Christians asked to stand with persecuted believers this Sunday

Release International is asking UK Christians to set aside five minutes of their church service this Sunday to stand in solidarity with persecuted believers worldwide.

All Out For God will see churches hold part of their services in the open-air as a demonstration of unity with persecuted Christians who are unable to meet in a place of worship due to restrictions on religious activities in their countries. 

UK churches are being asked to remember Christians in India, Afghanistan and Nigeria in particular. 

Rising Hindu nationalism in India has led to increasing persecution of Christians, including harassment and attacks.

Recently, Karnataka became the latest state to pass an anti-conversion law. According to lawmakers, these laws are intended to stop forced conversions, but human rights groups say they are being abused to restrict religious freedom.  

In Afghanistan, Christians have been living in fear since the return of the Taliban to power last August, with reports of threats and door-to-door searches. 

Christians in parts of Nigeria are living under the shadow of possible attacks and kidnapping for ransom by Islamist extremists, bandits and Fulani militants. 

Just this month, Christian student Deborah Samuel was stoned to death and her body burned after being accused of blasphemy. 

"Churches, church leaders and Christian communities remain the primary targets," said Release. 

Release CEO Paul Robinson said All Out For God was about honouring the persecuted Church. 

"For 2022, we're asking churches to set aside five minutes to stand in silence and remember their persecuted family," he said. 

"We want to honour those who have died for their faith and pray for those who have been bereaved. We want to remember those forced to flee their homes, and believers who are behind bars simply because of their love for Christ. And we want to lift up others who are undergoing unremitting oppression and pray for them.

"Our five minutes of silence represents our determination to stand up for those who have no voice. We know that this act of solidarity and prayer means a huge amount to those suffering for their faith. Let's help show them they are not forgotten."

Participants are being encouraged to use the hashtag #AllOut4God to make others aware and share their prayers on the day. More details are available here