(Voice of the Persecuted) You are invited to join us on Thursday July 7, 2022, in a prayer conference call for the persecuted church hosted by Persecution Watch
IRAQ: Population: 42.6 million, Christians 166,000 thousand
Iraq continues to be plagued by conflict, losses of territory to the Islamic State Group which effects the Christian minorities. In 2003, before the US invasion of Iraq, there were an estimated 1.2 million Christians living there. Today, that number is less than 250,000 — an eighty percent drop in less than two decades. If this trend continues, a religious minority that has been in Iraq for centuries will be gone entirely.
Persecution level have remained the same. This not only includes ISIS’s reign of terror, but day-to-day discrimination against Christians that is causing so many to seek to leave the country.
Also, the Turkish government is using its military actions against the Kurds in Iraq to further its longstanding persecution of Christians. This persecution includes the ongoing discrimination against and harassment of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the remaining Christians of Turkey.
On March 7th, 2022, just a few hours before the start of March 8th, also known as International Women’s Day, another femicide occurred in the southern Kurdish capital Erbil. 20-year-old Iman Sami Maghdid, also known as Maria, was murdered in cold blood. Several shots ended her life.
The South Kurdish (Iraqi Kurdistan) public began the ceremonies on International Women’s Day with more shocking news, part of a series of cruel murders of women since the beginning of 2022. As if the news of the murder and the perpetrators, who often fled, weren’t bad enough, all sorts of political parties and personalities took this day as an opportunity to announce their supposed commitment to the issue of women’s liberation. Unfortunately, they are nothing more than platitudes, which was made clear by the fact that on the evening of March 8th, a radio interview was aired by what is one of the largest broadcasters, K24, where Maria’s brother and murderer was able to explain the motives of his cold-blooded murder for almost 15 minutes uncensored and without criticism – while he was still on the run.
- Pray to the Lord that He will give Iraq a stable government that will be able to take control over the radical groups as Islamic State and like groups.
- Pray to the Lord that the politicians will continue to work for more religious freedom and thwart and block the influence of Islamic hard liners. (Christmas is now an official Holiday)
- Pray for peace and stability so that displaced Christians can return home.
- Pray for unity among churches of all denominations, that all minority Christians will live in peace with each other.
- Pray to the Lord for special protection for all MBB to be protected from so-called “honor’ killings.
- Pray to the Lord to comfort believers who feel isolated and help them to connect with other believers for fellowship.
- Pray for believers to continue to grow in strength and faith and keep their eyes on Jesus. That they know they are not alone, that they are prayed for.
- Pray for powerful messages on the internet that draw Muslims in and minister to Christians.
- Pray to the Lord that His believers are bold and courageous to witness to Muslims.
- Pray that Christians will remain love to their enemies and forgive them.
- Pray that pastors and elders will be granted protection and wisdom as they minister to Christians.
- Pray for the NGOs who bring hope, relief, and spiritual nourishment to the Iraqi Christians.
- Pray for the Lord that He will do a mighty work in Iraq in multiplying the number of Christians 5, no 10-fold.
We are continuing to lift up these persecuted witnesses to the Lord:
Leah Sharibu prisoner of Boko Haram since 2018. Pray for her release.
Alice Loksha Ngaddah was kidnapped in February 2019. She is a mother of two, working as a nurse for UNICEF. Pray for her release.
Pastor Wang Yi to be released from Chinese prison.
Anita a Christian convert, facing a long prison term who escaped from Iran and praying to go to a country where she can express her faith openly.
Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani from Iran for his release and his family as their persecution continues. Pastor Nadarkhani is serving the second year of his six-year sentence.
“I am sending you, to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me” (Acts 26:18)
Andy, Persecution Watch Prayer Call 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 time in the United States (please check your time zone). Blaine also served as Prayer Director for Voice of the Persecuted, and the missions became one. Brother Blaine passed into glory on December 26, 2019. It was truly a blessing for all of us to serve alongside this dear man of God and he will be greatly missed. The prayer mission of Persecution Watch remains an important part of our mission. Voice of the Persecuted is committed to continue the prayer conference call for the persecuted along with the dedicated Persecution Watch prayer warrior team.
Prior to the passing of Brother Blaine, he confirmed the passing of the torch as prayer conference call leader to Nadia Dybvik. Nadia has a burdened heart for the persecuted and is a prayer warrior standing in the gap for them. She joined the Persecution Watch prayer team in 2013 and has been part of the core ever since. Before becoming the prayer call leader, she served in the role of prayer moderator since 2015. Blaine chose Nadia for her faithfulness to pray for the persecuted and her strong commitment to the Persecution Watch mission. We are blessed not only with her gift of prayer, but her genuine love for every brother and sister in Christ that comes on the call to pray. May the Lord continue to bless Nadia and the prayer team in the mission and their personal lives.
“Pray for us” is the number one request that we hear from the persecuted. As the members of the first century Church were moved by the Holy Spirit to pray, we too must continue to serve those suffering persecution by lifting them up to the Lord through prayer.
On occasion, persecuted brothers and sisters have been invited on the conference call to share the trials they are 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 are new to the call and cannot 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!
God bless and protect you in your faithfulness to serve.
Lois Kanalos, Founder, Voice of the Persecuted, Nadia Dybvik, Persecution Watch Prayer Call Leader and the Persecution Watch Prayer Team
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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.