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Persecution Watch: Praying for the Persecuted in Uganda

Saturday, 8/1/2020 (Voice of the Persecuted) Dear Prayer Warriors, Corrie Ten Boom was quoted as saying you never know how much you need Jesus until you discover Jesus is all you have. This is certainly true of our persecuted family.

Voice of the Persecuted (VOP) shared that according to the 2014 census, Christianity is the most widely professed faith in Uganda with over 84 percent of the population being Christian while about 14 percent of the population adhered to Islam, the country’s largest minority religion. In 2009, the Iganga District in the east of Uganda had the highest percentage of Muslims.

VOP warned that Muslim persecution against Christians has continued to rise in east. Recent reports reveal the need for continued prayer for Christians in Uganda.

A Pastor, and a Church Member Die for Proclaiming Christ in Eastern Uganda – Muslims beat and drown the two Christians…

Muslim father in Uganda burns daughter for reportedly converting to Christianity…

2 Corinthians 4

The Light of the Gospel

4 Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. 2 But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. 3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

Treasure in Jars of Clay

7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. 8 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.11 For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12 So death is at work in us, but life in you.

13 Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, “I believed, and so I spoke,” we also believe, and so we also speak, 14 knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. 15 For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.

16 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

It is our mission to lift up persecuted witnesses for the Lord and pray for Leah Sharibu and Alice, pray that they will be set free from Boko Haram captivity.

Pray for Pastor Wang Yi to be released from prison, for his family, the children and the church in China.

Also ask for the release for Anita, a Christian convert recently sentenced to 6 years in prison for sharing the Gospel in Iran, who currently is in house arrest.

Dear Saints you are welcome to come on the Persecution Watch conference call as the Lord leads you to pray in the Spirit with us for our persecuted brothers and sisters and for the global harvest.

In the Shadow of His Cross

Nadia Dybvik, Persecution Watch Prayer Leader

Prayer Conference Call Details

Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday

From any location on your phone

Time:

9:00 PM Eastern

8:00 PM Central

7:00 PM Mountain

6:00 PM Pacific

Call in number: 712 775-7035

Access Code: 281207#

Recommended: For those who may be subject to added charges for conference calls. Please download the app, it’s free!

MOBILE APP: Free Conference Call HD also provides a quick and easy way for you to dial into conference calls without having to remember the dial-in credentials. Save all of your conference call dial-in numbers and access codes using this free app. With the Free Conference Call HD you can instantly dial into a conference call via 3G/4G data network and or regular mobile carrier. Google Play link or App Store – iTunes

What is Persecution Watch?
Persecution Watch is a U.S. national prayer conference call ministry that prays specifically for the global Persecuted Church. For over a decade, Blaine Scogin led this national network of believers who faithfully pray for the persecuted and the global harvest for the Kingdom of God.

The group meets via a free call-in service every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday night at 9pm Eastern (please check your time zone). Blaine also served as Prayer Director for Voice of the Persecuted and our missions became one. The prayer mission of Persecution Watch is an important part of our own.

With the passing of Blaine into glory on December 26, 2019, Voice of the Persecuted is committed to continue the prayer conference call for the persecuted along with our dedicated prayer warrior team.

On occasion, persecuted brothers and sisters have been invited on the call to share the trials they’re facing. The team serves to encourage them by washing their feet in Spirit led prayer.

Time is often reserved for those on the call to ask questions. We believe this helps to gain a better understanding of the situation that persecuted Christians endure in their specific nations. Q&A also helps us to focus our prayers based on their current needs.

Persecution Watch also hosts callers who want to pray united from other nations. If your heart is perplexed by the sufferings of our persecuted brothers and sisters, you no longer need to pray alone. We welcome all who desire to pray for the persecuted church and consider it a joy to pray together with you.

If you’re new to the call and can’t find your voice, listen in and pray silently or on mute. We are grateful and thank the Lord for bringing us all together to pray in agreement for our persecuted family in Christ. We can all be prayer warriors on this call!

NOTE: Persecution Watch has a new email address for the prayer team and those who would like to receive urgent prayer requests, weekly call prayer points and notification of special prayer events and special guest speakers.

Please fill out the form below to be included in our new distribution list to receive this important information. We are grateful for your prayers and to the Lord for guiding us as we continue the Persecution Watch prayer call mission.

Note to Voice of the Persecuted (VOP) readers: The Persecution Watch prayer team is also the prayer team of Voice of the Persecuted. SIGN UP today.

Pastor, Church Member Die for Proclaiming Christ in Eastern Uganda

Relatives of slain Christians await discovery of bodies at Lake Nakuwa, part of Lake Kyoga in Uganda. (Morning Star News)

Hard-line Muslims beat and drown the two Christians, sources say.

(Morning Star News) – Christians in eastern Uganda had what seemed to be an effective strategy for bringing the gospel to Muslims on the banks of Lake Nakuwa, part of Lake Kyoga.

The Christians from Namuseru village, Gadumire Sub-County in Kaliro District would cross the lake to go fishing and, as they interacted with Muslims near Lugonyola village, become fishers of men, inviting them to evangelistic meetings there.

