VOICE OF THE PERSECUTED

United with the Persecuted

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Coptic Christian Family Attacked in Upper Egypt; Adult Son in Intensive Care

Egypt, (Morning Star News) – A Coptic Christian is in critical condition after he, his mother and brother were stabbed in Egypt on Sunday night (Nov. 17), according to media reports.

The Muslim assailant in a village in Upper Egypt’s Minya Governorate told them that Christians must not sit outside before attacking them, leaving the adult son in critical condition at a hospital’s Intensive Care Unit with several wounds to the stomach, according to media reports.

Area residents told Egyptian news media that a non-Christian with a criminal reputation assaulted the family members with a dagger at about 10:30 p.m. after arguing with them as they sat in front of their house in Nassiriya village, near Beni Mazar. Beni Mazar is 219 kilometers (136 miles) south of Cairo on the west bank of the Nile River.

The residents said the argument started when the assailant, identified only as Ali M., walked by the family members as they sat in front of their house and began shouting for them to go back in, saying no Christians were allowed outside. A Facebook post identified the assailant as a Muslim named Ali Eid Morsi; the post has since been removed.

When the adult son, identified as Shinoda Aziz, objected and stood up to the assailant, the suspect retrieved a dagger from his home, returned and attacked him, according to the area residents. When his mother started screaming, the assailant started stabbing her in the head and also attacked the younger son, cutting his face, they said.

Al Mowatna News reported that news anchor Osama Eid confirmed the attack. The news outlet added that the assailant is known for involvement with drugs and prostitution.

The family reportedly told police the assailant intended to kill them.

Security forces in Minya have reportedly arrested the suspect and are questioning witnesses.

An area source told Morning Star News by phone that the village is tranquil. The area was said to be predominantly Coptic Christian in the country that is about 90 percent Muslim.

Egypt ranked 16th on Christian support organization Open Doors’ 2019 World Watch List of countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian.

 

Tonight on Persecution Watch: I Have Decide to Follow Jesus (Nov. 19, 2019)

(Voice of the Persecuted) My dear prayer warriors, the moment Jesus came into my life, my heart completely changed. All I could do was cry for joy. I was breathing so hard and my heart felt like it would explode. I’ve never known such a love. I cried out to Jesus, that was all I could do. As He was revealing Himself to me, I kept calling His name, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus! On that precious day, I decided to give my life to Him. It was 1993 and I knew then I would never turn back.

It was shortly after that I heard the precious hymn, ‘I Have Decide to Follow Jesus’. That hymn so resonated with my heart for Christ, it was as if the song was written for me to sing.

I had never heard the story behind it. One day, Blane Scogin, founder of Persecution Watch (PW), shared the story with all of us on the prayer conference call for the persecuted Church. Again, my heart started to beat uncontrollably like that day when Jesus came into my life. I knew then that God was calling me, showing me a purpose in my life, to be a part of the weekly PW call to pray for my brothers and sisters who are persecuted because they have chosen to follow Jesus.

THE STORY BEHIND THE SONG “I HAVE DECIDED TO FOLLOW JESUS” 

Dear believers, we all have a purpose in Jesus. We all have been commended to pray for one another and those who are persecuted for His sake. Tonight, you are welcome to join me in prayer for the persecuted as the Holy Spirit leads you.

In Christ love,

Nadia Dybvik and Merlaine Smokes, Prayer Team Moderators (PW/VOP)

From any location on your phone

Time: 

9:00 PM EST

8:00 PM CST+

7:00 PM MST

6:00 PM PST

Call in number: 712 775-7035      

Access Code: 281207#

Recommended: For those who may be subject to added charges for conference calls. Please download the app, it’s free!

MOBILE APP: Free Conference Call HD also provides a quick and easy way for you to dial into conference calls without having to remember the dial-in credentials. Save all of your conference call dial-in numbers and access codes using this free app. With the Free Conference Call HD you can instantly dial into a conference call via 3G/4G data network and or regular mobile carrier. Google Play link  or App Store – iTunes

What is Persecution Watch?

Persecution Watch is a U.S. national prayer conference call ministry that prays specifically for the global Persecuted Church. For over a decade, Blaine Scogin has led this national network of believers who faithfully pray for the persecuted and the global harvest for the Kingdom of God. The group meets via a free call-in service every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday night at 9pm Eastern (please check your time zone). Blaine also serves as Prayer Director for Voice of the Persecuted.

