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IDOP 2022

Thank you to everyone who attended the joint IDOP webinar with Release International, the Evangelical Alliance, Open Doors and CSW on Sunday November 6th.

If you missed it – don’t worry – you can now catch up and watch a recording of the webinar sharing the latest news and testimonies from Christian survivors of persecution in China, Cuba and Iraq by clicking the image below:

We also want to encourage you to mark IDOP in your own local church by organising a special prayer time during one of your Sunday services in November (or at any time more convenient to your diary).

We have compiled the resources below to help you do this. This year Release International is focusing on praying for Christian prisoners of faith and their families.

Introduction to IDOP Film

This 3-minute film introduces IDOP and highlights several countries where Christians are being imprisoned because of their faith.

Please click to expand…

Presentation Slides

This presentation is designed to accompany a short talk. It includes four individual prisoner profiles, a Bible reading and several prayer points. Click here to download as a Powerpoint file (14.2MB).

Sermon Outline

If you are able to dedicate an entire service to IDOP, you may want to use this sermon outline based on Hebrews 13:1-3 to help encourage a biblical response to persecution and supporting prisoners of faith. Click here to download as a WORD document.

Prayer Points

IDOP is about prayer and these prayer points for prisoners of faith and their families will help guide your petitions.

  • Pray for all those who are imprisoned because of their faith in countries like Iran, China, Eritrea, Pakistan and North Korea: that they will know the sustaining power of God, that they will have opportunities to see their families and have fellowship with other Christians, that they will be able to share the love of Christ with their guards and fellow prisoners, and that in God’s time they will be released.
  • Pray for the families of Christian prisoners who often face hardship, harassment, social ostracism, and deprivation. Pray that God will provide for all their physical, emotional and spiritual needs.
  • Pray for Christians in Pakistan who have been falsely accused and incarcerated under the notorious blasphemy laws. Pray for justice and for the laws to stop being misused against innocent people. Pray that Zafar Bhatti who has already spent 10 years behind bars will be acquitted soon.
  • Pray for long term Christian prisoners in Eritrea. Some like Dr Kiflu have never faced trial. Pray that he will know the love and encouragement of the Lord as he spends his 18th year separated from his family and church.
  • Pray for Christian pastors and church leaders who have been detained and imprisoned in China. Pray that God will protect them from harsh treatment by the prison authorities. Pray for Pastor Wang Yi and his wife and son, that their faith will remain strong and that Wang Yi’s courageous testimony will continue to encourage other pastors to keep on serving.
  • Pray for house church leaders in Iran who face the threat of arrest, interrogation and lengthy prison sentences for their Christian work. Pray they will continue to have courage to plant and lead local churches despite the risks. Pray that the Iranian government will recognise the value of its Christian citizens.
  • Pray for Christians who are detained in harsh labour camps in North Korea. Pray that they will know the freedom of Christ in their hearts and have opportunities to share the hope of the gospel with their fellow prisoners.
  • Pray for Release International’s partners in various countries who are serving Christian prisoners of faith and their families. Pray that channels of communication would remain secure and open. Pray that practical provisions will be able to reach those who need it most. Pray that partners who have the opportunity to visit prisoners will have the right words to bring support and comfort.
  • Pray that as Christians in the UK we will be moved to remember those in prison as if we were with them. May God give us compassion to learn their stories, to commit to praying for them, to write to them, and to speak up on their behalf wherever we have the opportunity.

Click here to download these Prayer Points as a WORD document.


It is important for us to know about individual Christian prisoners so we can pray for them and their families in an informed way. The Prisoner Profiles below share the stories of three current prisoners.

Pastor Wang Yi – China

Arrested: December 2018

Sentence: 9 years in prison

Pastor Wang Yi is the leader of Early Rain Covenant Church. He was arrested with around 100 members of his church during a police raid. He was eventually convicted of ‘inciting state subversion’ and ‘illegal business operations.’ Since his arrest his family and church have been monitored and harassed by government officials.

Click here to download Pastor Wang Yi’s Prisoner Profile as a pdf document.

Dr Kiflu – Eritrea

Arrested: 2004
Sentence: Held without trial

Dr Kiflu is a senior church leader in Eritrea. He was arrested in an early morning raid on his home but has never been charged with a crime or brought before a court. He has been prevented from seeing his wife and four children for long periods of time.

Click here to download Dr Kiflu’s Prisoner Profile as a pdf document.

Zafar Bhatti – Pakistan

Arrested: July 2012
Sentence: Death

Zafar Bhatti was sentenced to life imprisonment for sending a blasphemous text message, a charge he has always denied and for which there is conflicting evidence. In early 2022 his sentence was increased to death.

Click here to download Zafar Bhatti’s Prisoner Profile as a pdf document.  


You may also find it helpful to reflect on these hymns/songs and integrate them in your IDOP service.

Safe in the shadow of the Lord by Timothy Dudley-Smith 

Strong God by Vertical Worship 

Psalm 142 by Poor Bishop Hooper 

The church’s one foundation by Hymns of Grace 

You can also still access the resources we provided for IDOP 2021. These resources can be found here. We hope you might find them helpful for any services or Prayer Events you may be thinking about planning to highlight real situations and examples of persecution our persecuted family face every day.