Suffering Church Action Week focuses on persecuted children

Barnabas Fund is asking the church to rally around Christian children growing up in hostile parts of the world where they are part of a persecuted minority.

The organisation, which supports persecuted Christians, is asking believers to support the next generation in the suffering church with their prayers.

Free resources have been put together to enable churches and individuals take action on their behalf during Barnabas Fund's Suffering Church Action Week 2013 running from 27 October to 3 November.

The week includes a worldwide Day of Prayer on Friday 1 November.

Barnabas Fund warned that the wake of the Arab Spring had brought a strengthening of Islamism and a deterioration in conditions for persecuted Christian minorities.

It said Christian children growing up in this context "will need to be courageous in the years ahead".

"When Christians are persecuted, it is often children who suffer most acutely," said Barnabas Fund.

"They are easy targets for violence or injustice. Persecuted Christian children are often subject to aggression at school, discrimination in exams and pressure to convert to the majority religion."

However, it added that even Christian young people growing up in Western countries were in need of prayer to "stand firm in their faith at a time when it is being publicly undermined and marginalised".

Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, International Director of Barnabas Fund, said: "Christian children need protecting, teaching and strengthening in their faith to stand amid persecution.

"By providing for children's spiritual and material needs, supporting suffering families and resourcing the persecuted Church today, we are helping to raise a new generation of courageous Christians.

"Please make a note of the dates for our Suffering Church Action Week and start to think about how you and your church can get involved in this important campaign.