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Ramadan Day 21: Praying for Muslims to come to Christ –Istanbul

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(Voice of the Persecuted) Istanbul, heartbeat of the Turkish World.

WHAT IS ISTANBUL LIKE?

Istanbul, a thriving ancient-modern city, has long been one of the largest cities in the world. Straddling Europe and Asia, Istanbul has a vast array of residential neighborhoods, commercial districts, industrial zones, and tourist areas. Its palaces, churches, and mosques draw millions of visitors each year.

In the center of Istanbul is the historic Byzantine city of Constantinople. This great city has been the capital of both Christian and Muslim empires. Hagia Sophia, the Christian Cathedral built in 537 AD, was the world’s largest cathedral for a thousand years! The sprawling, 500-year-old, covered Grand Bazaar is a labyrinth of thousands of shops where you can buy anything from spices, rugs, and pottery, to cell phones and computers.

Across the Galata Bridge from the historic district is Beyoğlu, a modern European district with international brand-name stores, expensive boutiques, coffee shops, and pedestrian streets rivaling those of Paris, London, and Rome. Istanbul is a bustling, cosmopolitan city boasting a mix of European and Asian influences.

WHY IS ISTANBUL SIGNIFICANT?

Istanbul’s nearly 2,800-year history has huge significance. Founded as Byzantium in 660 BC, it became the capital of the Greek Christian Byzantine empire in 330 AD, when Emperor Constantine renamed it Constantinople.

After its fall to the Turkish Ottoman forces in 1453, its name changed again to Istanbul. It was the seat of the Ottoman Empire for nearly six centuries. At the empire’s height, the Turks ruled much of southern Europe, North Africa, and West Asia. Istanbul remained the capital of the Ottoman empire until the creation of the Republic of Turkey in 1923, when the capital was moved to Ankara.

Today Istanbul is the economic, industrial, educational, religious and cultural center of Turkey. With two-thirds of its 15 million people living on the European side, Istanbul is the largest city in Europe. Turkish Airlines, based in Istanbul, serves more countries than any other airline in the world.

Istanbul is home to most of the non-Sunni religious minorities – including some 135,000 Orthodox Christians of different sects, as well as some Catholics and Protestants.

WHAT IS GOD DOING IN ISTANBUL TODAY?

Christian minorities experience persecution in Turkey. These officially-recognized Christians suffer personal attacks as well as Islamist attacks on their church buildings and official confiscation of church properties.

Though there is a growing evangelical movement to Christ in Turkey, with a few dozen house churches across the country, there have yet to be any major breakthroughs.

A small evangelical seminary in Istanbul trains lay people and pastors across the country. A few evangelical churches of Turkish believers have been officially registered. More than 500,000 of the 3.5 million Syrian refugees in Turkey are in Istanbul.

This presents new ministry opportunities since Syrian Muslim refugees are often open to the gospel. In Lebanon and Jordan, the presence of tens of thousands of Syrian refugees has led to revival in many Protestant churches. Let us pray that churches in Istanbul will be transformed as they minister to Syrian refugees in their midst.

PRAYER POINTS

  • Pray for a hunger for Truth to lead people to study the Injil (New Testament) as families and communities.
  • Pray for the city’s small body of believers to courageously share the love of Jesus.
  • Pray for an unprecedented movement of Turks to Christ in Istanbul that spreads to the nation.
  • Pray for a hunger for Truth to lead people to study the Injil (New Testament) as families and communities.
  • Pray for the city’s small body of believers to courageously share the love of Jesus.
  • Pray for an unprecedented movement of Turks to Christ in Istanbul that spreads to the nation.
  • Pray that the Lord will show Himself to those who don’t know Him.
  • Pray for the protection worshipers in house and other churches.

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.

In Christ,

Voice of the Persecuted and the Persecution Watch Prayer Team

Nightly call schedule through Ramadan 

From any location on your phone

Time:

9:00 PM Eastern

8:00 PM Central

7:00 PM Mountain

6:00 PM Pacific

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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