Thank you for your on-going prayers for our brethren around the world in sixty plus persecuting nations. Upwards of 215 million followers of Jesus face daily mistreatment simply because they believe in and follow Jesus.

Your prayers do make a difference, but the numbers of incidents remain staggering. As world population climbs, so does persecution against Christians and other religious groups.

According to our information at Open Doors International, in 2017, a minimum of 3,066 Christians were martyred. Nearly 9 people a day. Over 1,020 Christian women or girls were raped. These are documented numbers.

Personally, I think this stat is extremely low. Christian women throughout the Muslim world go through the horror that defies description and is unreported.

Young Christian girls and women forced into marriages to unbelievers numbered 1,240. Many of these Christian girls would have been kidnapped going to or from school and forced to marry men old enough to be their fathers.

Over the 52 Sundays of 2017, 793 church buildings were burned or blown-up. Approximately 34,000 believers fled their homes, and many remain homeless to this day.

Open Doors Ministry was able to provide medical help to 112,000 of our brethren under persecution. We also provided over 640,000 believers with food-aid and shelter, and another 93,000 with trauma counseling.

On the sneaky-side, we smuggled nearly 2.5 million Bibles into persecuting countries and provided 248,000 new believers with discipleship training. Other ministries such as International Christian Concern and Voice of the Martyrs also accomplished great work for the persecuted church.

We Christians in America have a life so easy compared to many believers of the last two thousand years.

First, let us be thankful, and second, let us roll up our sleeves and do what we can to serve and bless our persecuted brothers and sisters around this world! “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me!” (Jesus, Matt. 25:40)

Kim Wenzel is a local Open Doors USA ministry representative who speaks in churches and groups about praying for the persecuted church. For more information, persons interested may contact Wenzel at pastorkimwenzel@gmail.com or 918-919-1490. He pastors Faith Church of Grove on East Highway 10.