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(Voice of the Persecuted) You are invited to join us on Thursday, January 20, 2022 in a prayer conference call for the persecuted church hosted by Persecution Watch.
Sothern Kurdistan: Iraqi Kurdistan refers to the Kurdish-populated part of northern Iraq. It is considered one of the four parts of “Kurdistan” in Western Asia, which also includes parts of southeastern Turkey, northern Syria, and northwestern Iran.
Population: 5.123 million (2014)
Currency: Iraqi dinar
Eastern Kurdistan or Iranian Kurdistan is an unofficial name for the parts of northwestern Iran with either a majority or sizable population of Kurds. Kurds have suffered a long history of discrimination in Iran. In a report released in 2008, Amnesty International said that Kurds have been a particular target of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and the Kurds’ “social, political and cultural rights have been repressed, as have their economic aspirations
Northern Kurdistan or Turkish Kurdistan refers to the southeastern part of Turkey, where Kurds form the predominant ethnic group. The Kurdish Institute of Paris estimates that there are 20 million Kurds living in Turkey, the majority of them in the southeast
Southeastern Turkey (Northern Kurdistan) is considered to be one of the four parts of Kurdistan, which also includes parts of northern Syria (Western Kurdistan), northern Iraq (Southern Kurdistan) and northwestern Iran (Eastern Kurdistan).
Southern Kurdistan parts of Syria
The region has a long history of conflicts. These continued throughout the 20th century and into the 21st century. In Iraq the establishment of a Kurdish autonomous region in 1974 led to some level of self-governance, which increased after the Persian Gulf War and after its autonomy was recognized in Iraq’s 2005 constitution. In the 2010s a weakened Iraqi state and the Syrian Civil War left those countries unable to stave off the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL; also called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria [ISIS]) in areas around Kurdistan
Kurdish fighters became a leading force in the fight against ISIL in both countries, and, in so doing, Kurdish forces brought an unprecedented amount of territory and strategic assets under their control while winning significant international sympathy.
Such a level of autonomy and international support renewed hopes for independence, but those hopes were short-lived. A referendum for independence held in Iraq’s Kurdish autonomous region in 2017 passed overwhelmingly, but Iraqi forces immediately launched an offensive to take back some of the Kurds’ most important territorial gains. In October 2019, as U.S. forces stood down from supporting Kurds in northeastern Syria, Turkey launched an offensive into the region to subdue Kurdish forces there.
- Pray for the unity among the Kurdish Christians.
- Pray for leaders on both sides to refrain from violence and seek peaceful solutions the problems they face.
- Pray for the displaced Kurds to have shelter, food and warm cloth.
- Pray to the Lord to protect Kurdish Christians from radical Muslims.
- Pray to the Lord that He will protect Iranian Christians from persecution and discrimination.
- Pray that NGOs bring much needed physical and spiritual comfort.
- Pray for protection of Christians in the border areas to become victims of military actions.
- Pray for Elizabeth and her upcoming mission trip to the Near East.
Again, we want to lift up persecuted witnesses to the Lord:
- Leah Sharibu, 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.
- Pray for 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.
- For the release of Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani from Iran, and his family as their Persecution continues. Pastor Nadarkhani is serving the second year of his six-year sentence.
Andy, Persecution Watch Prayer Call Moderator
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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.