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Muslim Extremists Kill 19-Year-Old Christian for His Faith in Uganda

(Morning Star News) – Muslim extremists in eastern Uganda last week boarded a boat in which a young evangelist was fishing and killed him, sources said

Dante Tambika, also known as Patrick, was beaten and strangled to death near Nankodo 3 village, Nankodo Sub-County, on Aug. 31 after he and friends went out on Lake Lemwa, said Stephen Mukama, a survivor of the attack. Tambika was 19.

Mukuma, Tambika and two other friends were walking toward the lake when they realized five Muslim teenagers were following them, Mukama said. They knew the five Muslims who stopped them, he said.

“They tried to provoke us by calling us infidels and saying that they were going to crush us just like Allah did to those who used to attack their prophet, Muhammad,” Mukama said.

The four Christians did not respond, continued on to the lake and began fishing from the boat at about 6:30 p.m. As they were returning to shore about two hours later, they saw the same boys, and one shouted the jihadist slogan, “Allah Akbar [Allah is greater],” Mukama said.

“From nowhere we saw six other Muslims approaching our fishing boat, furious and uttering defaming words against us,” he told Morning Star News. “I told my friends that we were in trouble and that each of us should prepare for self-defense. I led them in prayers.”

The jihadists, whom the Christians did not recognize, came close, and one of them jumped into their boat and began beating Tambika on the back with his fist and a stick, Mukama said.

“He commanded us to believe in Allah, or else they will kill us,” he told Morning Star News. “Dante replied that we can’t renounce Christianity, saying, ‘If you want to kill us, kill us, know that we are ready.’”

Mukama asked the assailants why they should renounce Christ. Tambika’s late father, Boaz, had been a successful area evangelist, and one of the assailants replied that a Christian named Boaz had converted many Muslims, including his brother, to Christianity.

“Others jumped into our boat and started beating us with sticks,” Mukama said. “I jumped off the boat and swam to shore. I was followed by my other two friends who could swim. Unfortunately, Dante was left in the hands of the assailants because he had no swimming skills.”

Upon reaching shore, the friends called for help, but by the time they and the others returned to the site, the assailants had fled, he said. The Christians and area residents found Tambika’s body the next day in the water near the shoreline. He had been beaten on the head, tied with a rope and strangled, Mukuma said.

Tambika’s father had mentored his son in how to share the gospel, and area Muslims began monitoring Tambika’s movements after he led five teenage Muslims to Christ, sources said. His father had led a community leader and about 30 other Muslims to Christ before he died in 2019.

The conversions led to confrontations with clan members, and several former Muslims who put their faith in Christ left the area due to threats on their lives, sources said.

Christians have reported the killing to police (Reference No. SD REF 04/01/09/21). Tambika’s family has hired an attorney in the case.

The assault was the latest of many instances of persecution of Christians in Uganda that Morning Star News has documented.

Uganda’s constitution and other laws provide for religious freedom, including the right to propagate one’s faith and convert from one faith to another. Muslims make up no more than 12 percent of Uganda’s population, with high concentrations in eastern areas of the country.

Photo: Crowds at Lake Lemwa, Uganda on Sept. 1, 2021 await recovery of the body of Dante Tambika, killed the previous night. (Morning Star News)

Urgent Prayer Request for Believers in Afghanistan

Almighty God, no one is hidden from Your sight. In Jesus Holy name, may these dear ones be held in Your mighty hand protected and given the strength to endure this great trial. Let your glory be their light and as You guide them. Have mercy on the Afghan people, the children who are terrified. Hear their cries Lord God and reveal Yourself to these people. May they come to know You and the greatness of Your Love. Transform the hearts and minds of all those with wicked plans of oppression, death, destruction. Glory to You, forever and ever.

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you. Psalm 5:11

1 The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, 3 he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. 4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley,I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. Psalm 23

28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.” John 10:28-30

VOP Note: Brothers and sisters, please remember them in your daily prayers.

Threatened by China Praying for Hong Kong

August 2019 protests in Hong Kong

(Voice of the Persecuted) You are invited to join us on Saturday July 3, 2021 in a prayer call for the persecuted church hosted by Persecution Watch.