On occasion, persecuted brothers and sisters have been invited on the call to share the trials they’re facing. The team serves to encourage them by washing their feet in Spirit led prayer. Time is often reserved for those on the call to ask questions. We believe this helps to gain a better understanding of the situation that persecuted Christians endure in their specific nations. Q&A also helps us to focus our prayers based on their current needs.

Persecution Watch also hosts callers who want to pray united from other nations. If your heart is perplexed by the sufferings of our persecuted brothers and sisters, you no longer need to pray alone. We welcome all who desire to pray for the persecuted church and consider it a joy to pray together with you. If you’re new to the call and can’t find your voice, listen in and pray silently or on mute. We are grateful and thank the Lord for bringing us all together to pray in agreement for our persecuted family in Christ.

Meet you on the call!

The Persecution Watch and Voice of the Persecuted Team

 

Christian Begins Sentence of Exile in Remote, Islamist Area of Iran

(Morning Star News) – A Christian in Iran convicted of conducting evangelistic activities began a mandated two years in exile this month in a remote area on the border with Pakistan, sources said.

As part of a larger prison sentence delivered in 2013, Ebrahim Firoozi, 33, was sentenced to two years in exile in Sarbaz, a frontier town on the Iranian-Pakistani border known for its isolation and prevalence of Islamic militant groups.

The sentence, which will expose the convert from Islam to extended periods of danger and isolation, was meant to keep him “from having a positive influence on people and to stop him from fellowshipping with the people in the Tehran area,” a source at advocacy group Middle East Concern (MEC) told Morning Star News.

Released from Rajaei Shahr Prison in Karaj on Oct. 26, he was ordered to report to Sarbaz following a brief period to order personal matters.

Firoozi, whose mother died while he was in prison, arrived in Sarbaz on Tuesday (Nov. 12).

Having found housing in “a remote desert town out in the middle of nowhere,” he was said to be looking for work.

Firoozi n August 2013 was convicted of charges of “propaganda against the Islamic Republic,” “launching and directing evangelism” and “running a Christian website” He was sentenced to a year in prison and the term of exile.

While serving the prison sentence, Firoozi faced a second trial where he was sentenced to an additional five years for “crimes against national security,” “participating in illegal gatherings” and “colluding with foreign entities.”

Court Hearing Delayed

A hearing of an appeal by a group of Christians with prison sentences as long as 15 years was postponed without reason Wednesday (Nov. 13).

The delay was one of several in the appeal process for the Christians. In February a judge who was later unseated for corruption inexplicably combined a case involving a pastor’s wife with two longstanding appeal cases against other Christians. The three cases were delayed in September when the judge declined to show up.

Although delaying court cases is a common method to harass Christians charged with or convicted of crimes of belief, a researcher at MEC who requested anonymity said some of the delays surrounding the three cases could be due to court confusion about why the third case was combined with the earlier two. No date has been set for a new hearing.

The first case involves an Assyrian pastor, Victor Bet Tamraz, and two converts from Islam, Amin Nader Afshari and Kavian Fallah Mohammadi; all were arrested at a Christmas celebration in December 2014.

The second case also involves Afshari, as well as Hadi Asgari, from a 2016 arrest during what was essentially a picnic.

In the third case, Pastor Tamraz’s wife, Shamiram Issavi Khabizeh, was summoned by authorities in June 2017. Pastor Tamraz was sentenced the next month to 10 years in prison for “acting against national security.” Afshari, Agsari and Mohammadi received prison sentences of between 10 and 15 years on similar charges.

For charges of “acting against national security,” and “acting against the regime by organizing small groups, attending a seminary abroad and training church leaders and pastors to act as spies,” Shamiram was sentenced in January 2018 to five years in prison.

Iran was ranked ninth on Christian support organization Open Doors’ 2019 World Watch List of the countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian.

Muslim Fulani Herdsmen Kill Two Christians in Kaduna State, Nigeria

Funeral of two Christians slain in Agom village, southern Kaduna state. (Morning Star News)

Nigeria (Morning Star News) – Muslim Fulani herdsmen in north-central Nigeria on early Thursday morning (Nov. 14) hacked an 87-year-old Christian to death by machete and killed another by gunshot, an area resident said.

A group of herdsmen attacked predominantly Christian Agom village in southern Kaduna state’s Sanga Country at 4:30 a.m., area resident Gabriel Yakubu told Morning Star News by text message. Monday Kura, 87, and Emmanuel Agom, 48, both members of the Evangelical Reformed Church of Christ (ERCC), were killed as they slept in their rooms, he said.

