(Voice of the Persecuted) You’re invited to join us on Thursday, May 25, 2023, in a prayer conference call for the persecuted church hosted by Persecution Watch.
Myanmar: Population: 55.2 million, Christians 4.4 million
The situation in Christian areas has taken a turn for the worse since the military took control in February 2021. Fighting has increased across the country and the Christian minority is bearing the brunt of these attacks. More Christians than ever have become internally displaced people or refugees and are living in camps or churches without adequate food and healthcare.
The daily reality is that Christians do not enjoy the same rights and legal protection as the Buddhist majority. Christians are often victims of violent attacks conducted with impunity. Even in predominantly Christian states like Chin State and Kayah State, long-established churches have suffered attacks and Christian aid workers and pastors have been killed. Government forces attack Christian villages and churches, while Buddhist monasteries remain largely untouched.
Converts to Christianity also face persecution from their Buddhist, Muslim or tribal families and are shunned from community life. Communities that aim to stay ‘Buddhist only’ make life for Christian families impossible by barring their access to community water resources. Non-traditional church groups experience opposition too, especially those located in rural areas and those who are known for proselytizing.
The ongoing civil war between Myanmar’s ethnic armed groups and the military is disproportionately affecting Christian communities in majority Christian states such as Chin, Kachin, Karen, and Kayah states. In Kachin State and Northern Shan State, where fighting is escalating, Christians are being killed, detained, and forced to flee.
Converts from a Buddhist, Muslim or tribal background face the strongest pressure to renounce their faith, especially from their family and community. The small number of Christian converts from a Muslim background who live among the Rohingya Muslim community are especially vulnerable, and face persecution both because of their ethnic affiliation, and because their Muslim families and communities put them under enormous pressure to return to Islam.
2022 brought the country further than ever from a solution to the violent conflict which started when the army staged a coup on 1 February 2021. Fighting has continued and, in some parts of the country, increased and the Christian minority is among those bearing the brunt of attacks. Christians have been killed and churches attacked and destroyed. The government has much work to do to become more inclusive of ethnic and religious minorities, including Christians.
- Pray that God will touch and soften the hearts of the Military Leaders and out peace and reconciliation on their minds.
- Pray for reconciliation between religious groups in Myanmar and an end to the habitual discrimination against Christians.
- Pray for the protection of the thousands of vulnerable people who are now refugees or internally displaced due to the ongoing conflict.
- Thank God for the success of the persecution survival training which has brought hope, encouragement, and resilience to Christians. Pray for survival training to continue.
- Pray to the Lord to protect believers and churches targeted by the military.
- Pray to the Lord that He will encourage church leaders who struggle with the horrific memories of the violence and cruelty they had witnessed.
- Pray for the Christians who converted from Buddhism and Islam, ask the Lord that they will be protected from violence and oppression.
- Pray that God will strengthen each believer and revive their spirits that have been daunted by Myanmar’s turmoil.
- Pray for the believers, in a very hostile climate, reach out to bring the Good News to the lost.
- Pray that believers sense God’s presence and know that we are praying for them.
- Pray for the beliers to be able to love and forgive their persecutors.
- Pray for the NGOs, who working through local partners, strengthens persecuted believers in Myanmar through literature distribution, discipleship programs, livelihood support and various forms of training.
- Pray that persecution and violence will not stymie the growth of Christianity in Myanmar. That the forces of darkness will not prevail and that the Lord will greatly increase the numbers of believers.
Again, we want to lift-up 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
- For Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani from Iran, as he and his family are adjusting from his release from prison, that they may know what God’s will is for them now. Pray for the trauma they had to endure. UPDATE: According to Article 18, once sentenced to death for his “apostasy” has been “pardoned” and released after nearly five years in Tehran’s Evin Prison, but told Nadarkhani that he still faces flogging (30 lashes) and two years’ exile 2,000km from his home. Read the report here
- UPDATE (March 17, 2023): Ryan Koher, a pilot for the U.S.-based ministry Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF), and two of the ministry’s South African volunteers were released from a Mozambican prison Tuesday afternoon, the organization announced. The trio had been held at a high-security prison inside the southeastern African country for four months. Their release is a provisional one and they are required to remain in the country, while their case is still ongoing, according to MAF. Koher is said to be “doing well” following his release and has spoken multiple times with his wife, Annabel, and his two sons since his release, the ministry said. Source
- 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38 therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” Matthew 9:37-38
Andy, 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
Access Code: 281207#
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If you are experiencing any difficulties joining the call, please let us know.
What is Persecution Watch?
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 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.