Palm Sunday is a time of joy and celebration for Christians around the world as we celebrate Christ's arrival in Jerusalem.
But it is also a time of vulnerability and risk for Christians; a time when the nature of the celebrations means that Christians have increased visibility.
In 2021, suicide bombers attacked worshippers on their way home from a Palm Sunday service in Makassar, South Sulawesi, Indonesia. In Egypt, in 2017, there were two bomb attacks on Palm Sunday which killed 49 people and injured many more.
So, at the start of Holy Week, please would you join us in praying for protection for Christians everywhere.
Many Christians around the world join in processions on Palm Sunday. They are times of joy, but the visibility can make Christians even more of a target. This photo shows a Palm Sunday procession in Qaraqosh, Iraq, where Christians were celebrating their return to their community after previously being driven out by so-called Islamic State extremists.
Today, all around the world, Christians will be gathering for services and processions, making public statements of their faith.
We remember the joy of that day when You rode into Jerusalem.
Please give courage and joy to all those in countries where Christians are marginalised or attacked, yet who still dare to proclaim today that You are Messiah, Christ, the Son of the living God.
And for those who cannot openly speak the truth about You – may the stones cry out, may their lives shout as loud as any crowd, that you are the one who saves.
Protect Your family, Lord, we pray.
Your support helps persecuted Christians continue to courageously follow Jesus.
Together, we can reach those where persecution hits hardest.