Hebrews 13:3 command Christians to pray for those suffering as if they themselves were suffering. In an effort to unite believers in this scriptural principle, November 5 and 12 have been designated International Days of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP) by the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA).
The command is especially meaningful in the EPC, as Teaching Elder Andrew Brunson marked one year in a Turkish prison in October.
“Scripture is clear that if one suffers, we all suffer,” said Jeff Jeremiah, EPC Stated Clerk. “I know I have experienced this over the past 13 months with Andrew Brunson’s imprisonment.”
Eric Metaxas, author of the New York Times #1 bestselling Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy included Brunson in a list of Christians around the world persecuted for their faith.
“In Turkey last year, American missionary Andrew Brunson was locked up on the absurd grounds that he was a terrorist,” Metaxas wrote in a blog post on BreakPoint.org.
The WEA reports persecution as a daily reality of at least 100 million Christians around the world. Now marking its 21st year, the IDOP is observed in more than 100 countries. This year’s theme is “From Ashes to Glory.”
As a “global movement of churches,” the EPC stands with—and prays for—persecuted Christians and is committed to:
- The global mission of EPC World Outreach, which is to tell the story of Jesus in the Hard Places among people who have no church;
- Fraternal partnerships with like-minded, Bible-believing bodies; and
- Awareness of and solidarity with persecuted Christians.