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Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day: Revisiting Islam’s Greatest Slaughter of Christians

A still frame from the 1919 documentary film Auction of Souls, which portrayed eye witnessed events from the Armenian Genocide, including stripped naked and crucified Christian girls.

Today, April 24, marks the “Great Crime,” that is, the genocide of Christians—mostly Armenians but also Assyrians and Greeks—that took place under the Islamic Ottoman Empire, throughout World War I. Then, in an attempt to wipe out as many Christians as possible, the Turks massacred approximately 1.5 million Armenians, 300,000 Assyrians, and 750,000 Greeks.

Most objective American historians who have studied the question unequivocally agree that it was a deliberate, calculated genocide:

More than one million Armenians perished as the result of execution, starvation, disease, the harsh environment, and physical abuse.  A people who lived in eastern Turkey for nearly 3,000 years [more than double the amount of time the invading Islamic Turks had occupied Anatolia, now known as “Turkey”] lost its homeland and was profoundly decimated in the first large-scale genocide of the twentieth century.  At the beginning of 1915 there were some two million Armenians within Turkey; today there are fewer than 60,000….  Despite the vast amount of evidence that points to the historical reality of the Armenian Genocide, eyewitness accounts, official archives, photographic evidence, the reports of diplomats, and the testimony of survivors, denial of the Armenian Genocide by successive regimes in Turkey has gone on from 1915 to the present.

Similarly, in 1920, U.S. Senate Resolution 359 heard testimony that included evidence of “[m]utilation, violation, torture, and death [which] have left their haunting memories in a hundred beautiful Armenian valleys, and the traveler in that region is seldom free from the evidence of this most colossal crime of all the ages.”

In her memoir, Ravished ArmeniaAurora Mardiganian described being raped and thrown into a harem (consistent with Islam’s rules of war).  Unlike thousands of other Armenian girls who were discarded after being defiled, she managed to escape. In the city of Malatia, she saw 16 Christian girls crucified: “Each girl had been nailed alive upon her cross,” she wrote, “spikes through her feet and hands, only their hair blown by the wind, covered their bodies.”  Such scenes were portrayed in the 1919 documentary film Auction of Souls, some of which is based on Mardiganian’s memoirs.

Whereas the genocide is largely acknowledged in the West, one of its primary if not fundamental causes is habitually overlooked: religion.  The genocide is usually articulated through a singularly secular paradigm, one that factors only things that are intelligible from a secular, Western point of view—such as identity and gender politics, nationalism, and territorial disputes. Such an approach does little more than project modern Western perspectives onto vastly different civilizations and eras.

War, of course, is another factor that clouds the true face of the genocide.  Because these atrocities mostly occurred during World War I, so the argument goes, they are ultimately a reflection of just that—war, in all its chaos and destruction, and nothing more.  But as Winston Churchill, who described the massacres as an “administrative holocaust,” correctly observed, “The opportunity [WWI] presented itself for clearing Turkish soil of a Christian race.”  Even Adolf Hitler had pointed out that “Turkey is taking advantage of the war in order to thoroughly liquidate its internal foes, i.e., the indigenous Christians, without being thereby disturbed by foreign intervention.”

It’s worth noting that little has changed; in the context of war in Iraq, Syria, and Libya, the first to be targeted for genocide have been Christians and other minorities.

But even the most cited factor of the Armenian Genocide, “ethnic identity conflict,” while legitimate, must be understood in light of the fact that, historically, religion accounted more for a person’s identity than language or heritage. This is daily demonstrated throughout the Islamic world today, where Muslim governments and Muslim mobs persecute Christian minorities who share the same race, ethnicity, language, and culture; minorities who are indistinguishable from the majority—except, of course, for being non-Muslims, or “infidels.”

As one Armenian studies professor asks, “If it [the Armenian Genocide] was a feud between Turks and Armenians, what explains the genocide carried out by Turkey against the Christian Assyrians at the same time?” The same can be said about the Greeks. From a Turkish perspective, the primary thing Armenians, Assyrians, and Greeks had in common was that they were all Christian “infidels.”

According to a 2017 book, Year of the Sword: The Assyrian Christian Genocide, the “policy of ethnic cleansing was stirred up by pan-Islamism and religious fanaticism.  Christians were considered infidels (kafir).  The call to Jihad, decreed on 29 November 1914 and instigated and orchestrated for political ends, was part of the plan” to “combine and sweep over the lands of Christians and to exterminate them.”   As with Armenians and Greeks, eyewitness accounts tell of the sadistic eye-gouging of Assyrians and the gang rape of their children on church altars. According to key documents, all this was part of “an Ottoman plan to exterminate Turkey’s Christians.”

