Sunday, November 16, 1997
International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church

More Christians have been martyred in the 20th century than in the previous 19 centuries combined.(1) Pastors are being arrested and sometimes shot in China and Cuba. Believers are forbidden to buy goods or own property in Somalia. Christians who testify to their faith in Iran or Saudi Arabia may be put to death for blasphemy. Mobs have wiped out whole villages of Christians in Pakistan.(2) And it goes on.
For all this, the western Church is mostly silent. "I am in prison," says the Lord, "and you are not visiting me."(3)
The Vatican has recently expressed serious concern about human rights violations in China where over 200 Catholic priests and bishops and thousands of Catholic and Protestant laity currently suffer in slave-labor camps for their loyalty to Christ.
It is time to shatter the silence. Sunday, November 16, 1997, has been declared an International Day of Prayer for the Suffering Church. Until then, we need to educate our churches and our friends concerning the extent of persecution which Christ is suffering throughout the world.
Later in this message, I suggest 3 specific steps we can all take, and I let you know where to get information. (NOTE: none of the suggestions include "send your donation...")
The International Day of Prayer (IDOP) was initiated by the World Evangelical Fellowship, but it has earned the endorsement of Christian leaders of all types and denominations (I've attached a list of endorsements to this message, along with a list of organizations which support the persecuted Church.)
This is as it should be: this call is for everyone. When a mob, fundamentalist Islamic policeman, or communist government investigator comes looking for Christians, they do not distinguish between "good" Christians and "bad" Christians, or between "Bible- believing" Christians and "liberal" Christians, or between Protestant, Catholic, or Orthodox Christians. Such distinctions may mean much to us, but they mean nothing to them. They kill whomever will not serve their god, for whatever reason. So, for better or worse, we're all in this together.


1) Please, please forward this message to every Christ in your personal electronic mailing list. If we are all diligent to do this, in a few weeks this message could reach every Christian in the world who owns a modem. (No, this is not the only way we're spreading the word, but it could turn out to be one of the more efficient ones.)

2) Please pray for your brothers and sisters under persecution around the world on November 16. Pray every day, for that matter, but especially pray that day. Fast if you can.

3) Inform your pastor, your church's prayer ministry, and your friends (especially those who don't have email) about the International Day of Prayer on November 16, and about the persecution Christ is suffering.

Information concerning the suffering of Christians worldwide may be obtained, in the US and Canada, from the US headquarters of IDOP. The address is:
International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church
P.O. Box WEF, Wheaton, IL 60189-8003

INFO: 800-LETS-PRAY (1-800-538-7772)
OFFICES: 630-668-1754 FAX: 630-668-0498

National Coordinator: Steve Haas
Director of Communications: Dr. Ed Bez

IDOP has a packet of information designed for informing your church group and for joining the day of prayer. The packet contains a Prayer Journal containing several articles concerning the persecuted church, a 21-minute video tape for your church or home group, several letters, and a Prayer Commitment Sheet to send to IDOP to register your support this is optional. Please pray, with or without notifying anyone. They ask for $15 to cover the cost of printing and shipping. If you really can't afford $15, ask for the packet anyway.
Whatever you do, please don't allow this message to stop traveling. Keep the word moving. Real people are dying real deaths out there where we can't see them, and they need our help.


from "Their Blood Cries Out" by Paul Marshall

Advocates International
9691 D Main
Fairfax, VA 22031
Contact: Sam Ericson
703-764-0011/fax 708-764-0077

Amnesty International
322 Eighth Avenue
New York, NY 10001
212-807-8400/fax 212-989-5473

Cardinal Kung Foundation
P.O. Box 8086
Ridgeway Center
Stamford, CT 06905
Contact: Joseph Kung
home page:
203-329-9712/fax: 203-329-8415

Christian Life Commission, SBC
901 Commerce, Suite 550
Nashville, TN 37203-3696
Contact: Dwayne Hastings and Richard Land

Christian Solidarity International
1101 17th Street NW, Suite 607
Washington, D.C. 20036
Contact: Jim Jacobson

Coalition for the Defense of Human Rights Under Islamization
231 East Carroll
Macomb, IL 61455

Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe ("Helsinki Commission")
234 Ford House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515-6460

Compass Direct News Service
P.O. Box 27250
Santa Ana, CA 92799
714-862-0300/fax 714-752-6536

Human Rights Watch
485 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10017-6104
212-972-8400/fax 212-972-0905

Institute on Religion and Democracy
1521 16th Street NW, Suite 300
Washington, D.C. 20036
Contact: Faith McDonnell and Diane Knippers
202-986-1440/fax: 202-986-3159

International Christian Concern
2020 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, #941
Washington, D.C. 20006
Contact: Steve Snyder
301-989-1708/fax: 301-989-1709

International Justice Mission
3237 Gunston Rd.
Alexandria, VA 22302
Contact: Gary Haugen

Iranian Christians International
P.O. Box 25607
Colorado Springs, CO 80936
Contact: Abraham Ghaffari
719-596-0010/fax 719-574-1141

Jubilee Campaign
9689-C Main Street
Fairfax, VA 22031
Contact: Ann Buwalda
703-503-0791/fax 703-503-0792

