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Persecution Watch: Praying for Christians in Eritrea

(Voice of the Persecuted) You are invited to join us on Thursday December 30, 2021 in a prayer conference call for the persecuted church hosted by Persecution Watch.

Eritrea: Population 5.4million, Christians 2.5 million (3% Evangelical)

Located on the Red Sea, Eritrea is governed by a totalitarian regime that seeks to control every aspect of life. Some have compared Eritrea to the “hermit kingdom” of North Korea, as it is one of the most secretive and isolated countries in the world. In 2002, the government outlawed every form of religion except Islam, Orthodox Christianity, Roman Catholicism, and the Lutheran Church. All other religious groups are illegal, and the government maintains tight control of approved churches, including their messages. Years of communism, required military service and economic depression have caused many Eritreans, including evangelical believers, to flee the country. But during the recent war in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, the Eritrean army was allowed to cross the border and destroy two Eritrean refugee camps, taking many refugees, including Christians, back to Eritrea. Over the past year, the government has released some Christian prisoners while arresting several new groups. While the 2018 peace agreement between Eritrea and Ethiopia ended a two-decade war, the benefits have been one-sided. Ethiopians may travel freely between the two countries, but travel for Eritreans is restricted by their government. Despite these hardships, the underground church in Eritrea continues to grow due to the faithfulness of church leaders inside and outside the country.

Known as the “North Korea of Africa,” Eritrea is infamous for its intricate and inhumane prison system, often putting prisoners in shipping containers, creating insurmountable conditions, and leaving them in isolation. Prisons are part of an underground tunnel system that often prevents families from reaching and even contacting their loved ones. Conditions have even worsened due to the pandemic.

Evangelical churches must meet secretly. The government actively seeks to infiltrate these underground churches and imprison their leaders. About 400 believers are known to remain in prison, including several top leaders. Imprisoned Christians are not given a trial or allowed to see their families, many of whom do not know where their loved ones are imprisoned or even if they are still alive. Christians simply disappear and are assumed to be in government prisons. The conditions inside these “prisons” are some of the harshest in the world. Christian prisoners are provided meager rations and held in shipping containers in extreme desert conditions for years. When long-term prisoners are released, they are blacklisted by the government. They are unable to get jobs, watched constantly and their families lose opportunities. They still need extended physical and emotional help.

Bibles are available, but the government tracks each Bible sold. Christian literature is highly regulated, and most believers who want Bibles must smuggle them in. For this reason, many believers must access Scripture by digital means.

  • Pray for the government, those in authority and Eritrea’s long-time leader, Isaias Afwerki.
  • Pray for the availability of more Christian resources in the Tigrinya language.
  • Pray Eritrean Christians and church leaders would have wisdom and opportunities to engage their government on the topic of religious freedom.
  • Pray that the Lord will raise up strong leaders for Eritrean churches.
  • Pray for the strength and perseverance of long-term prisoners and their families.
  • Pray for the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of recently released prisoners of faith.
  • Pray for Eritrean believers in Tigray who have had to flee or have been taken by the army.
  • Pray for the financial, physical, and spiritual needs of Eritrean prisoners’ families.
  • Pray for radio ministries reaching out to Eritreans.
  • Pray that believers’ faith would grow, that their love would increase, and that their faith would be steadfast in persecution and affliction.
  • Pray for those suffering terrible conditions in prison, held because of their faith, and for the Christian women and children whose husbands and fathers are in prison. Pray the Lord would show His grace to these families and provide for their spiritual and physical needs.                                                                                   
  • Pray that opportunities will open up for believers to share the gospel with others safely.
  • Pray for good internet access so that Christians can download scripture and related material.
  • Pray that the Lord’s hand of protection is on His believers and that His church will grow in spite of the hostile culture against Christianity.

Again, we want to lift up persecuted witnesses to the Lord: 

  • Leah Sharibu, prisoner of Boko Haram since 2018. Pray for her release.
  • Alice Loksha Ngaddah, kidnapped February 2019. She is a mother of two, working as a nurse for UNICEF. Pray for her release.
  • Pray for Pastor Wang Yi to be released from prison.
  • Pray for Anita, a Christian convert facing a long prison term who escaped from Iran and praying to go to a country where she can express her faith openly.
  • For the release of Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani from Iran, and his family as their Persecution continues. Pastor Nadarkhani is serving the second year of his six-year sentence.

Andy, Persecution Watch Prayer Call Moderator

Prayer Conference Call Details

Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday

From any location on your phone

USA Time Zone:

9:00 PM Eastern

8:00 PM Central

7:00 PM Mountain

6:00 PM Pacific

Call in number: (667) 770-1476 (Note: We have a new call-in phone number)

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

If you are experiencing any difficulties joining the call, please let us know.

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 time in the United States (please check your time zone). Blaine also served as Prayer Director for Voice of the Persecuted, and the missions became one. Brother Blaine passed into glory on December 26, 2019. It was truly a blessing for all of us to serve alongside this dear man of God and he will be greatly missed. The prayer mission of Persecution Watch remains an important part of our mission. Voice of the Persecuted is committed to continue the prayer conference call for the persecuted along with the dedicated Persecution Watch prayer warrior team.