Prayer for China with a special emphasis on Hong Kong

I heard that a journalist who was involved in the protest against tightening controls by Peoples Republic of China was arrested at the airport trying to leave the country.  China is rapidly strengthening their control over Hong Kong, Taiwan.

Hong Kong has approximately 7.5 million people, a metropolitan area and special administrative region of China. It is one of the most densely populated places in the world.  After a 99-year lease agreed to in 1898, Hong Kong reverted to Chinese control in 1997.  It was supposed to be “one country, two systems”, but the two systems have been eroding.  Originally a farming and fishing community, it is now one of the world’s most significant financial centers and commercial ports. 

The country is 92% Han Chinese, 2.5% Filipino, 2.1% Indonesian, .8% white, and 2.4% other.  Official languages are Chinese and English, with regional Cantonese.

Added by Voice of the Persecuted: Christianity has been in Hong Kong since 1841 when British Empire started to rule Hong Kong.[1] As of 2019, there were about 1.2 million Christians in Hong Kong (16% of the total population), most of them are Protestant (around 800,000) and Catholic (around 403,000).

The presence of the Protestant community dates back to 1841. About 800,000 Protestant Christians live in Hong Kong. The Protestant Church is made up of over 1,300 congregations in more than 50 denominations. Major denominations are Anglicans, Baptists, Lutherans, Adventists, Christian and Missionary Alliance, Church of Christ in China, Methodist, Pentecostal and Salvation Army. With their emphasis on youth work, many congregations have a high proportion of young people.

The Roman Catholic Church in Hong Kong was established as a Mission Prefecture in 1841 and as an Apostolic Vicariate in 1874. It became a diocese in 1946.

Background of Hong Kong peaceful protests that intensified as early as April 2019. The CCP claimed they were violent, calling the protesters terrorists.

  • Before the British government handed over Hong Kong in 1997, China agreed to allow the region considerable political autonomy for fifty years under a framework known as “one country, two systems.” 
  • In recent years, Beijing has cracked down on Hong Kong’s freedoms, stoking mass protests in the city and drawing international criticism. 
  • Beijing imposed a national security law in 2020 that gave it broad new powers to punish critics and silence dissenters and could fundamentally alter life for Hong Kongers.

Under an agreement between the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and Britain, which ruled Hong Kong for 156 years until 1997, the people of Hong Kong were supposed to be able to live freely in their capitalistic society under a “one country, two systems” model until 2047. The Hong Kong protesters see the extradition bill as an attempt by China’s Communist Party (CCP) to demolish their way of life and discard their freedoms. The CCP has continued to tighten its grip over Hong Kong.

As we see what the CCP has done to religious freedom in the ‘Mainland’, we know the religious liberty of those living in Hong Kong is at great risk.

In June 2019, Hong Kong protesters sang ‘Hallelujah to the Lord’ as they boldly confronted China.

  • Pray for Chinese government and leaders to come to salvation; God would reveal himself to government officials who seek to control the church.
  • Pray for people who have fled the country to receive salvation.
  • Pray for those imprisoned to be hungry for truth and hook them up with Christians in prison (reverse of what we usually pray).
  • Pray for salvation for residents of Hong Kong; divine appointments, seeking hearts; explosive growth of church as in mainland China.
  • Pray against spirit / stronghold of wealth and greed.
  • Pray churches will not be under same scrutiny as mainland China.
  • Pray for Church in China as it adjust to constantly tightening restrictions of religious freedom.
  • Pray protection for churches and believers (China and HK).
  • Much wisdom for believers; hear from Holy Spirit clearly.
  • Believers to have spirit of praise and joy and not be discouraged.
  • Pray for children and grandchildren of believers, that they may see hand of God and not succumb to the State.
  • Pray God’s Word would go forth in purity; for believers to have access to the true Word of God; internet or whatever means.
  • Pray Christians would know that the Three Self Bible is a fraud and a lie; people not be deceived by it.
  • Continue to grow Your church in China, Hong Kong.

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, recently reduced from ten years.

Valerie, 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 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.

