According to Open Doors USA, each month: 322 Christians are killed for their faith; 214 churches and Christian properties are destroyed; and 772 forms of violence (such as beatings, abductions, rapes, arrests, and forced marriages) are committed against Christians.
Also, according to the United States Department of State, Christians in more than 60 countries face persecution from their governments or surrounding neighbors simply because of their belief in Jesus Christ.
Jesus told His followers that in this world, they would have trouble (John 16:33). The Church has experienced persecution in some part of the world since the first century.
The good news is that the Church has usually grown where it has been persecuted. In Acts 8 the Church scattered because of persecution and the Church grew. Now, in the 21st century, it appears that the Church continues to grow in those areas that experience the greatest persecution. God continues to be faithful to build His Church.
The Church in North America has been blessed beyond measure. We have been spared the persecution that others have experienced. As members of the larger body of Christ, we have a huge responsibility to pray for those who live in these restrictive and abusive countries.
When Peter was imprisoned, the Church prayed. When Paul was persecuted and imprisoned, the Church prayed. Today, there will be believers who die for their faith; others will be beaten; some will be imprisoned. Our responsibility and privilege is to pray.
November 5 is International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. For information and resources go to: https://www.opendoorsusa.org/.