(Voice of the Persecuted) You are invited to join us on Thursday July 14, 2022, in a prayer conference call for the persecuted church hosted by Persecution Watch.
Syria: Population: 19.6 million, Christians 638,000
Even though the public threat of ISIS has largely subsided, Christians in Syria still grapple with daily persecution that may become violent. In areas where Islamic extremist groups are active, leaders of historical church communities may be targeted simply because they are more visible. But leaders of other Christian groups are also vulnerable because they may be more active in evangelism. Church buildings were destroyed in many parts of Syria where Islamic extremists had control (or continue to maintain control). Where extremists control territory, any public expression of faith is dangerous. Additionally, every Christian in Syria lives with the constant realization that Islamic extremists have not necessarily left Syria—they’ve just retreated into the shadows, and they may return to public life again in the future.
As the Christian population of Syria has diminished due to the civil war, more and more Syrian Christians come from a Muslim background. This makes them additional targets—the government wants to ensure there is no social upheaval caused by religious conversion, and families and communities may reject, punish, or even attack Christians who convert from Islam.
Violence against Christians decreased in Syria, which is news worth celebrating. And yet, the country remains high on the World Watch List—the pressure on all Christians is extreme, and church leaders are targeted for abuse and persecution. Christians who leave Islam continue to bear a large burden placed on them by government, society, and their own families.
In the parts of Syria where Islamic extremists maintain control, Christians remain under significant pressure. ISIS has attacked Christian targets in the last several years, and tensions are high. Places where Turkey has supplied fighters and military support after its invasion in late 2019 are also dangerous for Christians. And finally, Christians who leave Islam to follow Jesus are at risk throughout Syria.
- Pray that God will bring peace to the country and soften the hearts of those in power to provide for the most vulnerable members of Syrian society.
- Lift up the political and military situation in Syria. The civil war has continued for more than a decade, and even as the worst of the violence seems to be over, the country continues to be broken.
- Pray for Christians in Syria, particularly church leaders and converts from Islam. Pray God would protect them from violence, but that He would also raise their spirits even when daily life seems impossible. Ask God to inflame their hearts with love for Him, and to give them the knowledge the worldwide Church is with them.
- Ask God to strengthen the churches that Open Doors works with in Syria. Ask Him to bless our leadership and discipleship training. Pray that God would increase the ministry of our Centers of Hope, that they would be beacons of God’s peace for Christians so devastated by war and Islamic extremists.
- Pray for peace and stability so that displaced Christians can return home to rebuild their lives.
- Pray that the Christians in Syria will be the LIGHT in a country that has been wrecked by civil war and by Islamic extremism.
- Pray to the Lord for believers who have lost family members and friends because of their faith. Pray to the Lord to comfort them and that they know they are not alone.
- Pray to the Lord to comfort believers who are isolated, left behind when family members were killed, and neighbors had fled.
- 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 for the Lord that His believers are bold and courageous to witness to Muslims.
- Pray that Christians will remain to love their enemies and forgive them.
- Pray that pastors and elders will be granted protection and wisdom as they minister to Christians.
- Pray for NGOs working with the local church in Syria through strengthening its leadership and helping the Syrian church be a beacon of hope in Syria. Supporting literature distribution, biblical discipleship and training, trauma counseling and the establishment of community centers (Centers of Hope, OD) that provide services to Syrian Christians and their neighbors.
- Pray for the Lord that He will restore His church in Syria, bind, defeat the forces of darkness and mightily grow the numbers of believers.
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
Prayer Conference Call Details
Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday
From any location on your phone
USA Time Zone:
9:00 PM Eastern
8:00 PM Central
7:00 PM Mountain
6:00 PM Pacific
Call in number: (667) 770-1476 (Note: We have a new call-in phone number)
Access Code: 281207#
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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.