“One Faith–One Family” is the theme for this year’s International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP).
Each year, several Canadian Christian agencies – Open Doors
, Voice of the Martyrs
, The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, International Christian Response
, and Intercede International
– work together to create a collection of resources that help Canadian Christians and churches to remember their persecuted sisters and brothers around the world, and to pray for them.
IDOP Canada 2019 will take place on Sunday, November 3. Canadians who are unable to participate in IDOP Sunday on this date are encouraged to set aside time on another day to remember our persecuted sisters and brothers. The important thing is to pray. The focus countries this year are Afghanistan, India, Algeria and Colombia
The IDOP Canada team annually creates free downloadable resources. Be sure to register to access those resources at www.idop.ca
. Thank you for your prayers and concern for the persecuted church.
The theme verse this year is 1 Corinthians 12:26, which states, “If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it” (NIV).
Persecution for our faith can separate us from friends and family. In some countries, Christian leaders are thrown into prison simply because of practicing their faith. They are separated from their families – who sometimes do not even know where their loved one is being imprisoned. Families are left to support themselves while the breadwinner is confined to a prison cell.
Yet in the midst of such suffering, God gives comfort to these families. They can pray for each other’s protection, safety and provision. God hears those prayers. Despite their hardship, these believers are cared for by the Lord.
Here in Canada, Christians may not suffer as much as our fellow believers in other nations. We sometimes face opposition because of our beliefs, but are usually not jailed because of them. Yet we need to remember to intercede for our persecuted brothers and sisters.
“Pray for us …” is the cry of persecuted Christians around the world. Today across the earth more than 245 million of them are suffering for their faith in Jesus Christ. Each year, Christians in more than 130 countries stand in prayer with our persecuted sisters and brothers through the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. Please join with us as Christians across Canada unite in prayer for our brothers and sisters who suffer because they declare their faith in Christ.
For every Christian, regardless of our circumstances, hope is found in the promise that one day we shall see Christ face to face. Knowing that death will not be the final word gives us great hope. Ultimately, we shall see suffering replaced with rejoicing, and receive our greatest reward when Christ ushers us into eternal life with Him and says, “Welcome home, my faithful servant.” For many of our persecuted brothers and sisters who are imprisoned or who constantly live under the threat of death, this is their hope.