An estimated 100,000 churches in 130 countries are expected to participate in this year’s International Day of Prayer for Persecuted Christians on November 5, 12, 19, and 26 according to Voice of the Martyrs Korea Representative Dr. Hyun Sook Foley. Representative Foley says that this year the focus is on Nepal, with Voice of the Martyrs Korea debuting a new short feature film to help churches, small groups, and home school families to pray during the event.
According to Representative Foley, the film, “Sejun: Nepal”, tells the true story of a Nepali boy’s journey from life in a Buddhist monastery as a preschooler to finding new hope in Christ.
“Sejun’s parents sent him to live at the monastery, and during his nine-year stay there, he experienced spiritual darkness and personal difficulties, which ultimately caused him to run away at the age of 13,” says Representative Foley. “When Sejun ran back home, his family did not welcome his return. He had to enroll in first grade, since his only schooling had been memorizing Buddhist scriptures. He was ashamed about being so much older than his classmates. At school, however, Sejun met a godly teacher who shared Christ with him. When Sejun turned to Christ, his family disowned him violently. But through the teacher he met a new family—the body of Christ in Nepal—and he began to experience joy for the first time in his life. But instead of forgetting about his birth family, he became determined to bring them the good news of Christ, no matter the cost.”
Representative Foley says the short film highlights one of the most common forms of persecution experienced around the world: persecution by members of one’s own family. “It’s the kind of persecution that Jesus said that we all will experience,” said Representative Foley. “The film reminds us that persecution is not just an issue of religious freedom or government policy. It’s the spiritual heritage of all Christians around the world who seek to live a godly life in Christ Jesus.”
According to Representative Foley, the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church has been observed annually on one of the Sundays in November each year since being established more than 20 years ago by the World Evangelical Association. 100,000 churches in more than 130 countries are estimated to participate in the event annually, says Representative Foley.
“Typically, they participate by setting aside a special time of prayer for persecuted Christians during one or more of their worship services during November. Often, they show the new short film we prepare each year for the event,” says Representative Foley. “Sometimes churches invite a special speaker from Voice of the Martyrs to share about the theology of persecution and faithful witness.”
Screenshot from the film: “Sejun: Nepal”, that Voice of the Martyrs created for the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. Watch the film at www.vomkorea.com/en/idop
Representative Foley says the short films are about 5 minutes long and feature a true story from a persecuted Christian in a different country each year. The films from previous years are also available for viewing through the organization’s special home page for the International Day of Prayer event, www.vomkorea.com/en/idop.
“Today 260 million Christians—about 10% of the global Christian population—face intense persecution for their faith,” says Representative Foley, citing statistics from the World Evangelical Association’s Religious Liberty Commission. “In 2020, on average every day 8 Christians were killed for their faith; 10 Christians were detained or imprisoned; 25 churches or Christian buildings were attacked.”
Representative Foley says that the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP) is a direct response to the most common request made by persecuted Christians. “When we ask persecuted Christians how we can help them, the first thing they say is ‘Pray for us!’”, says Representative Foley. “That is exactly what happens on the two IDOP Sundays in November every year: The church around the world joins together in prayer for their persecuted brothers and sisters.”
The film, “Sejun: Nepal”, tells the true story of a Nepali boy’s journey from life in a Buddhist monastery as a preschooler to finding new hope in Christ.
Representative Foley says she hopes that this year’s short film on Nepal will encourage Christians to participate in the International Day of Prayer for Persecuted Christians. “Not only church congregations, but small groups, home school families, and individual Christians who are serious about prayer will find these tools to be extremely helpful on IDOP and throughout the year as they carry out the command of scripture in Hebrews 13:3: Remember the persecuted as though we are bound together with them.”
Individuals and churches interested in accessing the free short feature film “Sejun: Nepal” can visit www.vomkorea.com/en/idop.