As with every year, this Sunday we will observe the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church.
All 9:30 Hour classes Middle School and above are cancelled for a prayer meeting in the fellowship hall on Nov. 8 for our brothers and sisters in chains.
Here is this year’s world watch list of the ten worst countries in the world for persecuting Christians. This comes from Open Door’s website .
This year’s number one on the World Watch List is no stranger: North Korea has topped the list for seven years in a row. There is no other country in the world where Christians are being persecuted in such a horrible and relentless way. The Wahhabi kingdom of Saudi Arabia holds a solid second place, sharing the same amount of points with a country that’s also ruled by Sharia law: Iran. Islam also is the official religion in Afghanistan, Somalia and the Maldives; the countries in the fourth, fifth and sixth position. Afghanistan rose from seventh to fourth place. The country moved up on the list as a result of increased pressure from the Taliban movement during 2008; the situation in the country is tense. On seventh place we come across Yemen, whose position changed from six to seven, but there was no major change in the lack of religious freedom for Christians in Yemen in 2008. There was no big change to the status of religious freedom in Laos; the country is still number eight on the list. Two new countries have entered the top ten: Somalia and Eritrea. For Eritrea the total number of points did not change compared to last year, but other countries dropping off the top ten made it go up. Nevertheless, the deplorable situation of Christians in this country very much justifies a position in the top ten. In Somalia the number of incidents against Christians increased dramatically in 2008, explaining its rise from twelve to five.
Islam is the majority religion in seven of the top ten countries: Saudi Arabia, Iran, Afghanistan, Somalia, Maldives, Yemen and Uzbekistan. Two countries have communist governments: North Korea and Laos. Eritrea is the only dictatorial country in the 10 highest countries on the list.
Hebrews 13:3 commands us: Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them. And those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body.
May we do just that this Sunday at OGC.