Ballymena Presbytery has called for ‘a Day of Prayer’ next Wednesday, March 25, in support of “oppressed” Christians.
That date is the eve of a legal case against Christian-run family bakery Ashers which declined to decorate a cake with a pro-gay marriage slogan.
Newtownabbey firm Ashers Baking Company is defending the case which has been taken against it by the publicly-funded Equality Commission after it declined a customer’s request last year to include the words ‘Support gay marriage’ on a cake. It is understood that the case is listed to be heard on March 26.
Ballymena Presbytery has now issued a call for a day of prayer on March 25 “to pray for ‘all Christians’ under pressure because of their faith in Jesus Christ both at home and overseas”.
In a letter sent to the Ballymena Times, Moderator of Presbytery Rev. Darran McCorriston (Ballyloughan), Rev. William Moody (Brookside) and Daniel Kane (West Church) stated: “The days of being a soft Christian for us in Northern Ireland, if there ever were such days, are long gone!...Collectively we want to seek the Father’s face on behalf of all who pay a high price simply because they love and serve Jesus.”
While the letter points out that “you can pray wherever you are” on the day, they have organised three central venues where people can gather from 1-2pm - Second Broughshane, Brookside (Ahoghill) and West Church (Ballymena).
“This gives us the opportunity to gather together so that we can multiply our prayers and galvanise our efforts in corporate times of prayer on behalf of all who are seriously oppressed on account of their faith,” the letter concludes.