Prayers and Praises from the World’s Hardest Places to Be a Christian

Prayers and Praises from the World’s Hardest Places to Be a Christian COMPILED BY MORGAN LEE for Christianity Today

The struggles and joys experienced by believers in 11 nations on Open Doors’ Christian persecution watchlist.

More than 340 million Christians live in places with very high or extreme levels of persecution, according to Open Doors’ 2021 World Watch List.

Since these believers are our brothers and sisters in Christ, we thought it might be helpful to hear from the church and those close to them in 11 different countries on how God is working—and how you can pray for them.

Countries that have been ranked in World Watch List’s top 20 in its 2020 and 2021 lists are represented here. They appear in order of how they are ranked on the current list.

North Korea

We praise God:

  • for the descendants of believers in North Korea who have kept their faith despite the relentless persecution there since 1945.
  • for building underground churches and allowing the gospel to be shared in North Korea even though all churches there were destroyed by Communist oppression.
  • for helping North Koreans, who are thoroughly disconnected from the outside world, to nevertheless translate, print, and share the Bible.

We pray:

  • that the sin of idolatry that deifies the leader in North Korea will cease so that all North Koreans can serve the true God.
  • that the sins of violating and repressing human rights will be stopped so that North Koreans can enjoy and worship the God who created all of us in his image.
  • that vital foodstuffs and other basic necessities are provided to North Koreans who continue to suffer from hunger and frigid winter weather so they can at least maintain their minimal standard of living.

Submitted by Peter Lee, executive director, Cornerstone Ministries International

Pakistan

We praise God:

  • for the numbers of students training in the seminaries and Bible colleges.
  • for the many agencies discipling people in the faith.
  • for boldness in witness by many Christians.

We pray:

  • for current seminary and Bible college students to become good pastors and evangelists in the future.
  • for the continuing danger posed by the blasphemy laws.
  • for the systemic discrimination faced by Christians in employment, education, and society.
  • for Muslim-background believers who face particular dangers if their identities become known.

Submitted by Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali, director of the Oxford Centre for Training, Research, Advocacy and Dialogue

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