In the NEWS: Turkish border closed as Christian hostages in Syria spike to 250

Rome, Italy, Feb 26, 2015 / 07:13 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The number of ISIS hostages in Syria has increased to at least 250 after continued attacks on Christian villages, and civilians fleeing to the Turkish border have been stranded when not allowed to cross.

“There are 200 families who were running away and trying to escape to Turkey, but the border is closed for Syrians. No Syrian can cross into Turkey,” Archbishop Jacques Behnan Hindo told CNA Feb. 26.  

Prayer Points:

1)    The news of Turkey sealing the border with Syria and not allowing Syrian refugees to cross, which are fleeing from ISIS militants, is very disturbing. Let us pray for the Turks to change this policy.  Pray for the decision makers in Turkey, may the Lord soften their hearts and may they be used by the Lord for the good of His people.

2)    Being a border country on the edge of the ISIS uprising, Turkey is in no position to be neutral. Pray that Turkey would decide to use their influence in the region and turn against ISIS.

3)    Pray for wisdom among the government leaders in Ankara. Pray that they would decide to join the Kurds in fighting ISIS. This would lead us to pray for a peace to arise between the Kurds and Turks. May the conflict in the area result in the Turks and Kurds coming together for a common cause and may they be able to bury past atrocities against each other.

The Kurds are a people group in northern Iraq and Turkey. They have been repeatedly refused autonomous rule. The Kurds are the main force that is standing up against ISIS in armed combat.

In the NEWS: U.S. Evangelist Wins Five-Year Battle for Residency in Turkey

ISTANBUL, Turkey (Morning Star News) – After a five-year court battle, a U.S. evangelist singled out by Turkey’s Ministry of the Interior for deportation because of his outreach activities has been granted a residency permit to stay in Turkey.

David Byle was issued a residency permit at the end of January after five years of living in limbo. During that time, the co-founder of the Holy Book Information Association, also known as the Bible Correspondence Course in Turkey (BCC-Turkey), was unsure from month to month if he might be detained and deported.

“The court ruled in my favor that the government was not right in putting a restriction on me without justifiable reason,” Byle said. “They [the Ministry of the Interior] said I was ‘a threat to national security and public morals,’ and the court said, ‘But this guy has committed no crime. You have no evidence of anything that could look that way, so we overturn your decision to put a restriction on his file.'” 

5)    Let us praise the Lord for this victory for evangelist David Byle and for evangelism in Turkey. This will help in setting legal precedence and upholding laws of freedom of worship.

6)    Let us pray for a release of boldness in the churches in Turkey to evangelize. Lord, give the churches wisdom in launching evangelistic outreaches. We pray for organizations like EI Balkans to have open doors to take teams into Turkey to present the Gospel.

7)    Also let us pray for the churches in Turkey to get fully involved in helping the Syrian and Iraqi refugees that are flooding into Turkey. Although refugees are being turned back at the border, many are still filtering though and others are presently there. We pray for the spirit of compassion to fall on Your church!

8)    The church in Turkey is small and they need much help with the refugees. Let us pray for the churches across the world to send funds and teams to help with this crisis. (Well over a million refugees have flooded into Turkey)

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Pray for Turkey (week of March 2 – 8, 2015) originally written by Jerry Low on March 2, 2015