A religious freedom charity has named Nigeria, China and India as countries of concern due to the increasing persecution against Christians.
Release International says the three countries are among the most populous in the world and religious freedom is constantly being restricted.
“They are huge countries, China, the biggest in the world, India, the second biggest, and Nigeria, the most populous nation in Africa,” said Andrew Boyd from the charity
“And in all of those three nations, persecution is happening in plain sight. It's being permitted to continue, the authorities are not doing much to prevent it, and in some cases, they're encouraging it.”
The charity said Chinese Christians are being locked out of their churches in growing numbers. Even state-controlled churches are being demolished and destroyed.
In India, attacks and false accusations against Christians are now almost a daily occurrence.
Boyd told Premier: “In India it's radical Hindu extremists who believe that if you're Indian, you have to be a Hindu, and nothing else will be tolerated. You get attacks against a church there on a weekly basis.”
Meanwhile, in Nigeria, attacks on Christian villages increased in 2020. Heavily armed Fulani militants are driving Christians from their homes, adding to the clear and present danger from Boko Haram terrorists.
The three countries will be the focus of an online prayer event on Sunday evening marking the 24th International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP).
The event, also hosted by The Evangelical Alliance, CSW, Open Doors will mobilise Christians to pray that those being persecuted will be encouraged and remain faithful in their worship and witness.
Boyd added: “Let’s join with them in praying for the persecutors themselves, not for regime change, but for a revelation of who Christ is and a revelation that freedom actually matters. If it matters to God, it has to matter to us. There could be some Sauls out there who could become Pauls.
“Let's pray for the international community that instead of allowing this to happen in plain sight across the world, that they will say ‘enough is enough’.”
The prayer event starts at 7:30pm. Click here to join.