Tomorrow on November 6th 2016, IDOP – “International day of prayer for the persecuted Church” will be held across the globe. What is actually IDOP?
In 1996, a coalition of Christian organizations decided that the global Church could no longer be silent. They were appalled by the knowledge that more people had died for their Christian faith in the twentieth century than in all the previous centuries combined. A statement was issued, pledging to end “our own silence in the face of the suffering of all those persecuted for their religious faith.” Last year, this partnership officially became the Religious Liberty Commission.
People from an astonishing 110 countries pledged to pray for the persecuted on IDOP that first year. That included countries such as Sudan, China and Iran, where Christians were suffering severely themselves but still wanted to uphold other parts of the persecuted Church in prayer. This humbling realization spurred the organizers on to make it an annual event.
“Remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.” – Hebrews 13:3
Churches from all over the world now pray together annually for the millions of fellow Christians who suffer harassment, torture, imprisonment or even death, simply because of their beliefs. And sixteen years on, we’ve seen some amazing answers to prayer as a result of IDOP.