In an effort to increase awareness and to end the plight of the persecuted church, Blaine Scogin of Persecution Watch is using conference calls as a means of praying for tortured and imprisoned believers.
Few are aware there is a lack of religious freedom for 73% of the world’s population, with 200 million Christians living in restricted countries.
Scogin would like to change that. Two years ago, when he did a “Google” search for a conference call prayer group for the persecuted church, he found nothing. Then the Lord impressed on his heart, What are you going to do about it?
Since he came to Christ, Scogin has always been an intercessor concerned for the persecuted church. He read “God’s Smuggler” by Open Doors founder Brother Andrew, then “Tortured for Christ” by Voice of the Martyrs founder Richard Wurmbrand shortly after receiving Christ, and was hooked.
His prayer conference call ministry was launched in August of 2010, but he says “we are not the only people praying, just the only conference prayer line that I know of.” Scogin would like to see other prayer conference call ministries get started since the need is so great.
Scogin’s ministry has conference calls every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday nights. He lets the Holy Spirit guide their prayers to the countries where Christians are facing the greatest needs.
Recently they have focused on North Korea, but often pray heavily for countries in the Middle East. They have prayed for Israel’s Messianic and Palestinian churches, and for believers in Indonesia, Myanmar, Eritrea, Somalia, China, India, Viet Nam, Pakistan, Cuba and northern Mexico to name a few.
Persecution Watch has also been instrumental in aiding the International Day of Prayer, which takes place this year on November 10.
Scogin notes that North Korea is number one on all persecution watches at this time. He says some North Korean Christians almost welcome prison since they feel the freest to share the gospel in the prison camps. Moreover, if they are killed, they will be absent from the body and present with the Lord. They say it is an honor to suffer for the Lord and have great joy amidst their suffering.
They often ask that prayers not be for them to find freedom and escape to South Korea, but that they have the strength and ability to endure and promote the gospel in North Korea where it is needed most, no matter what the cost.
In a recent prayer call, one prayer warrior testified of a close friend who had been imprisoned in North Korea for being a Christian, who said that she heard the prayers of those across the world while in prison, which gave her encouragement to go on.
Scogin, who prefers to be called “Brother,” says that “when you hear the stories and testimonies of these persecuted saints, tortured, imprisoned and dying for Christ, it always exposes the shallowness of our own faith.”
Blaine says we will not know how effective most of the prayers have been until we get to heaven, due to the nature of the issue since there is little communication with these believers. However, he says he knows that when he and the praying saints get to heaven, they will meet people who will say “I heard your prayers” or “You helped me to endure while I was in prison” which will be the best satisfaction anyone could ask for.