Prior to the passing of Brother Blaine, he confirmed the passing of the torch as prayer conference call leader to Nadia Dybvik. Nadia has a burdened heart for the persecuted and is a prayer warrior standing in the gap for them. She joined the Persecution Watch prayer team in 2013 and has been part of the core ever since. Before becoming the prayer call leader, she served in the role of prayer moderator since 2015. Blaine chose Nadia for her faithfulness to pray for the persecuted and her strong commitment to the Persecution Watch mission. We are blessed not only with her gift of prayer, but her genuine love for every brother and sister in Christ that comes on the call to pray. May the Lord continue to bless Nadia and the prayer team in the mission and their personal lives.

“Pray for us” is the number one request that we hear from the persecuted. As the members of the first century Church were moved by the Holy Spirit to pray, we too must continue to serve those suffering persecution by lifting them up to the Lord through prayer.

On occasion, persecuted brothers and sisters have been invited on the conference call to share the trials they are 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 are new to the call and cannot 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!

God bless and protect you in your faithfulness to serve.

Lois Kanalos, Founder, Voice of the Persecuted, Nadia Dybvik, Persecution Watch Prayer Call Leader and the Persecution Watch Prayer Team

NOTE: Please fill out the form in the sign up link below to be included in our distribution list to receive urgent prayer requests, prayer points, notification of special prayer events and special guest speakers.

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.

Photo: Animal Market in Eritrea

Praying for Christians in India suffering extreme persecution

(Voice of the Persecuted) You are invited to join us on Tuesday December 28, 2021 in a prayer conference call for the persecuted church hosted by Persecution Watch.

India: Population 1.38 billion, Christians 67,356,000

“They want to remove us from society,” a Christian farmer said of Hindu extremists. The possibility that some Indians would reject Hinduism for Christianity is a threat to their dream of turning India into a pure Hindu nation.

A hundred years ago, a Hindu nationalist group articulated their dream of making India a Hindu nation, pushing Christians and Muslims to the side.

The pressure is greatest in central and northern India, where the governing party of Prime Minister Modi is in control, and where evangelical Christian groups are making inroads among lower-caste Hindus.  The central state of Madhya Pradesh passed a vaguely defined anti-conversion law, that carries prison sentences of 10 years for any person found guilty of leading conversions.

Last month a Hindu priest presented, in public to the leaders of the major political party [B.J.P.], his remedy for those who try to convert others: beheading. read this report

Anti-Christian vigilantes are sweeping through villages, storming churches, burning Christian literature, attacking schools, and assaulting worshipers.  In January vigilantes attacked the Satprakashan Sanchar Kendra Christian center in the city of Indore. Then the police arrived, and arrested the pastors and church elders

Pastor David said his first night in jail was terrifying. He was interrogated repeatedly and denied food, water, and a lawyer. He and eight other Protestant elders spent two months in jail and still face serious charges.

Hindu extremists also devise devastating social boycotts in remote villages against isolated Christians. They have blocked Christians from community wells, barred them from visiting Hindu homes and ostracized villagers for believing in Jesus.

Village elders in Madhya Pradesh recently instituted a $130 fine for any family that allows Christians in their home.

In the cities a white-collar army of lawyers and clerks file legal complaints against Christian organizations. Hindu nationalist lawyers filed complaints against Christian charities, starving them of funds and shutting many down.

  • Please pray that despite pressure, Christians would not be isolated from each other.
  • That where extremists have cut off water and food, the Lord will provide miraculously.

Philippians 4:19 “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”

  • Pray that christians will continue to make inroads among lower-caste Hindus.

2 Corinthians 8:2 “While they were being severely tested by suffering, their overflowing joy, along with their extreme poverty, has made them even more generous.”

  • Pray that in poverty, believers would have joy and Fruits of the Spirit.
  • That new believers would remain strong, and those born in church would have a strong belief.

Luke 21:12 “They will seize you and persecute you. You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers, sisters, relatives, and friends, they will put some of you to death. Everyone will hate you because of me.”

  • Pray that believers would not be overwhelmed by the persecution.
  • That lower-caste Hindus would not support the dominate Hindu party

Romans 8:38 “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

  • Pray where there is Anti-Christian violence, God’s grace would be more apparent to the believers.

Psalm 18:26 “To the pure you show yourself pure, but to the devious you show yourself shrewd.”

  • Pray that the courts, Christian lawyers, and lawyers who love freedom would have favor of protecting the rights of minorities.

We want to lift up persecuted witnesses to the Lord: 

  • Leah Sharibu, prisoner of Boko Haram since 2018. Pray for her release.
  • Alice Loksha Ngaddah, kidnapped February 2019. She is a mother of two, working as a nurse for UNICEF. Pray for her release.
  • Pray for Pastor Wang Yi to be released from prison.
  • Pray for Anita, a Christian convert facing a long prison term who escaped from Iran and praying to go to a country where she can express her faith openly.
  • For the release of Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani from Iran, and his family as their Persecution continues. Pastor Nadarkhani is serving the second year of his six-year sentence.

Michael Laird, Persecution Watch Prayer Call Moderator

Prayer Conference Call Details

Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday

From any location on your phone

USA Time Zone:

9:00 PM Eastern

8:00 PM Central

7:00 PM Mountain

6:00 PM Pacific

Call in number: (667) 770-1476 (Note: We have a new call-in phone number)

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

If you are experiencing any difficulties joining the call, please let us know.

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 time in the United States (please check your time zone). Blaine also served as Prayer Director for Voice of the Persecuted, and the missions became one. Brother Blaine passed into glory on December 26, 2019. It was truly a blessing for all of us to serve alongside this dear man of God and he will be greatly missed. The prayer mission of Persecution Watch remains an important part of our mission. Voice of the Persecuted is committed to continue the prayer conference call for the persecuted along with the dedicated Persecution Watch prayer warrior team.

