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Persecution Watch: Praying for Believers in Niger

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(Voice of the Persecuted) You are invited to join us on Thursday, December 22, 2022 in a prayer conference call for the persecuted church hosted by Persecution Watch.

NIGER: Population: 25 million, Christians about 64,700

Niger is a republic headed by Mohamed Bazoum is a Nigerien politician who is the current president of the Republic of Niger. He has been in office since 2 April 2021.  Once a country known for cross-religious harmony, Niger has re-entered the top 50 of the World Watch List, reflecting how pressure is increasing on Christians in this Muslim-majority nation. Most of the population regard Islam as part of their ethnicity: if you are a Nigerien, you are a Muslim. Believers from Muslim backgrounds are therefore the most vulnerable to persecution, and often come under intense pressure from their families and communities to renounce their faith.

Historical Christian communities are generally allowed to practice their faith in private, but in regions under Islamist control, Christians must gather with caution because of an increased threat of violence from militant groups like Boko Haram. In regions near the border with Nigeria, churches have been burned and pastors forced to flee their homes. Meanwhile, the local authorities have occasionally stopped believers from meeting, and the registration process for churches is long and difficult.

Niger is a highly patriarchal society, and this makes Christian women vulnerable to persecution for their gender and faith. In certain areas of the country, women are highly at risk of abduction, rape and sexual abuse by extremist groups and others. Families do not report instances of rape because it will impact the victim’s marriage prospects and bring shame to them. Last year, tragically, a Christian girl was raped by a policeman, further highlighting why Christian families might be reluctant to report crimes.

A lot has changed – and it’s highly disturbing. Persecution is getting much worse in Niger, with the country jumping 21 places to re-enter the World Watch List top 50. This is down to a dramatic rise in violence against Christians. In the past five years, the Sahel region has seen a huge increase in violent Islamist attacks and the government of Niger has lost a lot of territory to the jihadists. Since 2020, the country has been experiencing a series of attacks by Islamic militants. The unpredictability of the situation makes Christians vulnerable, reflecting a trend of increasing violence facing Christians across sub-Saharan Africa.

  • Pray for President Mohamed Bazoum to start protecting all citizens, especially the Christian minority citizens.
  • Heavenly Father, we pray, strengthen, protect, and heal Christians in Niger affected by persecution. Use them in bold ways among their families and communities. Encourage those who especially need it today.
  • Intervene to diminish the influence of militant Islamist groups so that Niger may once again be a place of cross-religious harmony and all Christians can feel safe to gather for worship, celebration, and fellowship. Amen. 
  • Pray for Church leaders which are especially targeted for persecution. Muslims consider them primarily responsible for leading people away from Islam.  
  • Pray for God’s protection for teenage girls and women who are vulnerable to rape, sexual abuse and forced marriages to Muslim men.
  • Pray for those Christians who are caught under the rule of extremist groups for the Lord to give grace and defend them.
  • Pray for the salvation of these militant groups as we know with God everything is possible.
  • Pray for the restoration of peace in the communities, churches and lives of the people.
  • Pray for oral bible teachers as many people don’t know how to read or write.
  • Pray to the Lord He will give MBB who are the target of heavy persecution safe places to worship and have fellowship, be build up in faith
  • Pray to the Lord for His believers in Niger as they seek to proclaim the gospel in a stifling and suspicious atmosphere. Grant them wisdom, discernment, and boldness.
  • Pray that Christians who have lost loved ones will receive trauma counseling.
  • Pray that the persecuted can forgive and love their persecutors.
  • Pray for the believers to sense God’s presence and be anchored in God’s word.
  • Pray for the NGOs in Niger to strengthen persecuted Christians through economic empowerment programs, leadership and discipleship training, persecution survival training and pastoral care for new believers. 
  • Pray that internally displaced Christian families will receive food, cooking supplies, and other items. In addition, they are also providing literacy education, so that families can enjoy reading the Bible in the regional Djerma language “Many of these people did not go to school, and so even though Djerma is their maternal language, they do not know how to read or write it,”  
  • Pray that the Lord will use His church in Niger in bold and powerful ways for His glory, and that His church will be a beacon of light in Niger.

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

  • Leah Sharibu, a 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 to make an easy transition into her new culture and that the Lord will be gracious in bringing her family members to Canada.
  • 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, recently reduced from ten years.
  • 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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