Christians worldwide are being invited to join a global prayer event next month focused on the "secret believers" that live in Islamic countries.
The International Day of Prayer (IDOP) on Nov. 11 is a day designated specifically for all concerned Christians worldwide to unite in prayer for persecuted Christians. Hundreds of thousands of people and congregations participate in the event annually.
"This year, which marks the 10th anniversary of IDOP, our focus is on 'secret believers,'" wrote Dr. Carl A. Moeller, president of Open Doors USA, in a letter. Secret believers are Christians who have left Islam to follow Jesus in countries where Islam is the dominant religion.
"They are paying the highest price for their faith," Moeller stated.
Earlier this year, Brother Andrew, the founder of Open Doors, released his new book entitled, "Secret Believers: What Happens When Muslims Believe in Christ." The book tells of the real-life experiences and sufferings of converts to Christianity living in countries where the majority of people are Muslims. The characters, whose names are changed for their protection, are all friends of Brother Andrew.
"In their (the Secret Believers') countries, the biggest evil is if you turn away from Islam and become a Christian," explained Brother Andrew to The Christian Post during an earlier interview on his book. "It's not bad to be an atheist but to follow Jesus Christ is a deadly sin there."
Brother Andrew said his "cry" in the book was for Christians to become more involved and accept more responsibilities for the welfare of their Muslim-background brothers and sisters in Christ.
Christians should realize that "[i]f we lead people there to Jesus, they will be shunned by their societies and their family is honor-bound to kill them – that is the real situation," said the Open Doors founder.
Six of the top ten spots on Open Doors' 2007 Persecution Hot Spots list were countries where Islam is the major religion: Saudi Arabia, Iran, Somalia Maldives, Yemen, and Afghanistan.
There are an estimated 200 million Christians worldwide who are persecuted for their faith including interrogation, arrest and even death, according to Open Doors. Another 200-400 million face discrimination alienation.
Churches and individuals who are interested in participating in November's prayer event can request a free IDOP kit that contains:
- Country profiles where Secret Believers face hostility
- Testimonies of Secret Believers
- DVD presentations
- Other visual helps to guide prayer
- Children's activity pack
Christian groups who are actively involve in serving the persecuted Church include Christian Freedom International, Christian Solidarity Worldwide, International Christian Concern, the Voice of the Martyrs, and World Evangelical Alliance.
"It's my prayer that together we'll witness many spiritual victories through this international prayer campaign," said Moeller.
On the Web: The IDOP kit at www.opendoorsusa.org