“The Fulani herdsmen cut Monday Kura, 87 years, with a machete until he died, while Emmanuel, 48 years, was shot dead with a gun,” Yakubu said. “Sir, we need your prayers as my village is on fire and we are not getting any protection from the government.”

It was the first herdsmen attack on the village, which is four kilometers from the town of Gwantu, he said. The ERCC church is the only church in the village, he said.

The attack could not be immediately confirmed. Agom is located along Wasa Station Road, west of Gwantu, between Kwana Nunbu and Gani Sarki villages, he said.

Sanga County was the site of a Muslim Fulani herdsmen attack on March 16 that killed 10 Christians and burned about 30 houses. That attack also occurred as residents of Nandu Gbok village were sleeping.

The assault followed other attacks in southern Kaduna state that took the lives of 130 Christians.

Christians make up 51.3 percent of Nigeria’s population, while Muslims living primarily in the north and middle belt account for 45 percent.

Nigeria ranked 12th on Open Doors’ 2019 World Watch List of countries where Christians suffer the most persecution.

Tonight on the Persecution Watch: Forgiveness (Nov. 16, 2019)

(Voice of the Persecuted) Dear believers, my heart has been heavy for the love of my siblings. In last few years, we have grown apart. Life troubles, frustration, anger, obstacles … decisions we had to make regarding my sick father, all contributed to distance between us. Once I felt very close to them. We loved each other and I knew I could always count on them. Yet, now we are all divided and as years go by it seems harder and harder to grow close again.

I have reached out many times and asked forgiveness in what ever I had said or done that may have hurt them. I have shown them love in many ways, forgiven any hurt or pain they have caused me, yet to no avail.

This morning I came upon a video of Ruth Gram who wrote a book titled, Forgiving My Father. At first it shocked me, “What, Billy Graham?”

But as I listened to her, she explained how much she had missed her father while growing up. She understood the reason of his absence but through the years, she missed a relationship with him. She later was able to realize and admit that she never forgave her father for the void she felt in the years of his absence. But it was time to forgive him, even if she was not able to tell him.

I was asked by a very dear sister, “Can you love them, my siblings, enough to forgive with no expectation of anything in return?” Yes, I can, I answered her even before she finished the the sentence.

As she prayed for me, I cried letting my Father know that because He loved me first, I loved Him also, for this reason I can love my earthly brothers and sisters, even if it means I receive nothing back from them.

What a freedom it is not to hold anything back. My heart went to our suffering brothers and sister in Christ whom we pray for.

I cry for them, are they able to forgive those who persecute them, their fathers their mothers, siblings, family, neighbors enemies? The trauma they have to overcome because of it?  Are they able to forgive the pain and the torture they have to endure? I pray they can, I pray they will be free, giving it to the Lord and asking Him to help them to love and forgive their enemies, persecutors.

Dear prayer warriors, I invite you to come on the call tonight to pray for them in the Spirit with me. Come as you are.

In Christ love

Nadia Dybvik, Prayer Team Moderator

From any location on your phone

Time: 

9:00 PM EST

8:00 PM CST+

7:00 PM MST

6:00 PM PST

Call in number: 712 775-7035      

Access Code: 281207#

Recommended: For those who may be subject to added charges for conference calls. Please download the app, it’s free!

MOBILE APP: Free Conference Call HD also provides a quick and easy way for you to dial into conference calls without having to remember the dial-in credentials. Save all of your conference call dial-in numbers and access codes using this free app. With the Free Conference Call HD you can instantly dial into a conference call via 3G/4G data network and or regular mobile carrier. Google Play link  or App Store – iTunes

What is Persecution Watch?

Persecution Watch is a U.S. national prayer conference call ministry that prays specifically for the global Persecuted Church. For over a decade, Blaine Scogin has led this national network of believers who faithfully pray for the persecuted and the global harvest for the Kingdom of God. The group meets via a free call-in service every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday night at 9pm Eastern (please check your time zone). Blaine also serves as Prayer Director for Voice of the Persecuted.

On occasion, persecuted brothers and sisters have been invited on the call to share the trials they’re facing. The team serves to encourage them by washing their feet in Spirit led prayer. Time is often reserved for those on the call to ask questions. We believe this helps to gain a better understanding of the situation that persecuted Christians endure in their specific nations. Q&A also helps us to focus our prayers based on their current needs.

