Listen: Opens Doors spokesperson Murray Noble speaks about how prayer is the greatest thing we can offer persecuted Christians.
While religious persecution has always been an issue affecting Christians around the globe, during the COVID crisis it has been felt more acutely. Access to basic resources and secure employment is limited – and unfairly distributed based on preferential treatment of some people groups over others.
On Sunday 1 November, international aid organisation Open Doors is inviting you to join with them as an ambassador for the needs of the persecuted church, by participating in their International Day of Prayer.
“We’ve seen different forms of persecution come to the surface during COVID,” Opens Doors spokesperson Murray Noble said.
“As resources are lessened all around the world and there are less jobs for people, often in countries where we’ve seen persecution before Christians are the first ones being targeted, and [miss out] on resources.”
Right now, Open Doors has been working to meet the immediate needs of Christians seeking support, but they’re also continuing to work on long-term solutions to the financial hardship that comes from being persecuted – including their ‘Cow Bank’.
“We just deliver one cow to a family,” Murray said.
“But the produce that they get off that one cow – and eventually calves that they can spread throughout the community – can make such a difference for so many people… it’s amazing what God can do with a cow.”
Alongside offering practical help, the team at Open Doors believe prayer is the greatest thing we can offer persecuted Christians.
“God is more powerful than anything we can do, but we want to be praying with the persecuted church, not for them,” Murray said.
“The difference there is if we pray for them, it can be easy to think we’re helping them, we want to protect them and we can fall into a trap [of thinking] our prayers are pulling them out of where they are.
“In the words of an Egyptian pastor, ‘[the persecuted church] want you to be praying with them for boldness, and that they can be clear in sharing their faith. And then when persecution comes, that they wouldn’t run away but that they’d be faithful.”
Open Doors International Day of Prayer will take place on Sunday 1 November. You can join by praying, or by following along with prompts and resources on the Open Doors website.