Today, from Indonesia in the east to Morocco in the west, from Central Asia in the north, to sub-Sahara Africa—that is, throughout the entire Islamic world—Muslims are, to varying degrees, persecuting, killing, raping, enslaving, torturing and dislocating Christians; where formal Islamic groups such as the Islamic State (ISIS), Al Shabaab, Boko Haram, etc., hold sway, Christians and other “infidels” are literally experiencing a genocide.  (See my book, Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians — or my monthly “Muslim Persecution of Christians” report — for a comprehensive and ongoing account of the “great crime” of our times.)

To understand how the historic genocide of Armenians and Assyrians is representative of the modern day plight of Christians under Islam, one need only read the following words written in 1918 by President Theodore Roosevelt; however, read “Armenian” as “Christian” and “Turkish” as  “Islamic,” as supplied in brackets:

the Armenian [Christian] massacre was the greatest crime of the war, and the failure to act against Turkey [the Islamic world] is to condone it… the failure to deal radically with the Turkish [Islamic] horror means that all talk of guaranteeing the future peace of the world is mischievous nonsense.

Similarly, if we “fail to deal radically” with the “horror” currently being visited upon millions of Christians around the Islamic world, we “condone it” and had better cease talking “mischievous nonsense” of a utopian world of peace and tolerance.

Put differently, silence is always the ally of those who would liquidate the “other.”  In 1915, Adolf Hitler rationalized his genocidal plans, which he implemented some three decades later, when he rhetorically asked: “Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?”

And who among today’s major politicians speaks—let alone does anything—about the ongoing annihilation of Christians by Muslims, most recently (but not singularly) seen in the Easter Sunday church bombings of Sri Lanka that left over 300 dead?

Note: Chapter 4 of the author’s recent book, Sword and Scimitar: Fourteen Centuries of War between Islam and the West, documents how the first “genocide” of Armenians at the hands of Turks actually began precisely one millennium ago, in the year 1019.

By Raymonfd Ibrahim

Ibrahim is a widely published author, public speaker, and Middle East and Islam specialist.  His books include Sword and Scimitar: Fourteen Centuries of War between Islam and the West (Da Capo, 2018), Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians (Regnery, 2013), and The Al Qaeda Reader (Doubleday, 2007).

Ibrahim’s writings, translations, and observations have appeared in a variety of publications. He is currently Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center; Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Gatestone Institute; and Judith Friedman Rosen Fellow at the Middle East Forum.

Praying for Muslims to come to Christ during Ramadan – DAY 1

(Voice of the Persecuted) Brothers and Sisters, so many feel a ‘shift’ taking place as time draws closer to the end of the age. An urgency has been placed in our hearts to share the Gospel and bring the Good News of salvation through Christ, our Lord. Blaine Scogin, the Founder of Persecution Watch and Prayer Director of Voice of the Persecuted, had a heart for the lost and a longing for them to know Christ. Each year, he hosted 30 nights of prayer on the Persecution Watch prayer conference call so that we could pray together for Muslims to come to Christ during Ramadan. In the past. Our Brother Blaine shared the following a few years ago.

In the Book of Acts we read,

and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His children.’ Being then the children of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and thought of man. Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.” Acts 17:26-31

God has put within man the desire to seek him. But because of the fall, that desire has become corrupted. Cultures that were meant to seek the one true God seek false gods. This is no less true of Muslims.

Ramadan is considered a holy month by Muslims. It’s a time when Muslims are seeking their god and are open to spiritual things. They understand they have sinned and need to be forgiven. However, they seek to do it through works and not the redemption and grace that is found in Jesus. It’s also a time when Christians around the world are crying out for a harvest to come out of the Muslim nations. Many prayers for this to be a time when a course correction will take place and Muslims will find the true God. That they will come to know the truth of who Jesus Christ really is, feel the reality of his presence, welcome him into their hearts and follow him.

WHY PRAY?

God loves all people including, Muslims. He LOVES them! He loves them SO much that He came to the earth as a baby, lived a perfect life, gave His own life as the perfect sacrifice for their sins, and then raised Himself from the grave!

How do we know, because it is written.

 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.  For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. John 3:16-18

The Coming Day of the Lord

Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts,  and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.” For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water, through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water. But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.

But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:3-9

Blaine wrote, “He wants all Muslims “to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:4)

Jesus said “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)

Praise God, that is exactly what is happening today! More Muslims have turned to follow Jesus in the past [20] years than in the previous 1400 years combined! But our hearts are still heavy because 1.8 billion Muslims are still living without a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. And so we PRAY!”

Only God can see the true hearts and minds of men, we cannot. For this reason, we pray for all who are lost without Christ.

We are outraged by a religion that seems to condone terrorism, jihadists and suicide bombers. But isn’t Jesus is the answer? Let’s not harden our hearts toward the lost but plead for the revealing of the Truth in Christ. It would be a tragedy to miss this opportunity to pray for Muslims who are seeking what only Christ can provide.

