Shafia was kidnapped and raped for four months. In order for her family to bring charges against her attacker they had to borrow money from a brick kiln owner. In order to pay off the money they borrowed, her entire family worked 12 hours a day in that very brick kiln. Their pay? 3 dollars for every 1000 bricks. In that time something amazing happened to Shafia. She came to forgive her captors. She is a Christian. She is our sister.
Gulsher Masih was arrested in October 2008. His crime? Gulsher was falsely accused of ripping pages out of the Quran. He is currently awaiting trial in the Central Jail in Faisalabad. If sentenced he could face at least four years in prison. It is believed these accusations arose because Gulsher has been aggressively winning Muslims to Christ. Gulsher’s daughter, Sandul Bibi, was arrested with her father and sits in the same jail. Our brother and sister need your prayers.
John is 5 years old and lives in southern Sudan. John’s mother, a Christian, starved to death saving all the food she could find to feed John. John smiles when he is reminded that Christians pray for him.
Stories like this barely scratch the surface when considering the parts of the world that are hostile to Christianity. The International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church is a day set aside to concentrate our prayers exclusively on our brothers and sisters suffering, dying, and evangelizing in these areas. Will you join us this year as we pray?
The International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church this year is November 8th. In order to encourage and facilitate more involvement, across multiple generations within the church, we will be observing this day on Wednesday night, November 4th at 7:00pm. There will be multiple stations and a variety of situations and people to pray for. I encourage you to visit one or all of these stations set up throughout the church building on November 4th.
1. Persecuted Regions – Pray for areas of the world where Christians face abuse, imprisonment and death for their faith.
2. Kids of Courage – Pray for children who are persecuted, orphaned, or whose parents have been imprisoned because of their faith. You will have the opportunity to pray for these children by name, often with a picture of the child.
3. Prisoner Alert – Pray for Christians who have been imprisoned for their faith. You will be able to pray for these prisoners by name and will also be given the opportunity to write letters to prisoners currently serving sentences for their faith and we will send them for you.
4. Action Packs – This year The Voice of The Martyrs has sent us Action Packs and encouraged people to fill those vacuum sealable bags with supplies to be sent to Christians in heavily persecuted areas such as Iraq, Pakistan and the Sudan. This is an opportunity to pray and to go out from the church to collect or purchase items for those packs. Participants will be encouraged to pray before they depart, along the way and when they return.
“31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33 Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written,
“For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”