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Persecution Watch: Praying for Believers in Turkey

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(Voice of the Persecuted) You are invited to join us on Tuesday, October 11, 2022, in a prayer conference call for the persecuted church hosted by Persecution Watch.

Turkey is a transcontinental country located mainly in Western Asia, with a small portion in Southeast Europe. It shares borders with eight countries. Kurds are the largest minority.

Population:

  • 84 million
  • 70% Turks, 19% Kurds
  • 82% Muslim, 2% Christian

Much of the New Testament was written either in or to churches in what is now modern-day Turkey, but now Turkish believers’ number only a few thousand.

  • With the reforms initiated by the country’s first president Atatürk in 1923, Turkey became a secular republic.
  • The AKP government has waged one of the world’s biggest crackdowns on media freedom. During the October 2019 offensive into Syria, Turkish forces have been accused of war crimes.
  • The last forty years Turkey has been at war with Independent-minded Kurds, even fighting them in Syria, and recently in Iran.
  • Christianity is frowned upon and linked to the Crusades and the Spanish Inquisition. Becoming a Christian may be considered treason. Christians are ostracized and may have trouble getting jobs.
  • Many church services have been disrupted. Old church buildings have been destroyed.
  • Those who convert to Christianity may be tried for “insulting Turkishness”.
  • 2018 -President Trump negotiated a deal with Turkey for the release of American pastor Brunson. Andrew Brunson had been imprisoned in Turkey for two years, facing 35 years in jail if he had been convicted on terrorism and espionage charges.

Prayer Points

  • Pray for church leaders– that God would give them wisdom, understanding and strength to act on and carry out their convictions.
  • Pray that the Church would UNITE as one mind, one body, “having everything in common”, unafraid, unshaken & collectively praying for boldness to continue spreading light and life in this present darkness.
  • That in this time of uncertainty, fear, anxiety, and unrest, that the Church would lean into him, pursue peace, step out in bold confidence, proclaiming fearless VICTORY over the darkness of our situation- because we are grounded in WHO HE IS and what HE’S DONE!
  • Jesus would create and mature servants’ hearts that would propel believers into lives of ministry and would actively seek the wellbeing of others.
  • Pray that the Church will remember why we’re here. This is our temporary home, but it is our home for a reason!

James 1:2-4: “Consider it pure joy my brothers, when you face trials of various kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete”.

  • Pray for those who are being refined into men and women that bear His image and His likeness.

Matthew 5:3: “Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven…”

  • Pray for those who have suffered from loss; that they would experience his comfort and peace in powerful ways, that trials would strengthen their faith and that they would experience His love, comfort and peace in a new way.

2 Timothy 1:7- “God has not given us a spirit of fear but a spirit of power and love and soundness of mind”

  • Pray freedom over fear, victory over darkness, peace over anxiety, joy over turmoil, and confidence in who Jesus is and who He says we are.
  • Pray that believers would hold fast, stand firm and remember as we face this “battle” that the war has already been won -there is victory over every darkness.

Heb. 13:8 – “I am the same yesterday today and tomorrow”

  • Christianity used to be the dominant belief in Asia Minor, but now only 2% call themselves Christian.  Pray Romans 31: “If our God is for us, then who can be against us?”
  • Even though the government today remains secular, there is increasing religious and social pressure against the church and local believers.
  • Pray for missionaries to continue, as visa issues are becoming more and more difficult.
  • The lack of obvious fruit in Turkey can frustrate and discourage Christian workers, and there is much Christian worker turnover.
  • Please pray for grace and strength to continue faithfully, day after day. 
  • Pray for outreach among the millions of refugees currently residing in Turkey, especially from Syria and Iran. Pray that local believers would step out in faith, trusting that God will lead them to the right person to talk about their belief in Jesus.
  • The importance of cleanliness in Islam reflects a deep desire to be acceptable to God. Pray for Turks to discover the once-for-all cleansing of Jesus’ blood, and our acceptance through Jesus’ righteousness. John 13.8-10, Hebrews 10.19-22
  • Turkey is in the process of joining the EU, who puts pressure on Turkey for human rights – but for the last decade, President Erdoğan has depended on the support of nationalists and Islamists.  Pray that Turkey does not fall under Sharia law.  
  • Turkey’s military has a history of taking over the government. Pray that future changes does not eliminate Christians’ few legal rights.
  • Turkey’s historic churches survived, until the 20th century.  Pray that the Holy Spirit would restore everything Satan stole!
  • There is revival among the Kurds in northern Iraq – pray it would spread to the larger number of Kurds in Turkey.
  • Many Turks and Kurds have emigrated to Europe in the last seventy years, especially to Germany. Pray Western believers would reach out to their new neighbors.
  • It is illegal for an adult to evangelize children. Pray for 30,000 street kids living in Istanbul.

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.

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.

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.

The Harvest

“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)

Michael Laird, 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#

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

If you are experiencing any difficulties joining the call, please let us know.

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

NOTE: Please fill out the form in the sign up link below to be included in our distribution list to receive urgent prayer requests, prayer points, notification of special prayer events and special guest speakers.

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.

Photo: Wahid, A. (2014). Hagia Sophia [Photograph]. (source)

Originally a Greek Orthodox church, in July 2020, the Council of State annulled the 1934 decision to establish the museum, and the Hagia Sophia was reclassified as a mosque.


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