What if we prayed that God would reveal Himself to Muslims during Ramadan? What if we covered millions of Muslims with 30 days of intercession that something would happen as they fast and searched for God? If we believe in the power of prayer, could we not expect God to respond to our cries for those who are lost?

As Brother Blaine did each year, the team will continue to host nightly calls during Ramadan. We will be following along with the Prayercast Team’s platform in praying for Muslims for the next 30 days, which begins April 24, today! Please sign up here to receive the daily video and prayer points from Prayercast which we will cover on the nightly prayer conference calls.

DAY 1

WHAT IS SAWM? Fasting is intended to teach Muslims discipline and self-control. Some think that if one can master the basic desires for food, water, and sex, they can master any temptation throughout the rest of the year. It also helps Muslims to grow in their submission to Allah.

Ramadan is a focused time of drawing closer to Allah – to let the hunger pangs serve as reminders of a need for God. It is also a time of “reformation” (working hard not to lie or do bad deeds) and “rewards” (earning extra merits and favors).

PRAYER POINTS that have been shared by Brother Blaine on the 1st day of Ramadan

  • Pray Muslims would be delivered from the crushing burden of striving to earn God’s favor.
  • Let us cry out for a great harvest among Islamic believers that they will find Jesus, the Messiah.
  • Pray that Jesus would reveal Himself in visions, dreams, and the Injil (New Testament). For true repentance and realization their salvation depends on Christ alone.
  • Pray that Muslims would become aware of evil thoughts and desires within that cannot be avoided by fasting.
  • Let us pray for those deceived by the ideology of jihad to become true followers of Jesus Christ and used for Kingdom purposes.

Dear brothers and sisters, we challenge you to join us on the conference call to pray during these 30 nights of prayer for the persecuted, the harvest and for Muslims to come out of the dark, receive the truth and follow Jesus.

In Christ,

Voice of the Persecuted and Persecution Watch Team

Call will be hosted nightly during Ramadan beginning April 24, 2020 

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. 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.

Mary Mohammadi given suspended prison sentence and lashes

(Forum 18) Twenty-one-year-old Iranian Christian convert Fatemeh (Mary) Mohammadi has been sentenced to three months plus one day in prison, and ten lashes.

The sentence relates to Mary’s alleged participation in anti-government demonstrations following the downing of a Ukrainian passenger plane in January.

The sentence is suspended for one year, and depends on her future conduct.

Mary has not appealed against the verdict, but commented:

“There was no evidence against me, so I ought to have been acquitted, but instead I was sentenced not only to imprisonment, but also flogging.

“And it should be mentioned that even before the verdict was handed down, I and my family were forced to endure all kinds of torture, none of which was sanctioned by law, and which ought to be considered crimes in themselves. So even if I would have been acquitted, it wouldn’t have been a real acquittal!”

“We have refrained from appealing against the verdict because the appeal courts have turned into confirmation courts!”

During Mary’s court hearing last week, the judge questioned her about her religious views, even though the charges were unrelated to her faith.

He cited no evidence against her, saying that her presence in the area where the rally was taking place was evidence in itself.

Mary’s hearing had previously been scheduled for 2 March, but was postponed due to coronavirus.

After her hearing was rescheduled, Mary tweeted that it would be a “crime against humanity” to send anyone to prison under the current circumstances.

Background

Mary has already spent six months in prison as a result of her participation in house-churches, for which she was convicted of “action against national security” and “propaganda against the system”.

In July last year she faced fresh criminal charges relating to her “improper” wearing of hijab. Those charges, which were eventually quashed, were brought against her after she initially went to police to complain of an assault.

Then in December, Mary was kicked out of her Tehran university, without explanation, on the eve of her English-language exams.

Just a few weeks later, on 12 January 2020, Mary was arrested as protests took place in Azadi Square.

There was no word about Mary’s whereabouts for a month, before it was confirmed that she was being held in Qarchak women’s prison, south of the Iranian capital Tehran.

After her arrest, Mary was forced to sit in a yard, for hours, in extremely cold weather and opposite the toilets, and not given any food for 24 hours.

She was beaten so badly – by male and female officers – that the bruises were visible for three weeks.

Mary was also strip-searched twice by female officers, who told her that if she refused to remove her clothes, they would rip them from her.

Mary is a rare example of a Christian activist still living in Iran. She launched a campaign last year called “Kahma”, fighting for the rights of all Christians – whether from Christian homes, or Christian converts – to be given the right to attend church.