Christian Families Driven into Jungles of Eastern India

Photo: Christians driven from their homes in Rayagada District, Odisha state, India. – Morning Star News

(Morning Star News) – Tribal animists forced more than 50 Christians from three villages to flee their homes and take shelter in the jungles of eastern India last month.

The Christians belong to 13 tribal families of Rayagada District, Odisha state who have been stranded in the jungle without proper shelter, food, water and electricity.

“It is the rainy season now, and we fear the sickness that comes with rainfall, the poisonous insects and the unhygienic conditions we are living in,” Nori Kanjaka of Sikarpai village told Morning Star News.

Five Christian families fled Kotlanga village on June 7 after receiving threats. They took the threats seriously as villagers who practice traditional religion in Sikarpai, 20 miles away, on May 23 had destroyed the roofs of the homes of six Christian families, looted their belongings and beat them, driving them into the jungle, victims said.

The villagers in Kotlanga had threatened to assault the five Christian families and prevented them from building their roofs. Opposition was so fierce, according to sources, that the Christians had to flee to the jungle to avoid attack on the night of June 7 and joined the Sikarpai Christians who were already sheltering in there.

Tribal animists in other area villages are driving out Christians, Kanjaka said.

“After the villagers in the other villages heard of how we were chased from our village, they too have forced Christians living among them to leave the village, either by threats or by physically attacking them or by illtreating them,” Kanjaka told Morning Star News from the jungle.

Two families from Chichinga village were also forced to take shelter in the jungle. There are now 57 men, women and children there living in shelters of used polyethene sheets and wood, Kanjaka said.

Besides Sikarpai, Kotlanga and Chichinga, Christians of three other villages – Siripai, Kona and Tongapai, also in Rayagada District – have also faced opposition and ostracization, said area pastor Upajukta Singh.

Police Suggest Renouncing Christ

Despite registering several complaints with police, the Christians continue to face opposition, and officers have done little to protect them, victims and Christian leaders said.

Christians registered complaints on May 10 and March 15 at the Singhpur police station.

“A FIR [First Information Report] has been registered in two cases, but the Christians in all these villages continue to face opposition for their faith,” Pastor Singh said.

Christians have also notified block and district administrations of the attacks without receiving any assistance, they said. Authorities told Christians they must renounce Christ to resolve the conflict, sources said.

“They [officials] told us that you step back, deny your Christian faith and come back to your tribal fold, only then peace will return. What is the use of such a faith?” said one of the victims who requested anonymity.

Christians who reported the May 25 attack to local police said the officer in charge and the sub-collector visited the Christians in the jungle on Tuesday (June 22).

“They told us to go back to the village and live with the villagers, perform their rituals and worship the deities they worship,” Rupa Kanjaka said. “We have been asked not to conduct our prayers.”

Refusal to Resolve Conflict

Pastor Prakash Bhatra, a senior Christian leader and a member of the Odisha Pastor’s Association, told Morning Star News that attacks began in November 2020, when two Christian families from Chiching village were forced out of their homes for praying.

Villagers took their belongings from their homes and burned them, he said.

“The two Christian families are living outside the village and could not return to their homes,” Pastor Bhatra said.

In Sikarpai village, high-caste Hindus prevented a marriage ceremony in a Christian home. They told the Christians not to hold any weddings and kept them from drawing water from the only village tube-well.

“We had to struggle to obtain water for the marriage preparations, Sikarpai resident Nori Kanjaka told Morning Star News. “We decided to walk a few miles and fetch water from a neighboring village. On March 13, when two girls from our family had gone to fetch water in the evening, three men sexually molested them. They tore their clothes and attempted to rape them, but some of our men reached them in time and rescued them.”

After Christians on March 15 registered an FIR about the attack at the Singhpur police station, villagers threatened to drive the Christians from the village, Nori Kanjaka said.

Christians praying together on May 23 were interrupted by the local tribal animists, she said.

“The villagers said that their deities live in the village, and our prayers were causing disturbance to their deities,” Nori Kanjaka said. “So, they said that they cannot let us live in the village – we must carry on with our prayers outside the village.”

The tribal village men beat the Christians, and then they sent the women of their homes to dismantle the roofs of the Christians’ homes.

