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INDIA: Karnataka Christian hospital official arrested for proselytising

(AsiaNews) – Members of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a radical Hindu group, on Monday stormed the Sanjo Hospital, Mandya district (Karnataka), and beat up Simon George, a public relations officer, and Sister Nirmal Jose the hospital administrator.

The extremists claim that the two denigrated Hindu deities. Instead of helping the victims of the attack, police took Simon George into custody. He applied for bail but the court turned him down.

For Fr Josekutty Kalayil, who takes care of the hospital’s legal affairs, the incident stems from the hospitalization on Sunday of an elderly Hindu with high blood pressure.

Just before he was discharged, the man asked why there was a Bible in his room. Simon George, who was doing a routine tour, replied that he could read it if he was interested. This was followed shortly afterwards by the attack.

According to Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), the hospital was attacked because it is run by Christian religious, even though it serves everyone, regardless of faith or caste.

“Christian missionaries who work in the medical and educational field are targeted every day by extremists who try to discredit their altruistic work, which is to get people the ‘beneficial touch’ of Jesus,” George explained.

In his view, the charges against the Sanjo Hospital staff are false. “There is nothing criminal or illegal about keeping a Bible in a hospital room; no Hindu deity has been offended,” he noted.

The Christian community Mandya district is very small, about 9,000 people out of a population of 1.8 million, but it is under constant threat from extremist groups.

“Our Christian institutions serve mostly those who attack, abuse and assault us. May God forgive them for they know not what they do,” was George’s laconic comment.

URGENT Prayer Request 3/19/2020

 

We were informed one of the persecuted Christians that Voice of the Persecuted is caring for abroad is very sick and may have the COVID-19 virus. Please pray for Neda to be healed and keep praying for our persecuted brothers and sisters, worldwide. 🙏

May the Lord bless, protect and give you peace so you can encourage others and shine His light during these trying times.

The Voice of the Persecuted Team

 

Tonight on the Persecution Watch Call: Somalia

Praying for Somalia

(Voice of the Persecuted) Dear Intercessors, you are invited to join us on Thursday, March 19 in a prayer 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 in China.

Somalia

Population: 15.6 million, Christians a few hundred – down from 31,000 in 2010

Somalia remains mired in civil war, tribalism and violent Islamic militancy. Conversion to Christianity is regarded as a betrayal of the Somali family and clan. If Somalis are suspected of being converts, family members and clan leaders will harass, intimidate and even kill them. Christians with a Muslim background are regarded as high-value targets by al-Shabab operatives and have often been killed on the spot when discovered.

The violent Islamic terrorist group, al-Shabab, advocates Shariah law as the basis for regulating all aspects of life in Somalia. This group has repeatedly expressed its desire to eradicate Christians from the country. Foreign jihadists are also present in the country, but Islamic oppression is not limited to militants only. Christians also face serious persecution from family, extended family members and the community at large.

In every sphere of life—private, family, community, and national—being exposed as a convert to Christianity means life-threatening danger, often leading to on-the-spot execution. This persecution pattern is exceptional and puts Somalia high up in the category of extreme persecution. As a result, most Somali Christians keep their faith completely secret. But despite the risks, Somali people are coming to faith in Jesus—some in miraculous ways.

Over the last years, the situation appears to have worsened. Islamic militants intensified their hunt for people who are Christian and in a position of leadership. An attempt to reopen a church in Hargeisa, Somaliland, in August 2017 also failed, as the government was forced to shut it down due to pressure from the local Islamic population.

There are no church buildings in Somalia, and Christians do not meet regularly. It is strictly illegal to become a Christian or to evangelize. Because there is little trust between people, believers do not reveal themselves. Christians are actively hunted and, when discovered, immediately killed by al-Shabab. Christians are more likely to be killed by a family member than to be imprisoned.

Bibles are illegal, and there is almost no access to the Scriptures in Somalia.