Middle East Concern
P.O. Box 295
Macomb, IL 61455
Contact: Father Keith Roderick

National Association of Evangelicals
P.O. Box 28
Wheaton, IL 60189

Open Doors with Brother Andrew
P.O. Box 27000
Santa Ana, CA 92799
Contact: Mike Yoder

Parliamentary Human Rights Foundation
1056 Thomas Jefferson Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20007

The Rutherford Institute
P.O. Box 7482
Charlottesville, VA 22906-7482
Contact: John Whitehead
804-978-3888/fax 804-978-1789

The Voice of the Martyrs
P.O. Box 443
Bartlesville, OK 74005
Contact: Tom White and Steve Cleary
918-337-8015/fax: 918-337-9287

The Trinitarian Fathers
c/o Rev. Stan Deboe
7669 Clark Road
Hanover, MD 21076

World Evangelical Fellowship Religious Liberty Commission
2309 139th Street SE
Mill Creek, WA 98012
Contact: John Candelin

International Day of Prayer Board of Advisors

Dr. Richard John Neuhaus, President
Religion and Public Life Institute
(Trustee of the University of Dallas)

Dr. Joseph Aldrich, President
Multnomah Bible College

Dr. Donald Argue, President
National Association of Evangelicals

Hon. William Armstrong, Senator
U.S. Senate, retired

Dr. Scott G. Bauer, Co-Pastor
The Church on the Way

William Bennett, President
Empower America

Charles E. Blake, Bishop
West Angeles Church of God in Christ

Dr. William Bright, President
Campus Crusade for Christ International

Dr. Paul Bubna, President
Christian and Missionary Alliance

William F. Buckley, Jr., Editor at Large
National Review

John Burke, Management Team
Willow Creek Community Church

Anne Buwalda, Director
Jubilee Foundation

Dr. Anthony Campolo, Professor
Eastern College

Rev. Dwight Chapman, President
General Association of General Baptists

Charles Colson, President
Prison Fellowship International
(Chairman, IDOP Advisory Board)

Johan Companjen, Intl. Director
Open Doors

Rev. Stan DeBoe, Priest
Trinitarian Order

David Engelhard, Gen. Secretary
Christian Reformed Church - N. America

Keith A. Fournier, President
Catholic Alliance

Dwight Gibson, N.A. Director
World Evangelical Fellowship

John Gimenez, Bishop
Rock Church

Dr. Os Guinness, Sr. Fellow
Trinity Forum

William J. Hamel, President
Evangelical Free Church of America

Hon. Mark O. Hatfield, Senator
U.S. Senate

Gary A. Haugen, President
International Justice Mission

Kent R. Hill, President
Eastern Nazarene College

Dr. John R. Holland, President
Intl. Church of the Foursquare Gospel

Michael Horowitz, Sr. Fellow
Hudson Institute

Jim Jacobson, Director
Christian Solidarity International

Dr. D. James Kennedy, President
Coral Ridge Ministries

Diane Knippers, President
Institute on Religion & Democracy

Dr. Richard Land, Exec. Director
Christian Life Commission, SBC

Paul E. Larsen, President
The Evangelical Covenant Church

Dr. Duane Litfin, President
Wheaton College

Dr. Paul Marshall, Sr. Fellow
Institute of Christian Studies

Dr. Jesse Miranda, President
AMEN Ministries

Pedro Moreno, Intl. Coordinator
The Rutherford Institute

Dr. Richard Mouw, President
Fuller Theological Seminary

Dr. Lloyd Ogilive, Chaplain
U.S. Senate

Dr. Robert D. Ricker, President
Baptist General Conference

Rev. Michael Scanlan, T.O.R., President
Franciscan University of Steubenville

Dr. Robert Seiple, President
World Vision

Nina Shea, Director
Puebla Program on Religious Freedom

Dr. Ronald Sider, President
Evangelicals for Social Action

Rev. Steven Snyder, President
International Christian Concern

Dr. Thomas E. Trask, Gen. Superintendent
Assemblies of God

Dr. Paul L. Walker, Gen. Overseer
Church of God

Rev. Jim Wallis, President

Dr. Thomas Wang, Intl. Chairman
AD 2000 & Beyond Movement

J.C. Watts, Jr., Congressman
U.S. House of Representatives

Com. Robert Watson, Commander
Salvation Army

Rev. Jack Wease, President
Evangelical Methodist Church

Tom White, Exec. Director
Voice of the Martyrs

Thomas J. Wiens, Chairman
Recycling Industries, Inc.

Frank R. Wolf, Congressman
U.S. House of Representatives

Dr. Ravi Zacharias, President
Ravi Zacharias International Ministries


(1) Nina Shea, "In the Lion's Den," Broadman Holman Publishers, quoted in "Prayer Journal," International Day Of Prayer, brochure published August 1997, p. 6.

(2) Specific examples of persecution from different parts of the world were obtained from "Special Introductory Issue," Voice of the Martyrs, Bartlesville, OK, 1997, and from "Prayer Journal," IDOP, 1997, cited above.

(3) Paraphrased from The Gospel According to St. Matthew, chapter 25, verse 43. The surrounding context is instructive; please read it if you are not already familiar with it.

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