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International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church

By Sheba     Nov 11, 2007 in World
While we are remembering our war heroes in the U.S. and Canada today, Christians around the world are remembering the Persecuted Church. Today is also the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church.
Today is Veteran's Day in the United States and Remembrance Day here in Canada. We honour the men and women who have sacrificed their lives for the freedoms we hold near dear to us.
Today is also the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. It is the day that believers around the world pray for their brethren who still do not have the freedom to worship the Lord without being persecuted.
Christians face persecution in many countries. From India to Iraq, the Sudan to Egypt, Iran to China and elsewhere. Many have been martyred - their stories untold.
Documentary - A Cry From Iran
Documentary - A Cry From Iran
Most of the displaced in the Sudanese ethnic cleansing are Christians persecuted for their faith. Same for the many who have fled Iraq since the war began. The story of the Iraqi Christians is particularly sad because some of the oldest churches in Christianity exist right there.
As Iraq implodes, Christendom is witnessing the demise of one of its oldest churches. Not since the World War I era -- the last major Western incursion into the Middle East before the present -- has a Middle Eastern Christian community battled extinction......Iraq's Christians -- whose ancestors embraced the faith before the collapse of Rome and the birth of Muhammad -- take pride in their ancestry, counting Abraham of Ur of the land of the Chaldeans as one of their own. But this lineage does little to protect them from insurgents (many of whom are not Iraqi), who see Iraqi Christians as collaborators with the so-called Christian West.
In India, the world's largest democracy this is not suppose to happen - supposedly. Take for example the Dalits;
The Indian government has enacted anti-discrimination laws and created programs to compensate for this discrimination. Yet the Dalits' place within the "Hindu religious and social hierarchy" limits the impact of these laws. More than 2,000 years of culture and religion often trump the law.
Little wonder that millions of Dalits have sought to escape that hierarchy by converting to Christianity. According to the Wall Street Journal, the "overwhelming majority" of India's Christians are Dalits. This, in turn, gives their Hindu neighbors and local government two reasons to discriminate against them: their caste and then their Christian faith.
In fact, if a Dalit converts to Christianity, he risks losing whatever little anti-discrimination protection and benefits are offered to Dalits—benefits that, however, can mean a decent chance at life."
In China, underground churches still exist and Christians are still being persecuted for their faith. In spite of all of the persecution more and more converts are turning to Christianity especially behind the iron curtain of Islam, in the Islamic countries.
In a most incredible and eye-opening broadcast, CCN and Brother Andrew invite your community to meet the courageous men and women whom you may not know exist: Christian believers in Islamic countries. Hear riveting testimonies of their personal struggles to come to grips with hostile governments, terrorist acts, and an influx of Muslims coming to Christ. In this nationwide simulcast, Brother Andrew issues a call and a challenge to believers across the United States:
What is it about the Christian church that makes it thrive when watered by the blood of its martyrs. The irony seems lost on the unsaved world and perhaps that's a good thing else they may quit persecuting Christians all together and the church won't be watered by the blood of the martyrs.
More about Persecuted, Church, Prayer