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Tonight on Persecution Watch: China’s Plan to Crush Christianity

(Voice of the Persecuted) Again, we want to lift up two persecuted witnesses for the Lord and pray for Leah Sharibu and Alice that this year will be the year where they will be set free. And also pray for pastor Wang Yi to be released from Prison.

China

Population: 1.4 billion Christians 97million.

The management of religious affairs is with the Communist Party, which is also the Government. You can’t distinguish one from the other.

When president Xi Jingpin came to power he started crackdowns and persecution against Christians, in both registered and unregistered chutches. Forbid Landlords to rent to Christians for meetings. It started with CCTV monitoring, finger printing and spies. Both medical workers and teachers are not allowed to have religious affiliation. No one under 18 is allowed to attend church.

Now the Party/Government moves to total control.

A new mandate entitled “Administrative Measures for Religious Groups” has been approved by the CPC and is comprised of six chapters and 41 articles dealing with the organization, functions, offices, supervision, projects and economic administration of religious communities. The new rules also seek to ensure that religious leaders support, promote and implement total submission to the Chinese Communist Party at all times.

In addition, Article 17 specifies that all religious organizations “must spread the principles and policies of the Chinese Communist Party” in everything they do. Religious groups must also engage in “supporting the socialist system, adhering to and following the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics …,” according to the restrictions. In essence, the Chinese government is insisting the church conform to it and where Christianity and the government contradict, they require Christians to forsake their beliefs in favor of the government. The government knows this is a trap as Christians place more value on the word of God than the worldly government they are under.

Pastor Wang Yi has spoken boldly against the Chinese government and for the sake of Jesus Christ. Faithwire reports that last September “shortly before he was detained, Pastor Yi personally called on Chinese President Xi Jinping to repent of his sins and come to Jesus.” This inevitably put a giant target on Yi’s back and possibly disturbed President Jinping and his government to the point of establishing new rules against Christians.

· Pray to the Lord that He will exercise His power and bring about a change in government and that they will become open to religious liberty.
· Pray to the Lord that the authorities will be overwhelmed, flooded, drowned with so much information that they are unable to use it against Christians.
· Pray to the Lord that the electronic surveillance, spy systems will break down. Delivered garbled unusable data.
· Pray that the Lord will blind, confuse and distract the authorities that so that believers can worship together without being detected.
· Pray to the Lord for pastors and teachers that train disciple are protected, are made invisible to the authorities.
· Pray that Christians Internet messages and websites will not be blocked or shut down and will continue to minister to both believers and unbelievers.
· Pray to the Lord that He will guide and protect His believers to have courage, wisdom and boldness in reaching out to their neighbors.
· Pray to the Lord to give Christian NGOs favor that they will be invisible to the authorities and can continue to provide spiritual and other support to believers.
· Pray to the Lord that believers will love and forgive their persecutors.
· Pray to the Lord that the Christians know we are praying and standing in the gap for them.
· Pray that the Lord that in spite of the latest measures to suppress Christianity the Numbers of believers will increase beyond our wildest expectations.

Many blessings,

Andy, Prayer Moderator, Persecution Watch

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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 (please check your time zone). Blaine also served as Prayer Director for Voice of the Persecuted and our missions became one. The prayer mission of Persecution Watch is an important part of our own. With the passing of Blaine into glory on December 26, 2019, Voice of the Persecuted is committed to continue the prayer conference call for the persecuted along with our dedicated prayer warrior team.

On occasion, persecuted brothers and sisters have been invited on the call to share the trials they’re 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’re new to the call and can’t 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!

U.S. calls on China to release jailed Early Rain church founder Wang Yi

 

Pastor Wang Yi of Early Rain Covenant Church—Facebook

The South China Morning Post reported that the U.S. State department was alarmed at the pastor’s secret trial which ended with a 9-year sentence for inciting subversion.

‘Another example of Beijing’s intensification of repression of Chinese Christians and members of other religious groups.’

The United States called for the immediate release of Pastor Wang Yi, whom the article describes as from one of China’s best-known unregistered churches.

