The Persecuted Church

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”—Matthew 5:10 (ESV)

On the first Sunday in November, Christians gather to pray for the persecuted church. We praise God for the faith and courage of believers in dangerous lands. We ask that the world’s leaders will spare innocent lives. Most of all, we pray that the church will continue to grow and thrive.

There are many ways you can encourage believers facing persecution:

Fill a care package with clothes, toiletries and writing supplies. Voice of the Martyrs will deliver your Action Pack—along with a Bible or a Gospel storybook—to a country in crisis.

Write a letter to a struggling Christian overseas. You can read stories and find letter-writing tips at the Open Doors website. You can also write to one of the missionaries your church supports.

Keep your eyes open. There could be kids in your school or neighborhood who suffer for believing in Jesus. Maybe they get teased for wearing modest clothes . . . or reading the Bible on the bus . . . or flinching when somebody uses bad words. Don’t let your fellow Christians suffer in silence. Give them a hug. Sit with them at lunch. If things get really bad, help them talk to a parent or teacher. Even if you don’t have much in common, you both love Jesus and are supposed to love each other, too (1 John 4:7-12).

Copyright © 2013 by Focus on the Family. Photo © Sammis Reachers/Flickr.com; used under Creative Commons license.