U.S. Bishops Mark Nov. 26 as Day of Prayer for Persecuted Christians

November 21, 2017


WASHINGTON—The USCCB in collaboration with the Knights of Columbus, Catholic Relief Services, the Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA) and Aid to the Church in Need announce the observance this Sunday, November 26, as A Day of Prayer for Persecuted Christians.  The Day of Prayer also initiates “Solidarity in Suffering,” a Week of Awareness and Education that runs from November 26-December 3.  The Day of Prayer on the Solemnity of Christ the King is a fitting time to reflect on religious freedom and Christians around the world who are being persecuted in unheard of numbers.  


“On the solemnity of Christ the King, I ask that the entire church in the United States come together in a special way for a day of prayer for persecuted Christians to express our solidarity with those who are suffering,” says Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, during his annual address to bishops. In a statement to bishops, the cardinal added, “To focus attention on the plight of Christians and other minorities is not to ignore the suffering of others. Rather by focusing on the most vulnerable members of society, we strengthen the entire fabric of society to protect the rights of all.”


To support the observance of the Day of Prayer and Week of Awareness, a wide array of resources are available to assist parishes, schools and campus ministries. One of those resources is the Executive Summary of “Persecuted and Forgotten? A Report on Christians Oppressed for their Faith 2015-2017”.  The report was made available to all bishops during the November Plenary Assembly, courtesy of Aid to the Church in Need.  Electronic copies of the report are now available at  www.usccb.org/middle-east-Christians


Additional resources on the site include:


  • Action Alert: Help Persecuted Christians/Religious Minorities in the Middle East
  • Homily Notes
  • Intercessions
  • Recommended Aid Agencies
  • Background on Catholic Churches in the Middle East
  • Background on Christians of the Middle East
  • Education Materials
  • Video: Religious Freedom and Christians in the Middle East
  • Logos for Local use (English and Spanish)

For social media, we are using the hashtag: #SolidarityInSuffering