Yi is the lead pastor of Early Rain Covenant Church with 500 members. However, the report claims the church attracts more than 800 people each week at more than a dozen meeting points around Chengdu. Read full report

Crackdown on Christianity in China Ramps Up

Early Rain Covenant Church members Photo: Facebook

(Morning Star News) – As more government officials in China are empowered to close churches and a “social credit” system threatens to block Christians from schools, bank loans and jobs, authorities have taken harsh measures against more churches, sources said.

In Beijing, Early Rain Covenant Church elder Qin Defu was sentenced to four years in prison on Nov. 29, according to advocacy group China Aid Association (CAA). Qin was charged with illegal business operations as a result of the church using 20,000 Christian books, according to CAA.

Authorities had promised his family that he would be released if he accepted a state-appointed attorney, the group stated.

The charge on which Qin was sentenced could signal a stiff sentence for Pastor Wang, who has been charged with both “inciting subversion of the state” and illegal business practices after being arrested more than a year ago.

“Qin’s attorney said the church’s pastor, Wang Yi, admitted in a testimony that he was involved with these books,” CAA reported. “As such, the lawyer speculated Wang would receive no less than a 10-year sentence.”

Authorities on Dec. 9, 2018 arrested Pastor Wang and more than 100 members of Early Rain Covenant Church; most of them have been released, while Pastor Wang’s wife and child remain under house arrest.

In Shanghai, authorities raided Wheat Church on Dec. 1, broke up the unregistered body’s worship service and ejected members, accusing them of conducting religious activities at an unapproved venue, according to CAA.

The 200 Christians refused to leave, remaining outside in the cold as they sang and worshipped, according to CAA.

The actions are part of progressively harsher measures against Christianity and other faiths deemed a threat to the rule of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) since Xi Jinping became president in 2013. New religion regulations introduced in 2017 greatly expand the number of government departments that can enforce restrictions on religious practice, an attorney in China told The Epoch Times.

“Under the previous law, only the Religious Affairs Bureau would enforce religious restrictions,” the unidentified attorney told the news outlet. “Under the new law, every layer of government can regulate religious affairs. The fact that there are so many more officials cracking down on unregistered churches puts tremendous pressure on the members of those churches. As part of this crackdown, Chinese Christians are facing the most persecution since the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s.”

In ultra-nationalist efforts to stop ordinary citizens from engaging in religion and other activities deemed a threat to CCP control, China has installed 20 million surveillance cameras with advanced facial recognition software to collect data for the purpose of establishing a “social credit” system to monitor perceived loyalty and dissent, Elizabeth Kendal of the Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin notes, citing author Willy Wo-Lap Lam in his book, “The Fight for China’s Future.”

The system is expected to be fully operational in 2020, but Kendal notes that non-compliant Christians and others, such as human rights attorneys, already find they cannot travel as negative social credit prevents them from purchasing a train ticket.

“The days are coming when whole Christian families will find themselves unable to access not merely transport, but schools, hospitals, bank loans and jobs,” she writes.

Such measures flow from the CCP in 2012 formulating five new “black categories” of groups to be quelled – human rights lawyers, underground religious practitioners, dissidents, commentators influencing opinion on the Internet and disadvantaged social groups, Kendal states. The list echoes the “five black categories” of the 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution, when Chairman Mao Zedong designated landlords, rich farmers/peasants, counter-revolutionaries, evil influences and rightists as enemies of the communist revolution to be neutralized – re-educated and if necessary eliminated, she notes.

‘Subversion’
With courts beholden to the Chinese government, authorities commonly charge pastors with subversion as religion is regarded as a threat to the CCP and stability, according to the attorney quoted in The Epoch Times.

“These pastors have no right to legal representation,” the attorney said. “If they have someone brave enough to be their lawyer, the pastor can be beaten up before seeing that lawyer. And their attorney can be beaten as well.”

The subversion charge against Early Rain’s Pastor Wang calls for a sentence of up to five years, or 15 years in extreme cases.

He was a human rights activist and a constitutional scholar before becoming a pastor.

Under the new religion regulations, house churches have been forced to dissolve if they refuse to register, according to the attorney quoted in The Epoch Times, adding that those registering are subject to surveillance, monitoring of sermons and other heavy-handed measures.

The U.S. State Department on Dec. 10, 2018 included China among 10 countries designated as Countries of Particular Concern for severe religious rights violations.

