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Persecution Watch: Praying for Believers in Syria

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(Voice of the Persecuted) You’re invited to join us on Thursday, May 18, 2023, in a prayer conference call for the persecuted church hosted by Persecution Watch.

Syria: Population: 19.5 million, Christians – 638 thousand

Syrian Christians’ lives have been severely disrupted by the civil war that began more than two decades ago. Caught in the crossfire in this brutal conflict between Muslim factions, believers have been abused and attacked from all sides. More than 750,000 Christians have been driven from the country. The churches and believers that have been able to remain in Syria have served as a beacon of hope and a source of peace for both Christians and Muslims throughout the war. Many Muslims have come to Christ as Christians have reached out with acts of compassion and practical assistance. And reports that neighboring countries may send Syrian refugees back to Syria gives believers hope that those who came to faith in nearby countries will return and strengthen local churches.

90 percent of Syrians are Sunni Muslims. Syrian Christians make up a significant minority, but many have taken refuge in neighboring countries because of the war.

Islamist groups seek to drive Christians out of Syria, and the government works to control churches. While Muslim communities can be hostile to Christians, severe persecution usually comes from the government and Islamist groups, which have been unchecked in their oppression and abuse of Christians during the ongoing civil war.

“A 15-year-old boy told me he only had one wish: to take life back to how it was before the war. After 12 years of war, Covid, sanctions, and the collapse of the currency, this latest disaster is more than many people can bear,” he said. “They use many different expressions to express the 12-year war. But if you ask them about the earthquake that they were exposed to, the answer is just one word: horror.”

Prayer Points

  • Pray to the Lord that He will touch the heart of the president Bashar al-Assad to recognize the Christian citizens of Syria.
  • Pray to the Lord that the civil war will finally end and free the country from the influence of Iran and Russia.
  • Pray to the Lord that the government will reign in and control the radical Muslim groups like ISIS.
  • Pray for internally displaced Christians in Aleppo and the northwest region to be able to return home.
  • Pray to the Lord to protect and encourage the few Christians living in the Kurdish Qamishli area.
  • Pray for Pastors and believers who are faithfully sharing Christ amid great turmoil.
  • Pray that the many Christian converts from Islam will grow in knowledge and faith.
  • Pray for unity among churches and Christians.
  • Pray that the Lord will strengthen pastors and church staff, who are exhausted by war and unrest.
  • Pray for Christians who commonly suffer the loss of jobs, homes, social standing and family relationships.
  • Pray that believers have easy access to the internet online bibles and that messages will give them strength and comfort.
  • Pray to the Lord that He will appear to many Muslims in their sleep and that they will become seekers to find out more – to be connected to believers and answer the ongoing needs from the recent earthquakes.
  • Pray to the Lord to protect the NGOs networks to help believers and provide.
  • Pray for Christians to be deeply anchored in faith and that they know that we pray for them.
  • Pray to the Lord to help Churches who are struggling to meet the needs of the overwhelming number of displaced people.
  • Pray to the Lord that, despite the hostile climate in Syria, His church will continue to grow and be the light in the darkness.

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 Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani from Iran, as he and his family are adjusting from his release from prison, that they may know what God’s will is for them now. Pray for the trauma they had to endure. UPDATE: According to Article 18, once sentenced to death for his “apostasy” has been “pardoned” and released after nearly five years in Tehran’s Evin Prison, but told Nadarkhani that he still faces flogging (30 lashes) and two years’ exile 2,000km from his home. Read the report here
  • UPDATE (March 17, 2023): Ryan Koher, a pilot for the U.S.-based ministry Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF), and two of the ministry’s South African volunteers were released from a Mozambican prison Tuesday afternoon, the organization announced. The trio had been held at a high-security prison inside the southeastern African country for four months. Their release is a provisional one and they are required to remain in the country, while their case is still ongoing, according to MAF. Koher is said to be “doing well” following his release and has spoken multiple times with his wife, Annabel, and his two sons since his release, the ministry said. Source

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

Andy, Persecution Watch Prayer Conference 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

Access Code: 281207#

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?

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.

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