(Voice of the Persecuted) You’re invited to join us on Thursday, April 20, 2023, in a prayer conference call for the persecuted church hosted by Persecution Watch.
WHAT IS HAJJ?
There is a shrine in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, known as the Ka’aba. Muslims believe it was originally built by Adam, destroyed in Noah’s time, and rebuilt by Abraham and his son Ishmael.
They believe that over time the Arabs of the region became idolaters, and this sacred site was co-opted by pagans. Mecca became the destination of many pagan pilgrims. Those pilgrims provided a great deal of income for the city. Muhammad’s grandfather was actually the caretaker of the Ka’aba.
In 610 AD, as Muhammad began preaching against the idolatry in Mecca, opposition to him grew. A power struggle developed between him and the leaders and citizens of Mecca. In 622 AD, he fled to Medina, 200 miles away. Eventually the balance of power shifted, and Muhammad and his followers returned to Mecca in 630 AD. They marched in – with other tribes who joined them on the way – destroyed the idols, and reclaimed the Ka’aba and the whole city for Allah (Quran 22:26-28).
WHY IS HAJJ SIGNIFICANT?
For Muslims, Mecca is the most important city in the world. It is the birthplace of their prophet. They face it five times daily in prayer. To journey there is the dream of a lifetime. The hajj is required of every able-bodied Muslim who can afford to go.
Those who cannot go can send someone in their place – someone who has already been on the journey. The hajj, theoretically, unifies and brings equity to the worldwide community of Muslims, whether prince or pauper. Non-Muslims are never allowed into Mecca.
Not only do they believe a sincere Muslim leaves Mecca with a new status and title (hajji for men and hajja for women), they leave like a newborn baby: sinless and with a fresh start in life.
WHAT DOES HAJJ LOOK LIKE IN PRACTICE?
Each year around two million Muslims perform the hajj during the 12th month of the lunar calendar. Some very wealthy people stay in five-star hotels; others sleep on the side of the road. Women must be accompanied by husbands or guardians. Everyone prepares for the journey by washing, cutting their hair and nails, and donning the same simple, special clothing.
The ritual starts by circling the Ka’aba seven times and kissing the Black Stone. Then, while reciting prayers along the way, the pilgrim runs between two small hills, meant to symbolize Hagar’s frantic search for water in the desert. Next, after a sermon and prayers in the Great Mosque at Mecca, Muslims travel to Arafat, about 12 miles away. There they stand and pray: “Here I am, O Allah, here I am, here I am. You have no partner. Here I am.” After their vigil at Arafat, they visit Mina, where they throw stones at a pillar symbolizing Satan.
When this is complete, a sacrifice is offered and the Eid al-Adha begins (Festival of Sacrifice, which all Muslims celebrate, not just the pilgrims). Afterward, people return to Mecca for one more pass around the Ka’aba and perhaps even return to Mina or visit the grave of Muhammad at Medina
Together let us watch and pray along with the Prayercast Team.
- Pray eyes would be opened to the futility and emptiness of each religious ritual.
- Pray Jesus Christ would reveal Himself.
- Pray pilgrims would be transformed into disciples of Jesus.
Andy, Persecution Watch Prayer Moderator
Prayer Conference Call Details
Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday
From any location on your phone
USA Time Zone:
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Call in number: (667) 770-1476
Access Code: 281207#
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What is Persecution Watch?
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.