Prior to the passing of Brother Blaine, he confirmed the passing of the torch as prayer conference call leader to Nadia Dybvik. Nadia has a burdened heart for the persecuted and is a prayer warrior standing in the gap for them. She joined the Persecution Watch prayer team in 2013 and has been part of the core ever since. Before becoming the prayer call leader, she served in the role of prayer moderator since 2015. Blaine chose Nadia for her faithfulness to pray for the persecuted and her strong commitment to the Persecution Watch mission. We are blessed not only with her gift of prayer, but her genuine love for every brother and sister in Christ that comes on the call to pray. May the Lord continue to bless Nadia and the prayer team in the mission and their personal lives.

“Pray for us” is the number one request that we hear from the persecuted. As the members of the first century Church were moved by the Holy Spirit to pray, we too must continue to serve those suffering persecution by lifting them up to the Lord through prayer.

On occasion, persecuted brothers and sisters have been invited on the conference call to share the trials they are 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 are new to the call and cannot 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!

God bless and protect you in your faithfulness to serve.

Lois Kanalos, Founder, Voice of the Persecuted, Nadia Dybvik, Persecution Watch Prayer Call Leader and the Persecution Watch Prayer Team

NOTE: Please fill out the form in the sign up link below to be included in our distribution list to receive urgent prayer requests, prayer points, notification of special prayer events and special guest speakers.

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.

Photo: Prayer service of a native ministry whose workers were attacked in 2018 by Hindu extremists in Bihar state, India. (GEMS)

Merry Christmas from Voice of the Persecuted and Persecution Watch

(Voice of the Persecuted) In the darkness of night, Christ was born to bring hope and light into the world. He did what no other could accomplish; He brought salvation to all who believe, love and follow Him.

This Christmas, let us reflect not on the trials but on all God’s blessings in our lives. Let us thank the Lord for His faithfulness to bring hope to the afflicted, to bind up the brokenhearted, liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners. We thank God for comforting all who mourn, giving them strength and peace instead of mourning. For the ability to praise instead of a spirit of fainting and being with us in the storm.

For the grace of God has appeared to offer salvation to all people. The Holy Spirit leads us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright godly lives in this present age while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. Titus 2:11-14

To all our persecuted brothers and sisters, our advocates, prayer warriors and workers in the field, missions who partnered in emergency situations—to all friends of Voice of the Persecuted and Persecution Watch—and to you who have supported our ministry and make it possible for us to care for our persecuted family…THANK YOU! 

Rejoice! In the name of the Lord, Rejoice! Christ is King and Savior of the world.

May Peace be your gift at Christmas and your blessing all through the year. We thank you for standing with us in the ministry!

God bless you,

From the Voice of the Persecuted and Persecution Watch Prayer Team

Note: No prayer conference call this evening, we’ll meet again to pray on Tuesday, 12/28/2021.

Persecution Watch: Praying for the Persecuted in Nigeria

(Voice of the Persecuted) You are invited to join us on Thursday December 23, 2021 in a prayer conference call for the persecuted church hosted by Persecution Watch.

NIGERIA: Population: 206.1 million, Christians: 95.3n million

More Christians are murdered for their faith in Nigeria than in any other country. Violent attacks by Boko Haram, Hausa-Fulani Muslim militant herdsmen, ISWAP (an affiliate of the Islamic State group) and other Islamic extremist groups are common in the north and middle belt of the country and are becoming more common farther south. In these attacks, Christians are often murdered or have their property and means of livelihood destroyed. Men and boys are particularly vulnerable to being killed. The women and children left behind are very vulnerable and living testimonies to the power of the attackers. Perpetrators are seldom brought to justice. Christian women are often abducted and raped by these militant groups, and sometimes forced to marry Muslims.

Christians from a Muslim background face rejection by and pressure from their families. Muhammadu Buhari’s presidency (2015 onwards) has seen a sharp increase in attempts to force Islamization on the country, including appointing Muslims to key government positions. Many Christians who are driven out of their villages and away from their sources of livelihood are forced to become internally displaced persons (IDPs), often living in informal IDP camps. Given the continuous occupation of their villages by Fulani militants, the lack of government support, the lack of proper education for their children and the high vulnerability of IDPs, these believers continue to suffer even after the brutality of the initial persecution.

Nigeria entered the top 10 of the 2021 World Watch List primarily because this violence has increased and began to spill out into other parts of Nigeria, and the government seems unable or unwilling to protect its Christian citizens. Islamic extremist attacks have not abated during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many Christians who are staying at home to combat the spread of the virus have been vulnerable to attack.

Persecution, and especially violent attacks, are most prevalent in the north and Middle Belt of Nigeria. The government’s attempts to Islamize the country are more widespread, affecting even Christian majority communities in the south. Christians who have converted from Islam are very vulnerable in the north of the country, particularly in those areas governed by Shariah law. Christians living as IDPs are also particularly vulnerable. More than 100 farming communities in Nigeria’s southern Kaduna region have been displaced over the last five years in land-grabbing campaigns allegedly perpetrated by radical Fulani herdsmen. Religion News Service reported that at least 33 people died with four churches and hundreds of homes burned down in a new attack in Kaduna.