“If the men would have done this, the police would have taken action against them, so it is safer to send women, because the police will just spare them,” Rupa Kanjaka said.

The women climbed the roof of each home and removed the rooftop tiles so that six Christian families had no shelter and had to flee, he said.

“The women told us to leave the village immediately, or we would be killed,” Rupa Kanjaka said. “There are pictures and videos that we shot while the women dismantled our roofs.”

The men looted the homes of the Christians and carried away all their domestic animals, said Pastor Bhatra.

When the Christians approached the village elders and headman to request peace talks, the elders told them to leave the area, saying Christian prayers disturbed their deities, Rupa Kanjaka said.

“We picked up everything that was left in our homes and moved to the jungle,” he said.

On May 29, the Rayagada deputy collector, sub-divisional officer of police and the station officer in charge met with the headman of Sikarpai village to initiate peace talks, Pastor Bhatra said.

“But the villagers refused to settle the matter,” he said.

Christian leaders wrote an application signed by all family heads in the jungle and sent it by post to the director general of police, collector, chief secretary and various high officials, he said.

Attorney Samuel Tandi told Morning Star News that the villagers and the Christians have been summoned before the executive magistrate under Section 107 of the Code of Criminal Procedure for “security for keeping peace.” A case was registered against 10 Christians and six villagers, and they were required to present themselves before the executive magistrate to sign a “peace bond” before the magistrate, Tandi said.

When the magistrate summoned both parties on June 17, the Christians appeared, but the six animist villagers were absent, he said.

“The court has ordered again for the six villagers to present themselves and will summon the Christians once again, if need be,” Tandi said.

He emphasized that these Christians were not recent converts but had been following Christ for 14 years.

“If they [villagers] had problem with prayers, then why did they not oppose them earlier?” Tandi said. “Why is it that it is only in the past year that they have suddenly started to express their displeasure? It is evident that someone is instigating them, and thus this sudden opposition.”

In Siripai village, police intervention led to peace talks between the Christians and the followers of tribal religion, sources said, while in Kona village, Christians had to leave their farmland. Villagers there told them to abandon their faith in order to continue farming.

“They incurred a huge loss of land and all the grain that they had sown on the land,” Pastor Bhatra said. “They had tilled the soil but had to just abandon it, and the persecutors enjoyed the harvest.”

In Tongapai village, outsiders came and instigated villagers to assault Christians living there, the pastor said. The police intervened to carry out peace talks that resolved the conflict, he said.

The hostile tone of the National Democratic Alliance government, led by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, against non-Hindus, has emboldened Hindu extremists in several parts of the country to attack Christians since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took power in May 2014, religious rights advocates say.

India ranked 10th on Open Doors’ 2021 World Watch List of the countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian, as it was in 2020. The country was 31st in 2013, but its position worsened after Modi came to power.

Leading House Churches are being targeted in China

Tuesday, June 22, 2021 (Voice of the Persecuted) Our brothers and sisters in China desperately need our prayers. The basic message that CCP is sending to all house churches throughout China is your days are numbered, submit. Please join us, tonight, in a prayer conference call for the persecuted Chinese Church hosted by Persecution Watch.

(Bitter Winter) There is no pause nor mercy in the CCP campaign to crack down on independent house churches. The limited tolerance granted to some of them in the pre-Xi-Jinping era is gradually coming to an end. Either the house churches join the government-controlled Three Self Church, or their leaders go to jail. It also happens that house churches are labeled as xie jiao, “heterodox teachings,” and their elders and pastors prosecuted under Article 300 of the Chinese Criminal Code, originally conceived to crack down on banned new religious movements.

Beijing’s Zion Church is one of the most famous house churches in China. In 2018, it was officially “dismantled” and banned by the authorities, which tried to bankrupt it by imposing extravagant fines. It was also accused of being a xie jiao. Much to the CCP’s surprise, however, Zion Church did not disappear. It lost its place of worship, as the CCP persuaded the landlord to cancel the lease, but devotees continued to meet in private homes. A believer told Bitter Winter that there are “hundreds” of Zion Church meeting places, not all of them in Beijing, and the total membership may be in excess of 25,000.