 

Andrew Brunson Speaks to European Parliment, Releases Book and Records Song Written in Prison

Pastor Andrew Brunson suffered exteme persecution at the hands of the Turkish government – Photo: Fady Gergis Youtube capture

(Voice of the Persecuted) American Pastor Andrew Brunson recently spoke to members of the European Parliament in Brussels. Andrew shared what it was like to live as a pastor in Turkey since 1993. He described those 25 years as “twenty-three by choice, two by force in the prisons”, and as spending those combined years telling people about the Good News of Jesus Christ. Though he and his wife suffered in Turkey, Andrew said they still loved the Turkish people and have no regrets they went there and did the work that made him a target for persecution. Andrew started several churches and had done this openly, with nothing to hide, in front of Turkish authorities. “It wasn’t a job for me. I fully believe in what we did, and I don’t try to hide that my call is to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ. I believe He is the only way of salvation and I don’t apologize for saying that. We spent 25 years in Turkey not to undermine the system in any way but to bring God’s offer of eternal life.”

Turkey has a large unreached people group who have never heard the Gospel of Christ, which is why Brunson agreed to go when asked all those years ago. It may surprise you that the Turkish people are often forgotten in prayer, but Pastor Brunson’s imprisonment has changed that. During his incarceration, Brunson was told about the unprecedented prayer movement taking place on his behalf. He said he didn’t feel worthy of it, but certainly needed prayer and was very grateful. As basically an unknown, he wondered why millions of people were praying for him. He concluded that God was using this with intentions to pour prayer into Turkey. “I rode a wave of prayer out of Turkey but…there was a tsunami of prayer that crashed into Turkey that is going to bring great blessing to that country…God was using my imprisonment for good in that way.”

Background: In 2016, the Brunson’s had believed they were called into the local police station to receive long term visa’s, but instead told there was an order for their arrest and they would be held for deportation. It was an unusual detainment for a Westerner who would normally be notified weeks in advance about deportation. They spent 13 days in the center under total silence without knowing why they had been detained and no legal or consular services. Andrew said that he remembers seeing the U.S. Consulate being turned away at the gates of the deportation center. They repeatedly asked what was happening and when they would be deported but only told, Ankara will decide. At the end of the 13 days, his wife, Norine was released but Andrew was imprisoned for “terrorism” for more than two years. Not wanting to leave him, Norine remained in Turkey during his imprisonment.

Attempts by Ankara to use Brunson as a political pawn for the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan failed. The U.S. responded to the imprisonment and false espionage and terror-related charges against Brunson with sanctions. On August 1, 2018, the U.S. Department of Treasury imposed sanctions on two Turkish government officials who were involved in the detention of Brunson. Turkish Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gül and Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu had their assets frozen in the United States, they were prohibited from traveling to the U.S., or engaging in any financial transactions with American citizens. On August 9, the Trump Adminstration raised tariffs on Turkish products. Erdogan followed with tariffs on U.S. products. The U.S. sanctions proved to put a greater pressure on Turkey and on October 12, 2018, Brunson was convicted on the charge of aiding terrorism, but sentenced to time served. He was released from Turkish custody and immediately returned to the United States.

During the European Parliament meeting, Andrew thanked the MEP’s for there concern about religious freedom and using their position to advance it. He also warned of the heightened level of pressure now being experienced by Christians in Turkey. Many lies were often shared about Brunson in the Turkish media supported and controlled by Erdogan’s Islamic government. He some what became the face of Christianity in Turkey. Andrew said there’s been a significant increase of hate speech, tension and distrust since his case.

“I think the environment has been created so when there is increased persecution against Christians, now most Turks are conditioned to say, They deserve it,” he added.

As we at Voice of the Persecuted asked you to pray for Andrew from the beginning of his detention, we now plead with you to keep Christians in Turkey as well as the Turkish people in your prayers.

During the session, Andrew also told the MEP’s about an interesting dream he had in prison about Turkey, Iran and Russia. Andrew said he believed it was God inspired. Voice of the Persecuted highly recommends that you watch the video below of Brunson’s full speech in the European Parliament.