Persecution Watch also hosts callers who want to pray united from other nations. If your heart is perplexed by the sufferings of our persecuted brothers and sisters, you no longer need to pray alone. We welcome all who desire to pray for the persecuted church and consider it a joy to pray together with you. If you’re new to the call and can’t find your voice, listen in and pray silently or on mute. We are grateful and thank the Lord for bringing us all together to pray in agreement for our persecuted family in Christ.

Meet you on the call!

Tonight on Persecution Watch: I Hear Your SOS

(Voice of the Persecuted) As I head out to my local grocery store, a new song plays on the radio in my car and I listen.  Right away my mind quickens my heart and I think of the children and young teenagers of Northern Nigeria.  The words to the song sing on the airwaves,

“You are not hidden.  There’s never been a moment you were forgotten.   You are not hopeless, though you have been broken.  Your innocence stolen.  I hear you whisper underneath you breath.  I hear your SOS – your SOS.  I will send out an army to find you in the middle of the darkest fight – it’s true.  I will Rescue you.”

About the same time as Lauren Daigles song hit the airwaves here in the States, I noticed a news article that popped up on my phone.  It was a story of two young Nigerian girls, Binta Umma and Maimuna Musa.  They had been kidnapped by Boko Haram in 2016.  The girls’ family members were killed in front of them and they were taken away deep into the forest.  There in the jungle and far from home, or any help, they were married off to Boko Haram soldiers.  They were verbally and physically abused, often food was withheld, and they were forbidden to leave their grass huts.  One of the girls became pregnant and gave birth at age 14, but within a year the baby died from a fever.

The soldier husbands decided it was time for their wives to become suicide bombers.  They told the girls to think more of God and begin to prepare for their mission.  Boko Haram often deceive women by telling them they will not die on such a mission.  Others said that even if you die you will be in paradise.  Both girls were scared when they heard they would be forced to carry a bomb to kill people.  They had only two choices, escape or die.  The militants readied the girls in a four-day training period. They were told where to go, how to explode the bomb, and where they could find potential victims.

Binta lamented that as soon as the vest was tied to her body, she lost any hope of survival.  The militants sent her out on a day when that was cloudy with no sunshine. She walked until she reached a major road and looked for soldiers to rescue her.  She did not want to attack people; she didn’t want to die.  Both girls having similar stories and tell of how they just kept walking until they found government soldiers.  They did find them and fortunately for these girls, the soldiers were looking for them too.

These were not your typical soldiers trained in warfare, but rather trained to disarm children and teens who were being used as suicide bombers.   They were looking for children with bombs strapped to them. They could help them by disarming, detonating or destroying the bombs strapped to their bodies. These soldiers were on a very dangerous mission to set these young ones free and stop an attack before it happened.  These are a new breed of soldiers called EOD specialists who work for the Nigerian government and trained by the US Army.  They risk their own lives in order to set these children free from the suicide mission they have been forced to perform by Boko Haram.  This scene is played out over and over in Northern Nigeria.  A place where it is estimated that Boko Haram is holding 10,000 plus children captive and enslaved—waiting to send them on a deadly suicide mission.

Today, Nigeria is a country rich in oil and natural gas.  It’s seeking to present itself as the image of modern Africa, but the country is far from united.  The country has nearly 200 million people with 230 different ethnic groups and in the year 2050, Nigeria is expected to out-populate the USA.  Although Nigeria collects billions of dollars in oil revenue each year, more than 60% of Nigerians live in poverty.  Many on less than $2 a day.  In the North East, the poverty rate is even higher.  The nature of governance in this area is poor to begin with.  Poverty, illiteracy, a high infant mortality rate, inequality, along with neglect by those with political power have helped sow a rebellious brand of Islam in the North East.   Islamist leaders use as their role model one of the world’s most brutal and dogmatic Islamist movements.  It is a recipe for disaster and a watershed about to burst.   Millions have been dispersed having to flee their villages where Boko Haram and the Fulani Herdsman have waged a so-called Holy war.  No one is safe. Not a Christian or a Muslim.  If you do not conform to the extreme interpretations of the Quran, you are considered an infidel and hunted down and killed.

