International Week of Prayer for the Persecuted Concludes in Canada

VANCOUVER – Churches across Canada gathered in prayer on Sunday to conclude a special weeklong prayer flow for the more than 130 million persecuted Christians worldwide.

The week of prayers, which began on Nov. 13 with the annual International Day of Prayer (IDOP), concluded Sunday with Canada’s observance of the prayer day. Though most countries held IDOP on the second Sunday of November, Canada waited until the third week as not to interfere with the nation’s Remembrance Day.

The weekend’s events started with speaker presentations and prayer vigils hosted by IDOP Canada’s partners nationwide.

“One of the great things IDOP addresses is the issue of prayer,” Christian Aid President, James Eagle, said to The Christian Post. “This allows men and woman who are comfortably living in the West to know that people are suffering for their faith in Christ.”

Eagle emphasized that more importantly the goal of IDOP is not to place guilt, but encourage Christians to take more action through prayer.

“We can intercede on behalf of the Father. He hears those prayers, and waiting for us to intercede,” he said.

The Voices of Martyrs (VOM) in Canada hopes that prayer for the persecuted church would continue. “I hope we will not delegate our concern to our brothers and sisters to a single day. We certainly hope IDOP can be done year-round,” said VOM Canada Communications Director Glenn Penner.

Open Doors Canada Director Paul Johnson agrees.

“I think this is absolutely vital. I will encourage the brothers and sisters to continue prayer. I think it is vital. When we stop to think that tens of millions of believers are looking for the strength of God in their lives, then we need to heed the call of God to pray for one another,” he said to The Christian Post. “If just one part of the body suffers, we all suffer.”

Johnson added, “We hope this will start 365 day for believers to pray for one another. Prayer is the most powerful prayer in God's arsenal and we should use it.” He also stated that for next year, he would like to see a more improved marketing campaign to encourage more churches to participate in future IDOPs.

IDOP Canada is a partnership of The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, Open Doors Canada, The Voice of the Martyrs in Canada, The Bible League in Canada, Christian Aid Mission and International Christian Response.

Each year, believers in more than 100 nations including Canada participate in a mass prayer vigil for the persecuted church worldwide.