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Christians Urged to Pray for Persecuted Believers

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

 

SANTA ANA, Calif., Nov. 5 /Christian Newswire/ -- Open Doors, an international Christian ministry which supports and strengthens persecuted believers, is calling on Christians to pray for over 200 million suffering Christians during the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP) on Sunday, Nov. 11.

 

During that day churches around the United States will focus on prayer and support for our brothers and sisters who are being persecuted for their faith in Jesus Christ. IDOP is one of the largest prayer events in the world and has heightened awareness of persecuted Christians since its inception in 1996.

 

Because of persecution and suffering that Muslim Background Believers – those who convert from Islam to Christianity – face daily, Open Doors USA has made these hundreds of thousands of "Secret Believers" the focus of this year's IDOP.

 

"The International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church presents a tremendous opportunity for millions of people to make a difference in the lives of those being persecuted for their faith in countries like Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, North Korea and many more," says Open Doors USA President/CEO Dr. Carl Moeller. "Persecuted believers have asked us who live in freedom to pray for them – always their number one request. And on November 11 we have the opportunity to collectively lift our petitions to the Lord on their behalf."

 

Pray For Believers in Such Countries As:

 

  • Iran Christians report that persecution has increased markedly and that believers are experiencing greater hardship since the election of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in August 2005. Islam is the official religion in Iran, and all laws and regulations must be consistent with the official interpretation of Shariah law (strict Muslim law). Christian prisoners face strong psychological pressures, including threats to kill their family and other Christian believers, in order to force them to recant their Christian faith and return to Islam.

 

  • Egypt According to Compass Direct, although Egypt's Christian citizens are free to embrace Islam and obtain legal Muslim identities, Muslim citizens are not allowed to change their religious identity. Those who become Christians are subjected to severe harassment by the State Security Investigation (SSI), which often arrests converts for either insulting Islam or "threatening national security." Islam is the official state religion of Egypt.

 

  • China According to Compass Direct, house church Christians throughout China fear tough restrictions on their freedom to worship following the launch of a government crackdown ahead of the Olympic Games. There are reports of ongoing house church raids and arrests. An unprecedented number of foreign Christians have been expelled from China since the first of the year. 

 

To partner with Open Doors, call toll free at 888-5-BIBLE-5 (888-524-2535) or go to our USA website at www.OpenDoorsUSA.org. For more information on Muslim Background Believers, go to www.secretbelievers.org.

 

For more information or to set up an interview, contact Jerry Dykstra at 616-915-4117 or email jerryd@odusa.org