In time hard-line Muslims began warning the Christians to stop evangelizing in the area, sources said. The last warning came on June 21, a day before radical Muslims from Lugonyola village beat and drowned 25-year-old pastor Peter Kyakulaga and 22-year-old church member Tuule Mumbya in the lake, one of the pastor’s relatives said.

“We have discovered that your mission is not to fish but to hold Christian meetings and then convert Muslims to Christianity,” one of the Muslims told the Christians on June 21, according to the relative. “We are not going to take this mission of yours lightly. This is our last warning to you.”

David Nabyoma, chairperson of the local council from Namuseru village, said Christian friends knocked on his door at 10 p.m. the night of June 22.

“They were requesting help, saying Muslims from Lugonyola had invaded the area around the lakeside, and several Christians were reported to have been injured, including my son,” Nabyoma, a member of the Church of Uganda, told Morning Star News. “Immediately we rushed to the scene of the incident with several Christians. We hired four boats and drove to the lake and found out that two of the Christians had been badly beaten and drowned in the lake and died instantly.”

Pastor Kyakulaga, who led the area Church of Christ congregation, leaves behind his wife and two children, ages 2 and 4. Church member Mumbya is survived by his wife and 2-year-old child.

Christians gathered in Namuseru village early the morning of June 23 to plan retaliation, but local officials spoke to them, called police and cooled tensions, sources said.

Police from Gadumire, Namwiwa and Kaliro stations arrived at the lake area and arrested three suspects. Officers identified them as Sharifu Ngugo, Hassan Mwidu Gulumaire and Jafari Kadisi of Lugonyola village and took them to the Kaliro central police station, a source said.

Police and fishermen searched the lake and found the bodies that day, June 23, he said.

Several government officials, including the district police commander, resident district commissioner and other local leaders condemned the killings, the source said. Church leaders pleaded with Christians to refrain from retaliating and pray.

Hundreds of Christians, including many church leaders from Anglican, Pentecostal, Catholic and other denominations, attended a funeral for the two slain Christians on June 24 in Namuseru village.

The killings were the latest of many instances of persecution of Christians in Uganda that Morning Star News has documented.

Uganda’s constitution and other laws provide for religious freedom, including the right to propagate one’s faith and convert from one faith to another. Muslims make up no more than 12 percent of Uganda’s population, with high concentrations in eastern areas of the country.

Persecution Watch: Praying for Christians in Vietnam

Photo: ThuyHaBich

VIETNAM: Population: 97.4 million, Christian 8.7 million

Vietnam has a repressive Communist government, which actively persecutes Christians. Even though the practice of Christianity is legal, the government still sees it as a threat.

Minority tribal groups, such as the Hmong, typically face the most violent and harshest forms of persecution. Yet, the country’s churches continue to grow even while experiencing overt, as well as subtle, forms of religious persecution.

New Christians are often evicted from their homes and villages, especially in tribal areas where local authorities exercise broad discretion. Although the government recognizes the Evangelical Church of Vietnam, churches aligned with the Assemblies of God, and other denominations, all officially recognized churches are expected to report their activities and teachings.

They also face government opposition whenever evangelizing beyond their church walls or attempting to conduct community events. Within rural and tribal areas, existing believers are generally allowed to meet openly, but new believers are targeted for harsh persecution. These Christians are often denied social services, utilities and education in an attempt to pressure them to reject their faith.

Hmong are originally from China but during the 18th century began migrating to the rugged uplands of northern Vietnam, Laos Thailand and the eastern parts of Myanmar

Ethnic Hmong – a group that in the late 1980s began converting to Christianity after listening to an evangelical radio programs hosted by Protestants, broadcast from Manila.

There are an estimated 300,000 Hmong Christians living in Vietnam, where the communist government is suspicious of all religion, particularly Christianity, which is associated with former invaders, France and the US

Tam Ngo, a cultural anthropologist from the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, says the government is particularly wary of Christian belief among Hmong.

The establishment of an independent kingdom is a prominent feature of traditional Hmong folklore and the government regards Jesus Christ’s status as a messiah as a possible touchstone for armed rebellion and separatist movements.

Pastor Van Pa reported that officials from the Vietnamese government collected information on churchgoers before enforcing an open trial of the Christians. 

Police officers placed a statue of the Buddha before the believers and asked them to worship the image and renounce their faith in Christianity. Four members of the group were then arrested and physically beaten for refusing to worship something other than Jesus.

·        Pray for the government to start loosening of restrictions and increased freedom.

·        Pray for protection of Christian places of worship, because as the Christian minority in Vietnam grows, the government works hard to monitor churches and curb the growth of Christianity; the government has issued harsh penalties against Christians who are critical of the regime.  

·        Pray for protection of believers who are often attacked by their village and even their family members when they choose to follow Jesus. Christian converts have shared that they experienced expulsion from their villages, the destruction of their homes and being physically beaten.

·        Pray for provision for these believers who knowingly pay a high cost. Pray their love for Christ and each other is a witness to their families.

·        Crackdowns continue against Christians and ethnic minorities, especially the Hmong. The Communist regime does everything possible to keep their actions out of the international spotlight. Pray the truth would come to light and that changes would be made to ensure human rights for all minorities in Vietnam.

