Christians from throughout the UK got here collectively on Sunday night to hope for persecuted believers around the globe and particularly these in Nigeria, India, Eritrea and Afghanistan.
The web occasion was held to mark the Worldwide Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church and was hosted collectively by the Evangelical Alliance, Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), Open Doorways and Launch Worldwide.
Prayers had been stated for Christians in Afghanistan who’re residing in concern for his or her lives following the Taliban takeover in August.
A secret believer within the nation instructed of lists of Christians being circulated and the way some believers had “disappeared”, whereas others have fallen sufferer to kidnappings.
These dangers have been compounded by the emergence of ISIS-Okay, a rising humanitarian and financial disaster, meals shortages, and the arrival of winter.
However considerations had been additionally shared about the specter of regional instability and the unfold of extremism, significantly to neighbouring Pakistan.
“Pray too for the world as a result of the rise of the Taliban, the way in which they’ve taken over so shortly in Afghanistan, has given braveness to different spiritual extremist teams around the globe, significantly Islamic extremist teams,” stated Open Doorways CEO, Henrietta Blyth.
Regardless of the challenges, the night additionally heard encouraging studies concerning the religion of Afghanistan’s tiny Christian inhabitants, the way in which wherein they’re being resourced and geared up due to trendy media know-how, and the way demand for such assets is rising.
CSW CEO Scott Bower stated: “We all know that the state of affairs in Afghanistan is determined, it is pressing and it is extraordinarily difficult…however that does not imply we’re powerless.”
Launch CEO Paul Robinson added, “Our brothers and sisters are struggling in Afghanistan however the excellent news is that Jesus is constructing his Church there and the gates of hell won’t prevail in opposition to it.
“The Church is small however there are lots of who’re nonetheless residing effectively for Jesus, and as our brothers and sisters, they actually do want our prayers and our assist.”
Prayers had been additionally stated for India, the place Christians are being focused in violent assaults by Hindu extremists.
“Hindu extremists are equating being Indian with being Hindu and in some states, significantly in rural areas, spiritual minorities together with Christians and Muslims are being severely persecuted,” stated Blyth.
“Regardless of this, the Church is rising and we hear many tales of miraculous healings. The Lord is transferring powerfully throughout India by His Spirit.”
Bower gave an replace on Nigeria, the place Christians in central and northern states are experiencing lethal assaults on church providers and their communities, abductions for ransom, and church demolitions on “spurious” grounds.
He spoke concerning the “heartbreaking” plight of younger women and girls in Nigeria being kidnapped, compelled to transform to Islam after which compelled to marry their abductors.
“Appeals to authorities to help with their launch go unanswered,” he stated.
Launch led prayers for Eritrea, which has been described because the ‘North Korea of Africa’ due to its harsh restrictions.
The charity stated many Christians had been being imprisoned in “barbaric” circumstances, with some believers being “brutally” tortured.
“Gathering for worship, not to mention sharing your religion with others, is extraordinarily harmful,” stated Robinson.
Some Christians who fled to neighbouring Tigray in northern Ethiopia have now discovered themselves caught up in battle there.
Robinson added, “Hebrews 13:3 tells us to proceed to recollect these in jail as if we had been with them in jail, and those that are mistreated as if we ourselves are struggling.
“Eritrean Christians, each these nonetheless within the nation, and those that have fled, want our ongoing prayers and help.”
The night was hosted by the Evangelical Alliance’s Danny Webster, who stated: “We imagine that praying is one very important factor that we will do to help Christians who’re persecuted for his or her religion internationally.
“We’re a part of one physique collectively. We’re one household. We’re one Church. And as we hear tales of the faithfulness of Christians in essentially the most troublesome of conditions, our prayer is that we’re impressed in our worship of God and that we’re strengthened in our beliefs.”