September 15, 2011
International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church is Sunday, November 13, 2011
This Year's Theme "Victorious in Christ"
OTTAWA – Today around the world over 200 million are suffering for their faith in Jesus Christ. Each year, Christians in over 130 countries stand in prayer with our persecuted sisters and brothers through the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP). Join with us as Christians across Canada unite in prayer for our brothers and sisters who suffer because they declare their faith in Christ.
This year’s IDOP Canada theme is Victorious in Christ. Resources available at www.IDOP.ca focus on that theme which is based in Revelation 2:3 & 7:
3You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary.
7Whoever has ears, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.
While it may initially seem out of place to describe persecuted Christians as victorious, victory has two powerful spiritual meanings for Christians. First, victory means the victory that Christ won over death when he rose from the dead. Christ extends his victory to those who place their faith in him. Second, victory means persevering in our faith in Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit in spite of the trials or persecutions that may come our way. There are hundreds of thousands such victors who daily face persecution with the courage that comes through faith.
This year, as we remember our brothers and sisters who are suffering for their faith in Jesus, let us pray earnestly for their safety and for their freedom. Let’s pray for increased freedom to express their faith without persecution. And as we do so, may we also allow ourselves to be inspired and changed by their examples of faith and courage.
What difference do our prayers make? Persecuted Christians when asked what believers in the West can do for them, answer “pray”. They aren’t seeking to be rescued or removed from their situations. They seek the support of fellow Christians through prayer. Our prayers give spiritual and emotional support to suffering believers. Our prayers move the hand of God and change circumstances. Intercession through prayer helps the persecuted and those around them hold on to the peace and victory of Jesus.
IDOP 2011 will take place on Sunday, November 13th. If unable to participate in IDOP Sunday on this date, congregations are encouraged to set aside time on another day to remember our persecuted brothers and sisters. The important thing is to pray. The IDOP Canada partners have put together a free downloadable resource kit and DVD film to assist congregations, groups and friends to pray effectively for persecutors and the persecuted church.
For more information about IDOP and the 2011 resource kit, go to www.idop.ca.
Please add IDOP Sunday on November 13th in your publication’s list or calendar of upcoming events.
What is IDOP Canada?
The International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP) is an annual event in churches around the world. IDOP Canada is a partnership formed in 1997 to encourage churches to observe the day of prayer. IDOP Canada partners work together to produce resources for the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church for churches in Canada. The IDOP Canada partners include The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (EFC) Religious Liberty Commission, Open Doors with Brother Andrew (Canada), The Voice of the Martyrs (Canada), Intercede International and International Christian Response.
Why have an International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church?
More than 200 million Christians around the world today face brutal opposition and persecution because of their beliefs. They endure discrimination, intimidation, attacks, fines, imprisonment, torture and death for their faith. We are called to pray for them.
For additional information or an interview, please contact:
The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada Religious Liberty Commission
Rick Hiemstra, Director of Media Relations
(613) 233-9868, ext. 332
THE EVANGELICAL FELLOWSHIP OF CANADA
Together for influence, impact and identity
The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada is the national association of evangelical Christians, gathered together for influence, impact and identity in ministry and public witness. Since 1964 the EFC has provided a national forum for Evangelicals and a constructive voice for biblical principles in life and society. In addition to 39 evangelical denominations, the EFC affiliates include ministry organizations, educational institutions and individual congregations, who uphold a common statement of faith. The EFC is an active participant in the World Evangelical Alliance.