Santa Ana, CA -- Christians in Pakistan, Indonesia, and other countries are reporting threats of retaliation from the United States response against terrorists and those representing their radical ideology. Although Christians and Muslims have interacted peacefully for the most part in Pakistan, there has been rising tension since the September 11 terrorist attacks. When asked if he felt extremists in Pakistan might attack Christians, one pastor explained: If they attack, we'll be among the first martyrs But we will not run anywhere. [Mort Rosenblum, Oct. 1, The Associated Press].
Over the past few weeks, U.S. citizens have been well informed about radical Islamic cells scattered throughout the world. Perhaps less well known are the scattered small cells of light in these same regions: Christians following Christ despite continuous threats of discrimination, imprisonment, and even murder. These threats have taken on a more intimidating tone in past weeks.
The current situation underscores our need to engage in timely intercessory prayer for our Christian family around the world. On November 4, 2001, over 100,000 U.S. churches are expected to join with thousands of churches in 130 countries to observe the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP). Before the first IDOP in 1996, most Christians in the United States and other free countries were unaware of the magnitude of Christian persecution. Noted scholar and human rights monitor Paul Marshall estimates that roughly 200 million Christians today face persecution (physical abuse, family separation, incarceration, and martyrdom) and nearly 400 million more face discrimination and restriction as a result of their Christian faith.
We, the board and partner ministries of Prayer for the Persecuted Church, implore you to join with us on November 4 in a day of remembrance and intercessory prayer for those who share our faith, but not our freedoms.
Board of Directors
John Tuitele, Board Chairman, Prayer for the Persecuted Church
Meegan Avery, Cherry Hills Community Church, Denver, CO
Johan Candelin, World Evangelical Fellowship Religious Liberty Commission
Steve Haas, Founder and Spokesperson, Prayer for the Persecuted Church
Terry Madison, President, Open Doors with Brother Andrew USA
Dennis Mulder, President, Bible League
Tom White, President, The Voice of the Martyrs
Mike Yoder, Vice President, Creative Development
Sponsoring Organizations of the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church:
Christian Solidarity International
Christian Solidarity Worldwide
Christians in Crisis with Pastor Wally
Family Research Council
International Christian Concern
Iranian Christians International
Open Doors with Brother Andrew
The Bishop Gassis Sudan Relief Fund
The Voice of the Martyrs
World Evangelical Fellowship Religious Liberty Commission
For more information on the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church visit http://www.persecutedchurch.org
For interviews on this story contact Tammy Moss at firstname.lastname@example.org or 949-756-0495 (USA)
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