It's no secret that prayer is powerful.
Nov. 5 marked the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. The annual day originated to raise awareness of the increasing violence, torture, death, worship restrictions, public humiliation, and social isolation that some Christians face on a daily basis.
Christians across the world participate by praying for others in predominately atheist countries such as North Korea, China, Iraq, as well as in South Asia and the Middle East.
“As we observe the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church for 2023, our hearts are heavy with the rising tide of Christian persecution worldwide,” said Godfrey Yogarajah, ambassador for religious freedom with the World Evangelical Alliance to decisionmagazine.com. “From Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Latin America and beyond, over 360 million Christians now live in places where they face high levels of persecution, equating to one in seven Christians globally.”
The theme of this year’s observance is “Struck Down but Not Destroyed” and is taken from 2 Corinthians 4:10: “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair,” Yogarajah continued.
Open Doors reported that over 5,600 Christians were killed for their faith in 2022, 90% happening in Nigeria.
Ryan Brown, CEO of Open Doors U.S., shared in The Christian Post, "Prayer allows us to align ourselves to the hearts of the Father who, as much care and as much passion as we may have for serving the persecuted church, it pales in comparison to Christ’s heart for His bride."
Open Doors shares on its website that North Korea is at the top for Christian persecution, but places like China have been using intimidation to oppress people of faith.
Brown continued by sharing how he hopes people take more time out of their day to pray, "The goal is not that this necessarily becomes a once-a-day, once-a-year activity, but that this becomes a springboard into something that impacts us on a regular basis,” he said.
If you missed being a part of the day on Nov. 5, join in with others across the world on Nov. 12.