(Voice of the Persecuted) You are invited to join us on Tuesday, February 28,2023 in a prayer conference call for the persecuted church hosted by Persecution Watch.
Dear Prayer Warriors, the Lord has brought to my attention Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani. As you know we have been praying for him since 2018. But we will not lose hope, for we are serving a faithful Father. In faith will continue to pray for him until his release!
“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.” Hebrews 10:23
Apr 15, 2022
USCIRF Calls for Permanent Release of Iranian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani Following Furlough
Washington, D.C. – The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) today welcomed Iran’s temporary furlough of religious prisoner of conscience Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani and called on the government to permanently release him.
Iranian security officials arrested Nadarkhani in July 2018 on charges of “acting against national security” and “promoting Zionist Christianity.”
“Pastor Nadarkhani’s furlough is a welcome development following years of detention and a serious illness in Evin Prison,” said USCIRF Chair Nadine Maenza, who advocates for Pastor Nadarkhani through USCIRF’s Religious Prisoners of Conscience Project. “We call on Iran to fully release Pastor Nadarkhani and all other individuals serving prison sentences on the basis of their religious beliefs.”
Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani was the leader of a 400-member house church in Iran. In 2010, an Iranian court sentenced him to death for apostasy—but he was acquitted in 2012. In 2017, Pastor Nadarkhani faced trial again on false charges of “acting against national security” and promoting “Zionist Christianity,” for which he was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment. In July 2018, plainclothes agents raided Pastor Nadarkhani’s home to bring him to Evin Prison in Tehran, beating and apprehending him and using a taser gun on one of his sons. Both of Pastor Nadarkhani’s sons were denied educational advancement in September 2019, prompting Nadarkhani to undertake a three-week hunger strike in prison. His sentence was reduced to six years in June 2020. Nadarkhani reportedly fell ill in February 2021 following a suspected COVID-19 outbreak within Evin Prison. His current release date is July 2024.
In its 2021 Annual Report, USCIRF recommended that the U.S State Department designate Iran as a Country of Particular Concern (CPC) for its ongoing, systematic, and egregious religious freedom violations. USCIRF published a country update highlighting Iran’s escalation of religious repression in 2021. SOURCE
We will continue to pray for a dear missionary will be traveling to Gaza and the Middle East
Again, we want to lift-up these persecuted witnesses to the Lord:
- Leah Sharibu, a prisoner of Boko Haram since 2018, pray for her release.
- Alice Loksha Ngaddah, kidnapped February 2019. She is a mother of two, working as a nurse for UNICEF. Pray for her release.
- Pray for Pastor Wang Yi to be released from prison.
- For the release of Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani from Iran, and his family as their persecution continues.
- Pray for Ryan Kohler, pilot for Mission Aviation who is in prison in Mozambique. While flying supplies to orphanages in the Northeast of the country, he and two others were detained and accused of supporting terrorism.
- The Harvest
37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38 therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” Matthew 9:37-38
The Lord’s servant,
Nadia Dybvik, Persecution Watch Prayer Conference Call Leader
Prayer Conference Call Details
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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.