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Feast of Stephen is a feast of prayer for persecuted church

Reading-based supporters of a charity that serves persecuted Christians worldwide spent Boxing Day thinking and praying for the persecuted Church around the world. 

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The group met at Wycliffe Baptist Church in East Reading in what has become an annual event, using material supplied by the charity Open Doors. 

Organiser Chris Cobbold said: “We meet on Boxing Day because In the Church of England, Boxing Day is also known as St Stephen’s Day. Stephen was the first Christian martyr.

“We have got together to pray for the church in places where persecution is greatest. Places like North Korea, Syria, Northern Nigeria and also some other places that tend to be forgotten about such as some of the countries in the former Soviet Union like Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan.

“We are listening to information about these places and making ourselves informed. Praying for the persecuted church makes us more sensitive and also challenges us to be bolder. Their circumstances are so much more difficult than ours.”

You can find more information about Open Doors and praying for the persecuted church at www.opendoorsuk.org