November 6: The International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church
In 2015, more than 7,000 Christians were killed specifically because of their faith. To raise awareness and ask Christians to engage their faith on behalf of the Persecuted Church The International Day of Prayer is November 6th this year and ministries like Open Doors USA are encouraging churches and believers around the world to join them on this important occasion standing with our persecuted brothers and sisters around the world.
According to Open Doors President and CEO David Curry, the International Day of Prayer is an important reminder for Christians living in Western countries. “There are Christians sitting in jail because of their faith who do not have the same freedoms we do, like meeting with other Christians in public or reading the Bible,” said Curry. “Having a day specifically set aside to pray for the persecuted is an important encouragement to those who are suffering.”
“Time and time again, those living under persecution and those who are refugees from it tell us that their greatest need is hope—hope found in their faith and hope born of the knowledge that Christians in the free world are remembering them in prayer,” said Curry.
2014 became known as the worst year for persecuted Christians in contemporary history; beatings, rapes, kidnappings and killings all increased. Unfortunately, the situation worsened in 2015. Even Christian-majority countries are seeing increases in discrimination, exclusion and violence. The advancement of the Islamic State group and totalitarian governments like North Korea have contributed to the rise in persecution, according to Open Doors.
According to the ministry's 2016 World Watch List, North Korea is the worst country to be a Christian and has added an updated persecution watch map available for those wishing to pray specifically where the need is greatest. (Click below)
The top 5 countries who are all listed as Extreme Persecution by Open Doors are: