By BosNewsLife News Center
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY (BosNewsLife) -- Christians around the world prayed Sunday, November 11, for about 200 million Christians persecuted for their faith, organizers said.
Believers from Afghanistan to Vietnam, both countries where the situation for Christians allegedly "worsened" in 2007, were included in a list of nations "requesting" prayers during the annual International Day Of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP). Special attention was asked for at least hundreds of thousands of former Muslims who face violence, death threats and imprisonment because of their conversion to Christianity, officials said.
"Because of persecution and suffering that those who convert from Islam to Christianity face daily, [Christian rights organization] Open Doors USA made these "Secret Believers" the focus of this year's IDOP," the group said earlier this week. Over 100,000 American churches, representing nearly every US denomination, were expected as well as Christians in more than 130 countries were expeced to participate in the IDOP, described as the largest global prayer event.
IDOP Global Coordinator Johan Candelin said Christian prisoners were encouraged by the prayers. "A pastor from a restricted nation told me about the time in prison when he was waiting to be executed at any moment. I asked him how he could handle that situation. He answered, 'I could feel your prayers in the cell!'"
ENCOURAGED BY PRAYERS
He also quoted the pastor as saying: â€œI knew that Christian brothers and sisters around the world were praying for me right then. Some nights I felt as if there were thousands of brothers and sisters with me in the cell and that we were all celebrating God's grace. That gave me hope during that worst time in my life. Actually I have never felt Christian love in such a strong way."
Candelin said the pastor's experience gave him and others participating in the IDOP â€œa compelling reason for coming together to pray for those who suffer for the name of Jesus Christ." Candelin: "We are all part of Christ's body and this is why it is a blessing to be part of this the world's biggest prayer group where we all have an important role."
He added that among those praying Sunday, November 11, were "Christians in Bhutan, Sierra Leone, Finland, China, Mongolia, Bulgaria, Germany, Cuba, Venezuela, Australia, Belarus, Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Uruguay, Denmark, Sweden, USA, UK, Vietnam, Laos and many, many other nations."
Candelin stressed however that Christians were not only praying â€œfor the persecuted church but with the persecuted church. Surely this is a day pleasing to God himself when his children unite in love and prayer." The total "prayer request list" was published on the UDOP website, Sunday, November 11 with direct link:
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