Speaking at a large conference on international religious freedom hosted by Sam Brownback—former U.S. ambassador at large for international religious freedom—Joy recounted that she and her classmates first heard gunshots outside their dormitory, and then saw dozens of armed intruders appear. The terrified girls were forcibly herded into huge trucks and driven on rough backroads into the darkness. During the journey, Joy tried to focus her mind on her options, and eventually summoned the courage to throw herself out of the truck, knowing full well that she was risking her life. She explained, “I decided it would be better if my parents found my corpse than learned that I’d been raped, beaten and enslaved for life.”

Christian groups, a U.S. government panel and former senior U.S. diplomats are furious over Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s decision to take Nigeria off a list of countries accused of engaging in or tolerating religious persecution. Blinken’s decision was revealed last week just before he visited Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country and one where Muslim-Christian tensions have long flared.

  • Pray for President Muhammadu Buhari and his government. Pray they will take decisive actions to protect all citizens in every part of the country.
  • Pray to the Lord to weaken the Boko Haram movement. That the Lord will confuse and weaken the movement through infighting and starvation of funding from outside sources.
  • Pray to the Lord that He will put a stop to the land grabs by the Fulani Herdsman by destroying villages and churches, displacing, or killing the Christian villager
  • Pray for the Lord’s grace and comfort for believers as many are displaced, have lost loved ones and their homes, and many have also experienced trauma.
  • Ask the Lord to be near all of those who have been kidnapped and pray that they will be released or rescued.
  • Pray that the programs provided by NGOs such as Open Doors partners will strengthen the church to testify and share the gospel in very difficult circumstances.
  • Pray that NGOs and other humanitarian groups will respond to violent attacks, providing much-needed medical and other material assistance.
  • Pray to the for the replacement of Bibles destroyed by Muslim extremists
  • Pray to the Lord for provision of ministry tools for front-line gospel workers reaching Muslims for Christ. Pray for boldness and the Lords of protection on them.
  • Pray that the Lord will guide and give wisdom to Christian villagers on how to develop early warning systems.
  • Pray to the Lord that He will appear to many Muslims in their dreams – and connect them to believers to hear the Good News.
  • Lord we pray for special protection of Christian boarding schools. Keep them safe from attacks.
  • Lord we pray that you make your presence felt to all girls who have been abducted, raped, beaten mistreated, made slaves for live. Lord we pray that you comfort them and do what is impossible for men, set the captives free.
  • Pray to the Lord that because of the martyrdom of many believers that he will have His special hand on His church and that a multitude of new believers will confess that He, Jesus is the only way and the truth.

Again, we want to lift up persecuted witnesses to the Lord: 

  • Leah Sharibu, prisoner of Boko Haram since 2018. Pray for her release.
  • Alice Loksha Ngaddah, kidnapped February 2019. She is a mother of two, working as a nurse for UNICEF. Pray for her release.
  • Pray for Pastor Wang Yi to be released from prison.
  • Pray for Anita, a Christian convert facing a long prison term who escaped from Iran and praying to go to a country where she can express her faith openly.
  • For the release of Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani from Iran, and his family as their Persecution continues. Pastor Nadarkhani is serving the second year of his six-year sentence.

Andy, Persecution Watch Prayer Call Moderator

Prayer Conference Call Details

Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday

From any location on your phone

USA Time Zone:

9:00 PM Eastern

8:00 PM Central

7:00 PM Mountain

6:00 PM Pacific

Call in number: (667) 770-1476 (Note: We have a new call-in phone number)

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

If you are experiencing any difficulties joining the call, please let us know.

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 time in the United States (please check your time zone). Blaine also served as Prayer Director for Voice of the Persecuted, and the missions became one. Brother Blaine passed into glory on December 26, 2019. It was truly a blessing for all of us to serve alongside this dear man of God and he will be greatly missed. The prayer mission of Persecution Watch remains an important part of our mission. Voice of the Persecuted is committed to continue the prayer conference call for the persecuted along with the dedicated Persecution Watch prayer warrior team.

Prior to the passing of Brother Blaine, he confirmed the passing of the torch as prayer conference call leader to Nadia Dybvik. Nadia has a burdened heart for the persecuted and is a prayer warrior standing in the gap for them. She joined the Persecution Watch prayer team in 2013 and has been part of the core ever since. Before becoming the prayer call leader, she served in the role of prayer moderator since 2015. Blaine chose Nadia for her faithfulness to pray for the persecuted and her strong commitment to the Persecution Watch mission. We are blessed not only with her gift of prayer, but her genuine love for every brother and sister in Christ that comes on the call to pray. May the Lord continue to bless Nadia and the prayer team in the mission and their personal lives.

“Pray for us” is the number one request that we hear from the persecuted. As the members of the first century Church were moved by the Holy Spirit to pray, we too must continue to serve those suffering persecution by lifting them up to the Lord through prayer.

On occasion, persecuted brothers and sisters have been invited on the conference call to share the trials they are 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 are new to the call and cannot 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!

God bless and protect you in your faithfulness to serve.

Lois Kanalos, Founder, Voice of the Persecuted, Nadia Dybvik, Persecution Watch Prayer Call Leader and the Persecution Watch Prayer Team

NOTE: Please fill out the form in the sign up link below to be included in our distribution list to receive urgent prayer requests, prayer points, notification of special prayer events and special guest speakers.

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.

Praying Strength and Endurance for the Persecuted Church

(Voice of the Persecuted) You are invited to join us on Tuesday December 21, 2021 in a prayer conference call for the persecuted church hosted by Persecution Watch.

Dear Prayer Warriors, those who believe in the Lord Jesus as their Savior will suffer for His sake.

 Philippians 1:29 

“For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake.”

