Day of the Christian Martyr remembers thousands killed for their faith

Release International is marking Day of the Christian Martyr today, 29 June, to remember those killed for their faith. 

The charity, which supports persecuted Christians in dozens of countries, estimates that some 4,000 Christians die each year for their faith - 11 every day. 

"Each year, churches around the world remember the deaths of the apostles Peter and Paul on that date. But two millennia later, the killings of Christians continues," said Release CEO Paul Robinson.

"So on this day, we encourage Christians in the UK to stand with the suffering church worldwide – to honour them and let their lives and stories challenge us in our faith and witness."

The day is being marked by a Facebook Live event at 7pm, which will be joined by the daughter of Rev Hussain Soodmand, an Iranian convert who was hanged for apostasy. 

"The story of Rev Hussain Soodmand is told by his daughter. It reminds us afresh of the need to keep praying for all those Christians who have converted to Christ from Islam," said Robinson.

"In many places they risk paying the ultimate price for following Jesus."

Others being remembered today are Christians from North Korea, where there believed to be 30,000 Christian prisoners in hard labour camps, and Pakistan and Sri Lanka, where Christians have been targeted in suicide bombings.

"The message in this current pandemic is every day matters – so make your life count," said Robinson.

"The Day of the Christian Martyr is our chance to stand with our brothers and sisters in Christ who have given their lives for their faith – and to be inspired by their example."

A resource pack has been made available for download here.  The Facebook event can be watched here