UPDATE on Anita

We had asked you to pray for Anita, a Christian convert who was charge with promoting the underground church in Iran. Her hearing took place on April 15th. The Iranian court had recommended 6 years in prison, but we were encouraged that the judge, who is known to be harsh, had treated her kindly during the trial. After the hearing she was released to house arrest and told the judge would send his final verdict. Sadly, she received a verdict of 10 years in prison. Please pray for Anita and her attorney who will likely appeal the sentence.

Tonight on the Persecution Watch Prayer Call: India

 

(Voice of the Persecuted) 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.

India

Population: 1.7 billion, Christians 66.2 million

The level of violence and persecution against Christians—and other religious minorities—in India is vast and shocking. Led by radical Hindu nationalists, who seem to operate with impunity and little interference from local, regional or national governments, persecution against Christians in India has reached epidemic levels. A rise in far-right extremist groups—some of whom have links to armed radical groups—have clearly resulted in a sharp spike in violent incidents, and overall persecution against religious minorities. Radical Hindu nationalism in India is vocal, omnipresent and very violent, particularly against anyone who converts to Christianity from Hinduism. For these radicals, to be Indian is to be Hindu; therefore, to be Christian is to revoke your Indian identity.

More than 11,000 nongovernmental organizations have lost their licenses to accept foreign funds since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took office in 2014.

 Seven states in India have anti-conversion laws on the books that criminalize conversion through allurement or other fraudulent means. However, the conversion laws are often abused by Hindu nationalist groups that oppose the existence of Christian missionaries or ministries in their communities.

Persecution 

Rural India can be a difficult place for recent converts to Christianity. Threats from radical Hindu nationalists, neighbors, and even family are a common part of the conversion experience in India’s unreached places.  Kasturi, a Christian woman from Tumhara village located in Odisha state, experienced these threats firsthand after she converted to Christianity in 2019. According to Kasturi, she converted to Christianity because the church community helped carry her daily burdens. This sense of community helped bring Kasturi a sense of peace.

However, the day she was baptized she began to face aggressive abuse from her husband. According to Kasturi, her husband would verbally abuse her, call her demeaning names, curse her, and throw her out of the house for days at a time. During these times she would stay with her cousin, but would return to care for her children. On January 19, 2020, Kasturi went to a Sunday worship service while her husband was away. When she returned from the service, her husband was home and welcomed her with a brutal beating. After this incident, Kasturi’s husband told her he would not let her leave the house unless she renounced her Christian faith. In the end, Kasturi could not abandon her new found faith and the peace that it brought her.

  • Pray for the government leaders in India to change their attitudes and create room for religious freedom.
  • Pray for God’s protection over Christians who boldly evangelize in the growing number of states with anti-conversion laws. Pray they will be wise in their evangelism efforts.
  • Pray for protection over Christians converts from Hinduism who are forcefully pressure to recant their faith
  • Pray for the protection of all, not only Christian women and young girls from rape and violence.
  • Pray for changes in rules and regulations as the work of Christian non-profits has suffered from the fact that it has been made very difficult to receive financial support from abroad. Pray for changes in rules and regulations.
  • Pray to the Lord to give NGO’s favor in covert work to and minister and support Christians.
  • Pray people have freedom to access Christian materials online as almost everyone in the country now has Internet access and as a result Christians and others have more access to Christian materials.
  • Pray to the Lord to hold His hand of protection over the Christian media in India and uproot all efforts of Hindu hard-liners attacking the Christian media by accusing them of evangelism.
  • Pray for God’s protection over Christians who boldly evangelize in the growing number of states with anti-conversion laws. Pray they will be wise in their evangelism efforts.
  • Pray that believers remain joyful amid suffering and forgive their persecutors
  • Pray to the Lord to continue to add to the numbers of believers daily and that His Church, the community of the saints, will continue to experience extraordinary growth.

Many blessings,

Andy, Prayer Call Moderator for Persecution Watch

Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday

From any location on your phone

Time:

9:00 PM EST

8:00 PM CST

7:00 PM MST

6:00 PM PST

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. 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.

Young Christian Woman and Pregnant Convert Seriously Injured in Eastern Uganda

(Morning Star News) – A young woman who told a Muslim about Christ and a pregnant, formerly Muslim woman beaten for her new faith suffered serious injuries in eastern Uganda, sources said.

Radical Muslims assaulted Lydia Nabirye, 23-year-old daughter of a Church of God evangelist, on April 7 at about 1 p.m. near Luwooko village, Buwunga Sub-County, Bugiri District, she said.

Nabirye said she shared her faith with a young Muslim woman in early March who subsequently became a Christian. The former Muslim woman, unnamed for security reasons, received threats from her Muslim family due to her new faith, so Nabirye’s family gave her refuge in their home, where six other former Muslims are staying due to threats, she said.

“Her mother knows that her daughter is with me, because we have been close friends with her for more than four years,” Nabirye told Morning Star News by phone. “The family knows about our relationship with her.”

