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(IMB) – Southern Baptists are encouraging tens of thousands of churches to join in prayer and fasting this Sunday in observance of an annual event that emphasizes evangelism of those peoples around the world that have not yet been reached for Christ. The “Day of Prayer and Fasting for World Evangelization 2004” is spearheaded by the International Mission Board (IMB) of the Southern Baptist Convention. Every year on Pentecost Sunday, members of the denoination devote the day to prayer for a people group that has not yet heard the gospel of Jesus. Dr. Clyde Meador of the IMB says there are some 50-million people living in the seven countries of the Arabian Peninsula , which include Bahrain , Kuwait , Oman , Qatar , Saudi Arabia , United Arab Emirates and Yemen . “A couple of those countries just absolutely do not allow any expression of Christianity at all. Christian churches are banned,” he says. The IMB is urging Individual missions-minded Christians to get involved in the Day of Prayer and Fasting; but Meador also encourages entire families to join in the initiative. “There simply is not anything close to an adequate access to the gospel for the peoples of that part of the world, so it is more than appropriate for Christians to be praying that doors would open and that those peoples could have access to the good news of Jesus,” he says.