Lauren’s song “Rescue” continues…There is no distance that cannot be covered over and over.  You’re not defenseless.  I’ll be your shelter.  I’ll be your armor.  I hear you whisper underneath your breath.  I hear your SOS-your SOS.  I will send out an army to find you in the middle of the darkest night- it’s true.  I will rescue you.  I will never stop marching to reach you in the middle of the hardest fight- it’s true. I will rescue you.

The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world.  On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds!  2 Corinthians 10:4

Below is a list of prayer points for tonight’s Prayer Watch call.  You are invited to join us as we pray for the Children of Nigeria. We will take up our weapons of righteousness and do battle in prayer on behalf of these dear children and the nation of Nigeria.  The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective and Jesus wins…Jesus wins every battle!  James 5:16

Sister Leigh, Prayer Team Moderator

Prayer Points following call details

From any location on your phone

Time: 

9:00 PM EST

8:00 PM CST+

7:00 PM MST

6:00 PM PST

Call in number: 712 775-7035      

Access Code: 281207#

Recommended: For those who may be subject to added charges for conference calls. Please download the app, it’s free!

MOBILE APP: Free Conference Call HD also provides a quick and easy way for you to dial into conference calls without having to remember the dial-in credentials. Save all of your conference call dial-in numbers and access codes using this free app. With the Free Conference Call HD you can instantly dial into a conference call via 3G/4G data network and or regular mobile carrier. Google Play link  or App Store – iTunes

Prayer Points:

Groups, like Boko Haram, who align themselves with ISIS strap bombs to the waists of young children and teens.  They call them ‘cub fighters’.  These children and teens who number more than 10,000 are held against their will and are sent into marketplaces in villages or anywhere else people gather.  At least 57 children and teens have died in northern Nigeria after being forced to carry out suicide missions. 67% of them were girls.

🙏 Let’s Pray for these dear ones. Pray that the love of Jesus would reach them.  Pray that they would not be lost in suicide missions, but that Jesus would make a way of escape for them.  Pray that they would find freedom from the bondage of the teachings of the Quran and would come to know Jesus and His great love for them.

As you can imagine, finding these children in dense forests and roads to disarm, detonate the bombs is a VERY dangerous job.  Many of the EOD Soldiers have lost their own lives in trying to dismantle the bombs.  Boko Haram also uses remote control devices to set the bombs off if the children try not to complete their mission.  When an EOD soldier is approaching the child or teen, a Boko Haram member is following them and will detonate the bomb as soon as the soldier reaches the child.

🙏Pray for the brave team of EOD Soldiers.  Pray for their protection.  Pray that they will continue to find ways to stay a step ahead of the tactics of Boko Haram and find new ways to deal with them.  Pray for the US Army personnel who are willingly helping these brave soldiers to fight the war on Boko Haram’s suicide bombing practices.  Pray for their salvation and a continued amount of success!   

Nigeria has millions of professing Christians, but the church has been largely silent on the mounting situation with Boko Haram and the Fulani herdsman.  Part of that is because of disunity between the different denominations.  Only recently has the church begun to come together to act as one body and stand together on this.

🙏Let’s pray that the church would rise up and become fully unified.  Pray that the Christians would unite in prayer and find commonalities between themselves so that they would stand strong together and that they would take up the sword of Truth, the Word of God and put on their Shields of faith and stand together and begin to seek Heaven for an end to the reign and rule of Boko Haram over their people and lands.  God says that if my people who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and I will heal their land. 

The situation in Northern Nigeria needs international attention.  If left without restraint or the attention of the media the situation is likely to become a watershed of people fleeing to European nations ill equipped to handle the massive migration of the millions of people who are already displaced by Boko Haram and the Fulani herdsman and the death toll will rise just as it did like the war in the Rwanda genocide where 1/2 million people were slaughtered before anyone acted.  People in Nigeria are begging for help.  They are asking if anyone in the West is listening?

🙏Pray that the news media will report in headline news the situation in Northern Nigeria with Boko Haram and the Fulani herdsman.  Pray for Leaders around the world and the United Nations to sound the alarm and respond to the crisis.  Former Congressman Frank Wolf from Virginia is urging Christians here in the US to call their congressman and ask that a special Envoy be appointed so that we can be informed and begin to step in to respond to the needs of this crisis.  In the past, appointing a Convoy has been a successful pathway to resolving conflicts such as this.

🙏Let’s Pray that there will be a barrage of media cover and attention given to this crisis.  Pray that the stories of these children and teens will get into the news media outlets and across the internet.  Pray that Churches and aid groups will become informed and made aware of the needs of Nigerians and will willing help and pray.  Pray that world leaders and the United Nations will take action to stop Boko Haram and the Fulani herdsman.