NGO’s/Christian Missions equip secret believers inside Somalia and supports those who carefully share their faith inside Somalia. They also support social media efforts that reach inside the country.

  • Pray to the Lord that there will be a move to tolerance for Christians as the Somali people are more than are extremely hostile to Christians and specially to converts
  • Pray the Lord will continue to build His Church here amid these hostilities.
  • Pray the Somali people in the Horn of Africa turn to God when they go through turmoil. Pray they will have a deep hunger and thirst for the righteousness of God.
  • Pray believers are bold to share the gospel and that your hand of protection is over them
  • Pray for mature and godly role-models among Somali believers.
  • Pray for growing unity among the different fellowships.
  • Pray to the Lord that He will work on the Government and clerical leaders to provide religious freedom.
  • Pray for the secret believers who meet in house churches that they will be protected.
  • Pray for NGOs like VOM to continue to deliver much needed   spiritual support.
  • Pray for unhindered and abundant deliveries of Bibles.
  • Pray for the word to be translated into Somali as only   a very few speak Arabic
  • Pray that the believers know that the body of Christ is praying for them.

Many blessings,

Andy, Prayer Call Moderator for Persecution Watch

Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday

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 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

Tonight on Persecution Watch Prayer Call: These are the Days

(Voice of the Persecuted) Dear Prayer Warriors, as the Lord leads you; we welcome you on tonight’s Persecution Watch Prayer conference call to pray with us for our persecuted brothers and sister and for the harvest.

It is written, Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12

Oh, what joy and peace we have in the Lord when trouble surrounds us.

For our hope comes from the Lord and we are His precious children.

“I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.” Jeremiah 31:3

18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.” Ephesians 6:18-20

John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, “I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.’ John 1:23

As I was rejoicing in the Lord last night, this song came to mind an oh, what joy The Lord gave to me. I wanted to dance and sing to Him and glorify His Holy Name! My spirit was boosted with immense joy.

These are the days of Elijah,

Declaring the word of the Lord

And these are the days of Your servant Moses,

Righteousness being restored.

And though these are days of great trial,

Of famine and darkness and sword,

Still, we are the voice in the desert crying

“Prepare ye the way of the Lord!”

I highly recommend that you listen to this song in the video below with lyrics included!

Glory, Glory to our Lord God Almighty! My dear brothers and sisters come closer to the Father, to the Living Water and taste His peace. Come near to Him to receive His Glory!!!

We will continue to lift up our dear precious Leah Sharibu and Alice, who continue to suffer as captives of the Islamic Boko Haram group in Nigeria.

Also, for Pastor Wang Yi, who was sentenced to 9 years in prison for boldly sharing the love of God in China.

In Christ Love

Nadia Dybvik and Merlaine Smokes, Prayer Call Moderators for Persecution Watch

Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday

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 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

Former Muslim from Sudan Forced into Hiding

An ethnic Messiria (Misseriya Arab) elder at meeting on status of Abyei administrative area. (Wikipedia, Sudan Envoy)

Sudan (Morning Star News) – It was more than a year ago that Muslims in the disputed area between Sudan and South Sudan noticed that Ahmed Alnour was no longer reciting his Islamic prayers five times a day.

The tribesman of the ethnic Misseriya Arabs was helping support his wife and seven children in Sudan working as a scrap trader at the Ameth common market in Abyei, a 4,072-square mile special administrative area on the border formed from the peace agreement that ended civil war in Sudan in 2005.

Alnour would soon have to leave that work, forced to flee when area Muslims confirmed that he had become a Christian.

“I saw them and heard them saying, ‘We will kill you because you left Islam and became infidel,’” he said of their attempt to burn down his home the afternoon of April 1, 2019.

Neighbors were able to douse the flames and he escaped unharmed, but on April 8 the assailants returned at 1 a.m. as he slept. He awoke to find his house in flames.

Alnour told Morning Star News that before Christians arrived to rescue him, he heard one of the assailants say in Arabic, “Let us throw him back in the fire, since he has abandoned Islam.”