Obviously, this is not something the CCP can tolerate. Two Zion Church preachers, Qie Jiafu and Huang Chunzi, have been arrested in their homes in the last days of April. It is unclear whether they will be formally incriminated, but believers are afraid that this is just the beginning of a new crackdown on their church.

In March, Bitter Winter reported about the attack against another significant house church, Renai Reformed Church, in the prefecture-level city of Guiyang, in Guizhou province. When the church’s elder, Zhang Chunlei, went to the police station to negotiate the release of the devotees arrested during a police raid in a hotel where they had gathered for praying, he was arrested himself.

Elder Zhang should have been released after 11 days of administrative detention, but this did not happen. When his wife and the Christians of the Renai Reformed Church protested, they were told that Zhang’s case was being investigated. On May 1, he was formally indicted for “religious fraud” and placed under criminal detention at Yunyan Branch Detention Center. Houses of Renai Church members were also searched by the police, and religious items were confiscated.

On May 7 in Chengdu, Sichuan province, yet another pastor of Early Rain Covenant Church, Wu Wuqing, was arrested for “disturbing the public order” after officiating the funeral of a church member. Wu had already been arrested in April, and Early Rain’s leader, pastor Wang Yi, is currently serving a nine-year sentence in jail.

These are significant messages sent to all house churches throughout China. Unless they submit to the government, their days are numbered.

“Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body.” Hebrews 13:3

Prayer Points

  • Pray for God’s will to be done in China as it is in heaven.
  • Pray that, through prayer with King Jesus, the Chinese church will be strengthened, and evil attacks will be nullified.
  • Pray for the gospel to be preached, disciples to be built, and Chinese Christians to become leaders in prayer to carry out the Great Commission.
  • Pray that, this summer, Chinese church leaders will be able to rest and refresh themselves in God’s Word and through fellowship with one another.
  • Pray for Chinese Christians currently facing state pressure, persecution, jail and death for their beliefs and actions. Pray for them to be courageous and trust in God, not man.
  • Pray for Chinese children from Christian families. Pray that they will come to love, know, and follow Jesus, and be leaders for the next generation.
  • Pray for Chinese believers to be people of prayer, who take all their anxieties to King Jesus, and joyfully rest in his protection.
  • Let this be the desire to pray for us here in America too!

We will also Pray for: 

Leah Sharibu and Alice that they will be set free from Boko Haram captivity.

  • Leah Sharibu was kidnapped along with 109 other students on February 19, 2018 when Boko Haram attacked a boarding school in the city of Dapchi, Maiduguri Diocese, in north-eastern Nigeria. A month later, some of the girls died in captivity and all the others were released, except Leah. She was the only Christian in the group.
  • Alice Loksha Ngaddah was kidnapped during the Rann attack on March 1, 2018. She was a nurse working with Unicef and is a mother of two.

Pastor Wang Yi to be released from prison, for his family, the children, and the church in China. 

  • On December 28 the police raided the Early Rain Church and arrested Pastor Wang Yi, his wife Jiang Rong, and ten elders of the well-known 750-member church for holding “illegal” services. Some 100 believers were detained, questioned, and later released. Pastor Wang’s wife was also released. Pastor Wang remained in detention.

Anita, an Iranian Christian, persecuted by the Islamic regime seeking asylum.

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, recently reduced from ten years. Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani converted to Christianity at the age of 19 and leads a 400-member house church in Rasht, Iran. Since 2006, Iranian authorities have consistently harassed and detained Pastor Nadarkhani and his family. In 2010, the authorities sentenced him to death for apostasy before acquitting him in 2012. Pastor Nadarkhani was tried again in 2017 on false charges of “acting against national security” and promoting “Zionist Christianity,” for which he was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment. By July 2018, plainclothes agents raided Pastor Nadarkhani’s home to execute the sentence, beating and apprehending him and using a taser gun on one of his sons. He is now incarcerated at the notorious Evin prison near Tehran.

The harvest 

  • “And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” Luke 10:2

I am looking forward to praying with you. 

The Lord’s servant,

Nadia Dybvik, 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: 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 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.