On April 7 Nabirye’s father, Paul Kaikiya, sent her to Bukolwa village to visit another former Muslim who was mourning the loss of a son who had died, and Muslims saw her entering their property, she said.

On her way back, Nabirye was about six miles from the bereaved mother’s home and close to the home of the woman she had recently led to faith in Christ when she was attacked by a group of radical Muslims, three of which she could identify, she said.

“They held me and started beating me up,” Nabirye told Morning Star News. “They slapped me, and others hit me with sticks, saying that they were out to kill me because I was changing Muslims to become Christians.”

An area source told Morning Star News that the Muslims ambushed, strangled and severely beat her. When she shouted and screamed, neighbors called police, and the assailants fled when officers arrived, he said.

“When I met her at her home on April 14, she was still in pain from multiple injuries – head, right eye and left hand injuries,” the source told Morning Star News. “At the moment Nabirye’s father is very fearful of a possible attack. The Muslims in Luwooko village have sworn to harm Kaikiya. The family needs prayers at this difficult moment, especially for the security and the safety of the Muslim-background believers.”

Expectant Mother Beaten

In Pallisa District in the town of the same name, also in eastern Uganda, a six-months pregnant woman in Odwarata village is recovering from injuries after her family beat her for becoming a Christian, sources said.

Sylvia Shamimu Nabafa, 27, had attended church services secretly for five weeks after putting her faith in Christ in January, but as she was leaving church on the sixth week, a Muslim neighbor on Feb. 16 saw her and reported it to her father, Haji Juma Suleiman, Nabafa said.

That evening, her father asked her if she was a Christian, said Nabafa, who at the time was five months pregnant.

“I did not respond. He began hitting me with kicks and blows,” Nabafa told Morning Star News. “He then took a blunt object and hit my right leg. I started bleeding, and the next thing I knew, I found myself in the hospital bed at Palissa Health Centre.”

She was discharged after six days at the hospital, on Feb. 22, she said.

Still unable to undertake much activity, Nabafa has taken refuge with one of her church’s elders.

“The doctor said that the unborn child is well,” the church elder, whose name is withheld for security reasons, told Morning Star News. “At the moment she needs support and encouragements as she recalls the ordeal she has gone through after giving her life to Jesus Christ. At times I find her weeping. She needs food, clothes, medication and hospital check-ups.”

Nabafa’s journey to Christ began after she heard a series of radio sermons by a pastor in the region, she said.

“The pastor preached about Jesus as the only Way, the Truth and Life, which touched my heart,” Nabafa said. “That very night I had a dream of attending a church service, and the pastor was telling me that that the only way to escape from destruction was to believe in Jesus as Lord and Savior. Immediately after the dream I became restless.”

Increasingly without peace, she began looking for the pastor, whose identity is withheld for security reasons. She met him and two elders at the church office on Jan. 11, she said, after getting past wary church staff members.

“It was quite difficult for me to meet the pastor,” she said. “After interrogation from the watchman and a search, I was allowed into the church. I was very fearful as I narrated to the pastor and his two elders about the dream that I had had, as well as the condition of my heart.

“The pastor prayed for me, and immediately I felt a great relief from my heart, and thereafter he prayed for me to receive Jesus as Lord and Savior of my life. After confessing with my mouth my sins and praying for the Lordship of Jesus in my heart, I was full of joy as I returned back home.”

The cases are 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.

Heinous Attacks Against Christians in Nigeria under-reported

The coronavirus affecting Nigeria is dominating the headlines which has pushed news reports of Christians being slaughtered by Islamists even further to the back burner.

 April 16 – A Christian student was killed in an attack by Muslim Fulani herdsmen in Kaduna state on Thursday night (April 16), a week after a pastor was slain at his church building residence in southern Nigeria, sources said. According to area residents, After his college in northwest Nigeria was closed due to the coronavirus, Sebastine Stephen was visiting his home in a suburb of the city of Kaduna, when armed Fulani attacked at about 11:30 p.m. , reported Morning Star News.

“Sebastine Stephen was shot when the armed Fulani herdsmen attacked Gbagyi Villa area in Chikun Local Government Area in the southern end of the city of Kaduna,” area resident Hosea Yusuf told Morning Star News. “Stephen raised alarm, warning residents about the invasion of our community as he was still outside at the time the herdsmen came to attack the community. The herdsmen instantly shot him and then proceeded to enter one of the houses close to them, where they kidnapped a couple.”

“The Fulani herdsmen were over 50 carrying sophisticated guns and shooting sporadically,” Chris Obodumu told Morning Star News. “After they killed the young man, Sebastine Stephen, they then broke into the house of Mr. Jack Nweke and abducted him with his wife, leaving behind their three children.” He said he feared the herdsmen may return to attack again. Gbagyi Villa community leader Martins Emmanuel said the herdsmen simultaneously attacked both Gbagyi Villa and the nearby area of Mararaban Rido.