The Christians took him to a hospital for treatment the following morning. He had lost all his possessions in the fire, including 600,000 South Sudanese pounds equivalent to US$6,000, but he had not lost his faith in Christ, he said.

The 43-year-old father of seven children ages 4 to 24 had put his faith in Christ just a few months prior. Paralyzed from an illness for three months in Agok, Abyei area, he received a visit from two evangelists who prayed for him and told him of salvation in Christ.

Alnour said he felt a conviction in his heart, and that after placing his trust in Christ he was healed.

“I was able to get up and walk after three months of sickness,” he said.

He was baptized at a church last Christmas. In hiding since the attacks last year, he has obtained a job and temporary quarters from church friends at an undisclosed village in the Abyei area.

Risks are growing as Muslims are looking for him, he said. Fear of Muslims’ reactions in Sudan and lack of economic opportunity keep him from going home to his family, but someday he hopes to be able to return and tell them about Christ, he said.

“I want to tell my family about my new faith in Jesus, and I am sure they will believe with me,” Alnour said.

In light of advances in religious freedom since Omar al-Bashir was ousted as president of Sudan in April 2019, the U.S. State Department announced on Dec. 20 that Sudan had been removed from the list of Countries of Particular Concern (CPC) that engage in or tolerate “systematic, ongoing and egregious violations of religious freedom” and was upgraded to a watch list.

Sudan had been designated a CPC by the U.S. State Department since 1999.

Following the secession of South Sudan in 2011, Bashir had vowed to adopt a stricter version of sharia (Islamic law) and recognize only Islamic culture and the Arabic language. Church leaders said Sudanese authorities demolished or confiscated churches and limited Christian literature on the pretext that most Christians have left the country following South Sudan’s secession.

In April 2013 the then-Sudanese Minister of Guidance and Endowments announced that no new licenses would be granted for building new churches in Sudan, citing a decrease in the South Sudanese population. Sudan since 2012 has expelled foreign Christians and bulldozed church buildings. Besides raiding Christian bookstores and arresting Christians, authorities threatened to kill South Sudanese Christians who did not leave or cooperate with them in their effort to find other Christians.

After Bashir was deposed, military leaders initially formed a military council to rule the country, but further demonstrations led them to accept a transitional government of civilians and military figures, with a predominantly civilian government to be democratically elected in three years. Christians were expected to have greater voice under the new administration.

The new government that was sworn in on Sept. 8, 2019 led by Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, an economist, is tasked with governing during a transition period of 39 months. It faces the challenges of rooting out longstanding corruption and an Islamist “deep state” rooted in Bashir’s 30 years of power.

Sudan ranked 7th on Christian support organization Open Doors’ 2020 World Watch List of the countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian.

Tonight on Persecution Watch: Worshiping and uniting during times of Crisis

(Voice of the Persecuted) Dear Prayer Warriors, fear of the COVID-19 around the world has been unprecedented, truly a pandemonium in countries such as Italy, as many find themselves in a state of panic with the numbers of infected on the rise and quarantines are implemented. Global economies have been hit hard with many unable to make a wage as their workplaces are temporarily shuttered. On Friday, President Trump declared a National Emergency to slow the spread of the virus in the USA and plan for relief programs to help those who are affected by the crises. Local leaders, even in the U.S, have called for schools to be closed and ask their citizens to stock up on goods and prepare to hunker down for at least a few weeks. As a result, stores struggle to keep product on their shelves with some shoppers even becoming combative and a threat to those around them. Fear of the unknown is bringing out the worst in society. In the U.S., Governors are recommending events where over 100 people gather are cancelled, including church worship services.

How does the Church respond and still obey God’s command to gather during this COVID-19 epidemic? This is a question churches around the globe are being forced to confront or will be in the near future. Chinese churches have already struggled with this for more than a month.

Unlike the secular world, we who are called by His Name truly know where our hope comes from.

