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Persecution Watch: Praying for Believers in Ethiopia

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(Voice of the Persecuted) You are invited to join us on Thursday, September 15, 2022 in a prayer conference call for the persecuted church hosted by Persecution Watch.

Ethiopia: Population: 115.4 million, Christians 69.2 million

Over the past, Ethiopia has seen a dramatic increase in violence driven by civil and military conflicts, the worst of which can be found in the Tigray region. On March 10, 2021, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken testified before the US Congress about the “ethnic cleansing” occurring in Ethiopia, particularly in the Tigray region.                                                                                                              

In early November, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed announced military operations against the region’s ruling party, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, which he accused of attacking a federal army base. Despite official denial, the Eritrean military, as well as forces from an adjoining region, Amhara, have been participating in the offensive and committing war crimes.  According to witness reports, egregious human rights abuses, such as rapes and mass killings, are being perpetrated by the various actors involved in the conflict.  

Despite this tolerant history, conditions have dramatically changed. Recently, the central government has failed to condemn violence against the church and seems unable or unwilling to effectively intervene. With varying ethnic and regional motivations for violence, “because the Ethiopian Orthodox Church has been a unifying force for centuries, it is becoming the first target and focus of aggression.” Additionally, civil war and ethnic targeting have resulted in more than 1.8 million people already displaced. Sadly, Ethiopia is no longer considered a safe haven for the oppressed.

Today, fifty-nine percent of Ethiopians are Christian (42 percent Orthodox and 27 percent evangelical). Islam now accounts for nearly forty percent of the population and is growing. The rise of Islamic extremist’s accounts for much of the violent persecution in Ethiopia.  Typically, persecution varies depending upon where one lives. In the eastern and southeastern regions, converts from Islam to Christianity are harassed, denied access to community services, ostracized, and discriminated against. In the past few years there have been an increasing number of incidents in which churches were burned, homes destroyed, and Christians killed.  

While the Orthodox Church is a target for Islamic attacks, it is also a perpetrator of persecution as well. “Because of the government’s special relationship with the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, other denominations— especially evangelicals and Pentecostal Protestants—are persecuted by the state and by the Orthodox Church. Christians who switch denominations and leave the Orthodox Church are subject to family and community pressure and can face significant mistreatment.  Additionally, churches can be restricted from holding religious gatherings.”

One Ethiopian pastor summarized the situation, “In the middle of the poverty, the tribal tension taking place, the religious tension that’s taking place, [pray] that God’s Church. . . would not back down, that they would continue to be strong, but they would also have wisdom.”   So we pray for Ethiopia Christians—for protection, strength, wisdom, and provision.

Prayer Points

  • Pray to the Lord that Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed aggressively control the radical and malignant Muslims radicals.
  • Pray for wisdom and provision for the government as they lead a country greatly affected by war, drought, plagues, and political instability.
  • Pray that Christians facing intense pressure to renounce their faith will have the strength to hold onto Jesus and trust Him for their futures.
  • Pray that the Lord will protect pastors and evangelists who serve in a hostile environment and that they may see His power breaking through.
  • Ask God to bless the ministry among women and youth—ask God to raise up more women and young people to strengthen the church.
  • Pray to the Lord to remind the Coptic Church that they and the Evangelical Church serve You, the almighty God, and that therefore no room for discord or conflict.
  • Pray for the Lord to protect Christians from violence and killing, especially in the Tigray region.
  • Pray for special protection for Christian girls and women from Muslim radical violence and rape.
  • Pray that Christians will be given wisdom and boldness and protection as they go out to bring the good news to the lost.
  • Pray to the Lord for the NGOs who minister to the persecuted Christians with spiritual and physical aid.
  • Pray that Christians have good internet coverage. Pray for the webmasters that the Lord will give them encouraging messages for the persecuted Christians and also attract Muslim seekers
  • Pray to the Lord that He will appear to many in their dreams – and then that they will be connected to believers who can equip them.
  • Pray for rain to cover the arid ground
  • Pray that persecuted believers will not become bitter and be able to love and forgive.
  • Pray to the Lord to strengthen His Church, to raise up His church to be the light on the Hill and shine our Christian values over the land.

We are continuing to lift up these persecuted witnesses to the Lord:

Leah Sharibu prisoner of Boko Haram since 2018. Pray for her release.

Alice Loksha Ngaddah was kidnapped in February 2019. She is a mother of two, working as a nurse for UNICEF. Pray for her release.

Pastor Wang Yi to be released from Chinese prison.

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.

Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani from Iran for his release and his family as their persecution continues. Pastor Nadarkhani is serving the second year of 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)

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 

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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