Christians in lockdown across the UK are being invited to stand in solidarity with the persecuted church around the world this Sunday (May 24), in an event called All Out for God.
Release International has long been calling on UK believers to hold open-air services in May to support Christians under pressure. ‘This year, lockdown gives us the opportunity to take our identification with the persecuted church to the next level,’ says Paul Robinson of Release.
Recent UK government research has confirmed that Christians are the most persecuted faith group in the world. ‘They face opposition from governments, terror groups and bigotry alike,’ says Release CEO Paul Robinson.
Generations in lockdown
In North Korea, the church has been in lockdown for four generations, as Christians who are caught face imprisonment in labour and concentration camps. 30,000 Christians in North Korea are imprisoned in such camps.
‘Around the world, persecutors have been trying to lock down Christians for years,’ adds Paul Robinson. ‘They’ve driven them from their churches and homes and denied them basic freedom of faith. Yet, since the days of the Book of Acts, the Church has always thrived under pressure, and today it continues to grow.
‘Now Christians in the UK have had a taste of lockdown, let’s stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters. Let’s pray for them, provide for them, and learn what it is to have a faith that can overcome every hardship.
‘We, who are free, have this opportunity to stand with them in prayer that they, too, may be free to practise their faith in freedom.’
This Sunday, UK Christians would have been celebrating the annual Great Outdoors Church Service. ‘But during our own lockdown, Release is asking you simply to open your door on Sunday, May 24, and take a step outside to pray for our persecuted Christian family,’ says Paul Robinson.
‘Join us for a live Facebook event at 3pm called All Out for God. If you’re unable to join at 3pm, please pray when you can on the day. But however you choose to remember the persecuted church this Sunday, please be sure to comply with social distancing restrictions.’
Release is offering a range of resources as a focus for prayer, from Prisoner Profiles to a wide variety of video and written reports from the frontlines of faith, devotions and Bible discussions. These resources, called Lockdown Church, are available on the Release website to help UK Christians stand with their persecuted brothers and sisters.
Through its international network of missions, Release International is active in some 25 countries around the world, supporting pastors, Christian prisoners and their families; supplying Christian literature and Bibles, and working for justice.