Although this year's International Day of Prayer for the
Persecuted Church has already been held, a spokesman for an
interdenominational Christian organization believes Thanksgiving,
when Americans thank God for the blessings they enjoy, is a good
day to remember suffering Christians.
Christians in many countries around the world face persecution
daily, but they persevere. In fact, the church has grown in most of
those situations, including the underground church in North
Todd Nettleton of Voice of the
Martyrs recently spoke about it on a Family Research
Council webcast titled "Cry of the
"There [are] a lot of Christians who close the last chapter
of Acts and just think, well that's when persecution
stopped," Nettleton poses. "They don't realize the reality
that it's always cost something to follow Jesus Christ, just like
He said it would. You know, he said, the world hates me. If you
follow me, the world will hate you too (John 15:18)."
Though that is not something believers generally experience in
the United States, it is a daily happening in the lives of
Christians in other countries. Now, religious freedom is legally a
part of America's foreign policy, and it has worked in reducing
persecution in some countries to a limited extent.
"But overall, our government is very hesitant when push comes to
shove to make religious freedom such a priority that it interferes
with economic development, it interferes with people making money,"
the VOM spokesman relays. "When that is the priority, then
religious freedom tends to fall underneath that."
But he insists that God --not the government -- is the answer,
which is why it is appropriate for people of faith in America to
pause at any time on any day and pray for those who are suffering
because of their faith.
U.S. Christians recognized the International Day of Prayer for
the Persecuted Church this year on November 11.