·       Pray for suitable discipleship of the many ethnic minorities coming to faith in rural areas as well as pray for more Bibles and discipleship materials to reach Christians

·       Pray that Christians would have wisdom to know how to share the gospel with their Buddhist neighbors and family members. Pray they would lead with love and be well-received.

·       Pray that believers would have courage and endurance in the face of persecution.

·       Pray for the protection of NGOs, such as Open Doors, VOM as they minister to Christian minorities

·       Pray to the Lord to accelerate the grow His church.

Again, we want to lift up persecuted witnesses for the Lord and pray for Leah Sharibu and Alice, pray that they will be set free. And also lift up pastor Wang Yi to be released from Prison and ask for the release for Anita, a Christian convert recently sentenced to 6 years in prison for sharing the Gospel in Iran

You are invited to join us on Thursday, July 30 in a prayer call for the persecuted church.

Andy, Persecution Watch Prayer Call Moderator

Prayer Conference Call Details

Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday

From any location on your phone

Time:

9:00 PM Eastern

8:00 PM Central

7:00 PM Mountain

6:00 PM Pacific

Call in number: 712 775-7035

Access Code: 281207#

Recommended: For those who may be subject to added charges for conference calls. Please download the app, it’s free!

MOBILE APP: Free Conference Call HD also provides a quick and easy way for you to dial into conference calls without having to remember the dial-in credentials. Save all of your conference call dial-in numbers and access codes using this free app. With the Free Conference Call HD you can instantly dial into a conference call via 3G/4G data network and or regular mobile carrier. Google Play link or App Store – iTunes

What is Persecution Watch?
Persecution Watch is a U.S. national prayer conference call ministry that prays specifically for the global Persecuted Church. For over a decade, Blaine Scogin led this national network of believers who faithfully pray for the persecuted and the global harvest for the Kingdom of God.

The group meets via a free call-in service every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday night at 9pm Eastern (please check your time zone). Blaine also served as Prayer Director for Voice of the Persecuted and our missions became one. The prayer mission of Persecution Watch is an important part of our own.

With the passing of Blaine into glory on December 26, 2019, Voice of the Persecuted is committed to continue the prayer conference call for the persecuted along with our dedicated prayer warrior team.

On occasion, persecuted brothers and sisters have been invited on the call to share the trials they’re facing. The team serves to encourage them by washing their feet in Spirit led prayer.

Time is often reserved for those on the call to ask questions. We believe this helps to gain a better understanding of the situation that persecuted Christians endure in their specific nations. Q&A also helps us to focus our prayers based on their current needs.

Persecution Watch also hosts callers who want to pray united from other nations. If your heart is perplexed by the sufferings of our persecuted brothers and sisters, you no longer need to pray alone. We welcome all who desire to pray for the persecuted church and consider it a joy to pray together with you.

If you’re new to the call and can’t find your voice, listen in and pray silently or on mute. We are grateful and thank the Lord for bringing us all together to pray in agreement for our persecuted family in Christ. We can all be prayer warriors on this call!

NOTE: Persecution Watch has a new email address for the prayer team and those who would like to receive urgent prayer requests, weekly call prayer points and notification of special prayer events and special guest speakers.

Please fill out the form below to be included in our new distribution list to receive this important information. We are grateful for your prayers and to the Lord for guiding us as we continue the Persecution Watch prayer call mission.

Note to Voice of the Persecuted (VOP) readers: The Persecution Watch prayer team is also the prayer team of Voice of the Persecuted. SIGN UP today.

Persecution Watch: Persecution is a test

Early Rain Covenant Church pastor Wang Yi poses with sign that reads, ‘Pray for the nation on June 4,’ the date of the 1989 Tiananmen Square killings. (China Aid)

(Voice of the Persecuted) Dear Prayer Warriors, since December 9, 2018, Pastor Wang Yi has been imprisoned on charges of “inciting to subvert state power” and “illegal business operations.” 

On December 26, 2019, he was secretly tried at the Chengdu Intermediate People’s Court. On December 30, the court announced that Pastor Wang Yi was sentenced to 9 years in prison and fined 50,000 RMB. 

Not much being shared as updates about him or his church. 

They and churches like his certainly need our prayers.

Below is an encouraging video sermon by Pastor Wang Yi. 

Persecution is a test

 1 Peter 4:12-14 

12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.

2 Timothy 3:12

Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.

John 15:20 

Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. 

Revelation 2:10 

Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life. 

1 Peter 3:14

But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled.

Acts 14:22 

Strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.

Revelation 6:9-11 

When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne. They cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brothers should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been.

1 Peter 5:10 

And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.

1 Peter 4:19 

Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.

James 1:12 

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.

Romans 8:18 

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 

Romans 12:12 

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

Romans 5:3-5 

3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. 

Dear Saints,

Please join us tonight as we will pray for the persecuted church in China, Pastor Wang Yi and his parishioners at Early Rain Covenant Church.

It is our mission to continue to lift up persecuted witnesses for the Lord. Remember to pray for Leah Sharibu and Alice, that they will be set free from Boko Haram captivity.

