Saturday, October 27, 2012

Remembering the suffering

Some 200 million Christians worldwide are suffering persecution and discrimination.

* In Pakistan, Christians are threatened with blasphemy laws, with the prospect of life imprisonment. An estimated 700 Pakistani Christian girls are kidnapped each year and forced to marry their Muslim captors.

* Christians in Syria are faced with assault, kidnap and murder. Since the conflict there began, tens of thousands of Christians have lost their homes and been driven out of their towns, leaving them without basic supplies.

* Tens of thousands of Christians suffer unspeakable cruelties in North Korea's notorious prison camps. Many are worked to death. Some are executed. Many believe North Korea is the world's worst persecutor of Christians.

* There are increased fears for the safety of Christians in Egypt as President Mohammed Morsi, of the Muslim Brotherhood, tightens his grip on power. Many Christians live in poverty and face attack from militant Muslims.

* The church in Nigeria faces intense persecution by militant Islamists. A hundred bombs are said to have exploded in one town. In one area, 25 churches have been destroyed. Two congregations in one state have been completely wiped out.

* Iranian pastor Behnam Irani, aged 41, is in prison because of his faith and ministry. His life is in grave danger because of the beatings he receives. He has severe injuries, is losing his eyesight, and has been denied medical treatment.

* Ethnic Christian groups in Burma regularly suffer intimidation, rape, forced labour and the closure of churches.

* Holy Trinity Pentecostal Church's building in Moscow was demolished by the authorities in the middle of the night. The pastor may face prosecution for holding a service in the ruins.

Next Thursday, November 1, is a Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. You can attend prayer events across the UK, or you can pray at home. You can find details or download a free prayer guide at