(Voice of the Persecuted) You are invited to join us on Thursday, February 24, 2022 in a prayer conference call for the persecuted church hosted by Persecution Watch.
Somalia: Population: 16.6 million, Christians: in the hundreds
For more than 25 years, Somalia has been a safe haven for Islamic militants who constantly target Christians both in Somalia and in neighboring countries. Groups like al-Shabab operate with seemingly little pushback and control large parts of Somali territory.
The small number of believers in Somalia are largely Christians who have converted from Islam. Christians are viewed as high-value targets by al-Shabab. Even when Christian converts are not targeted by Islamic extremists, they are intensely pressured by their family. Any conversion from Islam is seen as a betrayal to family and community, so just suspicion of conversion can lead to harassment, intimidation and even murder. Despite the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, al-Shabab continued to be active in 2021—a reminder that life for Christians in Somalia is never safe.
A believer reported: “The first time in court, they made us sign our death certificates … They told us, ‘You have to deny Jesus right now,’ and we said, ‘No, we will not deny the Lord, but we will rather sign for our death.’”
Despite a slight decrease in violent attacks against Christians, persecution remains extreme in Somalia. No place is safe (even the home) for a Christian in Somalia, and pressure in every area of life is intense and unending.
While no part of Somalia is safe, the areas under control of al-Shabab are the most dangerous for Christians. But all Christians who have converted from Islam are in grave danger in Somalia—from their family, their community and society at large.
- Pray that the Lord will touch President Azali Assoumani through His Holy Spirit to open up to Christianity.
- Continue to pray for peace in Somalia and success in establishing democracy even as the country deals with political upheaval, the constant threat of al-Shabab and the effects of decades of civil war.
- Pray for believers who are living in an environment that is against Christianity that they keep their eyes focused on the Lord.
- Pray for the safety of believers who must hide their faith to survive.
- Pray that the isolated Christians will find other believers for fellowship.
- Pray that believers will have good internet coverage to access for messages that encourage and bless them.
- Pray that God would continue to build up His people in Somalia despite the reality that nearly 100% of Somalis are Muslim, and there is no room for Christians. Islam is the state religion—only Islam can be promoted and Shariah law is the highest authority.
- Open Doors has been supporting Somali believers across the Horn of Africa for decades. Pray for the work of all NGOs and ask God to let them bear much fruit.
- Pray that Christian workers will remain encouraged by the gospel of Christ as they minister.
- Pray for peace in Somalia. The country continues to struggle with unrest and violent attacks from Islamic extremists.
- Pray for the al-Shahab fighters so that they would learn the truth of Jesus and His love for them.
- Pray for leaders, pastors and Christians forced to rebuild their lives after being displaced.
- Pray for new believers, who are persecuted and ostracized when they come to faith.
- Pray for Christians who left Islam to follow Jesus. Ask God to give them His protection, wisdom, courage, and support—so they know they are never alone.
- Pray that the Lord will protect hide believers from informers.
- Pray to the Lord that Christians will experience God’s comfort and show them that they are being prayed for, that they are part of His worldwide family.
Again, we want to lift up these 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
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What is Persecution Watch?
Persecution Watch is a U.S. national prayer conference call ministry that prays specifically for the global Persecuted Church. For over a decade, Blaine Scogin led this national network of believers who faithfully pray for the persecuted and the global harvest for the Kingdom of God. The group meets via a free call-in service every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday night at 9pm Eastern 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
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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.