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Suffering Christians Crying Out for Prayers

International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church Sunday; Still Time to Download Materials

Contact: Jerry Dykstra, Open Doors USA, 616-915-4117, jerryd@odusa.org

SANTA ANA, Calif., Nov. 8, 2011 /Christian Newswire/ -- The U.S. State Department reported in October that Afghanistan now has no church buildings and no Christian schools.

Can you imagine the fear and isolation that must grip the hearts of Christian men and women in places like this?

More than 100 million Christians are persecuted globally, and it's getting worse every year. A recent report by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life found more than 2.2 billion people live in countries where social hostilities or government restrictions rose substantially from 2006 to 2009.

The most powerful way Christians in the West can show their support for the small number of believers in Afghanistan and millions of other suffering Christians around the world is through prayer. Millions will be gathering in churches, small groups and homes this Sunday for the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP). IDOP began in 1996 and today is one of the largest prayer events in the world.

"IDOP presents a tremendous opportunity for millions of people to make a difference in the lives of those faithful Christians who are literally under the gun in countries such as North Korea, Iran, Nigeria and Afghanistan," said Open Doors USA President/CEO Dr. Carl Moeller. "Compass Direct News reported suspected Islamic extremists threw a grenade into the home of the guard of an East Africa Pentecostal Church congregation on Saturday, killing an 8-year-old girl and a member of the church. Three others were seriously injured. Please pray for their families. They and many more are crying out for our prayers."

The top 10 persecutors on the Open Doors 2011 World Watch List include North Korea, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Somalia, Maldives, Yemen, Iraq, Uzbekistan and Laos.

Open Doors USA's One With Them campaign is a call to action to unite with persecuted believers. The website for One With Them offers numerous materials for IDOP such as a pastor's guide, IDOP videos and lyrics and music to the One With Them theme song. To download IDOP materials go to www.OneWithThem.com.

Open Doors will be offering prayer points on IDOP through the Open Doors Facebook fan page (www.facebook.com/opendoorsfans) and Open Doors twitter account (twitter.com/#!/OpenDoors).

To set up an interview on IDOP, contact Jerry Dykstra at 616-915-4117 or email jerryd@odusa.org.

An estimated 100 million Christians worldwide suffer interrogation, arrest and even death for their faith in Christ, with millions more facing discrimination and alienation. Open Doors supports and strengthens believers in the world's most difficult areas through Bible and Christian literature distribution, leadership training and assistance, Christian community development, prayer and presence ministry and advocacy on behalf of suffering believers. To partner with Open Doors USA, call toll free at 888-5-BIBLE-5 (888-524-2535) or go to our website at www.OpenDoorsUSA.org.