(Voice of the Persecuted) Jerusalem, Islam’s third holiest site.
WHAT IS JERUSALEM LIKE?
Since King David’s conquest in 1000 BC, numerous empires have fought over this sacred, strategic city, including the Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Ottomans, and British. Nestled atop gently sloping hills and surrounded by lush valleys, Jerusalem is the capital of the modern state of Israel, established in 1948.
It is a bustling city of just under one million people, about 64% of whom are Jewish, 34% Muslim, and 2% Christian. The city is divided into three sections: the walled-off Old City (including separate quarters for Jews, Armenians, Christians, and Muslims), West Jerusalem (mostly Jewish), and East Jerusalem (mostly Arab).
Fifteen different Christian denominations, some ancient, live side by side in Jerusalem. In addition, there are migrant workers from South Sudan, Eritrea, and the Philippines. History collides with the present day as ancient landmarks stand in view of sleek, modern office and apartment buildings.
WHY IS JERUSALEM SIGNIFICANT?
After WWI and the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, the British, who were governing the area, paved the way for the establishment of a home state for Jews who had been persecuted and scattered throughout the world. Tensions between Jews and Arabs flared from the start and continue to this day.
The city is significant to Jews, Christians, and Muslims alike. It is Islam’s third holiest city, after Mecca and Medina. In fact, it was towards Jerusalem that Muhammad first instructed his followers to pray (this later changed to Mecca). The al-Aqsa mosque sits on the Temple Mount along with the iconic Dome of the Rock, a golden-domed shrine built by Muslims in the 7th century to mark the rock from where Muhammad took his famous “night journey” to heaven (Quran 17:1).
Prayers said at al-Aqsa are believed to be worth 500 prayers said elsewhere. Quran commentaries note that the angel Israfil will stand on that rock and blow the trumpet on the day of judgment.
WHAT IS GOD DOING IN JERUSALEM TODAY?
Arab Christians can sometimes feel caught in the middle of the conflict between Jews and Muslims in Israel, but many have a powerful witness through their humble service and ministries of reconciliation. Messianic Jews and Palestinian Christians are working together to help everyone in Israel. The Bible Society’s goal is to share “life and hope with people from all around the world, from Jerusalem on outward.”
Christians not only reach out to Muslims in Jerusalem, but also to Muslims in the West Bank and Gaza, where millions of people are destitute. Delivery of food and basic necessities accompany the proclamation of the Gospel among Muslims in need. God uses dreams and visions to draw people to himself in miraculous ways.
He also uses media ministries. Consider the example of one young man, a former Muslim student of Shari’a law, who first connected with Christians online. He was kidnapped by Hamas and brutally tortured for becoming a Christian. He stood firm, did not renounce Jesus, and continues to walk in faithfulness to his Lord!
- Pray for pilgrims to the Dome of the Rock to know Jesus as the Rock of their salvation.
- Pray for the love of Christ to soften hearts hardened by hatred, prejudice, and division.
- Pray for bold witnesses to courageously share the Gospel with Muslims across the city.
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
From any location on your phone
9:00 PM Eastern
8:00 PM Central
7:00 PM Mountain
6:00 PM Pacific
Call in number: 712 775-7035
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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.