Recent persecution reports

Religious Freedom Advocates Upset as State Department Omits Nigeria, Vietnam

ISWAP Terrorists Kill 12 Christians in Borno State, Nigeria 

2 Timothy 3:12 

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

John 15:18 

“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. 

Matthew 5:10 

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

1 Peter 4:12-14 

“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. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.”

  • Pray that the believers will rejoice and be glad in their sufferings for soon they will know His Glory.

Matthew 5:44 

“But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”

  • Pray that the believers will love their enemies and pray for those who persecute them.

Matthew 5:10-12 

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

Luke 6:22 

“Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man!”

“For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

Matthew 5:10-12 

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

2 Corinthians 12:10 

“For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

  • Pray that our brothers and sisters will feel blessed in their weakness, insults, hardships, persecution and calamities, because they will be rewarded and will receive God’s strength.

1 Peter 3:17 

“For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil.”

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.”

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.”

  • Pray that they will not fear or be troubled through their persecution.

1 John 3:13 

“Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you.”

1 Peter 3:16

“Having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.”

Romans 12:14 

“Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.”

  • Pray they will bless and not curse those who persecute them.

Romans 8:35 

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?”

John 16:33 

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” 

  • Pray they believe and not lose heart, that they may have peace in Jesus.

1 Peter 4:16 

“Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name.”

1 Peter 4:19 

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

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.”

Psalm 23:4 

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”

  • Pray that they will not be ashamed to belong to Christ, that they will entrust their soul to the Lord while doing good. Pray that they will strengthen the soul of the disciple encouraging them to have faith through many tribulations so that they one day soon will enter the Kingdom of God.

Romans 12:17-21 

“Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

  • Pray that they will not repay evil for evil.

1 Peter 5:8 

“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”

2 Corinthians 4:8-12 

“We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. 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. So death is at work in us, but life in you.”

  • Pray they will be sober minded and watchful. That they will not be crushed, perplexed, or driven to despair. That they will not feel forsaken or destroyed and Jesus will always be manifested through them that others may also know Him.

Mark 10:29-30 

“Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life.”

  • Pray that for the sake of Jesus and for the Gospel, they will put Him first above all.

Psalm 31:15 

“My times are in your hand; rescue me from the hand of my enemies and from my persecutors!”

Romans 8:35-39 

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

  • Pray that they’ll know that through Him who loves them, they will be more that conquerors.

Matthew 10:22 

“And you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.”

  • Pray for victory in the life of our brothers and sisters.

We will also remember and pray for these dear ones:

Leah Sharibu and Alice that they will be set free from Boko Haram captivity.

  • Leah Sharibu was kidnapped along with 109 other students on February 19, 2018 when Boko Haram attacked a boarding school in the city of Dapchi, Maiduguri Diocese, in north-eastern Nigeria. A month later, some of the girls died in captivity and all the others were released, except Leah. She was the only Christian in the group
  • Alice Loksha Ngaddah was kidnapped during the Rann attack on March 1, 2018. She was a nurse working with Unicef and is a mother of two.
  • Pastor Wang Yi to be released from prison, for his family, the children, and the church in China. Pastor Wang Yi who is currently serving his prison sentence.
  • Anita an Iranian Christian, persecuted by the Islamic regime seeking asylum.
  • Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani from Iran, for his release and his family as their persecution continues. At present he is serving his six-year sentence. 

The Harvest

“I am sending you, to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me” (Acts 26:18)

The Lord’s servant,

Nadia Dybvik, Persecution Watch Prayer Conference Call Leader

Prayer Conference Call Details

Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday

From any location on your phone

USA Time Zone:

9:00 PM Eastern

8:00 PM Central

7:00 PM Mountain

6:00 PM Pacific

Call in number: (667) 770-1476 (Note: We have a new call-in phone number)

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

If you are experiencing any difficulties joining the call, please let us know.

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 time in the United States (please check your time zone). Blaine also served as Prayer Director for Voice of the Persecuted, and the missions became one. Brother Blaine passed into glory on December 26, 2019. It was truly a blessing for all of us to serve alongside this dear man of God and he will be greatly missed. The prayer mission of Persecution Watch remains an important part of our mission. Voice of the Persecuted is committed to continue the prayer conference call for the persecuted along with the dedicated Persecution Watch prayer warrior team.

Prior to the passing of Brother Blaine, he confirmed the passing of the torch as prayer conference call leader to Nadia Dybvik. Nadia has a burdened heart for the persecuted and is a prayer warrior standing in the gap for them. She joined the Persecution Watch prayer team in 2013 and has been part of the core ever since. Before becoming the prayer call leader, she served in the role of prayer moderator since 2015. Blaine chose Nadia for her faithfulness to pray for the persecuted and her strong commitment to the Persecution Watch mission. We are blessed not only with her gift of prayer, but her genuine love for every brother and sister in Christ that comes on the call to pray. May the Lord continue to bless Nadia and the prayer team in the mission and their personal lives.

“Pray for us” is the number one request that we hear from the persecuted. As the members of the first century Church were moved by the Holy Spirit to pray, we too must continue to serve those suffering persecution by lifting them up to the Lord through prayer.

On occasion, persecuted brothers and sisters have been invited on the conference call to share the trials they are 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 are new to the call and cannot 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!

God bless and protect you in your faithfulness to serve.

Lois Kanalos, Founder, Voice of the Persecuted, Nadia Dybvik, Persecution Watch Prayer Call Leader and the Persecution Watch Prayer Team

NOTE: Please fill out the form in the sign up link below to be included in our distribution list to receive urgent prayer requests, prayer points, notification of special prayer events and special guest speakers.