For the release for Anita, a Christian convert recently sentenced to 6 years in prison for sharing the Gospel in Iran.

Join us on tonight’s prayer conference call.

All for His Glory,

Nadia and Merlaine

Prayer Conference Call Details

Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday

From any location on your phone

Time:

9:00 PM Eastern

8:00 PM Central

7:00 PM Mountain

6:00 PM Pacific

Call in number: 712 775-7035

Access Code: 281207#

Recommended: For those who may be subject to added charges for conference calls. Please download the app, it’s free!

MOBILE APP: Free Conference Call HD also provides a quick and easy way for you to dial into conference calls without having to remember the dial-in credentials. Save all of your conference call dial-in numbers and access codes using this free app. With the Free Conference Call HD you can instantly dial into a conference call via 3G/4G data network and or regular mobile carrier. Google Play link or App Store – iTunes

What is Persecution Watch?
Persecution Watch is a U.S. national prayer conference call ministry that prays specifically for the global Persecuted Church. For over a decade, Blaine Scogin led this national network of believers who faithfully pray for the persecuted and the global harvest for the Kingdom of God.

The group meets via a free call-in service every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday night at 9pm Eastern (please check your time zone). Blaine also served as Prayer Director for Voice of the Persecuted and our missions became one. The prayer mission of Persecution Watch is an important part of our own.

With the passing of Blaine into glory on December 26, 2019, Voice of the Persecuted is committed to continue the prayer conference call for the persecuted along with our dedicated prayer warrior team.

On occasion, persecuted brothers and sisters have been invited on the call to share the trials they’re facing. The team serves to encourage them by washing their feet in Spirit led prayer.

Time is often reserved for those on the call to ask questions. We believe this helps to gain a better understanding of the situation that persecuted Christians endure in their specific nations. Q&A also helps us to focus our prayers based on their current needs.

Persecution Watch also hosts callers who want to pray united from other nations. If your heart is perplexed by the sufferings of our persecuted brothers and sisters, you no longer need to pray alone. We welcome all who desire to pray for the persecuted church and consider it a joy to pray together with you.

If you’re new to the call and can’t find your voice, listen in and pray silently or on mute. We are grateful and thank the Lord for bringing us all together to pray in agreement for our persecuted family in Christ. We can all be prayer warriors on this call!

NOTE: Persecution Watch has a new email address for the prayer team and those who would like to receive urgent prayer requests, weekly call prayer points and notification of special prayer events and special guest speakers.

Please fill out the form below to be included in our new distribution list to receive this important information. We are grateful for your prayers and to the Lord for guiding us as we continue the Persecution Watch prayer call mission.

Note to Voice of the Persecuted (VOP) readers: The Persecution Watch prayer team is also the prayer team of Voice of the Persecuted. SIGN UP today.

Young Mother Is Fifth Christian Killed in India in Two Months

Jharkhand state, India. (Filpro)

(Morning Star News) – A 26-year-old mother became the fifth Christian in two months to be killed in India last week when she refused to hand over her daughter to be raped by Hindus who had assaulted the girl and other Christian minors, sources said.

Two masked Hindus slit the throat of Sunita Devi (name changed for security reasons) in Regadi village, in Jharkhand state’s Khunti District, when she came out her door at 1 a.m. and refused their demand for her young daughter, according to the sources.

“The two suspects had raped Devi’s minor daughter three times in the past besides three other Christian juvenile girls, and all four of the minor girls belong to my church,” pastor Jaymasih Nag of Grace Family Ministry (Anugrah Pariwaar Seva) told Morning Star News.

Devi’s daughter told police the assailants had previously called Devi by phone with demands that she hand over her daughter to be sexually abused, according to a police report. That night her mother had refused to answer her cell phone when the assailants called, according to the daughter.

At about 1 a.m. Devi noticed two men at the window of the room where she had been sleeping with her children and decided to get up and send them away, Pastor Nag said, based on what the minor girl had told him.

“Unaware of their intentions, Devi with the help of her cell phone torch, stepped out of the house to shoo the men away,” he said. “Devi’s daughter followed her mother. Before long, the men attacked Devi and she fell on the ground dead. On seeing her mother fall on the ground, the minor girl quickly ran inside the house and latched the door from inside.”

The girl thought there could be more men at a distance, but because of darkness she could see only two of them with their faces covered, he said. According to police, after the assailants killed Devi, they dragged her body into a nearby jungle, put her corpse into a sack and threw it into a river about two miles away. Police found her body at 2 p.m. and sent it for autopsy.

Pastor Nag saw her corpse and said her throat was completely slit.

As her husband works in Odisha state to provide for the family, Devi had lived alone with their two sons and two daughters. She had kept quiet about the torment her family was going through and was dealing with the rapists herself, thinking they would not go to the extent of killing her, Pastor Nag said.

Her husband and the Christian parents of another rape victim went to police only after the killing of Devi, sources said. On the basis of statements from the two girls, officers at the Khunti police station registered a First Information Report and arrested two suspects, station in-charge Jaideep Toppo said.

