Christians vs. Muslims in Ramadan Prayer-off

An unofficial prayer contest will be held during Ramadan this year.

The combatants are Muslims, who will mark the holy month with prayer and fasting from sunrise to sunset from July 20 to Aug. 18, and Christians, who will ask God to stop Islamic countries from killing their brethren.

Santa Ana-based Open Doors USA, which has assisted persecuted Christians throughout the world for decades, is launching a prayer campaign for persecuted saints in Muslim-dominated countries, as well as praying "that Muslims will find the real God."

In a press release, Carl Moeller, president of Open Doors, said: "During the season of Ramadan let us first lift up in prayer our brothers and sisters in Christ who live in Islamic-dominated nations; strengthening them, empowering them, comforting them and encouraging them.  Also, pray for Muslims. There are millions of Muslims who have never experienced real peace and joy in knowing a loving God and having Jesus as their Savior."

The organization says Ramadan can be a difficult time for marginalized Christians, and persecution often is heightened because Christians don't observe Ramadan traditions.

Nine of the top 10 countries on the Open Doors 2012 World Watch List of the worst persecutors of Christians have Islamic governments. Open Doors is offering a 30-day prayer calendar available for Christians in the West to pray for "Muslim Background Believers" living in countries where "Christians don't have the freedom to worship Jesus Christ."

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