IDOP 2003. One Church - Uniting Through Prayer

Date: Wednesday 1 October 2003
Subj: IDOP 2003. One Church - Uniting Through Prayer
To: World Evangelical Alliance Religious Liberty News & Analysis
From: WEA RLC Principal Researcher and Writer, Elizabeth Kendal.

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INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER (IDOP)
FOR THE PERSECUTED CHURCH
9/16 NOVEMBER 2003.
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International Day of Prayer (IDOP) for the Persecuted Church is approaching. The World Evangelical Alliance Religious Liberty Commission's IDOP 2003 resource material is now available on the web at . The material can be freely downloaded or alternatively, a CD version can be ordered through the site.

By these means you will have access to short articles, devotions, Critical Prayer Requests (CPR) for strategic nations, and visual resources that include overhead transparency masters (under "Global
Highlights") and a 12-minute VCD. IDOP is supported by numerous persecuted-church aid and advocacy groups and is a truly global prayer event.

Christians in West Africa, Pakistan and Indonesia, who are presently suffering on account of their faith, are amongst this year's IDOP contributors. Most notably, the Reverend Renaldy Damanik has contributed a piece from his prison cell in Palu, Central Sulawesi. Whilst he has suffered in prison (poisoned in custody in December 2002, hepatitis, separation from wife and daughter) our redeeming God has redeemed this injustice and suffering for HIS glory and purpose. God has taken the imprisoned Damanik, a pastor to the Christians of Central Sulawesi, and made him a pastor to the persecuted of the world through the magnificent contribution he make to IDOP this year.

The 12-minute VCD is in 3 parts - 1) background to the Central Sulawesi jihad and Rev. Damanik's imprisonment, 2) a very moving and beautiful music clip, 3) a live greeting from Rev. Damanik. It was produced by Cry Indonesia Media and will soon be available for downloading from . Alternatively, it is on the IDOP CD, or if video or DVD is preferred, it can be ordered through the Cry Indonesia Media website .

THEME: ONE CHURCH - UNITING THROUGH PRAYER.

Two Bible texts form the basis for this year's IDOP theme: "My prayer for all of them is that they will be one ..." Jesus praying to the Father, John 17:21; and "Dear friends, I urge you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to join me in my struggles by praying to God for me. Do this because of your love for me, given to you by the Holy Spirit." Paul exhorting the church, Romans 15:30 (NLT).

This side of heaven, we - the global body of Jesus Christ - will always have differences due to our limited understanding. However, through the ministry of the Holy Spirit, we can be united as ONE CHURCH through our love for each other as brothers and sisters. This is the will of our Lord and Saviour.

In a deeply spiritual and yet intensely practical way, we can join with those who suffer, by praying for them. We do this out of love. It is the Holy Spirit who gives us love for our fellow believers - if you don't have it, just ask for it.

Take note of the trends:

1) Through the 20th Century, and particularly since the 1960s, the Church has been growing and expanding at a rate unknown since early church days.

2) Religious intolerance, oppression and persecution are escalating - skyrocketing in recent years.

3) The Holy Spirit is birthing prayer movements and stirring people' s hearts. Christian interest in global mission and religious liberty news is growing, and the response to IDOP and the WEA RLC prayer ministry in recent years has been phenomenal. And we are seeing amazing answers to prayer.

The Church is made up of precious living stones. We are stronger when we stand united, and prayer (a practical expression of love), like cement, can join or bond us together. It is wonderful to be involved in what the Spirit of God is doing. (Romans 16:20)

Elizabeth Kendal
Principal Researcher and Writer
Religious Liberty Commission
World Evangelical Alliance

THE REV. JOHAN CANDELIN WRITES:

Dear sisters and brothers in Jesus Christ,

I would like to share with you at least a small part of something very beautiful that is happening in November. It will happen on 9 and 16 November 2003, and during the week between those two Sundays. It will be a beautiful view not only from a human point but I truly believe that it will be something very beautiful in the eyes of God.

As a father it touches my heart when I see my children love each other and care for each other. How much more will this beautiful event touch the heart of God who is our heavenly Father when he sees love and support for each other demonstrated by millions of his children?

So what is happening in November?

The answer is that Christians from Norway and Iceland in the north to Chile in the south and Vladivostok in Russia in the east to Los Angeles in the west will pray for all those who suffer for the name of Jesus Christ. Brothers and sisters will pray in the jungles of Burma, house churches in China, cathedrals in England, gypsy churches in Bulgaria, house groups in Saudi-Arabia, out-door meetings in Sudan, prayer groups in Belarus and in many other parts of the world. This is a beautiful and wonderful event!

We do not ask what churches or denominations these suffering sisters and brothers come from. As long as they suffer for their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ we will pray with them and for them. We will also pray for those who persecute them that they would come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Through prayer things change. Either circumstances change or we are changed and God is glorified in all this.

After having seen the International Day of Prayer (IDOP) for the Persecuted Church from the inside for many years I can only say, it's a miracle! It is probably the world's biggest prayer group and it is strengthening the persecuted part of the church and awakening churches where there is no persecution. This is also beautiful because the church of Jesus Christ is one. Any revival in the world is your revival and any persecution in the world is your persecution.

This is why it is such a joy for me to invite you to be part of the beautiful thing happening in November. Feel free to translate, copy and spread the IDOP material to as many people as you can. You will also find more material and links on the global IDOP web page .

Thank you for standing with the persecuted church in a time like this.

May God bless you!

Sincerely,

Johan Candelin
Global IDOP coordinator
Executive Director
Religious Liberty Commission
World Evangelical Alliance

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**WEA Religious Liberty News & Analysis** ============================================

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