“At the complaint of the two minor girls, we arrested two suspects, and they have confessed to their crime of raping Devi’s daughter three times and the other girl once,” Toppo told Morning Star News.

Asked if the suspects killed Devi, Toppo said only, “The two men are arrested for rape and not killing.”

Pastor Nag pastors his church in nearby Saridkel. Devi and her family began attending his church six years ago. Hers is one of eight Christian homes in her village of 25 families.

Religious Motive

The two men arrested are Hindus who live in Saridkel village, where Pastor Nag has led regular worship services for the past 12 years, less than a mile from Regadi.

Pastor Nag said that girls from Christian homes are intentionally targeted by Hindus who influence followers of tribal Sarna religion, trying to introduce Hindu gods into their rituals and uniting with them against Christians.

“Why are all their targets Christian girls?” he said. “Though the opposition might not be visible outwardly, there is constant threat to believers in various forms.”

Other area Christian leaders also said the rapes and the killing were clear cases of persecution.

“Christians are soft targets, and the underlying factor of such incidents are always because of their faith,” a Christian leader from Ranchi, Sandeep Oraon, told Morning Star News. “This belt of Jharkhand has been witnessing rising persecution, and it is very real for the Christians who are living it every day.”

Asked if the assaults against four Christian girls and Devi pointed to a targeting of Christians, Station in-charge Toppo told Morning Star News, “You are thinking too much.”

Fear of Reporting Rape

Pastor Nag noted the likelihood that there were more than two rapists.

“We are yet not sure if the rapists are only two – there could be more than two involved in the crime,” he said. “We are not sure if the rapists have targeted just four Christian girls and not more.”

In a culture that shames rape victims and facing threats from the assailants, the victims did not quickly reveal the crimes. After Devi’s husband and the other rape victim’s family took the bold step of approaching police, two more families in his church, residents of Saridkel, informed Pastor Nag that their minor daughters also had been victims of the two men, Pastor Nag told Morning Star News.

“I am shocked that neither Devi nor the other three families ever spoke to me about the traumatic experience they and their children had been going through,” he said. “They fear the adverse consequences their families will have to face for speaking out. Devi probably was afraid to speak out, knowing well the consequences she and her daughter would have to face, and thus she did not approach the police.”

The rapes and killing have terrified Christians in the two villages and surrounding areas, he said.

Christians begin facing opposition from Hindu and Sarna tribal religion villagers from the moment they put their faith in Christ, Nag said. Opposition also drove him from Saridkel for many years, forcing him to settle in a nearby city, he said. Extremists threatened to damage his church building, he said, and only in January did he dare return to his native Saridkel.

Political Pressure

A well-placed source told Morning Star News that there is immense political pressure in this case.

“Initially the police had arrested four suspects, but they let the other two go after some financial ‘give-and-take,’” the source said.

On Saturday (July 25) the arrested men were taken to court to record their statements, and a member of the Legislative Assembly belonging to the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party accompanied them in support, the source said.

Station in-charge Toppo said he was not aware of any confession to homicide.

Though the autopsy was performed the same day the body was discovered, July 20, Toppo said he was still awaiting the autopsy report.

“The weapon used for killing is not clear yet; wounds on the deceased’s neck and back were visible,” he told Morning Star News. “The rest will be clear in the report.”

Pastor Nag said he found police proceedings were “slow” and “ignoring the obvious.”

“Though it is obvious that these men brutally murdered Devi after she refused to give her daughter to them, police are still slow in taking action on the ‘killing’ front,” he told Morning Star News.

Asked about this allegation, Toppo reiterated, “Investigations are underway, and nothing can be said until the investigation is complete.”

Rapes

Devi was laid to rest on her own farmland on Tuesday (July 21). She is survived by her husband and four children, ages 2 to 13.

On June 28 she had sent her daughter to buy some vegetables at a nearby market. The girl went with a neighbor friend, and on their way the two suspects abducted them and took them to a secluded place, where they locked them in a room, sources said.

The two girls were kept in the room, which was locked from outside, with men taking turns to guard it until 9 p.m.

“These men entered the room at 9 in the night and raped both the girls,” Pastor Nag said. “This was the third time that Devi’s daughter was being raped and first time when her friend became their victim.”

The families of the girls searched for them throughout the night. The girls were released the next morning and informed their parents upon reaching their homes.

Devi’s daughter told her the rapists threatened severe harm if they told anybody about the assault, the pastor said.

“It was already traumatizing for Devi and her daughter that just like previous three times, the minor girl could be abducted from anywhere, anytime and dragged to a secluded place to be raped again and again,” Pastor Nag told Morning Star News. “It was since then that Devi started to receive constant phone calls from these men demanding for her daughter to be given to them for their sexual pleasure.”

Informed of the previous rapes, Toppo expressed surprise and told Morning Star News that the complainants had not reported the prior two rapes, and that police would investigate when they do so.

Devi’s husband has taken his four children out of the village, and they are living in an undisclosed location. He has received constant phone calls from the suspects’ friends and supporters pressuring him to withdraw the charges, Pastor Nag said.

“There are threats to his and his children’s lives,” the pastor said.

