Praying for the Persecuted Church 2023

The term “Persecuted Church” refers to Christians who face discrimination, violence, or oppression for their religious beliefs, often in countries where Christianity is a minority or where religious freedom is restricted. This can take various forms, such as harassment, arrest, imprisonment, torture, or even death. The situation varies from country to country and is often a result of political, cultural, or ideological factors. Despite this, many Christians in persecuted communities continue to worship and practice their faith, often with a strong sense of resilience and hope.

Persecuted Church

Persecuted Church: Since the death of our Lord on the cross, it is estimated 43 million believers in Jesus have also become martyrs. Martyrdom is not a topic we hear much about. It may seem like it applies only to a few people in far-off places, but actually martyrdom happens every day in over fifty nations. Today, approximately 100,000 die annually for their faith. In addition, many are persecuted for their faith via imprisonment, kidnapping, torture, boycotting and/or being held without access to basic needs available to the rest of their community.

Persecuted Church: In Western, first-world countries, we may never have experienced these types of persecution for our faith. But let’s think about it like this—are you free to talk about Jesus at work? At school? What would your doctors, neighbors, bosses or teachers think if you were open and free about your faith? Do you find yourself restrained about your faith for fear of being treated differently, rejected or opposed? If you do, then for those brief moments you can get a glimpse of what our brothers and sisters living in restricted nations face.

Recently, we received word about a young man—we will call him Omid— living in a restricted nation who began relationships with a few local believers. While attending small home group meetings, he heared stories from the Bible. Local extremists took notice. In order to punish him and bring fear to the community, Omid was kidnapped. Persecuted Church: Our prayer team fervently prayed for his safe return. After several weeks, Omid came back with evidence of being tortured in unspeakable ways. Will Omid return to fellowship with the Christians? Please join us in praying for Omid and many like him—believers and those seeking Christ—that they would be filled with courage and protected from evil.


Remember, the New Testament was written to persecuted believers, making every word applicable to pray. “Pray-reading” is a powerful tool in your prayer tool belt. Please take a look at these examples from Ephesians:

  • Pray persecuted believers would know the hope God gives (Ephesians 1:18).

  • Pray they would know how to share the gospel (Ephesians 6:19).

  • Pray persecuted believers would fearlessly tell others about Jesus (Ephesians 6:20).

Praying Scripture is a sure way to know you are agreeing with God’s will, praying according to His Word, and building your faith in the process.

“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

— Romans 10:17


Pray with GCM daily for the practical needs of the underground church. Here are a few of the greatest needs our disciple makers ask for while living underground:

  • Pray they would be hidden from those who seek to do them harm (John 8:59, 2 Thessalonians 3:1-5).

  • Pray they would be strengthened with might in their inner man (Ephesians 3:16-18).

  • Pray God will supply all their needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19).

Learn more ways to pray for the persecuted church and read news alerts on current crises by visiting International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church.


Let’s remember that in some instances these persecuted believers are more ‘free’ than we are. Though they live underground, they are deeply dependent on hearing God speak daily so they spend much time in prayer and worship, experiencing God in ways we might never be able to imagine. When we keep them in our prayers, we are opening up our heart to share not only in the pain and pressure they feel, but in the glory and reward.

“Blessed are they which are persecuted. … persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.”

— Matthew 5:10

Are you praying regularly for GCM? Please feel free to send us messages via our website to encourage and strengthen our disciple makers. Learn more about ‘adopting’ a disciple maker by contacting us below. And thank you for your prayers.

Does your church or prayer group want to adopt disciple makers in prayer? Contact us today and tell us about your group.

“We gladly give our lives daily to live in persecution. We have counted the cost and Jesus is worthy.”

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We believe the Scriptures, both the Old and New Testaments, are inspired by God and are the revelation of God to man, the infallible, authoritative rule of faith and conduct. (2 Timothy 3:15-17, 1 Peter 1:21)

We believe that there is one God, eternally existent who has revealed Himself as embodying the principles of relationship and association as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. (Deuteronomy 6:4, Luke 3:22)

We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His atoning death through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father where He intercedes for us, in His present rule as Head of the Church, and in His personal return in power and glory. (Matthew 1:23, Luke 1:31)

We believe in the creation of mankind in God’s image, and the fall of man, resulting in universal guilt and total depravity; and the necessity, therefore, of redemption and restoration; that all men and women are lost spiritually and face the judgment of God, that Jesus Christ is the only way of salvation, and that repentance of sin and faith in Jesus Christ is necessary for regeneration by the Holy Spirit. (Genesis 1:26-27, Genesis 2:17)

We believe salvation is received through repentance toward God and faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ. By the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, being justified by grace through faith, man becomes an heir of God, according to the hope of eternal life. (Luke 24:47, John 3:3)

We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost; the saved unto the resurrection of eternal life in the presence of our Lord, and the lost unto the resurrection of damnation and eternal punishment. (Matthew 25:46, Mark 9:43-48)

We believe in the spiritual unity of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ and that all true believers are members of His body, the Church, which has the duty to preach the Gospel to every person. (Ephesians 1:22-23, Ephesians 2:22)

We believe that we must dedicate ourselves to prayer, to the service of our Lord, to His authority over our lives, and to the ministry of teaching, preaching, the prophetic, the apostolic, and evangelism. (Ephesians 4:11-13)

We believe in upholding the ordinances of the church of water baptism and holy communion.

The ordinance of baptism by immersion is commanded by the Scriptures. All who repent and believe in Christ as Savior and Lord are to be baptized. Thus, they declare to the world that they have died with Christ and that they also have been raised with Him to walk in newness of life. (Matthew 28:19, Mark 16:16, Acts 10:47,48, Romans 6:4)

The Lord’s Supper, consisting of the elements—bread and the fruit of the vine—, is the symbol expressing our sharing the divine nature of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:4), a memorial of His suffering and death (1 Corinthians 11:26), and a prophecy of His second coming (1 Corinthians 11:26), and is enjoined on all believers “till He comes!”