Inspiring

In his most difficult time as a prisoner in Turkey, Andrew wrote a song in Buca Maximum Security Prison only two weeks after the Turkish government falsely accused him of being a spy and helping to lead a coup attempt. These new charges carried an automatic three life sentences in solitary confinement with no parole. Andrew sang this song every day for the remainder of his two years in prison. Listen as Andrew’s explains the story behind the song.

With the help of Fady Gergis, Andrew’s song titled, Worthy Of My All – is now available as a free download. He recorded it at International House of Prayer in Kansas City (IHOPKC). Gergis said, “This song carries such a powerful testimony of continuing to believe that Jesus is worthy while almost having no hope of getting out of prison.” You can download it for free at this link. Fill in your email address, and you will receive a link for the download.

 

Andrew recently published book. You can preview and purchase God’s Hostage: A True Story of Persecution, Imprisonment, and Perseverance here.

CRIMEA: Court orders Christians to destroy chapel

Orthodox Church of Ukraine chapel, Yevpatoriya ©Krymr.org (RFE/RL)

Forum 18 reports the Orthodox Church of Ukraine fears that the authorities in the western Crimean city of Yevpatoriya will demolish a small wooden chapel it built in 2013, before Russia’s invasion and annexation of Crimea. The city court ruled on 6 November 2019 that the Church is using the site illegally and that it should demolish its chapel within one month.

The Church complains it learned about the court hearing only on that day. Its lawyer said the Church is appealing against the decision (see below).

Ukrainian journalist Oleksandra Yefymenko visited the Yevpatoriya church during Sunday liturgy on 1 December, which was attended by “a large number of parishioners” squeezing into the small church. Many had come specially from other cities of Crimea, she told Forum 18. “Representatives of the Russian special services may come to such liturgies under the guise of parishioners, and record those who visit places of worship of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine,” she said.

Russia’s March 2014 annexation of Crimea is not recognized by Ukraine or internationally.

UNHRC call to halt Cathedral eviction

The United Nations Human Rights Committee has called on the Russian government not to evict the Orthodox Church of Ukraine congregation from its rented accommodation in the Crimean capital Simferopol while the Committee considers an appeal by 62 parishioners. The premises serve as the Crimean Diocese’s Sts Volodymyr and Olga Cathedral.

On 18 November a Russian arbitration court rejected the Diocese’s latest appeal against a court order to annul the rental agreement and evict the Cathedral. On 28 November, the Diocese lodged a last-ditch appeal to Russia’s Supreme Court in Moscow.

The now Kiev-based lawyer for the Church, Sergei Zayets of the Regional Centre for Human Rights, told Forum 18 that the chapel was built on land belonging to the community of those living in the flats.

According to court documents seen by Forum 18, the wooden chapel is 5.5 metres (18 feet) by 5.5 metres and its height to the top of the gold-painted cross on the wooden onion dome is just over 10 metres (35 feet).

Obstructing, punishing worship

The Russian authorities in Crimea use the wide range of available laws and regulations to punish communities that meet for worship in places or in ways the authorities do not like.

The Crimean Justice Ministry has rejected the registration application from the Orthodox Church of Ukraine’s Simferopol parish, most recently on 20 September. It claimed there were “violations” in the documents presented. A Justice Ministry official insisted to Forum 18 from Simferopol that “nothing in principle” obstructs the registration of communities of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine.

Massive rent increase and evictions

The Kiev Patriarchate Ukrainian Orthodox Church, as it then was, has rented premises that earlier housed the Officers’ Club in central Simferopol since 1995. It is there that its Simferopol and Crimea Diocesan Sts Volodymyr and Olga Cathedral and offices are located. The Diocese has three floors of the building, with the sanctuary on the middle floor.

Almost all the Kiev Patriarchate’s dioceses and parishes – including in Crimea – joined the Orthodox Church of Ukraine when it was recognised as canonical by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in January 2019.

In 1996 ultimate ownership of the Simferopol building was transferred from a disbanded military base to the Crimean Property Fund. In 1997, under a Crimean Supreme Council decree, rent was set at the symbolic level of 1 Ukrainian Hryvnia (0.5 Norwegian Kroner, 0.05 Euros or 0.08 US Dollars) a month.

Five of the Kiev Patriarchate’s churches in Crimea were forced to close within months of the March 2014 Russian annexation of Crimea.