Including the death under mysterious circumstances of a Christian woman in Chhattisgarh state the last week of May, Devi’s death is the fifth religiously motivated killing of a Christian in India in two months. On July 10 in Maharashtra state, Maoists killed pastor Munshi Devu Tado in Bhatpar village, Gadchiroli District.

In Bari village, Jharkhand state, followers of tribal religion on June 7 abducted and killed Kande Munda. On the night of June 4 in Odisha state, followers of tribal religion abducted 16-year-old Sambaru Madkami for his faith before stabbing and stoning him to death.

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom on April 28 urged the U.S. State Department to add India as a “Country of Particular Concern” to its list of nations with poor records of protecting religious freedom.

India is ranked 10th on Open Doors’ 2020 World Watch List of the countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian. The country was 31st in 2013, but its position has worsened since Narendra Modi of the Bharatiya Janata Party came to power in 2014.

Persecution Watch: Urgent Prayer Request for Nigerian Christians

 

7/25/2020 (Voice of the Persecuted) Dear Saints, we received an urgent call to pray for the protection of our brothers and sisters in North Nigeria. Many, including Voice of the Persecuted, have been warning of a genocide taking place against them. The following reports demonstrate their current situation.

Muslim Fulani Herdsmen Kill 11 Christians in Attack in North-Central Nigeria

-Muslim Fulani herdsmen on Monday (July 20) killed 11 Christians in an attack in Kaduna state, Nigeria, the latest of more than 50 members of Baptist, ECWA and Catholic churches slain since June 12, sources said.

Islamic Extremist Militants in Nigeria Execute Five Men as Warning to Christians, Video Shows

-Islamic extremists have executed five Nigerian men in Borno state, with one executioner saying it was a warning to “all those being used by infidels to convert Muslims to Christianity,” according to a video posted on Wednesday (July 22).

Among those who have been killed in attacks, thousands of other believers have been severely injured and permanently disabled.

Pray for Armor of God for our dear brethren.

The Armor of God

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.

As the Lord leads, I welcome you to join us tonight on the Persecuted Watch conference call to pray for them. For those of you who are not able to come on the call, we ask that you pray with us through the Holy Spirit!

It is our mission to lift up persecuted witnesses for the Lord. We continue on the weekly calls to remember and pray for Leah Sharibu and Alice, that they will be released from Boko Haram captivity.

For Pastor Wang Yi to be released from prison in China.

For the release for Anita, a Christian convert recently sentenced to 6 years in prison for sharing the Gospel in Iran.

For His Glory

Nadia Dybvik, Persecution Watch Prayer Leader

Prayer Conference Call Details

Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday

From any location on your phone

Time:

9:00 PM Eastern

8:00 PM Central

7:00 PM Mountain

6:00 PM Pacific

Call in number: 712 775-7035

Access Code: 281207#

Recommended: For those who may be subject to added charges for conference calls. Please download the app, it’s free!

MOBILE APP: Free Conference Call HD also provides a quick and easy way for you to dial into conference calls without having to remember the dial-in credentials. Save all of your conference call dial-in numbers and access codes using this free app. With the Free Conference Call HD you can instantly dial into a conference call via 3G/4G data network and or regular mobile carrier. Google Play link or App Store – iTunes

What is Persecution Watch?
Persecution Watch is a U.S. national prayer conference call ministry that prays specifically for the global Persecuted Church. For over a decade, Blaine Scogin led this national network of believers who faithfully pray for the persecuted and the global harvest for the Kingdom of God.

The group meets via a free call-in service every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday night at 9pm Eastern (please check your time zone). Blaine also served as Prayer Director for Voice of the Persecuted and our missions became one. The prayer mission of Persecution Watch is an important part of our own.

With the passing of Blaine into glory on December 26, 2019, Voice of the Persecuted is committed to continue the prayer conference call for the persecuted along with our dedicated prayer warrior team.

On occasion, persecuted brothers and sisters have been invited on the call to share the trials they’re facing. The team serves to encourage them by washing their feet in Spirit led prayer.

Time is often reserved for those on the call to ask questions. We believe this helps to gain a better understanding of the situation that persecuted Christians endure in their specific nations. Q&A also helps us to focus our prayers based on their current needs.

Persecution Watch also hosts callers who want to pray united from other nations. If your heart is perplexed by the sufferings of our persecuted brothers and sisters, you no longer need to pray alone. We welcome all who desire to pray for the persecuted church and consider it a joy to pray together with you.

If you’re new to the call and can’t find your voice, listen in and pray silently or on mute. We are grateful and thank the Lord for bringing us all together to pray in agreement for our persecuted family in Christ. We can all be prayer warriors on this call!

NOTE: Persecution Watch has a new email address for the prayer team and those who would like to receive urgent prayer requests, weekly call prayer points and notification of special prayer events and special guest speakers.

Please fill out the form below to be included in our new distribution list to receive this important information. We are grateful for your prayers and to the Lord for guiding us as we continue the Persecution Watch prayer call mission.

Note to Voice of the Persecuted (VOP) readers: The Persecution Watch prayer team is also the prayer team of Voice of the Persecuted. SIGN UP today.

