How the Persecuted Church Wants You to Pray

On the first two Sundays of November, as part of the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church, Christians around the world intentionally intercede for their brothers and sisters in Christ who face violence, prison, arson , kidnappings, bureaucratic restrictions and avoidance because of their faith.

About 309 million Christians live in places with very high or extreme levels of persecution, according to Open Doors 2022 Global Watchlist. Shortly after last year’s list was published, Christians around the world shared their joys and worries. We encourage you to use the praises and requests of Christians from the six countries included here as a tool to guide your prayers today.

China

We praise God:

  • for God to keep his church faithful in meeting for worship despite the pandemic and persecution.
  • that by using new technologies such as Zoom, many churches have been able to develop creative evangelistic opportunities not previously available.
  • During the government’s strict pandemic control, many city churches have been closed. But some of these believers were able to transfer to house churches and continued to grow there spiritually.

We pray:

  • Some house churches are still severely persecuted. Preachers are arrested on false charges. Pray for the perseverance of the preachers and for their families.
  • Internet meetings in some churches are often disrupted and disrupted by the government, and many older believers need training to use new technologies.
  • In Xi Jinping’s third term, the Church faces even greater challenges and more severe persecution. Many Chinese who feel threatened, including believers, will choose to leave China if they are able to immigrate elsewhere. Pray that God will keep and guide those who choose to leave as well as those who choose to stay.

Aaron Chau (name changed for security reasons), pastor of a house church in Hubei

Egypt

We praise God:

  • for protecting our ministry to women in rural villages in Upper Egypt. He provided for all the needs of this team and its beneficiaries. God is faithful and good with us all the time.
  • for the start of the construction of our community center in El Minya in Upper Egypt.
  • Our first community center, known as Oasis Center, was hit hard by COVID-19. Now all activities at the Oasis have resumed, including conferences, professional training courses and retreats.

We pray:

  • for ending the trafficking of girls in El Hawamdeya, where parents often sold their daughters to wealthy old men. We continue to pray for the protection of women and for greater parental awareness.
  • of inflation in Egypt and how it affects the poor. Every time we distribute bags of food, we see that the poor are increasing. We pray that God will provide.
  • for protests planned for November 11 by opposition groups linked to the Muslim Brotherhood. We pray for the safety of the whole country and for the stability and protection of the churches.

Submitted by Bassem Fekry, President of the Evangelical Fellowship of Egypt

India

We praise God:

  • that despite anti-conversion laws in some states, hundreds of new believers have come to know of our Lord’s saving grace.

  • Due to the pandemic we haven’t had a VBS for several years, but this summer we finally got it! Due to an unexpected rainy season, we had to postpone several times but thank God we were finally able to complete the task.

  • that it enabled us to reach the tribal villages of the interior of eastern India. More than 700 school teachers have received training on how to teach students to adopt a Christian character. We also trained 350 gospel workers in church planting.

We pray:

  • for our Christmas outreach ministries to people with leprosy, the blind, sex workers and street children from tribes and slums

  • Due to anti-conversion laws, we were unable to baptize 350 new believers in various communities as we needed to obtain official approval from government authorities through the court. We have to wait 40-60 days to get court and local police approval. Pray for all to go well with the legal process.

  • We have 2,500 books on church planting and building Christlike characters. We need funds to train gospel workers all over India. Please support us in your prayer for necessary funds and other training logistics.

David K. Dass, Country Director, India Gospel League

Iraq

We praise God:

  • for his work through the church because he has blessed us during this year by being able to visit one of the displaced persons camps in Ramadi. We provided families with food baskets and presented a message of love to the children at the camp.

We pray:

  • for the stability of the political and security situation in Iraq and that this stability will bring comfort and peace to the country and to the citizens of various secondary affiliations, such as race, religion, sect, clan and tribe. (Many challenges in Iraq are related to the dominance of sub-identities over national identity.)

Ara Badalian, senior pastor of the National Evangelical Baptist Church of Baghdad

Laos

We pray:

  • that the church will grow and be strengthened so that it can be administratively, evangelically and financially self-sufficient and be a blessing to the development of the nation.
  • for unity between believers, church leaders and between each church.

The Protestant Church Community in Laos

mali

We praise God:

  • Mali has been going through a multidimensional crisis for a decade. This has greatly affected the church, especially in the north and center of the country. Despite this growing insecurity, God continues to watch over the local churches.
  • for the commitment of the churches in the witness of Jesus Christ despite their difficult context. Evangelism initiatives such as the distribution of Christian tracts, evangelistic messages on radio stations, and evangelism through personal relationships continue to advance.
  • because the Church makes its voice heard by the authorities of the country through the Association of Groupings of Evangelical Protestant Churches and Missions of Mali (AGEMPEM) and the Episcopal Conference.

We pray:

  • for churches to grow and engage in holistic acts of witness. Pray for the unity of the body of Christ in the current context of Mali, marked by increasingly visible Islamic extremism.
  • for Christian families displaced by the conflict. May God grant the peace and courage necessary for spiritual, psychological and economic resilience.
  • Kidnappings continue in northern and central Mali. Pray for God to preserve the lives of church members and for churches to be protected from terrorist threats and attacks. Pray that the church will continue to be a powerful instrument in the hands of God to bring peace, restore wounded hearts and soothe broken spirits.
  • that the church in Mali will emerge victorious from this situation and continue to proclaim and manifest the unconditional love of God.

Josue Djire, faith, development and peacebuilding advisor at World Vision Mali

Pakistan

We praise God:

  • for churches and seminaries that faithfully serve the Lord and extend the kingdom of God.
  • for blessed senior spiritual leadership and development of young pastors and evangelists.
  • for the Pakistani Church and Christian NGOs being salt and light during the current flood disaster.

We pray:

  • for the forced marriage of underage girls and the forced conversion of Christian teenage girls.
  • for illiterate Christians to get an education as they are below the poverty line and are mostly persecuted.
  • for victims of false blasphemy cases.
  • for the unity and purity of the Pakistani church, so that they become bold witnesses of Christ through their words and deeds.
  • for the great movement of the Holy Spirit to revive the church through the Word of God, miracles and conversions.

Ujala Hans, Senior Pastor of Christ for Pakistan Ministries (CPM) Pakistan Church, Lahore

With additional reporting by Jayson Casper and Angela Lu Fulton

Barry F. Howard