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.

ISWAP Terrorists Kill 12 Christians in Borno State, Nigeria 

Nigeria (Morning Star News) – Terrorists with the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) on Sunday (Dec. 19) killed 12 Christians in an attack in Borno state, northeastern Nigeria, sources said.

The Islamic extremist militants attacked the predominantly Christian village of Kilangal, Askira-Uba County, in the afternoon, shortly after residents were leaving church worship services, area residents told Morning Star News by text message.

Dauda Sabo, spokesman for the Askira-Uba Local Government Council, confirmed the attack in a statement on Monday (Dec. 20), saying ISWAP militants killed 12 people and wounded three others, along with burning down nine houses.

“The [Askira-Uba Local Government] Council officials visited the grave where the 12 people killed were buried,” Sabo said. “They condemned the attack and described it as gruesome, sad and inhumane.”

The terrorists also were reported to have looted shops.

Sources said the assailants faced no resistance. Area resident Abdul Balte said those killed were Christians.

“The attacks were carried out by these armed terrorists without resistance from military in the area,” Balte said. “Christians who survived have been forced to flee the village.”

The Abubakar Shekau-led faction of Boko Haram in 2015 formally aligned with the Islamic State and changed its name to Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), and many Nigerians still refer to the Shekau-led faction of ISWAP by its original name, Boko Haram. Another area resident, Yakubu Joshua, said this was not the first attack on the area.

“These persistent attacks on our villages by Boko Haram have left us in perpetual penury and the loss of our people,” Joshua said. “I pray the Lord hears our prayers and heals our land.”

Area resident Markus Njidda described the attacks as savage.

“This attack marks the sad misfortune Christians in the northeast are made to face by Boko Haram terrorists,” Njidda said. “These attacks are savagely carried out against Christians.”

Area resident Joseph Yohanna added, “I feel very sad that our people have continued to be attacked ceaselessly by Boko Haram elements without the government doing anything to end these attacks. Please pray that God deliver our people and the country from these murderers.”

The Islamic State recognizes the ISWAP faction that broke away from Shekau in 2016 as its cell in the region, according to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF).

In a video released on July 22, 2020, Islamic extremists thought to be members of ISWAP 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.”

On Jan. 20, 2020, Islamic terrorists executed the Rev. Lawan Andimi, district chairman of the EYN in Michika County, Adamawa state, also in northeast Nigeria.

A video released in January 2020 shows ISWAP terrorists executing Christian university student Ropvil Daciya Dalep, a member of the Church of Christ in Nations who was kidnapped on the Damaturu-Maiduguri Highway while returning to studies in Maiduguri, Borno state.

Nigeria was the country with the most Christians killed for their faith last year (November 2019-October 2020), at 3,530, up from 1,350 in 2019, according to Christian support organization Open Doors’ 2021 World Watch List. In overall violence, Nigeria was second only to Pakistan, and it trailed only China in the number of churches attacked or closed, 270, according to the list.

Nigeria led the world in number of kidnapped Christians last year with 990, according to the WWL report. In the 2021 World Watch List of the countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian, Nigeria broke into the top 10 for the first time, jumping to No. 9 from No. 12 the previous year.

Persecution Watch: Pray for Church Leaders and Teachers

(Voice of the Persecuted) You are invited to join us on Saturday December 18, 2021 in a prayer conference call for the persecuted church hosted by Persecution Watch.

Dear Prayer Warriors, Ephesians 4:11-13  “It was He who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”

  • Pray for ministers who are appointed and anointed by God.
  • Pray for ministers to redeem the time.
  • Pray for the apostles; those who are planting churches.  This is happening in places where the Holy Spirit is moving, such as Iran …
  • Pray for the prophets; that God would raise up Godly prophets who would hear the voice of Adonai clearly and be able to proclaim it as the Lord leads. Pray believers would discern between false and genuine prophets.

Psalm 81:10 “I am the Lord your God who brought you up out of Egypt. Open wide your mouth and I will fill it.”

  • Pray for evangelists, also for revival.
  • Pray for pastors; to know how to guide and comfort those who they pastor.  May they be good under-shepherds, not fleecing the sheep
  • Pray for teachers.  Let them study to show themselves approved; pray for revelation concerning the Word; in some countries, for opportunities to teach.
  • Pray for protection and provision for all of them.

1 Chronicles  15:27  “Now David was clothed in a robe of fine linen, as were all the Levites who were carrying the ark, and as were the singers, and Kenaniah who was in charge of the singing of the choirs….”

  • Pray for the worship leaders; to worship in Spirit and truth and glorify God; to play skillfully and be able to lead.
  • Pray for unity in the music and among the musicians and singers, without jealousy.
  • Pray for prayer leaders:  Lois and Nadia; Ying Ying on Light of Zion call (Brother Blaine also led one hour), Sandy and Kerry Teplinsky in Israel, Sandy W. and Dianne M. focusing on praying for Jews and Muslims, Israel and the Middle East; all prayer leaders and warriors.
  • Pray for ministries inside and outside of Israel — too many to mention

We will also remember and pray for these dear ones:

Leah Sharibu and Alice that they will be set free from Boko Haram captivity.

