As we continue to live in a moderate world where religious tolerance is adhered, let us not forget that Christian persecution is an on-going phenomena in many other parts of the world – especially within some of the Islamic countries.
It is not uncommon to hear from reliable news portals that bring up the inhumane treatment of Christians or the severe persecution that transcend basic human interactions. (Like one brother said that “even animals do not treat their own kind like that”.)
An example is Al Golchin, an Iranian Christian who was placed under solitary imprisonment in Iran’s most treacherous Evin Prison. Others have been killed, murdered, hunted, raped, dis-membered, hanged or even burned out of religious fervor.
Such incidents reminds me of the persecution in the book of Acts, which eventually resulted in a greater glory to our Lord such as the conversion of Paul and the mass evangelism of neighboring countries:
Act 8:1 And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles.
The President of Iran (formerly called Persia), President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad coaxed his government to introduce tough Islamic Laws making it a death penalty if ever any of their Muslim people were to convert out of Islam, practically silencing all forms of evangelism in the country.
Nonetheless, we give thanks to God for brave Iranian ministries that have made tremendous inroads to preaching the gospel either via digital media or personal witnessing. An example is the Persian Ministries International, founded by Rev. Donald Fareed, a former Shi’ite Muslim, who has a God given mission to reach his nation for Christ.
How do we pray for an Islamic nation?
Below is a version reproduced from www.christiananswers.net
- Every Muslim is someone whom God loves. Unfortunately, some Christians make the mistake of not praying for Muslims because of their own prejudices or fears.
- Let us begin in prayer by asking God to give us a heart filled with love and compassion towards Muslims.
- We also need to pray in faith and confidence that God will hear us and will move powerfully in answer to our prayers of love and compassion. (John 14:12-14)
- Muslims believe in the uniqueness of an all powerful and supreme Allah. Similar to Christians and Jews, Muslims believe that Allah is creative and eternal. Muslims also believe that Allah is unknowable and that it is impossible to ever really know him or have a relationship with him as a personal Savior. According to Islam, Allah holds himself apart from mankind.
- When praying for Muslims, pray that they will have a full revelation of the true God and His loving character. (Hebrews 8:8-9)
- The Muslim worldview is strongly influenced by an awareness of the supernatural and the presence of good and evil spirits known as jinn. Jinn are greatly feared and are often thought to be responsible for illnesses and misfortune. Superstitions control many aspects of a Muslim's everyday life and often result in them living in constant fear. This fear reveals a heart cry and desperate need that can only be met in the person and authority of the Lord Jesus Christ.
- Pray against the fear that influences many Muslims. (1 John 4:18)
- Galatians 4:22-25 tells us that Ishmael was born as a result of works resulting in slavery. Islam means submission, and a Muslim understands that he is a servant of Allah. While this is also a Biblical aspect of our relationship with God, it is incomplete. As Christians, through Jesus, we know that we move from being servants to becoming sons and daughters.
- Never underestimate the work of the Holy Spirit as you pray for Muslims. Allow God to teach you how to pray and to share His heart with you concerning them. Vast numbers of Muslims have come to Christ as a result of supernatural encounters. Many have dreams and visions of Jesus. It is only God who can open blind eyes and soften hearts. Only God can bring true conviction of sin and create new life. (Romans 8:26, John 16:8)