Welcome from Johan Candelin
But you are not alone...
There is a wonderful little story from Africa. The villagers in a poor area decided to build a hospital but really had no money so a small boy decided he would do something. The only thing he had were some pens. So he started to knock on doors asking people to buy a pen to support the building project. A lady said to him, "But that's too big a challenge for you!" Then the boy smiled and said, "Oh, but I am not alone! My smaller brother is selling pens on the other side of the street."
Many brothers and sisters in Christ in more than sixty nations do not have the full freedom to confess Jesus as Lord and Saviour in our world. Just to give you two examples: when you read this some two thousand Christians are in prison in Eritrea and thousands have lost their homes in India as a result of anti-Christian attacks. More than 100 million Christians face disinformation, discrimination and persecution only because they want to follow Jesus Christ. And they are your brothers and sisters! They easily feel alone - in the jungle, in a hiding place or in a prison.
When I now welcome you to the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP) 2008 I challenge you to do whatever you can so that we together send a strong signal to our brother and sister saying: YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
Let's "sell pens on the other side of the street" so that they really feel that they are not alone.
I believe that God has equipped us with each other for a time like this, and that now is the time to show our love. You can do this by praying, printing out material from our website and sharing them in your church, or by giving financial help to good organizations.
Many persecuted Christians have told me that they could feel that people around the world were praying for them when they were in prison.
Now is the time to form the world's biggest prayer group with more than 100 nations taking part.
But remember that we are praying not only FOR the persecuted church, we are also praying WITH the persecuted church in November. There are blessings for all of us when we unite in prayer to glorify the wonderful name of Jesus.
Welcome to participation in IDOP 2008!
May God bless you.
Global IDOP Coordinator
For more information on Persecuted Nations please visit the following websites
http://sb.od.org/ (Open Doors)
www.persecution.com (Voice of the Martyrs)