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ARK Presents a Special Note
International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church Web Site
Brothers & Sisters in the Lord,

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)

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 (WEF), but it has earned the endorsement of Christian leaders of all types and denominations (I've attached a list to this message). 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 ask any of the following questions:

No, they ask one thing, and one thing only: will you bow down to another god, or will you remain faithful to Jesus? If the answer is "Jesus," you are under arrest. It's that simple.

I AM ASKING EVERYONE WHO RECEIVES THIS MESSAGE TO DO 3 THINGS:

  1. Please, please forward this message to every Christian in your personal electronic address 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
National Coordinator: Steve Haas
Director of Communications: Dr. Ed Bez
INFO: 800-LETS-PRAY (1-800-538-7772)
OFFICES: 630-668-1754 FAX: 630-668-0498
EMAIL: IDOP@xc.org
WEB SITE: http://www.persecutedchurch.org

If you live in the Philadelphia, PA area, feel free to contact me. My address appears at the end of the message.

IDOP has a packet of information designed for informing your church group and 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.

Thanks.

Phil Weingart 34 Chelton Road
Havertown, PA 19083 (in the Philadelphia, PA, USA area)
(610) 446-2709


(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.
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in ALL your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths." Proverbs 3:5-6
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This document was last modified 14-Nov-97 19:54