Thursday, 22 August, was the first UN International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief. The new day was designated by the UN General Assembly in May 2019 and is intended to provide a focus to address the ever-growing issue of violence based on religion or belief. It’s a day for remembering all those who have been attacked because they are deemed to be the ‘wrong’ religion or refused to deny their faith.
For over 245 million Christians around the world, every word and action is held under scrutiny. They live in countries where Bibles are confiscated and just mentioning Jesus’s name can lead to being arrested. Christians are locked up, beaten, or even killed for daring to follow Jesus when culture and society point in the opposite direction.
But despite the suffering and the persecution, believers like Matthew* from Eritrea are still able to say, “I have seen the hand of God encouraging us, answering our prayers… God has never forsaken us.”
- For our brothers and sisters in Christ who face violence every day, that God will bless them and protect them
- That God will protect Open Doors partners who travel to dangerous places to administer healing and aid to victims of violence
- That Jesus will reveal Himself to those who are intent on destroying His church.