Christian Charity Open Doors is calling on young people to raise awareness for persecuted Christians by giving up a much-loved pastime or possession.
The sponsored event “Blackout” is launching over the weekend of October 23-25 with fundraisers challenged to give up something they love for 48 hours.
Head of Youth Development at Open Doors UK and Ireland, Naomi Allen explained how calling yourself a Christian in certain parts of the world comes at a high cost.
“Persecuted Christians are often forced to give up everything to follow Jesus - their families, homes, jobs, friends, freedoms and sometimes, even their lives," Allen explained.
As well as fundraising, the event aims to highlight the experiences of the persecuted church among young people.
“We’re urging young people to spend some time focusing on the plight of Christians who are beaten, tortured, imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus," Allen said.
“We hope, that by giving up something they enjoy like their phone, Xbox or Instagram, young people can help raise awareness and spend time praying for other Christians who have lost so much.”
Blackout participants will receive stories of courageous Christians to read and pray through during the event. Among the stories featured is that of Poh, from rural Vietnam, whose father almost killed him when he found out he was a Christian and who lost family, his home, community and a secure future for believing in Jesus.
As well as fundraising through sponsorship, those participating in the 48-hour challenge are encouraged to write to their local MP and read the World Watch List map which shows Open Doors’ annual ranking of countries where Christian persecution is most extreme.