Islamic Extremist Militants in Nigeria Execute Five Men as Warning to Christians, Video Shows

Islamic State in West Africa Province militants before execution of aid workers in Borno, Nigeria. (Screenshot)

Nigeria (Morning Star News) – Islamic extremists have executed five Nigerian men in Borno state, with one executioner saying it was a warning to “all those being used by infidels to convert Muslims to Christianity,” according to a video posted on Wednesday (July 22).

Three of the men shot to death from behind on the video were identified as Christians by a resident of Borno state, where the executions apparently took place.

In the 35-second video posted on YouTube by Eons Intelligence before it was removed, the three Christians kneel blindfolded by red cloth alongside two others believed to be Muslims while five men armed with AK-47 rifles stand behind them.

“This is a message to all those being used by infidels to convert Muslims to Christianity,” one of the executioners says in the Hausa language, translated by Morning Star News. “We want you out there to understand that those of you being used to convert Muslims to Christianity are only being used for selfish purposes.

“And that is the reason whenever we capture you, they don’t care to rescue you or work towards securing your release from us; and this is because they don’t need you or value your lives. We therefore, call on you to return to Allah by becoming Muslims. We shall continue to block all routes [highways] you travel.

“If you don’t heed our warning, the fate of these five individuals will be your fate.”

The speaker than commands, “Bisimilah [Go on],” and the five men are shot dead.

The Borno resident (name withheld for security reasons) identified three of those killed as Christians. He said Ishaku Yakubu, an aid worker from Chibok with Action Against Hunger, was a member of the Church of the Brethren (EYN); Luka Filibus, an aid worker from Monguno with the International Rescue Committee, was an EYN member; and Joseph Prince, a private security firm worker, was a member of the Redeemed Christian Church in Maiduguri.

In a previous video recorded on June 21, Prince and Filibus identified their captors as members of Khalifa, a term used by prior captives for a Boko Haram splinter group, the Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP).

In the prior video, Prince says: “My name is Joseph Prince, and I’m a staff member of Halogen [a private security firm]. I was traveling from Maiduguri to Monguno on official duty on June 1, 2020, when I was captured by Khalifa soldiers at 11:37 a.m. As of today, June 21, 2020, the date this video is being recorded, I’m still being held captive. I plead with my organization to please secure my release.”

In the prior video, Yakubu says: “My name is Ishaku Yakubu, and I work with Action Against Hunger. I was captured on June 8, 2020, while I was traveling from Monguno to Maiduguri. I plead for my organization, Action Against Hunger, to kindly secure my release.”

Filibus, the third Christian victim, in the prior video says: “My name is Luka Filibus, and I work with the International Rescue Committee in Munguno Local Government Area. I was captured by Khalifa soldiers on June 3, 2020, while I was on my way to Maiduguri. I plead with my organization, International Rescue Committee, to kindly secure my release.”

Action Against Hunger and the International Rescue Committee confirmed the deaths of their workers in press statements condemning the executions.

Buhari Statement

A statement from Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari indicated that the other two men executed worked with Nigeria’s State Emergency Management Agency and a company called Rich International.

Through spokesman Garba Sheu, Buhari sent condolences to the families of those slain and said the government will do all it can to ensure that “every remaining vestige of Boko Haram is wiped out completely from northeastern Nigeria.”

“President Buhari also condoles with the State Emergency Management Agency, Action Against Hunger, Rich International, and International Rescue Committee, whose staff have suffered this gruesome fate,” Sheu said. “He thanks them for their continued dedication and service to the victims of Boko Haram in Northeastern Nigeria.”

In January ISWAP executed Christian university student Ropvil Daciya Dalep, a member of the Church of Christ in Nations (COCIN) who was kidnapped on Jan. 9 on the Damaturu-Maiduguri Highway while returning to studies in Maiduguri, Borno state.

ISWAP in 2016 broke off from the rebel terrorist group Boko Haram, which originated in Maiduguri.

On Jan. 20, Boko Haram terrorists executed the Rev. Lawan Andami, district chairman of the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria (EYN) in Michika County, Adamawa state, and father of eight children.

Edward Kallon, United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, expressed shock and horror at the killings, saying of the victims, “their safety and securing their safe release have been our highest priority since they were captured in June.”

“These checkpoints disrupt the delivery of life-saving assistance and heighten the risks for civilians of being abducted, killed or injured, with aid workers increasingly being singled out,” Kallon said. “I strongly condemn all violence targeting aid workers and the civilians they are assisting. I am also troubled by the number of illegal vehicular checkpoints set up by non-state armed groups along main supply routes.”

The U.N. has repeatedly called for an end to such blatant violations of international humanitarian law, he said.

“I implore all armed parties to step up their responsibilities and stop targeting aid workers and civilians,” Kallon said. “At a time when humanitarian needs have reached unprecedented levels, it is unacceptable that those who are trying to help are being attacked and killed.”

Nigeria ranked 12th on Open Doors’ 2020 World Watch List of countries where Christians suffer the most persecution but second in the number of Christians killed for their faith, behind Pakistan.

