Thu., 11:03 pm: Local pastors, people reach out on behalf of persecuted

COMING FRIDAY: As the religious persecution of Christians in Iraq and elsewhere worldwide worsens, several churches met tonight to pray for their wellbeing.

The service at Cortland Trinity Baptist Church in Bazetta was held to “weep for those who weep” — Christians mistreated because of their religious beliefs as well as to pray for Muslims suffering at the hands of Islamic terrorists and for Israel’s conflict with Hamas.

“Father, we are so glad tonight that we can come and be here to pray, to seek the God in heaven,” said Dan Barker, pastor at Cortland Trinity Baptist Church. “Our heavenly father, Lord, the body of Christ is hurting tonight. Our brothers and sisters are be persecuted immensely, so we’re here to identify with them.”

Pastors from seven churches led dozens of people in prayer, some individually and some in groups to answer a call made by the Rev. Canon Andrew of Baghdad, the vicar of St. George’s Church in Baghdad, for prayers on behalf of the embattled Christian community in Iraq and elsewhere.

Read more about the prayer vigil in the Tribune Chronicle on Friday.