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Commission on Religious Liberty

Commission on Religious Liberty

by Mervyn Thomas, CEO of Christian Solidarity Worldwide

One Church, One Prayer

Almost every country in the world has promised to protect and respect the right to freedom of religion or belief through international law.

Yet the reality is that in many of these countries, Christians and other religious minorities pay a great price. They are harassed, targeted, imprisoned, tortured or even killed because of what they believe and because they meet together to worship. Sometimes this hostility is instigated by governments, other times by society.

As we approach the season of celebrating and reflecting on the fact that Jesus is our Emmanuel — our ‘God with us’ — please take some time out of the chaos to pray for those who are being oppressed, harassed and persecuted for their faith.

At Christian Solidarity Worldwide, our work is rooted in prayer. One of our favorite verses is James 5:16 — “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” This reminds us daily how powerful our prayers are.

Father God

As one Church, united under Your holy headship, and knowing that we are all one family in Christ; We pray for those who suffer in Your name all over the world, our brothers and sisters, who share in that same great gift of salvation through Your Son, but who face injustice, oppression and even death because of their faith in You.

We want to walk with them as they journey through the valley of darkness, and we pray knowing that You are a God of compassion, comfort, and justice; who always hears their prayers, never leaves them and will forever be their fortress and shield, whatever they face.

We pray that You will grant them strength, courage, and protection from those who seek to harm them because they follow You; guidance and wisdom for when their path seems impossible to tread, and hope for a future where they have the freedom to worship You without fear.

In the name of Jesus, Amen.

Taking a Stand

I love the line in the prayer which states, “We want to walk with them as they journey through the valley of darkness.” This is certainly my prayer. And prayer, combined with action, really does make a difference. So, this Christmas, why don’t you take action? As well as praying, maybe you could show solidarity by sending a card of encouragement to someone who is in prison for their faith. You can find out more about how to do this by clicking here.