On Sunday, 15 November, several Christian organisations held an online prayer event as Christians across the globe have faced increased persecution amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The prayer meeting was held by Evangelical Alliance, Release International, Christian Solidarity Worldwide and Open Doors. The event was a part of the 24th International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church, an annual prayer event throughout the month of November for persecuted Christians worldwide.
Andrew Boyd of Release International explained to Premier Christian News that throughout 2020, Christians experienced increased rates of persecution in China, India, and Nigeria, who are amongst the most populous countries in the world.
“They are huge countries, China, the biggest in the world, India, the second biggest, and Nigeria, the most populous nation in Africa,” he noted. “And in all of those three nations, persecution is happening in plain sight. It’s being permitted to continue, the authorities are not doing much to prevent it, and in some cases, they’re encouraging it.”
As Christian Headlines previously reported, in China, many Christians have seen their churches shut down, repurposed, or demolished on behalf of local and state officials.
“Persecution doesn’t just hide in the backwaters. It is taking place in plain sight in the largest and most populous nations on earth,” said Release International’s CEO Paul Robinson, according to Christian Today.
“Even state-controlled churches are being demolished and destroyed,” he added.
Meanwhile, Christians in India have experienced near-daily occurrences of attacks from Hindu extremists for their faith.
“In India, it’s radical Hindu extremists who believe that if you’re Indian, you have to be a Hindu, and nothing else will be tolerated,” Boyd told Premier. “You get attacks against a church there on a weekly basis.”
Throughout 2020, extremists have increased their attacks on Christian villages in Nigeria. In addition to the fears from Boko Haram terrorists, heavily armed Fulani militants have continued to slaughter Christians while others were driven out of their homes.
“Let’s join with them in praying for the persecutors themselves, not for regime change, but for a revelation of who Christ is and a revelation that freedom actually matters,” Boyd said. “If it matters to God, it has to matter to us. There could be some Sauls out there who could become Pauls.”
“Let’s pray for the international community that instead of allowing this to happen in plain sight across the world, that they will say ‘enough is enough’,” he concluded.
As the tide of christian persecution continues to swell and swirl around christians throughout the world, faithful believers hold fast to their belief. While some hope things could change and in the nearest future religious freedom will be embraced and persecution brought to the barest minimum, others are of the view that these are the end times and tribulation will persist, because it is biblical.