THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER FOR THE PERSECUTED CHURCH is a day dedicated to supporting the global body of victimized Christians around the world.
Overall, there are 200 MILLION CHRISTIANS in 60 COUNTRIES that suffer greatly for their faith in Jesus Christ.
"Martyrdom" is not a thing of the past. In fact, more than 100,000 PEOPLE DIE every year because they are Christ followers.
will you join the prayer movement for the persecuted church?
Persecution Today at a glance
India has one of the world's most diverse ethnic and religious structures, yet thousands of Christians are still targeted for their faith in Christ.Stories
Perhaps the most secretive nation in the world, Communist North Korea has restricted any form of open Christian expression, Bibles, and evangelistic paraphernalia.Stories
Since less than one percent of the population are Christian, persecution comes from larger majorities, including Hindu extremists, and Maoist rebels.Stories
In China, unregistered churches are often terminated upon discovery, and their members are either arrested or threatened.Stories
Iraq & Iran
Believers are experiencing severe cultural, religious, and political intimidation.
Christ followers are working under extreme anonymity to advance opportunities for the Gospel.
China & Vietnam
Christian leaders are investing in the underground house-church movement.
India & Nepal
Believers are suffering violent religious and ethnic attacks and intimidation.
Pakistan, Egypt, & Somalia
Christ followers face arrest, imprisonment, and public humiliation.
Christians are fleeing for their lives from militant and extremist groups.
Believers are discouraged from starting house churches or meeting together to worship in large groups.
On the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church, we're focusing on believers around the world who are in dire need of Christ's transcending promises. They need all the encouragement they can get. What better way to provide support than by giving the gift of God's Word?
Word of God
One of World Help's foundational roles is to distribute Bibles to individuals who need them the most desperately. From covert distributing to digital mediums, World Help works with the vision to bring the Word to every individual on earth.
For Only $5,
you can give one person
the gift of the God's Word.
you can provide an entire
church with Bibles.
Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.
Mail-in donations can be sent to:
P.O. Box 501
Forest, VA 24551
Iraq & Iran
Isolated and intimidated, Christians in Iraq are emigrating with their families to countries with greater religious tolerance. Those that remain need our prayers for renewed hope, strength, and trust.
Pray for the growing number of believers in Iran who are experiencing persecution for converting to Christianity.
Pray for the Christian leaders in Iraq as they encourage and minister to their peers. Pray that they would trust in God’s promises for them.
Pray for the thousands of believers held in prison camps, specifically that God would strengthen and protect them.
Pray for the safety of Christian missionaries working along the border who are helping refugees and bringing relief to the underground church.
Pray for the North Korean children in China to receive support and comfort as they are not welcome either by China or North Korea. Pray that sufficient funds would be provided for these children.
China & Vietnam
Pray that the new leadership is tolerant of nonrecognized religious bodies and does not restrict house churches or gathering places that have been deemed illegal.
Landlords are making it harder for churches to meet in private settings. Often, churches are not offered an opportunity to extend their leases on their places of worship. Pray for wisdom for pastors who struggle to obtain meeting locations for their churches.
Pray for Bibles to be more readily accessible for purchase outside of registered churches, and specifically pray for them to be available online and in bookstores.
India & Nepal
Even among Christians, there is persecution between castes that has been in place for centuries. Pray for tolerance and acceptance of all Christians as equals.
Pray for religious persecution from Hindus that is especially stringent in the northern part of the country.
Pray for the decline of national political unrest in both India and Nepal.
Pakistan, Egypt, & Somalia
Pray for the Pakistani Christians facing unjust accusations of blasphemy, which is punishable by death.
Pray for the underground movement of Christians in Somalia, many of them living in fear of brutal persecution by Muslim and military extremists.
Pray for the safety of Christians in Egypt amidst turbulent, political seasons in the Arab spring, and pray for guidance as they strategize about their new roles in light of looming national change.
Pray for the thousands of Christians, now a dangerously vulnerable minority, who have had family members killed by radical groups.
Pray for those who have been forced to flee their homes, now living as refugees in the neighboring countries of Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq.
Pray for the safe reintegration of Christians into Syria as well as the rekindling of Christianity in this chaotic and broken nation.
Pray for the Cuban Christians who experience religious conflict from those involved in witchcraft. An estimated 75 percent of the Cuban population is involved in some form of witchcraft or idol worship.
Pray that Christians would find favor from local authorities. Persecution is often propagated by city officials, which can determine the overall attitude toward believers living in small communities.
Pray for Cuban Christians seeking to evangelize in regions that are hostile to the Gospel.
Like many believers in India, Narendra and his wife, Nirmala, suffered regular persecution for their faith. After one of their neighbors fell ill, a medium was consulted who accused Narendra and Nirmala of using spirits to afflict the neighbor. Overcome with anger, the neighbor attacked Narendra and tragically, killed him.
Overcome with grief, Nirmala and her two children found comfort in God and their church. However, the church itself experienced persecution from the surrounding community. In one instance, a group of 20 men from an extremist group surrounded the church during one of its meetings.
"They threatened us. They began to accuse us of converting people and wanted us to stop the prayer meeting. They accused us saying, 'You people are converting Hindus to Christianity by giving them money,’” said one pastor from Nirmala’s church.
Please pray for the body of Christ in India as church communities, like Nirmala’s, continue to undergo the anxiety of routine harassment and persecution.
Sunil was a new Christian with an unquenchable desire to share the love of Christ with the Indian people. Yet opposition to his ministry seemed to grow stronger and more violent by the day. He knew he was in danger.
One day, men from an extremist Hindu group abducted him, doused him in a toxic dye used for religious rituals, and beat him over and over again. After publicly defaming his God and religion, they took him to a statue of their local deity and ordered him to kneel in worship. When he refused, they threatened to burn him alive in his house.
