International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church Dr. Craig Kraft
/ Friday, October 30, 2020
The International Day of Prayer for the persecuted church is a great reminder of how much we have to be thankful for in North America. We may experience prejudice against us or feel maligned by society, but we still experience tremendous freedoms here in Canada.
The day of prayer helps us remember our brothers and sisters around the world who are experiencing all forms of persecution for their faith in Jesus Christ.
A Story of Persecution & Answered Prayer
This summer, one of our OC associates was kidnapped in North Africa. He was bound and blindfolded for three days, but he would not renounce his faith. On the third day, the Lord answered his prayers, and he was released.
We have missionaries in other parts of the world who have witnessed different forms of persecution. Separation of families, ex-communication, loss of business, physical abuse, travel prohibitions, and even death are not uncommon for our brothers and sisters in Christ. In some countries, the church meets underground. In other locations, it is protected in small groups, however, the reality is that many are pressured today to renounce their faith in Jesus Christ or experience harsh consequences.
Please join us in prayer for these Christian heroes who are willing to suffer and even die for their faith. As we thank the Lord for these men and women and pray for their safety, let us also pray for the people who are persecuting them. Let us pray that just as the Lord called and converted Saul in Acts 9, that he will do the same today and call the persecutors to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ.
Will you also join me in examining our commitment to follow Jesus. We need to ask ourselves how far we are willing to go, how much we are ready to suffer, and what we are willing to sacrifice as followers of Jesus. It is still easy to be a Christian in Canada, but if it wasn’t, would we be ready to face the same consequences as those who are persecuted today?
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. - Romans 8:37-39
Dr. Craig Kraft is the Executive Director of Outreach Canada. Craig and his wife Heather have four adult sons. They were involved in pastoral ministry in western Canada for fifteen years before becoming missionaries with OC. Craig served with OC in southern Africa and now leads the ministry in Canada. After returning from Africa, Craig assisted with the formation of the OC Global Alliance, a partnership of over one thousand missionaries working around the world. Craig is a graduate of Northwest Baptist Seminary at ACTS and a graduate of Asia Graduate School of Theology with a Doctor of Intercultural Studies. His study has focused on diaspora missiology in Canada. His dissertation explores the potential for revitalizing Canadian churches through the practice of biblical hospitality with refugees and immigrants.