  • Leah Sharibu was kidnapped along with 109 other students on February 19, 2018 when Boko Haram attacked a boarding school in the city of Dapchi, Maiduguri Diocese, in north-eastern Nigeria. A month later, some of the girls died in captivity and all the others were released, except Leah. She was the only Christian in the group
  • Alice Loksha Ngaddah was kidnapped during the Rann attack on March 1, 2018. She was a nurse working with Unicef and is a mother of two.
  • Pastor Wang Yi to be released from prison, for his family, the children, and the church in China. Pastor Wang Yi who is currently serving his prison sentence.
  • Anita an Iranian Christian, persecuted by the Islamic regime seeking asylum.
  • Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani from Iran, for his release and his family as their persecution continues. At present he is serving his six-year sentence. 

The Harvest

“I am sending you, to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me” (Acts 26:18)

ValeriePersecution Watch Prayer Call Moderator

Prayer Conference Call Details

Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday

From any location on your phone

USA Time Zone:

9:00 PM Eastern

8:00 PM Central

7:00 PM Mountain

6:00 PM Pacific

Call in number: (667) 770-1476 (Note: We have a new call-in phone number)

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

If you are experiencing any difficulties joining the call, please let us know.

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 time in the United States (please check your time zone). Blaine also served as Prayer Director for Voice of the Persecuted, and the missions became one. Brother Blaine passed into glory on December 26, 2019. It was truly a blessing for all of us to serve alongside this dear man of God and he will be greatly missed. The prayer mission of Persecution Watch remains an important part of our mission. Voice of the Persecuted is committed to continue the prayer conference call for the persecuted along with the dedicated Persecution Watch prayer warrior team.

Prior to the passing of Brother Blaine, he confirmed the passing of the torch as prayer conference call leader to Nadia Dybvik. Nadia has a burdened heart for the persecuted and is a prayer warrior standing in the gap for them. She joined the Persecution Watch prayer team in 2013 and has been part of the core ever since. Before becoming the prayer call leader, she served in the role of prayer moderator since 2015. Blaine chose Nadia for her faithfulness to pray for the persecuted and her strong commitment to the Persecution Watch mission. We are blessed not only with her gift of prayer, but her genuine love for every brother and sister in Christ that comes on the call to pray. May the Lord continue to bless Nadia and the prayer team in the mission and their personal lives.

“Pray for us” is the number one request that we hear from the persecuted. As the members of the first century Church were moved by the Holy Spirit to pray, we too must continue to serve those suffering persecution by lifting them up to the Lord through prayer.

On occasion, persecuted brothers and sisters have been invited on the conference call to share the trials they are 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 are new to the call and cannot 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!

God bless and protect you in your faithfulness to serve.

Lois Kanalos, Founder, Voice of the Persecuted, Nadia Dybvik, Persecution Watch Prayer Call Leader and the Persecution Watch Prayer Team

NOTE: Please fill out the form in the sign up link below to be included in our distribution list to receive urgent prayer requests, prayer points, notification of special prayer events and special guest speakers.

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: Praying for Believers in North Korea

(Voice of the Persecuted) You are invited to join us on Thursday December 16, 2021 in a prayer conference call for the persecuted church hosted by Persecution Watch.

 NORTH KOREA: Population: 25.7 million, Christians: about 300,000

Number 1 on the World Watch List of the top 50 countries where its most difficult to follow Jesus.

Due to the Communist government’s secretive nature, little is known about the current status of Christians inside North Korea. Pyongyang, the capital, was known as the “Jerusalem of the East” in the early 1900s because of its 2,000-plus churches. The Communist government depends on Juche (the North Korean religion that requires worship and subservience to the Kim family) to maintain stability, and Christianity is considered subversive. Anyone discovered to be a Christian (or, in many cases, discovered to have had contact with Christian ideas) is considered an enemy of the state. The gospel is still proclaimed in North Korea through various creative means, including shortwave radio and bold evangelists who risk their lives smuggling materials into the country.

In November, Christians working in the region described how North Korea has set up “quarantine camps” for Covid-19 patients, where they are deprived of food and medicine, causing many to die of starvation. North Korea is routinely ranked as one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a Christian. Believers have been executed simply for owning a Bible. Tens of thousands of Christians – sometimes entire families – have been incarcerated in labor camps where they are abused, tortured and worked to death.

North Korea tells hungry citizens to ‘tighten belts’ until 2025. 

North Korea is telling citizens to tighten their belts through at least 2025, the year they will reopen the border with China which they closed last year to ward off the coronavirus, causing severe food shortages, sources in the country told RFA.

After the government informed citizens to expect more years of hardship, people complained that they might not be able to last through the coming winter–much less hold out through the middle of the decade. “Two weeks ago, they told the neighborhood watch unit meeting that our food emergency would continue until 2025. Authorities emphasized that the possibility of reopening customs between North Korea and China before 2025 was very slim,” a resident of the northwestern border city of Sinuiju, across from China’s Dandong, told RFA’s Korean Service Oct. 21.

Chronically short of food, the country of 25 million has seen starvation deaths in the wake of the closure of the Sino-Korean border and suspension of trade with China in January 2020 to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The move devastated the North Korean economy, causing food prices to skyrocket without imports from China covering the gap between domestic food production and demand.  The UN World Food Program estimates that about 40% of North Korea’s population is undernourished. Some of the residents are saying that the situation right now is so serious they don’t know if they can even survive the coming winter. They say that telling us to endure hardship until 2025 is the same as telling us to starve to death,” said the source.

