Host Your Own Prayer Vigil

Prayer support is vital to sustaining our work

We are deeply grateful for your prayers on behalf of Christians in Iraq.

Action is a pivotal part of our faith and hosting a vigil is an excellent way to put your beliefs into action. Given the persecution facing Christians in the Middle East, caring for the Middle Eastern church cannot stop with interest and compassion. We must be doers of the word, not hearers only. The Apostle Paul tells us that the man who does the law will be declared righteous, not the one who hears it. From Genesis to Revelation, God blesses people who do things. Thinking things or feeling things is no substitute to action.

We ask our supporters to organize candlelight vigils as the beginning of a church’s involvement with the persecuted Church, not the end. True compassion always leads to action, and the best action is sustained action. Too often we get excited about an issue but fail to make it a real part of our lives. We pray for a few days, sign a petition, and move on to something new. The Assyrian Christians of Iraq and Syria, along with their diaspora communities around the world, are counting on you to remain engaged.


What is a prayer vigil

  • A vigil is a event with purposeful sleeplessness or observance. A prayer vigil involves praying while holding a vigil. The word “vigil” comes from the Latin word “vigilia,” meaning “wakefulness.”
  • Prayer vigils are a great way to show solidarity with Iraqi and Middle Eastern Christians undergoing suffering and tragedy. A vigil can both raise community awareness about the persecution of Christians, and deepen and enrich the spiritual commitment of those participating.

Little children, we must not love with word or speech, but with truth and action. – I John 3:18

Our prayer requests for your vigil

  • Pray for the perseverance of Christians through this devastating time in their lives. Pray their faith in Jesus Christ will not diminish and this hope will see them through.
  • Pray that much needed humanitarian aid will continue to get on the ground in a timely manner.
  • Pray that international protection will come as soon as possible. Pray that the world will see the needs of this nation that is on the verge of extinction.

What you need for your vigil

  • A public place where the vigil will be visible to your community
  • Spread news of the vigil in your networks and on social media, if possible invite local media from your community to attend the event
  • Candles for attendees
  • Information on the persecuted church that you can share at the vigil to raise awareness on the state of Christians in the Middle East
  • Include our prayer requests as part of your prayers for the evening
  • The Philos Project has prepared a prayer vigil kit here 

Recent Iraqi Christian Relief Council pray vigil

In September 2015, the Iraqi Christian Relief Council hosted a vigil for victims of ISIS, hoping to get the Pope Francis’ attention during his visit the U.S. The vigil called on people of all faiths to pray Pope Francis would lend his voice to the thousands of victims suffering religious persecution and genocide in the Middle East.

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