The Sts Volodymyr and Olga Cathedral – which is next to the offices of the Property Fund – appears on a list of state-owned property in an attachment to a 15 March 2000 Crimean Supreme Council decree. A 16 May 2001 Supreme Council decree – seen by Forum 18 – governs the Church’s use of the building, whose size it gives as 1,475.7 square metres (15,900 square feet).

However, on 18 April 2014, the State Council (which replaced the Supreme Council) adopted a new decree – which remains on the Russian-backed Crimean government website – amending the 2001 decree. It confirmed the Diocese’s rental of the premises until 2050 but changed the basis on which rent is levied.

Archbishop Kliment (Kushch), head of the Diocese, told Forum 18 in June 2014 that the change would result in the Diocese having to pay about 160 Russian Roubles per square metre per month (236,112 Roubles, then equivalent to 42,990 Norwegian Kroner, 5,145 Euros, or 7,000 US Dollars a month). “We’re a non-commercial organisation – how can we pay commercial rates? We live on donations.”

No Russian registration, no rental

The Russian-controlled Crimean State Council amended the Crimean Law on the Particulars of Regulating Property and Land Issues in Crimea on 31 July 2018. This required that any rental contract for state-owned or municipally-owned property with an organisation that had state registration under Ukrainian law but which failed to gain registration under Russian law after the 2014 annexation be cancelled through the courts.

In his explanation presented to the Crimean State Council justifying the amendment, the head of Crimea’s Russian-backed government Sergei Aksyonov noted several Ukrainian-owned companies in such a position, but made no mention of the Orthodox congregation in Simferopol.

Courts order eviction

On 31 January 2019, the Crimean Property and Land Issues Ministry asked the Federal Tax Service and Justice Ministry in Crimea if the Diocese of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine had brought its documents into line with Russian law (i.e. if it had Russian registration). Finding that it had not, the Ministry wrote to the Diocese on 5 February cancelling the rental agreement and asking when Ministry inspectors could visit the premises to arrange the “return” of the building. To read full report click here

CRIMEA: “Anti-missionary” prosecutions double in 2018

Compared to the first year they were implemented, punishments in Russian-occupied Crimea for ill-defined “missionary activity” doubled in 2018. Of 23 prosecutions for sharing faith or holding worship at unapproved venues, 19 ended in punishment. Also, 17 cases were brought for communities not using their full legal name.

In Russian-occupied Crimea in 2018 there were 23 prosecutions brought against individuals for ill-defined “missionary activity”, of which 19 ended with punishment, Forum 18 has found. Many of those punished were prosecuted for sharing their faith on the street or for holding worship at unapproved venues. Cases against two more are due to be heard in mid-January 2019.

This represents a doubling of such cases in the Crimean peninsula since the first year such punishments for “missionary activity” were imposed. July 2016 to July 2017 saw 13 known cases of which 8 ended in punishment.

“These punishments do have an impact,” one member of a religious community in Crimea who was earlier fined for sharing their faith on the street told Forum 18 on 9 January 2019. “Believers go out to share their faith less often, and give out publications or invitations less openly. It is a question not just of fines – if you don’t pay then fines are doubled, then if you still don’t pay they impose compulsory labour.” Read More

Event Today! Join the Prayer Conference Call for the Persecuted Church

Voice of the Persecuted, in partnership with Persecution Watch, will host an open 12 hour prayer conference call to mobilize Christians to unite in prayer for those suffering for their faith in Christ during the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP2019 Persecuted but not abandoned). The call begins at 9 a.m. Eastern and will continue throughout the day until 9 p.m on Sunday, Nov. 3rd. The call is open to all with a desire to pray for those facing extreme hardships for their faith in Christ. Callers are not required to remain on the call for the full twelve offers, but encouraged to sacrifice some time to join the call and band together in prayer.

Godfrey Yogarajah, Executive Director of WEA RLC states,

“Millions of Christians around the world are persecuted for their faith daily. From Pakistan to Kazakhstan, Nigeria to North Korea, Christians routinely face discrimination, harassment, violence and even death for their faith in Jesus. Their suffering is unimaginable.

