Daily Prayer: a resource of Forward Movement

The Liturgical Calendar: The Church Remembers

Today the church remembers The Martyrs of New Guinea, 1942.

New Guinea was the scene of much suffering, especially among Christians there when the Japanese invaded in 1942. Many European clergy and missionaries of other denominations had been withdrawn, had chosen to leave, or been forced to leave before the invasion. The Anglican Bishop of New Guinea, Philip Strong, issued this compelling message to his clergy: “We must endeavor to carry on our work…God expects this of us. The church at home, which sent us out, will surely expect it of us. The universal church expects it of us…The people whom we serve expect it of us. We could never hold up our faces again if, for our own safety, we all forsook him and fled, when the shadows of the passion began to gather around him in his spiritual and mystical body, the Church in Papua.”

They stayed. Almost immediately there were arrests. Eight missionaries and two lay people were executed. It was only the beginning of suffering and persecution which the young church in New Guinea endured. It was the testing which proved the mettle of that young and vigorous part of Christ"s Body.

Grant us, too, the courage to witness to our faith. Amen.

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Almighty God, we remember before you this day the blessed martyrs of New Guinea, who, following the example of their Savior, laid down their lives for their friends; and we pray that we who honor their memory may imitate their loyalty and faith; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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