Prime Minister Netanyahu told a conference of media journalists on Sunday:
“Dedicate this week to highlighting the plight of the countless Christians suffering under Iran; Profile the brave Christian leaders jailed for practicing their faith; Sit with the families of the school teachers jailed for years merely for converting to Christianity; Call out the lie and the lies of President Rouhani, who promised in 2013 that all religions would, quote, feel justice in Iran, while so many Christians live there in constant terror.”
Netanyahu’s call to Christian journalists to report of the persecution of Christians is something we would like to see of all journalists, especially here in the UK. Once again, the Israeli PM has extended his hand of friendship to Christians and demonstrated a genuine concern for the plight of Christians throughout the Middle East.
He also said that Israel has “no better friends in the world than the Christian communities around the world. And Israel is the one country in a vast region where Christians not only survive, they thrive.”
This week, let us spend some time praying for our Christian brothers and sisters suffering persecution because of their faith. Also, let us thank God that Israel is a safe and secure country for Christians to live. In doing so we must also recognise that the enemy that aims to wipe out Christianity from the Middle East is the same as that which is opposed to the existence of the Jewish people…and the Jewish State.
More reason why Netanyahu’s sentiment for Jews and Christians to stand together is so meaningful.
The following prayer points are to assist you as you pray. For the stories behind these prayer points, please view the CUFI Weekly News Round-up, by clicking here.
- Praise the Lord for Netanyahu’s clear declaration of support for Christians living in the Middle East. Pray that the friendship between Christians and Jews will strengthen even further both in Israel and here in the UK.
- Praise the Lord that Israel is a safe place for Christians in the Middle East. However, it is regrettable that it is currently the only country in the Middle East in which this is the case.
- Pray for Christians suffering because of their faith, either because of limited religious freedom, rejection or discrimination by their family and community, or through violent extremism.
- Pray for Christians caught up in the conflict in Syria and Iraq; for believers recently targeted by Islamic extremists in Egypt, and for Christians practising their faith secretly, such as in Saudi Arabia.
- Pray for Christians in Iran. Praise the Lord that despite oppression the Church is growing.
- Pray for Christians suffering persecution outside the Middle East, such as in Nigeria, Pakistan and North Korea.
- Praise the Lord that Islamic State has been driven out of its Syrian stronghold, Raqqa. Pray that this will lead to eventual defeat of ISIS and a weakened network of ISIS supporters and morale.
- Despite this progress, pray about the continued threat of Islamic terrorism in the West.
- A rocket landing in southern Israel from the conflict between Egypt and Islamic State in the Sinai is a reminder of the close proximity of ISIS to Israel. Pray for the protection of Israel’s borders from Islamic State, as well as other Islamic extremists such as Hezbollah and Hamas.
- Pray that the new unity government between Fatah and Hamas will not deceive international leaders into believing that Hamas is now approachable for negotiating with the West. Pray that the UK, US and EU will take a strong stand in condemning Hamas’s rejection of Israel and terrorist activities.
- Praise the Lord that the anti-Semitic Quatari candidate did not win the final vote to head UNESCO. Pray that the new French director-general will take a stand against anti-Israel bias in the UNESCO.
- Pray for CUFI as we attend the Festival of Life at the Excel Friday night (this evening).