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"Joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer."

In some parts of the world, choosing to follow Christ can be dangerous, and even life-threatening. Carrying the name "Christian" can lead to physical harm, loss of livelihood, arrest or even death.

Persecuted believers who have been forcibly displaced from their homes live with the added burden of being isolated and cut off from friends and family. Recent Covid-19 restrictions have given us a small taste of something our brothers and sisters living with persecution have endured for years - without the threat of death or arrest when we do venture out.

Today, more than 260 million Christians are suffering and persecuted for their faith in Jesus Christ. 

Our different circumstances and our geographical location can leave us feeling separated and unsure of how to help. The Canadian International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP) provides a practical way stand with those who have lost so much.

Sunday, November 1 has been identified as "IDOP Sunday" this year. A video, suggested scriptures, children's material and other resources are available to help congregations, groups, and individuals pray effectively for our persecuted brothers and sisters.

We often think of ourselves as the ones who have something to share with those who are persecuted, but perhaps it is we, the Western Christian church, who can learn from the ability of our brothers and sisters to find Jesus, the Hope for the world, in the midst of isolating and difficult circumstances. May Jesus open our hearts to learn from others and to pray.

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