“1 I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?

My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

Psalm 121:1

As we are told to stay away from the crowds and as churches take necessary steps to protect their congregations and the communities around them, we as believers are still commanded to meet with one another.

19 Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

The following is a precious letter that was written in late January from a pastor in China to his church. He encouraged believers to continue coming together in smaller groups, with guidelines for those who should avoid all meetings. The church is also providing online meetings and worship for those who cannot physically attend a small group.

DO NOT NEGLECT TO MEET TOGETHER: A PASTORAL LETTER IN A TIME OF QUARANTINE 

Dear brothers and sisters,

In light of the epidemic, we foresee that our church will not be able to meet together for quite a long time – anywhere from one to three months. During this period, how can we fulfill the biblical command of Hebrews 10:25: “not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near”?

Some say this biblical command is for ordinary times, not special circumstances. In normal times we can obey, but special circumstances demand special measures. However, is our time truly as special as when the author of Hebrews wrote this command? At that time, Christians were discriminated against and persecuted. Any meeting, even the smallest, could bring imprisonment and capital punishment. Throughout Hebrews, the author continually encouraged the letter recipients to have faith. Why? Because not only did they face persecution from authorities, they also faced persecution from society and their fellow citizens. We have reason to believe it was more difficult for believers to meet in the time of the book of Hebrews than during our own times. Therefore, this command is not just for churches during normal times, but especially for churches in “wartime.” This command not only requires Christians to continue meeting together, but also requires believers to encourage one another. Wartime situations bring a greater reminder than ordinary times that “the Day” is drawing near, therefore we should come together “all the more.”

In that case, why can’t the church meet as usual? Our primary concern should not be to avoid person-to-person infection, but to avoid causing panic and uneasiness to our neighbors, property management, neighborhood, and community. The government’s proposal is not religious persecution, but a public health warning caused by any human gathering. As we love our neighbors and carry one another’s weaknesses, and so that we may also please and build up our neighbors, we have suspended our meetings. Our church also has to consider other risks related to big gatherings, including the increased possibility of infection and the inability of many congregants to attend due to quarantine. We should pray for this epidemic, asking God not only to alleviate the pressure of the epidemic so we can resume gatherings, but also to bring reflection and transformation to our nation and society through this epidemic. The Bible promises us that the Messiah will take our illnesses and bear our diseases.

However, the church still bears the responsibility to teach. The church must make it possible for believers to obey the biblical command to gather. This is why we will make every effort to coordinate resources and provide opportunities for small group gatherings, so faithful brothers and sisters who are willing to obey the biblical command will not neglect to meet together, encourage one another, and enable the Word of God to shepherd his people. Keeping a close watch on epidemic reports and statistics or hearing slogans about presenting a united front to fight the disease will not bring spiritual growth or hope; only the Word of God can do this. Pastor Tim Keller says persecution helps you become either a better Christian or a worse one, but it does not leave you alone. Becoming a better Christian is the work of God’s Spirit, through God’s word, in the community of God’s people.

I encourage all of you to make every effort on Sundays to attend a small group meeting near your home, as long as you have no symptoms and have had no contact with infected individuals or people from infected regions. If you have a home big enough to accommodate meetings and the desire to serve, by faith open your home so the people of God can meet together. If you are willing to open your home as a venue for temporary small group meetings, please tell the elders. If you want to attend a nearby small group meeting, please register with us. On Sundays, encourage one another (rather than gossiping about the epidemic or shopping for face masks) and let the Word of God fill your spirit and family.

When you attend small group meetings, please wear facemasks in the neighborhood. Try to arrive early, and spread out your arrivals so as not to raise the attention of other residents by arriving at the same time. If you have recently returned from a domestic trip via high-speed rail or bus, please do not attend small group meetings, because railway stations and passenger transportation centers are crowded places. We suggest self-quarantine for about two weeks before you begin to attend small group meetings. Instead, you may connect with the meeting online. Attendance of those who have traveled internationally should be determined by the epidemic situation at the place of departure and individual health conditions.