Jihadist believe Islam will not be lost in Nigeria. They have chosen this area because of the country’s vulnerabilities. Based on statistics, they dream Nigeria will outpace the USA in population by 2050 and be a nation for Allah.

🙏Let’s Pray that the plans of the enemy will not be successful.  Let’s Pray for the militants of ISIS, Boko Haram and the Fulani herdsman that Christ will be victorious in their lives.  Pray that they come to know that Allah only offers the way of destruction and Jesus offers the Way, the Life and the Truth.  Pray that these who have been deceived will have a desire to lay down their weapons of warfare and trade them for weapons of righteousness found only in Jesus Christ and be set free. 

Leah Sharibu is one of the 100 schoolgirls abducted from Dapchi School in Nigeria on February 19, 2018.  Because Leah would not renounce her faith in Jesus Christ, she has been held captive while her other classmates where let go. Boko Haram has declared her to be a slave for life.  As Christians, we know that in Truth Leah will never be a slave to Boko Haram because of her declared love and confession of faith in Christ. She is now a bond servant to the Lord Jesus Christ, and no one can ever separate her from His Love.

🙏Let’s pray for endurance and continued grace for Leah to handle the challenge with which she has been given.  Pray that while she is in captivity she is surrounded by the presence of the Holy Spirit.  Pray that she is unharmed.  Pray that she is able to testify to others the love of her Savior and given the grace and strength to show compassion on her captors.  Pray that God will make a way of escape for her and she will be set free.  Pray that the world knows who Leah Sharibu is and that Leah’s captivity and testimony will not go unnoticed.

With an ever-exploding population, is Nigeria is ripe for the Harvest?

🙏Lets Pray audacious prayers that those 200 million souls will not be lost to Islam or any other deception but instead there will be a sweeping move of the Spirit of God across the land of Nigeria and the Harvest will be great in so much that it will turn that 200 million number on its head for Jesus Christ!  Pray for the Harvest!  Pray for the Rescuer of Nigeria to be Victorious!

And finally, does prayer work? Yes, it does!  Recently 6 girls who were abducted were released.  Their parents said that every time Boko Haram would call to demand a ransom, they could hear the girls in the background being tortured but they kept praying.  Many others also prayed for their girls and today they praise God for the release of their loved ones, and they attribute the prayers of the Christians to the release of their children!

Syria: Armenian priest and his father killed in Deir ez Zor

Qamishli, Syria (Agenzia Fides) – The funeral of an Armenian Catholic priest, Hovsep Hanna Petoyan [also known as Father Hanna Bidu], and his father, Hanna Petoyan, took place this morning in Qamishli. The two were attacked and killed on Monday, Nov. 11, 2019 by unidentified gunmen as they traveled southbound from Hasaka province to Deir ez-Zor, in the north-east of Syria. Armenian Catholic Archbishop of Aleppo told Agenzia Fides Boutros Marayati,

“For us they are martyrs. And what happened to them is a confirmation that the war is not over here, as we had hoped”.

The funerals of the priest and his father were celebrated in the Armenian Catholic Church of St. Joseph, in the presence of priests, religious, and faithful of all the Christian communities present in the area. Father Antranig Ayvazian, Episcopal Vicar of the Armenian Catholic community of Upper Mesopotamia and northern Syria presided over the funeral liturgy.

Father Hovsep, 46, was married and a father of three children, ordained a priest 5 years ago, was the priest of the Armenian Catholic community of Qamishli, in the northeastern Syrian province of Hassake. Archbishop Marayati to Fides,

“In the city of Qamishli, many Christian refugees also fled from Deir ez-Zor, when that city was devastated by war. He also carried out his pastoral work among them, and for a long time he also followed the projects implemented with the help of international groups to rebuild the church and the houses of the Christians in Deir ez Zor, destroyed by the war. For this reason he went to Deir ez Zor every two weeks to check the progress of the work. He had already carried out six trips to that city so dear to the memory of the Armenians, where there is the shrine of the martyrs of the genocide, also devastated during the conflict”.

At the time of the ambush, the priest and his father were travelling together with an Armenian deacon – wounded during the assault – and another person. The two killers had their faces covered and fled after the ambush. The priest’s father died immediately. Father Hovsep, wounded in the chest, was brought to a clinic in Deir ez Zor and then transferred by ambulance to a hospital in Hassakè, where he arrived already lifeless.

