What will you do today to help the persecuted church?
It sounds like an issue too large, a problem too big and too far away for you to even start, I suppose. But there is one thing you can do, and I believe it can bring a miracle to one of the church’s modern heroes.
I urgently need you to pray this weekend specifically for Pastor Hamzah (we call him Pastor Jamal), who is imprisoned in Iraq. This is a man who has put his life on the line for the gospel and for our work for years. In the face of increasing danger, he personally took me undercover from refugee village to refugee village helping me distribute $100,000 worth of food to people who were desperately hungry.
Long after I was back in the safety of the U.S., he was back crisscrossing Iraq, distributing our children’s Bibles, leading hearts that had been opened to the gospel to a saving knowledge of Him.
Because of his work, he has been imprisoned in Iraq since July 2011, when men raided his home, arrested him without charges, and disappeared without his family knowing what happened to him or where he was.
Pastor Jamal is a husband and a loving father. He is also a man with very serious health issues. Right before he was arrested, we sent him to Jordon where he underwent Gamma Knife (CyberKnife) surgery for a brain tumor. The treatment was successful, but he has not received any treatment since.
In his 19 months of captivity, he has been starved, brutally beaten, interrogated and finally, charged with spying for the enemy state of Iran (based on two trips they say he made there, though his passport clearly documents otherwise).
Now his health is in crisis, and he is in a prison “hospital,” surrounded by people who have nothing but contempt for him, in a primitive clinic with no equipment to even begin to care for his worsening condition.
As soon as I heard he was hospitalized, I knew I had to do something, and I knew time was short. The reality is, he may not live through the weekend. He is dying.
This Sunday, as you join with others to worship, it will be Monday in Iraq. I am hoping to meet with Kurdish Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani, a man whom I have been friendly with for years. A few years ago, I even brought cowboy boots and shirts for his children from my native Oklahoma.
When Pastor Jamal was arrested, I personally wrote to Prime Minister Nechirvan, detailing this man’s great efforts to help the poor. I further reminded the Prime Minister that he made his personal pledge and commitment to me that all Christians should be allowed to talk about Jesus Christ.
My letter went unanswered. I have since learned his staff kept it from him.
This Sunday, I hope to hand deliver a letter he cannot ignore, from Sen. Jim Inhofe, a devoted believer, a friend, and a senior-ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services committee.
I so need your prayers for Pastor Jamal. This is personal for me, but more than that, it is personal to the God we serve. Would you do this?
- Pray for us for favor so that we can see Prime Minister Barzani, for healing for Pastor Jamal and that he will be released from prison while we are in Erbil next weekend.
- Pastors, let your people know specifically how to pray, and lead them boldly to the throne of Grace on his behalf.
- Share the need. If you have a Facebook page, a blog, an email list of praying friends, please rally them together in prayer.
The Bible says, “Again, I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven” (Matt. 18:19). Please, join with me in this prayer.
Terry Law is the founder and president of World Compassion Terry Law Ministries. For over 40 years, he has traveled to countries that are “hostile” to the gospel, ministering to the lost and hurting in places such as the former Soviet Union, Cuba and North Korea.