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Persecution Watch: Praying for Believers in Burkina Faso

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

Burkina Faso: Population: 20.9 million, Christian 4.9 million (23.8)

Burkina Faso has seen a sharp rise in Islamist activity since 2016. Militants linked to ISIS and al-Qaida, who had been largely contained in neighboring Mali and Niger, have crossed porous borders in the north to broaden their influence in the Sahel region. Christians have been a primary target of the jihadists’ campaign since April 2019, when approximately 70 Christians were killed, and five churches were attacked. More than 200 churches have reportedly closed in northern and eastern Burkina Faso due to security issues and threat of attack. As many as 10,000 Christians have fled their homes as a result of violence and threats against Christians. Nearly 800,000 people in total have been displaced by the conflict, adding to an already strained economy amid political uncertainty.

Just over half of Burkinabe are Muslims. The main persecutors are Islamists linked to the al-Qaida and ISIS terrorist groups.

Large churches in the capital city operate openly, and until recently even Christians living among Muslims in some villages had freedom to practice their faith. However, attacks against Christians increased dramatically in 2019. Today, few Christians remain in the north or east of the country

Bibles in French and the Moore language are readily available in the capital city, but few Bibles are available in local languages. Distribution is difficult because of security issues in the countryside. The literacy rate is less 

Fearful of more attacks, Christians in northern Burkina Faso are beginning to flee the conflict area for safer towns in the country’s southern area. Those who remain are living in what is rapidly feeling more and more like a ghost town. Churches and schools are now closed. And Christians are in hiding, said a local church leader who asked to be unnamed for security reasons. He told Open Doors: “No one dares to sleep in his house because of fear of being killed. It’s very hard for us.

According to the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project, reported fatalities from attacks targeting civilians have risen by 300 percent in Mali (No. 24 on the World Watch List), 500 percent in Niger, and a staggering 7,000 percent increase in Burkina Faso compared to the same period last year.

The news agency reports that “home-grown militant groups, as well as extremists linked to al-Qaeda and Islamic State, have been in the country’s north (bordering Mali) since 2016, but have expanded to new fronts in the east and southwest, threatening the stability of neighboring countries.”

  • Pray that God will bring peace and restoration to Burkina Faso.
  • Pray for the Lord’s provision to all the displaced in their physical needs. Please pray the government will receive wisdom and display accountability as they seek to create order in the affected areas.
  • Pray that strong Christians will be elected to government positions and that Christian leaders will stand boldly for Christ as they endure persecution.
  • From a pastor in Burkina Faso: “Pray for Burkina Faso, so that the peace of God will reign in the country, and our people will be able to go back to their villages and continue their daily activities. Pray also for our pastors who have been displaced, that God will equip them and put His words of hope on their lips as they minister to their congregations.”
  • Pray for protection for those involved in evangelism, discipleship and church planting, to continue despite Islamist attacks.
  • Pray for unity and wisdom among those facing persecution.
  • Pray for the Lord’s provision in the lives of our displaced brothers and sisters in Burkina Faso. Pray that they will not be ruled by fear but experience the peace only the Lord can give through His Spirit.
  • Pray for grace for Christians to remain firm in the faith as they face increased hostility. Many people, including Christians, have been severely traumatized by the deterioration in security and the displacement they have suffered. Please pray the Lord will be at work in their lives to bring healing and comfort.       
  • Thank the Lord for the efforts by the church to provide for the needs of fellow Christians through church collections.
  • Pray for the Lord’s provision to all the displaced in their physical needs. Please pray the government will receive wisdom and display accountability as they seek to create order in the affected areas.
  • Pray for that the Lord will appear to Muslim extremists in their dreams and convert them to honor the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • Pray that God would be near to our brokenhearted brothers and sisters in Burkina Faso. Ask God to make His presence felt to them.
  • Ask God to pour out His Spirit of love, order and calm over Christian communities. Pray for safety and protection in the days ahead.
  • Ask God to intervene against violence and bring the persecutors to justice.  
  • Pray for Ministries and NGOs who are supporting the families of pastors martyred by terrorist groups linked to al-Qaida and ISIS. Providing aid to numerous displaced Christians who have fled recurring attacks in the northern part of the country.  
  • ·Pray that Believers can love and forgive their persecutors.
  • Pray that the Lord will protect, strengthen, and encourage His believers and give them supernatural ability to continue to rebuild churches and that many Muslims will become believers.

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: 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

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.

Children in Burkina Faso (Photo: by RobertoVi)

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