The city of Deir ez Zor is controlled by the Syrian army, but in the area there are also Kurdish forces and US military still operating. In the sub-district of al-Busayrah, an area where the ambush occurred, armed groups affiliated to the self-styled Islamic State (Daesh) are also concentrated, who yesterday claimed responsibility for the gunning down of the Armenian Catholic Priest and his father (but stating, erroneously, to have eliminated “two priests”). “The car in which the priest was traveling there was the inscription of the Armenian Church”.

Syrian state TV SANA called the killing of the Armenian Catholic priest and his father “martyrdom”, while the Kurdish media presented the resurgence of bloody attacks attributable to Daesh as an indirect consequence of the Turkish military intervention in Syria, which forced Kurdish militias operating in the area to review their strategies and suspend military operations against jihadist cells still present in the north-east of Syria.

According to the Kurds of the Rojava Information Center, Daesh jihadists allegedly carried out 30 attacks in the first ten days of November, with a 300 percent increase from their activity levels compared to the period prior to the Turkish military initiative in Syrian territory.

Tonight on Persecution Watch: The Ultimate Sacrifice (Nov. 12, 2019)

(Voice of the Persecuted) My Brothers and Sisters, yesterday Americans celebrated Veterans Day honoring those who served in the armed forces of the United States. My husband is also Veteran and I am so proud of him and thankful for his service.

A multitude of our military men have given their lives to defend and protect our nation and freedom. Memorial Day is a holiday set aside on the last Monday in May to pay tribute to those who died serving in the military.

As a Christians, we know God loved us so much, that He gave His Son as the ultimate sacrifice for our sins. In John 3:16-18 it is written:

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Because of Christs’ ultimate sacrifice, we who believe in Him will not be condemned, but will have eternal life. We recognize by His mercy that we love Him because He loved us first. Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:13)

He extended His sacrifice to all those who do not believe in Him for It is written,

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. (John 3:17-18)

What a beautiful gift God gave to all who believe.

Many persecuted Christians have sacrificed their lives by being put to death because they were not willing to deny Jesus but follow Him until the end. Many are facing this threat, today.

I welcome you to join tonight’s prayer conference call as the Spirit leads you to lift up your prayers for the Persecuted church and Global harvest of souls.

In Christs’ Love,

Nadia Dybvik/Merlaine Smokes, Prayer Team Moderators

From any location on your phone

Time: 

9:00 PM EST

8:00 PM CST+

7:00 PM MST

6:00 PM PST

Call in number: 712 775-7035      

Access Code: 281207#

Recommended: For those who may be subject to added charges for conference calls. Please download the app, it’s free!

MOBILE APP: Free Conference Call HD also provides a quick and easy way for you to dial into conference calls without having to remember the dial-in credentials. Save all of your conference call dial-in numbers and access codes using this free app. With the Free Conference Call HD you can instantly dial into a conference call via 3G/4G data network and or regular mobile carrier. Google Play link  or App Store – iTunes

What is Persecution Watch?
Persecution Watch is a U.S. national prayer conference call ministry that prays specifically for the global Persecuted Church. For over a decade, Blaine Scogin has led this national network of believers who faithfully pray for the persecuted and the global harvest for the Kingdom of God. The group meets via a free call-in service every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday night at 9pm Eastern (please check your time zone). Blaine also serves as Prayer Director for Voice of the Persecuted.

On occasion, persecuted brothers and sisters have been invited on the call to share the trials they’re facing. The team serves to encourage them by washing their feet in Spirit led prayer. Time is often reserved for those on the call to ask questions. We believe this helps to gain a better understanding of the situation that persecuted Christians endure in their specific nations. Q&A also helps us to focus our prayers based on their current needs.

Persecution Watch also hosts callers who want to pray united from other nations. If your heart is perplexed by the sufferings of our persecuted brothers and sisters, you no longer need to pray alone. We welcome all who desire to pray for the persecuted church and consider it a joy to pray together with you. If you’re new to the call and can’t find your voice, listen in and pray silently or on mute. We are grateful and thank the Lord for bringing us all together to pray in agreement for our persecuted family in Christ.

Meet you on the call!

HELP SAVE THE PERSECUTED

HELP SAVE THE PERSECUTED

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PRAY UNITED FOR THE PERSECUTED

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