April 14 – Six children and a pregnant woman were among nine people that Muslim Fulani herdsmen killed in north-central Nigeria 0n April 14, sources said.

About a dozen herdsmen armed with rifles and machetes raided Hura-Maiyanga village, in the Miango area of Kwall District in Plateau state’s Bassa County, shouting the jihadist slogan “Allahu Akbar [God is greater],” sources said.

“They were armed with machetes and AK-47 rifles as they attacked us,” Hanatu John, a woman who survived the attack, told Morning Star News. “They attacked our village at about 8 p.m., and they were shouting, ‘Allahu Akbar!’ as they shot into our houses.” The assailants were speaking Fulfulde, the Fulani language, as they shot into homes, she said.

“Most families had already retired into houses to sleep when these Fulani gunmen came into the village and were shooting into houses. As the herdsmen shot at us, we all ran out from our houses into the surrounding bushes. Some of the herdsmen chased after us and shot at us, while others were burning down our houses.”

“Hura hamlet of Maiyanga village in Kwall District, Miango Chiefdom in Bassa Local Government Area, Plateau state was invaded on the night of 14th by suspected armed Fulani herdsmen, who surrounded the entire area and unleashed mayhem on the unsuspecting natives,” Mwantiri told Morning Star News by text message. “As a result, nine persons were gruesomely killed and two injured while 33 houses were completely torched by fire. Most of the persons killed were children.”

The ages of the children were 3, 6, two were 7, 15 and an unborn baby.  Over 250 persons, mostly women and children, have been displaced.

Miango resident Grace Gye sent a message to the Plateau state government on April 15, calling on state and federal governments “to protect the people and their property.” She questioned why Fulani herdsmen were moving about freely in spite of a lockdown in the face of the novel coronavirus.

The Rev. Ronku Aka, a former Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) pastor and now community leader of the Irigwe ethnic group, lamented incessant attacks on predominantly Christian communities.

“So many of my people have been killed over the years, including the attack of last night, In spite of promises from the government to my people, the herdsmen have continuously been attacking our communities.”

“I am begging the international community to come to the aid of our people! this killing is too much,” Aka told Zenger. “More than the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria, the Fulanis are killing my people. Despite the lockdown,” Aka told Zenger News.

The attack on Maiyanga comes on the heels of attacks by herdsmen in the area last month. On March 31, Christians were killed at Ancha village; the next day three more Christians were slain in the predominantly Christian community of Nkiedow-hro village, and seven others were killed in Hukke village. On Jan. 14, 2018, armed herdsmen killed one Christian and wounded two others in an attack on Maiyanga village.

There is also a report shared on April 16 of Moses Gata, a resident from a targeted village, being abused by authorities after he criticized Nigerian police and military for withdrawing from a region where Muslim militants have killed at least 20 Christians.

“I blamed the security for withdrawal of soldiers at the checkpoints and hence the attacks when it was barely a week after the withdrawal,” Gata told Zenger News, explaining why he may have been targeted for retaliation.

“I also complained about the government inability to set up programs such as bringing relief materials to homeless people, rehabilitation program, resettlement program, reconstruction program of any sorts,” he said.

He claimed the captain told him, ’You’re going to respect the uniform from now on, aren’t you, little boy!’ as he hosed me down from head to toe in ice cold water.”  Gata said he was ordered to roll back and forth on the concrete porch of a temporary army barrack for close to two hours until he was rescued by an elected official who had heard from family about his predicament.

April 13 – Muslim Fulani herdsmen in Nigeria decapitated two Christians in Benue state.

According to residents, herdsmen ambushed two members of a Catholic church in  Ologba village at about 8 a.m. on Monday. “Oche Alaade and his friend who had visited the village were traveling out of the village on their way back to Obagaji town where they reside when they were ambushed by the Fulani herdsmen and their heads cut off,” area resident Louis Oguche told Morning Star News in a text message. Oyaje Sule, uncle of Oche Alaade, confirmed the killings in a statement issued to local press on Monday evening. The murders follow a herdsmen attack on two Christians the previous week who are receiving hospital treatment for their wounds, Sule said. Agatu, a predominantly Christian area in the north-central state of Benue, has been under siege by herdsmen in the past four years, with many Christians killed and displaced.

April 11 – A group of herdsmen in Plateau state on shot a Christian farmer dead.

