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5 ways to pray for persecuted Christians in the Middle East

June 30, 2023 by Tim Dustin in Persecution updates

1) Iran

 Population: 88,000,000

Christians: 1,245,000

Iranians who convert to Christianity are at high risk of persecution. These believers are subjected to losing their jobs, unemployment and being denied educational opportunities. Women who convert have even fewer rights, facing forced divorces and loss of children.

With Iran’s strict Islamic regime, house churches are seen as a Western threat to undermine Islam’s authority. Believers caught in secret house churches are harassed, monitored, arrested and imprisoned, along with being subjected to physical and psychological abuse for actions labeled as “crimes against national security.”

Prayer for Iran

Father,

Strengthen, protect and encourage Christians secretly meeting and serving You in Iran. Direct their steps, watching over and protecting their ways, moving through them to lead many more Iranians to faith in Jesus Christ. Help them be courageous and remain faithful to You in the midst of severe discrimination and persecution. Move upon the Iranian government to grant them freedom to serve You.

In Jesus’ name, amen.

 

2) Syria

Population: 21,300,000

Christians: 603,000

Syrian believers are suffering devastating losses, with traditional church leaders targeted because of their public visibility. Attackers are intimidating and dispersing the Christian community, including demolishing and repurposing religious sites and churches to Islamic centers.

Even in government controlled areas, Christian conversion is viewed as a national threat to the country’s stability. Converting Muslims are rejected and seen as bringing dishonor to their families. Women converts are especially vulnerable and risk suffering violence.

Prayer for Syria

Father,

Comfort and encourage the displaced, persecuted Syrian Christians who have lost everything—many suffering greatly at the hands of their own families. Meet their needs, Lord, and lead them to safety. Protect them from violence and from those set on purging them from their land. Give them Your boldness and courage to remain faithful to You during unstable and perilous times.

In Jesus’ name, amen.

 

3) Turkey

Population: 84,780,000

Christians: 170,000

Although Turkish law permits religious freedom, nationalism is intense. Christians are at high risk of persecution because of strong Islamic ties and contempt for non-Muslims. Believers in Jesus Christ are viewed as disloyal Turks, looked down upon and restricted access to both government and private employment.

Because state identification cards require religious affiliation included, Christians are easily identifiable and discriminated against. Women converts are at highest risk of persecution, threatened with divorce, abuse and sexual violence.

Prayer for Turkey 

Father,

Give Turkish Christians the freedom to openly share the gospel of Jesus Christ in their own country. Open up opportunities for them to minister Your love to those traumatized by the recent earthquakes. Protect them from violence, discrimination and family rejection. Give them daily comfort and encourage them.

In Jesus’ name, amen.

 

4) Iraq

Population: 43,500,000

Christians: 164,000

Iraqi Christians face severe persecution involving prejudice and harassment, many being driven out of their own towns and villages by the Islamic State, receiving no governmental protection.

Traditional Catholic and Orthodox churches are facing increasing discrimination, intolerance and persecution at the hands of local and national governmental leaders, along with Islamic extremist groups.

Muslim converts are harassed, beaten and divorced. Some are arrested, prosecuted and imprisoned under blasphemy laws for sharing the gospel.

Prayer for Iraq

Father,

Bring peace and stability to Iraq, freeing Christians from continuing conflict and civil unrest. Help them to be courageous and faithful. Give them opportunities to share the gospel. Watch over and protect them from violence, discrimination and imprisonment.

In Jesus’ name, amen.

 

5) Afghanistan

Population: 40,100,000

Christians: Thousands (estimated)

Since the 2021 Taliban takeover, Christians in Afghanistan have lost everything, with most running and leaving everything behind. Because any religious belief other than Islam is prohibited, remaining Christians keep their faith secret. Conversion from Islam is punishable by death, causing believers who are discovered to flee or be killed.

Prayer for Afghanistan

Father,

Daily watch over, encourage and comfort the secret Christians living in Afghanistan. Help them to grow in their relationship with You. Soften Taliban hearts to show compassion towards women and to those of other religions. Watch over the thousands of believers who fled the country by keeping them safe, providing shelter and meeting their needs.

In Jesus’ name, amen.

 

About The Author
Tim Dustin is a staff writer for Global Christian Relief, a nonprofit Christian ministry that works to strengthen persecuted believers and raise awareness regarding Christian persecution. For more information, visit our website at GlobalChristianRelief.org.

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