Mar. 26, 2020 (Voice of the Persecuted) Dear Intercessors, again, we want to lift up two persecuted witnesses for the Lord and pray for Leah Sharibu and Alice that this year will be the year where they will be set free. And also pray for pastor Wang Yi to be released from Prison.
Population: 5.3 million, Christians 2.5 million
The authoritarian regime under President Afwerki is responsible for massive human rights violations, especially toward Christians. Christians who aren’t members of state-approved churches are considered agents of the West and a threat to the state.
The current Eritrean government, only recognizes four religious affiliations, including Sunni Islam, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Eritrea, the Catholic Church, and Orthodox Christianity, even though the constitution proclaims religious freedom. Consequently, religious minorities outside of these four groups face consistent opposition from government bodies.
Thirty Christians were arrested on Monday, June 3, 2019 while praying at nondenominational churches in three different locations in Asmara, Eritrea. According to local reports, the arrested individuals will be freed only if they disavow their faith.
Eritrean police officers are known to carry out raids on private homes where devotees of unrecognized religions, especially Pentecostal Christians, meet for community prayer. In this week’s raid, Pentecostal Christians were targeted while they prayed in their community churches. The condition of the jails these Christians are sent is most troubling. Eritrea is known for imprisoning dissidents in metal shipping containers in the heat of its desert climate.
70 prisoners arrested in June are being held in prison in Ashufera. The term “prison” refers to a number of underground tunnels that the prisoners are forced to extend, by digging, whenever more people are brought in, according to the Italian online publication Tempi. Those arrested are all members of the Faith Mission Church of Christ, the last church to have been left open in the city of Keren. The 60-year-old congregation had asked for official registration in 2002, though they never received any response from Eritrea’s government. After the arrest of 70 of its worshipers, the church’s school was also closed down. The arrested have been asked – before a judge – to renounce their faith, more specifically, to “renounce Christ.”
Twenty-one Catholic-run hospitals have been closed down, the last on July 8th of this year. Each of them offered free healthcare to over 170 thousand people a year – it took a month to confiscate and close down every single one of the clinics, most in rural areas.
- Pray to the Lord that the media will start reporting on Christian persecution by the government and the inhuman conditions in which prisoners are being kept.
- Pray to the Lord for the government to protect all their citizens and give them religious freedom.
- Pray for unity between all the Christian churches.
- Pray that the church will continue to teach and minister to their members hearts and help them to overcome the fear of arrest.
- Pray that the Lord will sustain the Christians who are in prison for their faith, strengthen their faith and encourage them daily through His Spirit.
- Pray that Eritrean Christians, in view of the advancement of radical Islam, may have the grace to continue sharing the gospel and that many would come to faith in Jesus.
- Pray to the Lord that there will be a move to tolerance for Christians as the Somali people are more than are extremely hostile to Christians and specially to converts.
- Pray believers are bold to share the gospel and that your hand of protection is over them
- Pray for the secret believers who meet in house churches will be protected.
- Pray that NGOs will provide clandestine spiritual support to the persecuted Christians.
- Pray that the Lord will both continue to sustain and grow His Church despite these circumstances.
Andy, Prayer Call Moderator for Persecution Watch
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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. Since the passing of Brother Blaine Scogin, we thank you for your patience as we have transitioned into this new season. 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