Muslim Fulani herdsmen killed 30-year-old Christian farmer Mabur Mallo Gwang in Maiduna village, Daffo District of Bokkos County, area residents said. Armed with guns and machetes, four armed herdsmen forced their way into the victim’s house attacked him. Neighbors fled into the nearby bushes when they heard the gunshots, The victim was a member of the local Church of Christ in Nations (COCIN) congregation. Yusuf Machen, chairman of the Bokkos Local Government Council, confirmed the attack when contacted by Morning Star News. “We are deeply saddened about such incessant attacks on the communities in Bokkos Local Government Area,” Machen said.

Herdsmen have attacked Christian communities in Bokkos County over the past three years, as well as Christians in the counties of Barkin Ladi, Bassa, Jos South, Mangu and Riyom, residents told Morning Star News. In the Daffo area in the past two years, more than 40 Christians have been killed, 11 communities destroyed and more than 7,000 people displaced, they said.

April 10 – In southern Nigeria’s Delta state, church members identified two armed men who came to the church building the night of April 10 and shot and stabbed pastor Stephen Akpor as Fulani herdsmen. He was 55.

Pastor Akpor, whose residence was on the church premises, was praying and counseling members of his church in Ibusa at about 8:30 p.m. at Breakthrough Cathedral, a local fellowship of the Celestial Church of Christ, church leaders told Morning Star News via text messages. “Two herdsmen came to a branch of our church, Celestial Church at Ibusa in Oshimili North Local Government Area of Delta state, where they shot him as he was praying and counseling five members in the church,” a senior leader of the church, Isaiah George, church, told Morning Star News.

Pastor Akpor reportedly retreated to his room before the assailants shot him through a window. The pastor’s wife was inside the building at the time, but she and the other church members escaped unhurt, George said. “The herdsmen shot the pastor several times and then stabbed him to death,” he said.

Another church leader, Peter Lotobi, said he received a phone call at the time of the herdsmen attack and immediately contacted police. “By the time the police got to the church, the herdsmen had already killed the pastor and retreated from the church premises,” Lotobi told Morning Star News. “His corpse was removed and taken by the police to the mortuary of General Hospital, Ibusa.” Pastor Akpor reportedly is survived by five children along with his wife.

Attacks by armed Muslim Fulani herdsmen, most of them in the north-central part of the country, have drifted to southern Nigerian states as far back as 2016. Recently Muslim Fulani herdsmen in southern communities have reportedly taken over farmlands.

March 22 – Herdsmen attacked Div-Nzaav village in Kwande County as Christians were about to begin worship in the village church. “The Fulanis attacked us on Sunday; they shot and killed Tarfa Simon, while Ngusonon Kighir, a woman and member of our community, was cut with a machete,” Amande said in a text message to Morning Star News.

The attacked members of the Universal Reformed Christian Church (Nongu u Kristu u i Ser u sha Tar, or NKST) who escaped fled to Jato-Aka village, he added. “The herdsmen also kidnapped two Christian women from the village who were rescued a few days after the attack,” Amande said. “These attacks against us by the herdsmen have become incessant for several years.”

March 5 – Herdsmen also attacked Mbanyiar village in Guma County at about 2 a.m., residents said. Oliver Tyoor Chado of Mbanyiar said the herdsmen kidnapped his wife and destroyed houses, food and animals belonging to Christians.

“The herdsmen, who were about a dozen, were armed with AK-47 rifles,” Chado told Morning Star News. “My wife and two other members of our village were kidnapped and taken away by the herdsmen; but they were eventually rescued by security agents after they were tortured by the herdsmen.” He said displaced Christians have fled to Daudu town.

March 6 – In Guma County, seven NKST members were killed when Muslim Fulani herdsmen attacked villagers at a funeral wake in Chongu village, sources said. Chongu resident Zaki Usuah he and others were holding a wake at about 11 p.m. when the Fulani herdsmen attacked. “The wake was for one of our deceased elders in our church, NKST church, who was to be buried the following morning at Chongu,” Usuah said. “Suddenly we heard sounds of gun shots all around us. Those killed in the attack include Chikwa, Taza Abuur, Tarnum Yanum and four others.”

March 3 – In Abaji village three weeks earlier, also in Kwande County, armed herdsmen stormed the area in droves, residents said. They attacked at about 10 a.m on March 3, according to area resident Aloysius Yaga.

“Eight of our people were killed, and six others were kidnapped by the herdsmen during the attack,” Yaga told Morning Star News by text message. “The herdsmen shot indiscriminately at us and injured many others through machete cuts. I narrowly escaped being killed.”

March 2 – In northwestern Nigeria, Muslim Fulani herdsmen in Niger state on March 24 killed at least 20 people in two predominantly Christian villages and on March 2 kidnapped eight Christians in raids on a mission station, sources said.

The attacks on the villages of Galkogo and Zumba, killing more than 20 people, displaced 3,000 people, area residents told Morning Star News.