The Bible in Hebrews 13:3 command Christians to pray for those suffering as if they themselves were suffering. In other words, the Bible calls us to not only remember those who suffer but also to identify with them in their suffering. In keeping with this scriptural command, the International Days of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP) has united millions of Christians in prayer for the suffering Body of Christ around the world. After all, as the Bible says: If one suffers, we all suffer.

Over the years, the IDOP has served as a platform to highlight the stories of persecuted Christians and mobilise the global Church to respond to their plight. Moreover, in so doing, the IDOP has also been a source of solidarity and encouragement to persecuted Christians by reminding them that they are part of a larger, global family of believers.

We believe that God uses the prayers of his people to strengthen and deliver suffering saints. However, in order to pray for these suffering brothers and sisters, we must first listen to their stories. In other words, we must hear their cry.

We invite you, therefore, to join us this year on 3rd and 10th November as we unite globally to pray for the persecuted. Let’s pray that in spite of the pressure and persecution, our suffering brothers and sisters –where ever they may be in the world — would stand firm in their faith, hold fast to the promises of God, and live victoriously in Christ.”

Blaine Scogin, Founder of Persecution Watch and Prayer Director of Voice of the Persecuted shared,

“Brothers and Sisters, in this final hour of redemptive history, we see the forces of Satan marshaling against the followers of Jesus. Persecution continues to increase in a frequency which has not been seen previously in history. Satan has declared an all out war on the followers of Jesus and if possible seeks to destroy them.

But God has given to us powerful weapons that are not of this world. We recognize those weapons as the word of God and prayer. Imagine the power of using His word as we pray. Through the Holy Spirit, we can pray powerful prayers to uphold our persecuted family.

God has placed us in the freedom of America. We are able to cry out for those who cannot cry out for themselves. The persecuted in the shadow of the cross pray of course, but they also have a heartfelt plea, Please pray that we will ‘endure’ the persecutions and that God will deliver us ‘through’ the persecutions.”

Sunday, November 3rd, is designated the first of two days IDOP2019 will be observed this month. Believers around the world will be lifting up our persecuted family and we want to join with them lifting our prayers also on behalf of those suffering.”

Ephesians 6:18 New Living Translation

▪︎ Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere. (NLT)

Colossians 4:18 New Living Translation (NLT) (KJV)

• HERE IS MY GREETING IN MY OWN HANDWRITING—PAUL.
Remember my chains. (NLT) {KJV)
May God’s grace be with you.

Please encourage others to pray for our persecuted brothers and sisters.

The Lord hears the cries of the righteous who are afflicted. He intercedes for them. Will we hear the cries of our persecuted family? It’s time for us to intercede in prayer for them.
From the team at Voice of the Persecuted, join us! (Call details below)

Location: Any location from your phone

DATE:
Sunday, November 3 2019
Time:
9 a.m. to 9 p.m. EDT
8 a.m. to 8 p.m. CDT
7 a.m. to 7 p.m. MDT
6 a.m. to 6 p.m. PDT
Call Number:  
712-775-7035
Access Code:
281207#

International numbers and Mobile App links available (We encourage the use of the free mobile app)

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Available International IDOP Prayer Conference Call Connection

(Note: You may experience issues in your country. If you are unable to connect, try using the VoIP dialer available at this link. Dial a number from any of the countries listed at this link to connect to the conference call. In-app language support is available for select countries.

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 has 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 (please check your time zone). Blaine also serves as Prayer Director for Voice of the Persecuted.

On occasion, persecuted brothers and sisters have been invited on the call to share the trials they’re 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’re new to the call and can’t 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.

1 The UN Declaration on Human Rights states that: “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.”

CALL-IN PRAYER EVENT FOR LEAH SHARIBU Oct. 26, 2019

(Voice of the Persecuted) Leah Sharibu was taken captive on February 19, 2018 by the Islamist militia, Boko Haram. October 26th marks twenty months of Leah’s captivity and concerned citizens will gather in Washington DC, and across the globe, to pray for her safe release and call on governments to act on Leah’s behalf. To give all an opportunity to pray, Persecution Watch has scheduled a call-in event for those unable to attend a physical location. See details below

The Nigerian government was able to negotiate the release of her 104 classmates but because Leah refused to convert to Islam, she remains in captivity and the government has been less than forthcoming about securing her release. Although Nigerian leaders have made occasional pronouncements and assurances throughout her captivity, Leah remains a hostage and her family continues to wait and pray for her release. After false hope and unmet expectations, it is unknown what this Christian girl is having to endure solely for her Christian beliefs. Leah is not alone in her plight. Christians around the world are persecuted daily for their faith, facing threats of beating and death, and are often forced to flee their homes for fear of retribution.