Muslim Fulani Herdsmen Kill 11 Christians in Attack in North-Central Nigeria

Nigeria (Morning Star News) – Muslim Fulani herdsmen on Monday (July 20) killed 11 Christians in an attack in Kaduna state, Nigeria, the latest of more than 50 members of Baptist, ECWA and Catholic churches slain since June 12, sources said.

More than 50 armed herdsmen invaded Gora Gan village, in the north-central state’s Zangon Kataf County, on Monday at about 7 p.m., setting dozens of houses on fire, according to the Rev. Isaac Ango Makama, vice chairman of the local chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).

Seven other Christians were injured in the attack and were receiving treatment at General Hospital in Zonkwa, and many others are missing, he said. Corpses of those killed were taken to the morgue of the same hospital.

The attack brought to more than 500 the number of Christians taking refuge at a camp for the displaced, said Ezekiel James, one of the officials manning the camp.

“We currently have 559 displaced Christians at the Zonkwa Town Camp,” James told Morning Star News by text message. “They are Christians who escaped the attack against Gora Gan village and other villages in the past few days. These internally displaced Christians are in dire need of food items, drugs, and facilities to treat those who are traumatized.”

Sunday

The attack brings to more than 50 the number of Christians killed in Muslim Fulani herdsmen attacks in southern Kaduna state since June 12, when the Rev. Bulus Bayi of the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) was shot dead.

The herdsmen on Sunday (July 19) attacked predominantly Christian Kukum Daji, in Kaura County, killing 18 Christians and wounding 31 others, according to Christian community leader Yashen Sunday Titus. A wedding reception was taking place at the time, he said.

“The herdsmen stormed our village at 10:35 p.m.; they were heavily armed and began shooting at our people,” Titus told Morning Star News. “Some of our villagers are still missing.”

The injured were receiving treatment at a Christian hospital in Kafanchan and at Barrau Dikko Teaching Hospital in the city of Kaduna, he said.

Friday

In Kajuru County, Fulani herdsmen on Friday (July 17) attacked Doka Avong village, killing five Christians, including 3-year-old Faith Shagari and Dorcas Shagari, 6. Also slain were Gloria Shagari, 25; Hussaini Daudu, 40; and Ayuba Bulus, 40, sources said.

On the same day in Katchia County, herdsmen attacked Mai-Ido village, killing four Christians and kidnapping 10 others, resident Chris Maiyaki told Morning Star News by text message.

July 9-12

Attacking the southern Kaduna villages of Chibuak and Kigudu on July 9-10, the herdsmen killed 20 Christians, said the Rev. Aaron Tanko, an area Roman Catholic priest.

“Many others are missing, and we presume that they might have been kidnapped,” Tanko said.

Nine Christians were killed in Chibuak on July 9, and 11 were killed in a night raid on Kigudu village on July 10, he said.

“Some people are still missing, so I cannot conclusively say this is the casualty figure,” Tanko said. “Some of those killed are my parishioners, and other Christians of other church denominations. Christians here are at the mercy of Fulani herdsman, as these herdsmen are always well-armed, and they invade our communities and kill Christians at will.”

On July 12 herdsmen killed two other Christians in Anguwan Audu, sources said. The Rev. Gambo Waziri of the ECWA said recent attacks on 20 predominantly Christian communities have displaced 1,200 people.

July 2-5

Herdsmen attacked the villages of Doka, Afogo, Kallah, Gefe and Libere, all bordering the Ladugga grazing reserve, July 2-5, area Christian leader Awemi Dio Maisamari said in a press statement.

“Our communities are still bedeviled with attacks, kidnappings and occupation of displaced communities,” Maisamari said. “Our farmers are still routinely attacked and sometimes killed when they go to their farms. In the latest incidents on July 2 and 5, two women at Doka were seriously wounded, and one man named Yohanna Mutane was killed at Maraban Kajuru respectively.”

Amid numerous kidnapping in May and June, one person was killed and more than 15 held for ransom, he said.

“With happenings like these, our community is yet to know peace,” Maisamari said.

June 12

Herdsmen shot ECWA pastor Bulus Bayi to death while he worked on his farm in Sabon Gari Gusawa village, Kauru County, on June 12, sources said. Pastors in northern Nigeria frequently augment their modest salaries as farmer in order to sustain their families.

Luka Binniyat, spokesman for the Southern Kaduna People’s Union (SOKAPU), said Kaduna Gov. Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai has shown no concern about the killings.

“Of the scores of gruesome attacks, the governor has never made any sympathy visit to the communities, let alone take steps to alleviate their suffering by providing relief materials to the displaced,” Binniyat said in a press statement. “Many of these threatened communities have consequently relocated to surrounding communities, thereby creating a very serious humanitarian situation.”

On Jan. 30 Christian Solidarity International (CSI) issued a genocide warning for Nigeria, calling on the Permanent Member of the United Nations Security Council to take action. CSI issued the call in response to “a rising tide of violence directed against Nigerian Christians and others classified as ‘infidels’ by Islamist militants in the country’s north and middle belt regions.’”

Nigeria ranked 12th on Open Doors’ 2020 World Watch List of countries where Christians suffer the most persecution but second in the number of Christians killed for their faith, behind Pakistan.

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