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OPINION

The World Prays for the Persecuted

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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On November 8, 2009, Christian churches throughout the globe will focus on prayer and support for 100 million brothers and sisters who are being persecuted for their faith in Jesus Christ. The International Day of Prayer (IDOP) is one of the largest prayer events in the world -- an estimated half a million churches in 150 countries -- and has heightened awareness of persecuted Christians since its inception in 1996. It crosses all denominational lines.

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“The International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church presents a tremendous opportunity for millions of people to make a difference in the lives of those being persecuted – especially children – for their faith in countries like North Korea, Nigeria, Iran, and many more,” says Open Doors USA President/CEO Carl Moeller.

An estimated 100 million Christians worldwide suffer interrogation, arrest and even death for their faith in Christ, with millions more facing discrimination and alienation. Open Doors supports and strengthens believers in the world's most difficult areas through Bible and Christian literature distribution, leadership training and assistance, Christian community development, prayer and presence ministry and advocacy on behalf of suffering believers. (want to learn more visit http://tinyurl.com/yl87glq)

A perfect example of a brutal and murderous regime for believers in Jesus Christ is North Korea. Christians living in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea have suffered government-sanctioned persecution since the brutal communist regime first came to power.

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North Korea's Stalinist system of implementing a Communist economy is based on "total devotion" of the individual to an ideology promoted by the late leader Kim Il Sung and his successor and son, Kim Jong Il, according to observers who visited the isolated nation.

Officials in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea see Christianity as a threat to their philosophy of state control. The North Korean government, however, denies imprisoning, torturing and killing Christians in the same way they denied working on creating a nuclear weapon. According to one recent human rights report, North Korean Christians are experiencing more brutality and violence than at any time in history.

The Christian human-rights group Open Doors, based in the Netherlands, reports that North Korea is number one on its annual World Watch List (WWL), which "ranks countries by the "intensity of persecution that Christians face for actively pursuing their faith."

There are numerous reports that single out North Korea as being number one of the most brutal countries if you are a Christian. North Korea, a nation cloaked in secrecy, has been topping the list of Christian persecutors for over five years.

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In no other country in the world are Christians persecuted as severely as in the empire of the North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il, according to one Christian group known as Open Doors (http://www.helpNK.com).

According to officials at Open Door, more Christians have been imprisoned last year than the previous year, and the persecution "is getting worse" by the day.

It's time for the rubber to meet the road in our spiritual walk. It's time to participate in a worldwide day of prayer!

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