If you are quarantined out-of-town and cannot return or are traveling, I encourage you to attend nearby church gatherings. Physical interactions and hearing the Word of God in person is always better than virtual meetings.  This will also provide you an opportunity to encourage and build up the local saints. If you cannot find a local church, you can still participate by listening to our sermon online.

If you are in the city but cannot attend our gatherings due to a cold, fever, or suspicious symptoms; if you dare not attend because of worry and fear; or if you cannot come out of consideration for or pressure from family members, we welcome you to notify the church and invite us to pray for you. Do not feel shy or ashamed because of this; bearing each other’s weakness is the teaching of the Bible and one of the reasons the church exists. We welcome you to listen to the Word of God through remote access.

For remote access for those who do not attend a small group: while you do not belong to any group, I still hope you will attend worship by following the scripture readings, prayers, and songs according to the liturgy published on the church’s social media. Our online worship will include a pastoral prayer and preaching, and conclude with fellowship and sharing in an online meeting room.

In order to help you obey biblical teaching, to shepherd and to teach God’s people with God’s word, and to share the gospel, we encourage willing brothers and sisters to host at-home small groups. We encourage you to attend if you can. We will provide online access to brothers, sisters, and seekers who cannot attend.

Your pastor   – Source and translation by China Partnership.

Churches are now meeting in the same way that many of the persecuted have been and are doing today!  As the Lord leads you, I welcome you join tonight’s Persecution Watch prayer conference call to pray for persecuted believers, the Kingdom harvest and against the trauma of fear.

  • For all the Nations and their leaders.
  • For the Body of Christ and for the harvest.
  • As the world responds in fear, pray that our focus remains on the Lord and for His glory to be revealed by the peace and the strength He gives us to move forward without fear. Pray He will use and direct us at this time to care for the weak and bring others to Himself.
  • We will also continue to lift up our dear precious, Leah Sharibu and Alice who continue to suffer as captives of the Islamic Boko Haram group in Nigeria.
  • For Pastor Wang Yi from China, who has been sentenced to 9 years in prison for boldly sharing the love of God.

I encourage you, dear ones, to remember who you are and who you belong to. We are the precious children of the most High, the King of all Kings, Who is, Who was and Who is to come!

Dear Saints, Lord willing we are looking forward to praying with you tonight.

In Christ’s Love,

Nadia Dybvik , Prayer Call Leader for Persecution Watch

Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday

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 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

Tonight on Persecution Watch: IRAN

 

 

Photo: Mohabat News

(Voice of the Persecuted) Dear Intercessors, 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.

Iran

Population: 82,8 million, Christians 800,000

First, an observation on the number of Christians:

The young Christian church of Iran is the fastest growing church in the world- (Operation World statistics). In 1950 there were 300,000 Christians in Iran. The modern miracle of Christian satellite TV programming is the major vehicle God is using to set these people free. People are led to the love of the Father through satellite programming. Between 3-6 million tune in to shows such as, “Lessons in Love” or ‘Darshe Esghe’, a favorite of the Iranian youth and Persian culture. To date how many Christians?? It’s impossible to know exact numbers.

Some organizations estimate that there could be as many as 800,000 to 1 million believers in the Iran. But Iran is also one of the most difficult places on earth to be a Christian because of persecution from the hardline Islamic government. Believers are jailed and tortured. Churches are forced to meet in secrecy. One ministry there has reported that so many people are being converted they can’t keep enough Farsi Bibles in stock to give to new believers. Their emphasis is not planting churches; it is making disciples.

Iranian churches typically have between eight to 12 members only. To stay safely off the radar, the small churches multiply quietly. But this method of small-group discipleship produces stronger Christians than a bigger church would. It is reported that many people make decisions for Jesus after watching Christian television broadcasts.

