(Voice of the Persecuted) Dear Intercessors, you are invited to join us on Thursday (Feb. 20, 2020) in a prayer conference call for the persecuted church.
Again, we want to lift up two persecuted witnesses for the Lord and pray for Leah Sharibu and Alice that this year will be the year where they will be set free. And also pray for pastor Wang Yi to be released from Prison.
Population: 37.2 million, Christians in the thousands
An Islamic society where Christianity exists in secret. Afghanistan is a tribal society, and loyalty to one’s family, clan and tribe are extremely important. As an Islamic society, it is illegal for an Afghani person to leave Islam. The country is increasingly challenged by Islamic militants, the Taliban controls or contests more and more areas, and an ISIS-affiliated group also targets minorities. Those who decide to follow Jesus do so in secret.
Those who are discovered to be Christians may be sent to a mental hospital—because their families believe no sane person would leave Islam. They may also be beaten or even killed by family members, or members of Islamic extremist groups like the Taliban. Violence against Christians remains very high, but the measures taken against converts depends on the family. One Christian in Afghanistan says, “How we survive daily, only God knows. He knows because He has been kind to dwell with us. But we are tired of all the death around us.”
There are reports that several Christians have been killed in the World Watch List 2020 reporting period, but for security reasons, no details can be published. Any visible acts of Christian worship are dangerous. As all religious ‘changes’ are noticed and reported, this often means that converts have to relocate; neighborhood pressure and the influence of the Taliban and ISIS is strong. If someone is found even exploring any faith other than Islam (and especially if they are suspected of having converted), the penalty can be death. Christians will be employed as long as it is believed they are Afghan Muslims. If it is discovered that they are even exploring Christianity (e.g. via websites in the internet), immediate action is taken to re-indoctrinate them until they and (any group involved) comply. This can mean torture.
In the Afghan capital Kabul was a makeshift church set up for converts to Christianity by an NGO. One day, in November 2014, the sermon at the church was interrupted by gunshots: the security guard had been killed. “The Taliban had located our place of prayer. We immediately rushed to turn off the lights and hid under tables and in corners,” a survivor recalled. The gunmen then broke into the room and started shooting randomly, which resulted in many people being killed.
· Pray for openness to religions outside of Islam in this country where conversion is not allowed.
· Pray that political and security conditions will improve within the country so that Christians will experience to stability and protection of their rights as a religious minority.
· Radical groups like ISIS use universities to spread their ideology and recruit new fighters. Pray students and professors would have wisdom and discernment.
· Converts from Islam face strong pressure from their loved ones to recant their Christian faith. Pray for courage and protection for these believers who must live their faith in secret.
· The small number of Christian converts in the country must remain in hiding. The increasing level of violence creates a general sense of insecurity and there are no signs of improvement for the foreseeable future. Please pray for stability and peace.
· Pray for the protection and wisdom of believers who do covert ministry work.
· Pray that the believers remain joyful in their suffering and experience God’s comfort
· Pray for those dealing with the effects of recent violence against them. Please pray for the Lord’s provision in in all their physical and spiritual needs.
· Pray to the Lord has His hand of protection over the believers that have courage and boldness to reach out to Muslim neighbors.
· Pray that the believers know that the body of Christ is praying for them.
· Pray that the Lord will strengthen and grow the number of His believers and they will continue multiply in spite of the hostile environment.
Andy, Persecution Watch Prayer Moderator
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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 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 served as Prayer Director for Voice of the Persecuted and our missions became one. The prayer mission of Persecution Watch is an important part of our own. With the passing of Blaine into glory on December 26, 2019, Voice of the Persecuted is committed to continue the prayer conference call for the persecuted along with our dedicated prayer warrior team.
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. We can all be prayer warriors on this call!
NOTE: Persecution Watch has a new email address for the prayer team and those who would like to receive urgent prayer requests, weekly call prayer points and notification of special prayer events and special guest speakers. Please fill out the form below to be included in our new distribution list to receive this important information. Since the passing of Brother Blaine Scogin, we thank you for your patience as we have transitioned into this new season. We are grateful for your prayers and to the Lord for guiding us as we continue the Persecution Watch prayer call mission.
Note to Voice of the Persecuted (VOP) readers: The Persecution Watch prayer team is also the prayer team of Voice of the Persecuted. SIGN UP today and join the team!