This has been a tense and tragic week in the Middle East.
Between the missiles Iran fired at Iraq military bases housing U.S. troops and the Ukrainian airplane crash that killed 176 people, including 63 Canadians, tensions around the world are on high alert.
And the strain between the U.S. and Iran could impact Iranian Christians, making them targets. We heard thousands of radical Muslims chant “Death to America” at General Qassem Soleimani’s funeral … and in the minds of these extremists, America and Christianity are synonymous. They want all Christians eradicated, including those in their own country.
Believers in Iran have already undergone much persecution. Religious persecution watchdog Open Doors has listed Iran in its top 10 most dangerous countries for Christians in the world for the past decade.
Still, Christianity is growing at exponential levels in Iran. Church historians have noted that Iran is presently home to the fastest growing church in the world. Of course, this growth has caught the eye of extremists who oppose Christianity. The concern is they may use any excuse — including revenge for the death of Gen. Soleimani — to harass and persecute Christians and to incite crowds against them.
That’s why I’m asking you to join me in praying for the underground church in Iran.
- Pray that if persecution intensifies, Christians in Iran will remain strong and the church will continue growing at the incredible rate we’ve seen over the past few decades.
- Pray that fearful hearts will find hope in Christ, and that the church will be strengthened, unified and seen as a beacon of hope.
- Ask God to take away the authority that Satan has over this country and to soften the hearts of its leaders.
- Continue to pray for both our U.S. military and our nation’s leaders.
- As you pray for our troops, please remember to keep their families in your prayers, too.
- Pray also for the families of the 176 victims of the plane crash as they grieve the tragic loss of their loved ones.
No matter what happens next, these are dangerous times for those living in the Middle East. Let’s turn to God in prayer remembering, as Corrie Ten Boom once said, to “never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.”
Photo courtesy: Pixabay
Vernon Brewer is the founder of World Help, a Christian humanitarian organization serving the physical and spiritual needs of people in impoverished communities around the world. Follow him @vernonbrewer.