Mocked, physically broken, and now in danger of being killed, Sunil had no choice but to flee with his family to another village. He had to leave everything behind—his home, his carefully built relationships, and all traces of his hard-fought ministry.
A World Help partner recently shared this story of his peer "Pastor P" who works to plant churches throughout India . . .
About a year ago, "Pastor P" and his family were at the receiving end of persecutors. Inspired by a local religious head, he was threatened by his fellow villagers who were further instigated by the authorities to lay siege to his home while "Pastor P", his wife, and daughter were stuck inside. Without any support from the police, it was a miracle that he and his family survived. Several similar incidents have forced "Pastor P" and his family to move from place to place.
In early 2013, two Christian North Korean men were confirmed to have died for their faith. One man was detained near the country’s border, before he was able to return to his Bible training camp in China. The other was arrested and sentenced to one of North Korea’s infamous labor camps, where he died under severe conditions.
Discussing the brutality toward one of the men, a representative of Open Doors said, “He was terribly tortured because of his faith. He was also forced to do heavy labor while hardly receiving any food . . . We are devastated to hear about these murders. We know Christians die for their faith almost every day in North Korea, but it is still hard to deal with.”
For her entire life, Kim Eun Jin's government told her that God didn't exist. But her family knew the truth. Along with a handful of other believers, they would meet every Saturday night to study the Bible. They spoke in whispers, sang hymns under their breaths, and even covered their mouths to muffle the sound. To be discovered meant being sent to political labor camps . . . even death!.
Her father was eventually arrested, and she never saw him again.
Every morning at the breakfast table he would tell us that one day the government will come and arrest us for being Christians. He warned us of the price we would someday pay for our faith. I remember him saying often that 'Even if I face death I will follow Jesus.'
As a little girl, "J" and her mother fled from their home in North Korea and crossed into China. Her father had been killed, and they were without their only source of strength and protection. As illegal refugees, they were forced into a life of hiding. They were constantly anxious, afraid for their lives . . . until they learned about a man called Jesus. "J" and her mother found a new hope in their Protector, and He would sustain them through years of heartache and questioning. Only after a year in China, officials arrested them and they were returned to North Korea—this time to a labor camp where they were brutally punished. But their relationship with Jesus was a source of comfort and hope they could share with others like them.
In the Hindu custom, the dead are not buried, but cremated. One day, word reached one of our World Help church planters Timothy that a Christian had been buried in a nearby cemetery—an extreme offense to the local Hindus who had been known for their active persecution of Christians.
Timothy and another believer were forced to dig up the body, which had begun decaying, and transport it to another village for burial. As they traveled to a neighboring community, they were attacked and brutally beaten. Barely able to walk from their injuries, they managed to travel another seven hours along mountainside passes to the next village . . . where they found themselves prey to merciless attacks once again. .
With virtually no strength left, Timothy prayed for strength and guidance. Several minutes later, he wearily walked over to the body and gingerly motioned to his confused colleague. “God reminded me of how he gave Jesus strength to carry His cross. And He will give us the strength now to carry ours,” Timothy said. .
They soon found a place to lay the body to rest and were reminded that with God’s help, they had the strength to complete the tasks set before them . . . even if it cost them their lives. .
Tara, 18, and his sister Ujali, 16, are new Christians. They kept their faith hidden from their strict Hindu parents, afraid of the violent consequences they would face for converting to Christianity. After a month of attending church services, their father was informed of their actions and beat them both severely. But their punishment was far from over.
"If you want to stay in this house, you have to give up your faith and leave Christianity," he threatened.
But they could not deny the faith they knew to be true. Betrayed by their own family, they suddenly faced life alone . . .
Pradip is a student living in Nepal. Though young, he has already tasted bitter animosity toward the Gospel . . .
My name is Pradip. I am a youth leader in my village. Several months ago, my friends and I shared the Gospel with our college peers alongside a traveling ministry group. We were beaten very badly by a Hindu group the day after the team left our village. We face many problems at our college and even our teachers are not pleased with us because we are Christians. But my friends and I decided, "We will never give up our faith. Even if we need to die for the sake of Christ, we are ready to die." Please continue to pray for us so that we may be able to share the Gospel with those who have beaten us and even our teachers also.
The massive 8.0 magnitude earthquake that struck China’s Sichuan province in 2008 claimed the lives of nearly 70,000 people and left widespread damage. Many Christian workers responded to this crisis by providing care and labor assistance to those struggling to cope amid such tremendous loss.
As the months went by, the majority of the volunteers returned home. However, several church planters felt called to remain in the Sichuan province and continue their ministries. Because many of those affected were located in mountainous regions, these church planters would often hike for hours to reach various rural communities—plenty of which were not welcoming to the Gospel message.
One of our church planters gave us this report:
“The remaining church planters have also been persecuted by the police, who know they're Christians. The officials tell the church planters that they have no jobs in the area and therefore no reason to be there. They then try to force them out by visiting the church planters often and threatening them with jail time. They also pressure their landlords to end their rental agreements. Many church planters have had to leave under these circumstances and others who have stayed have been arrested. However, the will of these church planters remained undeterred.”
Earlier this year, over 50 young adults were arrested at a Bible study in eastern China, and eight of them were criminally detained. They were shuffled like animals by more than 200 police and government officials, questioned for hours, and finally released after forceful intimidation.
One church in northeastern China has experienced severe persecution from both the government and a local land developer, who was determined to end its weekly fellowship by destroying the building the church body was using. In a grotesque act of intimidation, the developer was reported to have injured church members, blocked church entrances from allowing anyone in, and constructed buildings around the church to alter its layout and block out natural light.