(Voice of the Persecuted) Tehran, gateway to the Persian world.
WHAT IS TEHRAN LIKE?
Metropolitan Tehran is a bustling megacity of some 16 million people. Its vast 675-square-mile terrain extends from the lower southern plain up into the mountains on the northern, and wealthier, side of the city. It is a beautiful modern city with an extensive grid of highways that helps prevent gridlock from the millions of cars, buses, and taxis.
Tehran is home to 50 major colleges and universities, a third of the country’s government employees, and nearly half of its industry. There are more than 60 modern malls as well as several historic bazaars. Though most people speak Persian, Tehran is ethnically very diverse.
Tehran is hot and dry in the summer and can be quite cold in the winter, with huge snow storms occasionally bringing the city to a halt. It is also one of the most polluted cities in the world, as vehicle exhaust is hemmed in by the mountains.
WHY IS TEHRAN SIGNIFICANT?
Tehran was chosen as Persia’s 36th capital just over two hundred years ago. Its population grew from 20,000 in 1800 to 4.5 million at the time of the 1979 Iranian Revolution, and has doubled since then, to 9 million. Tehran leads the way in banking, commerce, industry, culture, and education.
Iran’s leaders see themselves as the leaders of the world’s Shia Muslims. They aim to spread Shi’ite teachings across the globe. One instrument in accomplishing this is the Al Mustafa International University, based in the holy city of Qom, which spreads Shia beliefs and the ideology of the 1979 revolution around the world.
Iranian leaders in Tehran spend billions extending their religious, political, economic, and military influence to out-maneuver neighboring Sunni countries. Since the removal of Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq, Iran’s influence among Iraq’s majority Shia population has continued to grow.
Tehran’s support of President Assad in Syria is significant. Since Iran’s leaders believe that their brand of Shia Islam is the answer to all of the world’s problems, they do everything they can to extend Tehran’s influence across the globe.
WHAT IS GOD DOING IN TEHRAN TODAY?
The number of officially recognized Christians in Iran is estimated to be about 350,000. They worship in some 600 churches, most of which are Armenian, though there are quite a few Protestant churches. Because many Protestant churches were overflowing with new believers from Muslim backgrounds, they were closed by the country’s rulers.
Yet, God is at work throughout the country! One prominent satellite TV ministry located outside the country receives 10,000 phone calls every month from inside Iran. There are hundreds of thousands of underground believers, many of whom meet in house churches.
As a result, persecution by government authorities is unrelenting.
Christian leaders are frequently arrested and tortured to intimidate believers in an effort to stop the growth of the church. But the harsher the persecution, the faster the underground churches appear to multiply. Iran is home to the fastest growing church on the planet!
- Pray for the disillusioned masses to find hope and fulfillment in Jesus.
- Pray for Gospel transformation among those enslaved by rampant poverty, addiction, and prostitution.
- Pray for God’s power to expand the already unprecedented Church growth.
We continue to pray for the persecuted:
- Leah Sharibu and Alice, both held captive by the Boko Haram.
- For Pastor Wanh Yi from China, who has been sentenced to 9 years in prison for sharing boldly the love of God.
- For Anita, a Christian convert recently sentenced to 10 years in prison for sharing the Gospel in Iran.
- For Pakistani Christians and other minorities who are facing discrimination and persecution during the coronavirus crisis. Muslims are denying Christians relief food packages because of their faith in Christ.
“Our prayers do have an impact on the things of eternity and the souls of men and women to find truth in him who is the Living Word. Please join us on the prayer conference call to lift prayers up together. As ever, I remain your brother and prayer partner in our Lord Jesus. Meet you on the call!
If you are unable to participate on the call, or cannot join us on a particular evening, you can still use the prayer points and pray in your personal prayer closet. The only thing I would urge you is, please do it. Whether you pray privately, in a group, or on our call, please pray for a great harvest of souls during this time of Ramadan.” – Blaine Scogin, Founder of Persecution Watch and former Prayer Director of Voice of the Persecuted.
As Blaine Scogin did each year, the team will continue to host nightly calls during Ramadan. We will be following along with the Prayercast Team’s platform in praying for Muslims for the next 30 days, which began on April 24. Please sign up here to receive the daily video and prayer points from Prayercast which we will cover on the nightly prayer conference calls. If you have yet to do so, it’s not to late. Dear brothers and sisters, we challenge you to join us on the conference call to pray with us during these 30 nights of prayer for the persecuted, the harvest, and for Muslims to come out of the dark, receive the truth and follow Jesus.
Voice of the Persecuted and the Persecution Watch Prayer Team
Nightly call schedule through Ramadan
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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.