With the start of the month-long Islamic fast called Ramadan beginning next Monday, Open Doors USA is launching a 30-day campaign urging Christians in the West to pray for persecuted believers in Muslim-dominated countries, according to the Christian Newswire.
During August most Muslims will fast from dawn until dusk, seeking to shed their sins through acts of restraint. They believe this is a time of purification accomplished through good deeds and self control.
To help Christians pray for the persecuted, Open Doors USA is offering the Ramadan Prayer Calendar. The calendar has multiple prayer points designed to help Christians pray for persecuted Christians around the world during the 30 days.
“Ramadan is a time when Christians are especially isolated in some Muslim-dominated countries,” says Open Doors USA President/CEO Dr. Carl Moeller. “This is why it is so important for us to unite in prayer for persecuted Christians throughout the world. I urge you to use the Open Doors resources to pray for our brothers and sisters.”
Eight of the top 10 countries on the Open Doors 2011 World Watch List of the worst persecutors of Christians have Islamic governments, while 38 of the top 50 on the list are Muslim-dominated societies. Those eight countries include Iran (2), Afghanistan (3), Saudi Arabia (4), Somalia (5), Maldives (6), Yemen (7), Iraq (8) and Uzbekistan (9). An estimated 100 million Christians worldwide suffer interrogation, arrest and even death for their faith in Christ, with millions more facing discrimination and alienation.
Approximately seven months ago, protests for reforms began in the country of Tunisia. Egypt, Libya and Syria soon followed. The movement is called “Arab Spring.” Throughout these “Arab Spring” protests, some Christians in these countries have faced intensified persecution, especially in Egypt. The observance of Ramadan could increase pressure on believers.
Less than two weeks after the end of Ramadan, Sept. 11 will mark the 10-year anniversary of the Muslim terrorist attacks against America.
“It is vital that we pray for Christians and Muslims during this anniversary,” says Michele Miller, Director of Open Doors USA Ministries. “Prayer has changed the hearts of millions, so it is also important to pray past the month of Ramadan.”
During Ramadan Open Doors USA will be sending out daily emails with a story from a Muslim-dominated country, prayer requests and a call to action. For instance, this is from Day 19 on the Ramadan Prayer Calendar: “For Takoosh, whose husband was killed by the Iranian government, Jesus’ command to love her enemies was impossible. Hatred filled her heart…and then she prayed. From the depths of her heart love poured out releasing forgiveness.”
To sign up for these resources and for more information on the campaign, visit the Open Doors USA website at www.OpenDoorsUSA.org or www.opendoorsusa.org/pray/Ramadan.