Christians are sent to concentration camps, where they are starved, overworked, and tortured. North Koreans have a saying: Whenever two or three people are gathered together, one of them is a spy. This is true even in family settings, as children are taught to spy on their parents from a young age. Therefore, North Korean Christians must be extremely careful in what they say, what they do and how they pray; all must be done in secret. When a Christian is discovered, the government punishes the entire family. Despite the threat of persecution and heavy social pressure, Christians in North Korea hold firmly to their faith. For example, one North Korean defector told VOM that her mother continued to shelter orphans even after they stole from her. Christian and secular analysts estimate that about 30,000 Christians are suffering in prison and labor camps.

It is very dangerous to own a Bible – even owning a few pages can result in being sent to a concentration camp. Memorizing scripture is the safest way to keep God’s word.

One man who was arrested after converting to Christianity was forced into a metal cage measuring 3ft high by 4ft wide. He told Korea Future Initiative researchers: “There were steel bars on all four-sides that were heated with electricity. “Usually, prisoners lasted only three or four hours in the cage, but I sat there for 12 hours and prayed.” I kept praying to God to save me.”

Women suffered terrible treatment including sexual violence and forced abortions at a camp in North Hamgyong province. One witness described how pregnant women were forced into induced labor before their babies were taken away and smothered by guards using sheets of plastic and cloth sacks

The report said methods of torture included strangulation, sleep deprivation, the use of stress positions and pouring water laced with pepper down prisoner’s nostrils. Others were killed for trying to smuggle pages torn from bibles into North Korea from China.

  • Pray that the Lord will reach Kim Jong-un and other top leaders with the power of the gospel.
  • Pray for perseverance and courage for the Christians suffering in the brutal labor camps.
  • Pray for protection of the very small house churches from the enemies of God.
  • Pray for the millions of North Koreans who have not heard the Good News due to relentless Christian persecution and oppression that the Lord will bring His light into the darkness.
  • Pray that the border to China will reopen to allow Open Doors/VOM to bring in food and spiritual support. (Over 20% of the population is malnourished)
  • Pray for the believers that the Lord give them strength, courage and safe methods of communication that are not detectable by the police and informers.
  • Pray to the Lord that He will take the heart of stone out of the prison guards and give them a heart of compassion for prisoners.
  • Pray that the Lord will make his presence felt to all His believers in the prison system and gives them supernatural strength to recall scriptures and hymns that strengthen them and to be a light to the lost.
  • Pray for the Lord to open the flood gates of heaven and feed the people who are subject to hunger and starvation 
  • His believers the ability to love their enemies and to forgive them.
  • Pray to the Lord that Christians will experience God’s comfort and show them that they are being prayed for.
  • Pray that the Lord will supernaturally bring His church above ground – church buildings – protected by the authorities, adding to the number of believers daily……for our God does what is impossible for men, think big and bold.

Again, we want to lift up persecuted witnesses to the Lord: 

  • Leah Sharibu, prisoner of Boko Haram since 2018. Pray for her release.
  • Alice Loksha Ngaddah, kidnapped February 2019. She is a mother of two, working as a nurse for UNICEF. Pray for her release.
  • Pray for Pastor Wang Yi to be released from prison.
  • Pray for Anita, a Christian convert facing a long prison term who escaped from Iran and praying to go to a country where she can express her faith openly.
  • For the release of Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani from Iran, and his family as their Persecution continues. Pastor Nadarkhani is serving the second year of his six-year sentence.

Andy, Persecution Watch Prayer Call Moderator

Prayer Conference Call Details

Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday

From any location on your phone

USA Time Zone:

9:00 PM Eastern

8:00 PM Central

7:00 PM Mountain

6:00 PM Pacific

Call in number: (667) 770-1476 (Note: We have a new call-in phone number)

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

If you are experiencing any difficulties joining the call, please let us know.

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 time in the United States (please check your time zone). Blaine also served as Prayer Director for Voice of the Persecuted, and the missions became one. Brother Blaine passed into glory on December 26, 2019. It was truly a blessing for all of us to serve alongside this dear man of God and he will be greatly missed. The prayer mission of Persecution Watch remains an important part of our mission. Voice of the Persecuted is committed to continue the prayer conference call for the persecuted along with the dedicated Persecution Watch prayer warrior team.

Prior to the passing of Brother Blaine, he confirmed the passing of the torch as prayer conference call leader to Nadia Dybvik. Nadia has a burdened heart for the persecuted and is a prayer warrior standing in the gap for them. She joined the Persecution Watch prayer team in 2013 and has been part of the core ever since. Before becoming the prayer call leader, she served in the role of prayer moderator since 2015. Blaine chose Nadia for her faithfulness to pray for the persecuted and her strong commitment to the Persecution Watch mission. We are blessed not only with her gift of prayer, but her genuine love for every brother and sister in Christ that comes on the call to pray. May the Lord continue to bless Nadia and the prayer team in the mission and their personal lives.

“Pray for us” is the number one request that we hear from the persecuted. As the members of the first century Church were moved by the Holy Spirit to pray, we too must continue to serve those suffering persecution by lifting them up to the Lord through prayer.

On occasion, persecuted brothers and sisters have been invited on the conference call to share the trials they are 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 are new to the call and cannot 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!

God bless and protect you in your faithfulness to serve.

Lois Kanalos, Founder, Voice of the Persecuted, Nadia Dybvik, Persecution Watch Prayer Call Leader and the Persecution Watch Prayer Team

NOTE: Please fill out the form in the sign up link below to be included in our distribution list to receive urgent prayer requests, prayer points, notification of special prayer events and special guest speakers.

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.

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