To our readers:
Youth pastor Stephen Boissoin counsels many troubled young people in Alberta, Canada. However, sometime this month he will find out whether he will go to jail because he wrote a letter to the editor. Because of the number of homosexual and bisexual teens who came to him with their problems, he opposed a curriculum promoting homosexuality that targeted five- and six-year-olds. Someone accused him of hate crimes for speaking out, so this father of two young children may go to prison.
Rezk Shafik Attallah is searching for his twenty-year-old daughter who was kidnapped by a co-worker in Egypt in May. The police tell him to forget her, that she has converted to Islam, and they allowed her abductor to take her from the area. Rezk Shafik Attallah and his daughter are Coptic Christians; her abductor is Muslim.
Chinese police broke the chest bone of forty-five-year-old Christian businessman Tong Qimiao when he could not tell them the whereabouts of a Christian friend.
Kirupakaran Shankar lost the use of one leg in a spinal cord injury when attacked at the Gospel Echoing Mission Society Compound by radical Hindus in India on September 25.
These accounts of attacks on Christians are just from the last month. These are some of the more blatant attacks. Attackers also denied churches the right to meet because they couldn't find land to rent or were denied the right to register. Christians have been arrested for holding a Christian wedding ceremony. They have been threatened, targeted, imprisoned, and killed. They have been lied about under oath in courts. In some countries they regularly are denied jobs and education because of their faith. They have heard mobs scream, "Kill the Christians" in the courtrooms where they have been tried. They have been attacked by chemical weapons.
Put yourself in their places. What would you most want if you were in their place? Justice? Fairness? Security? Safety for your family? Freedom? Peace?
Most of them ask organizations such as Voice of the Martyrs and Open Doors for prayer. Prayer that they will be faithful. Prayer for their oppressors. Prayer for their families. Prayer for their churches.
November 13 is the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church in which many churches around the world will take special time to pray for the persecuted. Open Doors offers a free kit at http://www.persecutedchurch.org/ . or at 1-888-5-Bible-5 (524-2535). Many churches will pass out fliers with prayer requests, some will put on plays, or show a movie. Many will hold special services during the week about the plight of persecuted Christians.
You may think you are insignificant, but your prayers are not. C.H. Spurgeon wrote, "I would rather teach one man to pray than ten men to preach."
Samuel Chadwick believed, "The one concern of the devil is to keep Christians from praying. He fears nothing from prayerless studies, prayerless work, and prayerless religion. He laughs at our toil, mocks at our wisdom, but trembles when we pray."
Richard Lovelace said, "The prayers of God's people unleash the mighty acts of the risen Christ in history."
In answer to prayer this year, parents have received their children back from kidnappers. In answer to prayer pastors have been released from prison. In answer to prayer justice has been given in courts never expected to give it.
Watchman Nee, himself imprisoned in Chinese prisons for years for his faith, wrote, "Today the greatness of God's power is circumscribed by the extent of the Church's prayer."
On November 13, please pray for the persecuted church.
Debbie W. Wilson
"When God calls there are no regrets.... I wasn't called to a place. I was called to Him. To obey was my objective, to suffer was expected, His glory was my reward, His glory is my reward." Karen Watson martyred for her faith while adminstering aid in Iraq. This is from a letter to her pastors before leaving for Iraq. Sister Freaks, p. 3