Iran’s intelligence minister, Mahmoud Mahmoud Alavi, gave a speech to Muslim clerics in which he publicly decried the alarming growth of Christian faith. He announced that mass religious conversion to Christianity is “happening right before our eyes.” The Al-Jazeera report states that only between 10 to 15% of Iran’s more than 80 million people actually are loyal to the idea of an Islamic Republic. Mosques are emptying. Most people reject the idea of an all-powerful Muslim cleric running their country.

  • Pray to the Lord that He will work in the Iranian clerical leaders to create laws that will provide religious freedom.
  • Pray for the Iranian Christians who are in prison right now for their faith. Ask the Lord to give them hope and encouragement in their isolation.
  • Pray that the Lord will dramatically the number of Christian leaders and teachers to disciple the new believers.
  • Pray for the secret believers who meet in house churches that they will be protected.
  • Pray for NGOs/Christian Ministries continue to deliver much needed spiritual support.
  • Pray for unhindered and abundant deliveries of Bibles in Farsi.
  • Pray for those dealing with the effects of recent violence against them or were released from prison. Please pray that they will have easy access to spiritual trauma counseling
  • Pray to the Lord has His hand of protection over the believers that have courage and boldness to reach out to their neighbors.
  • Pray that the believers know that the body of Christ is praying for them.
  • Pray that the Lord will continue to multiply the numbers of believers, that the church will beyond our wildest expectations.

Many blessings,

Andy, Prayer Moderator for Persecution Watch

Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday

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 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

Tonight on Persecution Watch: Biblical Understanding of Persecution

(Voice of the Persecuted) I was told long time ago that the Bible, the Word of God, is a loving Letter to us from God. My desire is as a Christian is to be like the Berean in the Bible.

11 Now the Berean Jews were of more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.”  Acts 17:11

Like them I want to make sure that whatever I hear from anyone, it is the Truth from God because HE loves me and does not want me/us to be lead astray.

It is written:

18 “If the world hates you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.

19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.

21 But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me.” John 15:18-21

Suffering for Being a Christian

12 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. 1 Peter 4:12-14 

Reason for Persecution: The Cross separates us from the world

John 16:1-4 

These things I have spoken to you, that you should not be made to stumble. They will put you out of the synagogues [today it might be from churches]; yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service. And these things they will do to you because they have not known the Father nor Me. But these things I have told you, that when the time comes, you may remember that I told you of them

John 17:14-18 

“I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one.

Galatians 5:11 

And I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why do I still suffer persecution? Then the offense of the cross has ceased.”

Reasons for Persecution: Hating Christianity

John 12:42-44

“Nevertheless even among the rulers many believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.” 

Following Jesus: Sharing in His suffering and promises 

Matthew 10:16-20

“Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. But beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils and scourge you in their synagogues….But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.”

Matthew 5:10-12 

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven….”

Matthew 20:23 

“Jesus answered and said, “You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” They said to Him, “We are able.”

Luke 22:20

“In the same way, He took the cup after they had eaten saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood.”

Romans 8:16-18 

“The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”

Romans 8:35-39

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?…Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

2 Corinthians 4:7-11

“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels,  that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed— always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.”

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 

“And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.‘ Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

Dear brother and sisters be encouraged! For this reason, we welcome you to join us on tonight’s Persecuted Watch prayer conference call to pray united for the believers who are persecuted and for the global Harvest.

  • We will continue to lift up up our dear precious Leah Sharibu and Allice, who are continuing to suffer as captives of the Islamic Boko Haram group in Nigeria.
  • Prayer will also continue for Pastor Wang Yi from China, who has been sentenced to 9 years in prison for sharing boldly the love of God. Watch this video of Pastor Stephen Tong sharing about the faith of Pastor Wang Yi.

Lord willing, we are look forward to praying with you tonight.

In Christ love 

Nadia Dybvik &  Merlaine Smokes, Prayer Call Moderators for Persecution Watch

Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday

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 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

 

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