In Niger state’s Shiroro County, Fulani herdsmen raided a school in Maruba run by Calvary Ministries (CAPRO), kidnapping four missionaries, two volunteer staff members, another staff member and one student, according to Niyi Gbade, the ministry’s national director. Ask God to release them unharmed now,” Gbade told Morning Star News in a text message. The school’s head teacher was shot and received hospital treatment, he said. “Pray for the remaining missionaries on the base, that they will not be kidnapped, and that those being held should be released from any form of captivity,” Gbade said.

Herdsmen also raided Global Glorious Mission in Gofa, Shiroro County, on March 22, forcing missionaries and students to flee into bushes, according to a mission press statement last month. “The Fulani herdsmen entered, ransacked and looted our Gofa field of Shiroro LGA, Niger and environs,” the statement read. “Some of the brethren have gone back in the night, and some returning this morning. Please stand with us in prayer for God’s intervention over this menace.”

In the past year, armed Fulani herdsmen have carried out a series of raids on Christian communities in the northwest, sending people fleeing to camps for the displaced.

On Jan. 30, (CSI) issued a genocide warning for Nigeria, calling on the Permanent Member of the United Nations Security Council to take action. The warning was issued 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.’

Dr. Samson Ayokunle, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) President said, “Christians have become an endangered species in their own country. “Nigeria is under a siege orchestrated by the murderous bloodthirsty and criminally-minded Boko Haram terrorists, Fulani terrorist herdsmen, bandits and kidnappers.” He also called the government to account for its inaction in the face of the escalating conflict and the culture of impunity in Nigeria.

sources here, here and here

Please pray for our brothers and sisters in Nigeria.

Praying for the persecuted on the Persecution Watch Call

4/18/2020 (Voice of the Persecuted) Join us tonight on the Persecution Watch prayer conference call. Call details below.

Dear Prayer Warriors, we do not come on the Persecution Watch call to pray for the persecuted Church and global harvest and expect not to be changed.

“The devil is perfectly willing that the Church should multiply its organization and its deftly contrived machinery for the conquest of the world for Christ, if it will only give up praying… Satan laughs softly, as he looks at the Church today, and says under his breath: “You can have your Sunday schools, your YMCAs…your grand choirs, and your fine organs, and your brilliant preachers…as long as you do not bring into them the power of Almighty God, sought and obtained by earnest, persistent, believing, mighty prayers.”” ~ R. A. Torrey

“Prayer that is born of meditation upon the Word of God is the prayer that soars upward most easily to God’s listening ears.” ~ R. A. Torrey

“Prayer is the key that unlocks all the storehouses of God’s. . .grace and power.”

~ R. A. Torrey

“God has not changed; and His ear is just as quick to hear the voice of real prayer, and His hand is just as long and strong to save; as it ever was.” ~ R. A. Torrey

The Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy a final charge.

10 You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, 11 persecutions, sufferings—what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured.Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them. 12 In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13 while evildoers and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancyyou have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:10-17

Praises to the King our Lord Mighty God

Thank you to all who have been praying for Anita, she was arrested, interrogated, tortured and charged for having a role in the underground house church movement. Anita’s final hearing was held on April 15, 2020.  The court had recommended over 5 years in prison but during the trial the judge seemed to soften towards Anita. He released her to house arrest and said he would send his verdict.

Psalm 117

“1 Praise the Lord, all you nations; extol him, all you peoples. 2 For great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord.”

Psalm 118

“1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. 2 Let Israel say:

“His love endures forever.” 3 Let the house of Aaron say: “His love endures forever.” 4 Let those who fear the Lord say: “His love endures forever.””

  • We will continue to pray for Leah Sharibu and Alice, both held captive by the Boko Haram.
  • For Pastor Wanh Yi from China, who has been sentenced to 9 years in prison for sharing boldly the love of God
  • For the persecuted church and global harvest of souls as the Holy Spirit leads us.

Lord willing, I look forward to joining you tonight.

In the Shadow of his Cross,

Nadia Dybvik, serving as Prayer Call Leader for Persecution Watch

Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday

From any location on your phone

Time:

9:00 PM EST

8:00 PM CST

7:00 PM MST

6:00 PM PST

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. 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.

Update on Iranian Christian woman’s hearing in Iran

 

 

(Voice of the Persecuted) Thank you to all who have been praying for Anita. She was arrested, interrogated, tortured and charged for having a role in the underground house church movement. Later she was released to await her trial under house arrest.

Anita’s final hearing was held yesterday, April 15, 2020.  The court had recommended over 5 years in prison. The judge hearing her was known to be tough. However, during her trial the judge was kind and recommended 1-1/2 years. As the hearing progressed his heart seemed to soften towards her. At the end he released her back to house arrest and said he would send his final verdict.

Please continue to pray for Anita and a favorable verdict with no prison time, and for all Christians in Iran.

 

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