Nadia Dybvik, Persecution Watch team moderator, who will be leading the call-in event shared,

Nadia Dybvik of Persecution Watch Photo: Voice of the Persecuted

“As a young girl in Italy, I was very shy, didn’t have many friends and often felt lonely and depressed. I remember looking up to the vast and beautiful sky dreaming that somewhere over the clouds was a mighty God in a mighty big mansion. I hoped for Him to look down and take me up with Him. I imagined it was a place of peace flowing with love. I wanted to go there and to be with this mighty God. That was so many years ago and I realize now that l genuinely didn’t know our mighty and loving God back then.

I am no longer that lonely, depressed, shy little girl. 36 years ago, I gave my life to Him and finally became a child of God. He has come into my heart and forgiven me for all the wrongs I have done.

“For God so loved the World that He gave HIs only son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

As I look at the picture of this young girl named Leah, my memory brings me back in time when I was her age and my heart cries. If I had known Him then would I stand firm or would I deny Him so that my life would be spared? I hear His Word, “If you deny me, I will deny you”

Oh, what a faith to have at such a young age. Leah knows the Lord as her Savior, and when she looks up in sky, she knows for sure the true Living God. What a mighty work the Lord is doing through this young girl, what a testimony to all. I’ve never met her but love her so dearly. She loves Jesus this I know. I pray that I too will demonstrate my faith in Christ as firmly under all circumstances.

After her kidnapping, at only 14 years old, she wrote a note to her family.

“I know it is not easy missing me…I am confident that one day I shall see your face, if not here then there at the bosom of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

As I read Leah’s note to her mom, I hear Him whispering a very familiar verse to me,

“Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering” Hebrews 13:3.

How can I not obey? I will remember and I will Pray! I’m asking, “Will you also pray for Leah and the many brothers and sisters in this world suffering for their faith in Christ?” I personally invite you to join the call-in event.

Thank you for standing with Leah and the persecuted church. I look forward to meeting and praying with you on the call!”

Location: Any location from your phone
DATE:
Saturday, October 26, 2019
Time:
1 p.m. EDT
12 p.m. CDT
11 a.m. MDT
10 a.m. PDT
Call Number:  
712-775-7035
Access Code:
281207#

International numbers and Mobile App links available (We encourage the use of the free mobile app)

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

Available International IDOP Prayer Conference Call Connection

(Note: You may experience issues in your country. If you are unable to connect, try using the VoIP dialer available at this link. Dial a number from any of the countries listed at this link to connect to the conference call. In-app language support is available for select countries.

If you would like to host a vigil for Leah or find one near you, please visit pray4leah.org for more information.

Persecution Watch is a prayer call ministry dedicated to praying for the persecuted. The weekly Persecution Watch Prayer Call meets at 9 pm Eastern every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.  For more info contact: pwprayercall@gmail.com  

Prayer vigil on October 26, 2019 for Leah Sharibu in Washington D.C. #FreeLeah #ItsTime

A global prayer vigil will take place on October 26, 2019 for Leah Sharibu.  For those unable to attend the D.C. vigil, information is provided on the Pray For Leah website to help you find or host a prayer vigil for Leah in your area.

Leah was abducted by the Boko Haram on February 19, 2018 with more than 100 of her classmates in Nigeria. She was the only Christian who was abducted and the only one who was not released because she refused to deny Christ. It is time to bring her home. Go to http://www.pray4leah.org to find a vigil near you. #Itstime #FreeLeah

Voice of the Persecuted is asking you to pray and to be a voice by spreading the word on social media, at your church, and in your community. Voice of the Persecuted will be at the vigil in Washington D.C.. If you’re attending, we hope to see you there!

We encourage you to also sign the petition urging the president of Nigeria to secure the release of Leah. SIGN HERE

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