There are literally billions of people around the world who are seeking hope for the future and a better life. Christian missionaries across the globe daily risk their lives to share the message of eternal life through Christ – bringing hope to those who have none. Many of these Christian workers are oppressed, mocked, imprisoned or beaten for doing so. They endure enormous risk to keep sharing Christ with unreached peoples.
You may ask the question – what can I do? Not everyone is able to ‘go into the nations’. But everyone can support them in one way or another. Following is an invitation from the Lord to us all, to support our persecuted brothers and sisters. Please ask the Holy Spirit what you can do and where to become involved.
Constant, persevering, daily prayer is the first and most important priority for those unable to go or be in the field. Franklin Graham said: It would be wrong to think that Christian persecution is distant from those who are in the West. We have a responsibility to pray for those enduring suffering because they carry the name of Christ. The early church did just this. When Peter was in prison, the church was earnestly praying to God for him (Acts 12:5).
How do you do this?
- Explore available Applications from your mobile App store. Some examples are: Voice of the Martyrs App and Open Doors Prayer App. Daily prayer points are provided.
- Speak to your pastor about the possibility of starting a prayer group at your local church that meets at designated times to pray for the persecuted.
- Share a short story of the Persecuted Church every Sunday in your congregation and lead the people to pray for a few minutes. You can use the information you find on one of the mobile Apps you have downloaded.
If your local church is not supporting any missionaries, it can be a wonderful opportunity to adopt someone who is persecuted for their faith in a distant country. Do some research of where the church is being persecuted, what they are facing and how you can help. Contact a local missions ministry and get connected.
3. Practical support
Once you have learned of and identified specific needs of resident missionaries in a certain nation, you can begin to find ways in which to support them. This can be financially, but also by visiting them, sending them resources and regularly praying for their protection as a congregation.
You can also advocate on their behalf by raising awareness of Christian persecution by sharing information with the government, human rights groups and religious freedom organisations.
4. Get connected on the ground
There are different ministries working in areas where Christians are persecuted. Following is a list of such organisations. Find out if there is a local office near where you live. Visit them and enquire how you can become involved where the most urgent assistance is needed.
- OpenDoors: One of the most well-known ministries advocating for the persecuted church. (Write, Pray, Donate, Advocate, Learn)
- Voice of the Martyrs: Another well-known ministry that raises awareness and provides support to the persecuted church. (Write, Pray, Donate, Advocate, Learn)
- Samaritan’s Purse: This ministry focuses on providing physical and spiritual aid to people around the world. They also provide opportunities to donate to the persecuted church. (Donate)
- PrisonAlert: Prison Alert is part of Voice of the Martyrs. (Advocate, Write, Donate, Pray)
- Be-a-Voice: Also part of Voice of the Martyrs, this initiative focuses on providing prayer points and writing letters to the persecuted church. (Pray, Write)
- Barnabas Aid: Barnabas Aid focuses on raising awareness about the persecuted church and providing basic needs to the members of the persecuted church. (Pray, Donate, Advocate)
- Christian Solidarity Worldwide: Their focus is to pray and to raise awareness about the persecution of Christians, mainly with the USA and other governments. (Pray, Advocate, Donate)
- Christian Freedom International: CFI has ministries focused on helping persecuted Christians in different areas of the world. (Learn, Pray, Advocate, Donate)
- ChinaAid: This ministry focuses on providing support to the persecuted church in China. (Write, Advocate, Donate, Learn)
- iCommitToPray: This is another ministry branched from Voice of the Martyrs. Their focus is to communicate prayer requests from members of the persecuted church. (Pray)
5. Reading material
- Foxe’s Book of Martyrs
- Martyr’s Mirror
- You can learn more here about countries where Christians face the most extreme persecution.
Continue to pray for our persecuted brothers and sisters.
Hebrews 13:3 – Remember the prisoners as if chained with them—those who are mistreated—since you yourselves are in the body also.