Praying with the Nazarenes

Iraqi Christian Child
Photo Courtesy: Barnabas Fund

What a privilege – and what a responsibility – to pray for persecuted Christians around the world! Today, day 11 of ‘31 Days of Prayer‘, we’re taking a break from the series. Instead of reflecting on prayer, here’s a prayer you can use to pray for persecuted Christians in northern Iraq. (I’ve used ‘we’ instead of ‘I’ throughout most of this prayer to give some sense of the way we can stand together in prayer for those in desperate need.)

Gracious heavenly Father, thank you for the privilege of prayer, and for the way in which it allows us to uphold and care for our brothers and sisters around the world. Thank you that we can pray for persecuted Christians around the world in their time of need. Continue reading

Standing with the Nazarenes

A quick but meaningful way to offer real support to persecuted Christians

10422057_10152707905469258_1305997246647383114_nOver the last 48 hours, you’ve probably seen this picture (right) on Facebook. It’s the Arabic letter ‘nun’, for ‘Nazarene’, and is currently being painted on the doors of Christians in Mosul by an extremist Islamic group called ISIS. The symbol marks out Christians, who are being forced to either convert to Islam, pay a ‘protection tax’, flee their homes, or be killed.

For this reason, many Christians have placed the ‘nun’ on their Facebook profile as a small way of showing solidarity with their persecuted brothers and sisters, encouraging prayer, and perhaps drawing a tiny bit of attention to what’s happening in Iraq. Continue reading

Pray for North Korea

“Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in my gospel, for which I am suffering, bound with chains as a criminal. But the word of God is not bound!” (2 Tim 2:8-9)

World Watch List 2Every year, Open Doors produces ‘World Watch’ – a comprehensive list of the 50 countries in which Christians are most persecuted for their faith in Jesus. Even if you’re not a believer, it’s worth taking a look at the list to have your eyes opened to the human rights violations that take place around the world every single day. But for Christians in the West, the list is a great encouragement to prayer, and a reminder that the comfortable world we inhabit is not shared by countless millions of our brothers and sisters in Christ.

For the twelfth year in a row, North Korea tops the list. Here’s part of the ‘World Watch List Challenge’ email I received today from Open Doors (you can subscribe to this weekly email list here): Continue reading