It started out like any other day for Aasiya, one of the only known Christians in her town.
The Pakistani wife and mother of two had gone out that morning to gather falsa berries with some other local women.
When they asked Aasiya to get water for them from a nearby well, she did. But she was parched, so she also took a sip for herself. Enraged, the other women accused Aasiya of blasphemy and claimed she had defiled their water.
Later, more of her neighbors raided her house. They left her bloodied and bruised when the police finally intervened.
She was arrested and taken to trial, where she was sentenced to death by hanging for blasphemy against the local religion. Her husband and lawyer fought the verdict.
This week, Aasiya was finally acquitted — but only after nine years in a Pakistani prison, waiting to see what would happen to her. She was forced to cook her own meals and often suffered abuse from the guards.
Unfortunately, Aasiya’s story is not an unusual one. This November, will you pray with us for Christians like Aasiya, who are mistreated for their faith? Pray for persecuted churches all over the world.
1. Ask God to protect the Church.
Many churches across the globe must meet in secret, for fear of being found out by those who might arrest, beat or kill them for their faith. In some areas, this means worshippers can’t even sing out loud.
Serena* became a Christian as a young woman in the Middle East. But when her house church was outed to local authorities, she had to flee to Italy.
Only then was Serena able to freely worship her Father.
“It was … a good feeling. I could freely go to church to sing, you know?” Serana said. “Because in home church, you can’t sing because then your voice will be out. So, usually, we are not singing.”
This November, ask God to protect His children who live in dangerous places. Pray that they will one day be able to worship Him free of the possibility of harm.
2. Pray for the proper response to persecution.
Anger is a natural response to persecution and it’s easy to let anger to lead us into a cycle of retaliation. But as the Church, we are called to be peacemakers.
As Christians, our duty is to embody reconciliation and healing in a broken world — not to cause even more bloodshed.
Pray that persecution will lead to justice, but not to a cycle of violence. Pray that perpetrators of discrimination will have an encounter with Jesus that will change their hearts and end their hostility.
3. Pray that governments around the world will oppose persecution.
Indifferent governments make persecution worse in many parts of the world. Sometimes, policymakers are even sympathetic to the persecutors’ cause.
Milad is another believer who was part of a small house church in the Middle East. He’d only been a Christian for eight months when authorities raided his church and threw him in prison, along with his fellow church members.
“We were in prison for a while, for a few days,” Milad recounts. “And after that, we decided when we were able to get out, to come to Turkey, where it was safe.”
Now Milad is a living as a refugee in a foreign country — all because of his faith in Jesus.
Pray against governments that imprison innocent people for their faith. Pray for policy changes in countries where persecution of the Church is high.
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