Christians living in Yemen request prayer as they experience persecution amidst ongoing war, food shortages, and COVID-19. These challenges have created a significant burden of isolation, both spiritually and physically. The Christian population, which once numbered approximately 40,000, is reduced to only a few thousand. Most live unaware of each other’s existence and in great fear of discovery from their neighbours.
The impact of COVID-19 arrived late in Yemen, compared to the rest of the region. The country is embroiled within a civil war that has left it split between two governments and conflicting international actors. Such an environment has led to persecution that keeps the church underground. Yet after so many years of hardship, many Yemenis are spiritually hungry for answers. Many pastors working in Yemen report an openness for the Gospel message that encourages them for the future of the church.
Sources: International Christian Concern, The Voice of the Martyrs USA
- Ask the Lord to grant wisdom to the governing authorities as they grapple with civil war, unrest, terrorism and the current pandemic.
- Praise God for a greater openness to the Gospel and pray the Lord will continue to use the current sufferings to bring spiritual blessing to many in Yemen.
- Persecution originates from the government, families and extremists groups. Pray for the protection of those who are boldly following Christ.
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Christians in Aleppo are asking for prayers for their city, which has been destroyed by the civil war.
A VOM contact reports, “Currently, it is a ghost city, no life and complete destruction. Pray this city will have life again and the church will play a part in bringing Christ into the oppressed homes.” Pray that the young men who have been taken to fight in the war can return home to rebuild their families. Pray also for children in Syria who have not been able to go to school and who have suffered numerous losses, and that the church will be equipped to help these children recover. Christians have also asked for prayer that believers who once lived in Aleppo will begin to return.
Source: The Voice of the Martyrs USA
Islamic State (IS) militants have captured dozens of Christian families after seizing a strategically located town in the central Syrian province of Homs on Friday 7 August. At least 230 people were kidnapped or detained, including dozens of Christians, some of whom were taken from the Dar Alyan monastery in Qaryatain, the town captured overnight after intense fighting with the Syrian army.
Among those seized were 45 women and 19 children, including 11 families, some of whom were on a list of persons suspected by the militant group of “collaborating with the regime.” The families of hundreds of Christian and Muslim residents of Qaryatain have lost contact with them since the militants captured the area. He fears that IS may also target other Christian population centres in Hawwarin and Sadad.
Towns like Qaryatain are key to IS because they are along the Damascus-Homs Highway, a route used to ferry supplies and fighters. The Syrian army has launched a large-scale counter offensive to recapture the city, which lies in a region where some of Syria’s largest gas fields are located, but so far has made no significance advances.
Last February, the hard-line jihadists abducted at least 250 Assyrian Christians, many of whom were women and children, during raids on villages in north-eastern Syria. The fate of many of these civilians is unclear, as is that of a number of other priests who have gone missing and are believed to be held by the militants, according to Christian groups.
Sources: International Christian Concern, BBC, Syrian Observatory for Human Rights
- Pray to the Lord for the many who are being forcefully held by IS militants; ask the Lord to strengthen, protect and uphold them. Pray they will not despair but trust in Him.
- Pray He will deliver them from their captors and reunite them with their loved ones.
- Pray the suffering felt by so many may somehow be used by the Lord for good. Pray for members of Islamic State.
SYRIA: Christians in Damascus Living in a Battle Zone