite others to join your group - we can help you recruit.
- Get to know someone who is working with a segment of the persecuted church.
- Meet someone who is from that people group. Likely, they live in Atlanta.
Community Outreach Pastor
Fellowship Bible Church