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Open Doors Launches Worldwide Prayer Weekend

SHOCKWAVE: Thousands of Youth Come Together March 1-3 to Pray for Persecuted Christians

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

SANTA ANA, Calif., Feb. 27, 2013 /Christian Newswire/ -- Millions of Christians worldwide are being persecuted for their faith.  Every day believers face torture, imprisonment or loss of their lives simply because they are Christians.

What would it be like to walk in their shoes? Hebrews 13:3 tells us to "remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering."

Thousands of young people from countries around the world will participate in SHOCKWAVE this weekend to support suffering believers. SHOCKWAVE is an international weekend of united prayer for persecuted Christians in countries such as North Korea, Iran, China, Syria and Nigeria. The theme for SHOCKWAVE 2013 is "Prayer and Unity." Participants in former SHOCKWAVE events included young believers from South Africa, Indonesia, United Kingdom, Japan, Australia, India, France, Brazil, Germany and the United States. This is the 12th annual SHOCKWAVE event sponsored by Open Doors.

According to SHOCKWAVE spokesmen, the event unites young people who are "passionate, committed and unashamed of Jesus." They ask young people from around the world to be a voice that tells the story of the persecuted church, and be a group of "walking billboards" who unashamedly stand up for those who suffer for  following Jesus.

"SHOCKWAVE is an amazing way to have young people from around the world praying for the persecuted church," says Steve Ridgway, Interim President/CEO of Open Doors USA. "Join with us and thousands of other young people in lifting up our suffering brothers and sisters in prayer this weekend."

Open Doors USA will have prayers resources available this weekend on the Open Doors USA facebook page at www.facebook.com/opendoorsfans.

Additional resources for SHOCKWAVE are available at www.opendoorsusa.org/take-action/youth and www.odshockwave.org.

For almost 60 years Open Doors has worked in the world's most oppressive and restrictive countries, strengthening Christians to stand strong in the face of persecution and equipping them to shine Christ's light in these places. Open Doors empowers persecuted Christians by supplying Bibles and Christian literature, training Christian leaders, facilitating social/economic projects and uniting believers in the West in prayer for Christians, who are the most persecuted religious group in the world and are oppressed in at least 60 countries. 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.

(For more information or to set up an interview, contact Open Doors USA Media Relations Director Jerry Dykstra at 616-915-4117 or email JerryD@odusa.org.)