Pastor of Church Ordered to Close in Algeria Sentenced to Prison

Algeria (Morning Star News) – Less than a week after a a court in Algeria ordered pastor Rachid Seighir’s church to close, a judge in a separate case today sentenced him to a year in prison and a fine for “shaking the faith” of Muslims with Christian literature at his bookstore, sources said.

Pastor Seighir’s Oratoire Church building in the city of Oran was one of three ordered to be sealed in western Algeria’s Oran Province on Wednesday (June 2). On Sunday (June 6) he and bookstore salesman Nouh Hamimi were sentenced to a year in prison and a fine of 200,000 dinars (US$1,494) in a ruling on their appeal of a prior sentence of two years in prison and a fine of 500,000 dinars (US$3,745).

The pastor was the manager of the now-closed bookstore in Oran, a coastal city 268 miles west of Algiers. The judgment in March read that he and Hamimi were condemned for “distributing publications or any other propaganda undermining the faith of a Muslim.”

Pastor Seighir has said the conviction was mere retaliation in a conflict over the bookstore going back to 2008, when he was convicted of the same charges and acquitted on appeal. The governor of Oran ordered the bookshop closed in 2017, but in April 2018, a court ruled the closure order was invalid due to procedural problems – though authorities continued to keep the bookshop closed, he said.

Sunday’s appeal ruling came after postponements of scheduled hearings on May 16 and May 30. The Christians’ attorney, Farid Khemisti, said they would appeal on Wednesday (June 9) to the Court of Oran and, if necessary, to the Supreme Court.

Algeria’s 2006 law regulating non-Muslim worship, known as Law 03/06, criminalizes the publishing or distributing of any materials “which aim to undermine the faith of a Muslim.” Punishment can range from two to five years in prison and fines of 500,000 to 1 million Algerian dinars (US$3,745 to US$7,490).

Church Closures

The court ruling on Wednesday (June 2) ordering the closure Pastor Seighir’s church building and those of churches in El-Ayaid and Ain-Turk came as a result of efforts to seal the buildings by the governor (wali) of Oran Province.

“This is a judgment that the wali of Oran won against us,” Pastor Seighir told Morning Star News. “It is ordered to proceed with the immediate closure of the three places of worship.”

Ain-Turk is about 35 kilometers (21 miles) west of the city of Oran, and El-AIyaid is about 35 kilometers east of Oran.

“To tell you the truth, I don’t understand what’s going on,” Pastor Seighir said. “This is purely an attack against us Algerian Christians and the churches. There have been three different walis, and that did not prevent the charges against us from remaining. It is therefore clear that the source of our trouble comes from those higher than the walis.”

On Dec. 28, 2017, the then-governor of Oran Province, Mouloud Cherifi, had sent notice that the Oratoire church was “not in accordance with the laws in force,” namely registration under Law 03/06, which regulates non-Muslim worship. The 2006 law requires non-Muslim worship buildings to be licensed, but all applications to do so have remained unattended.

The ruling against Pastor Seighir and Hamimi comes after a Christian who had received and reposted a cartoon of the prophet of Islam on his Facebook account three years ago was sentenced to five years in prison and fined 100,000 dinars (US$750) under an Algerian law against insulting Muhammad.

Christian Interrogated

In Ain-Defla Province about 145 kilometers (90 miles) southwest of Algiers, Gendarmerie stopped two Christians preparing to travel to worship in the capital, holding one for four hours of interrogation, he said.

Ahmed Beghal (name changed for security reasons) said officers also searched his home and seized Christian books and personal documents.

On May 11 at about 7 a.m. Beghal and his friend had yet to leave his town of Ain Seltane when officers stopped them on the road, he said. Taken to brigade quarters, Beghal was held for questioning while his friend was quickly released after separate questioning.

“Not knowing the reason for our arrest, I questioned the head of the brigade,” Beghal said. “The latter replied, ‘There are many rumors and accusations circulating about you. You are very active, it seems.’”

Beghal, whose wife and children left him in 2017 because of his conversion to Christianity, said that the day before the arrest he and others had shared the gospel with people.

After officers questioned him, they took him to his home to search it.

“They took all my books and documents,” Beghal told Morning Star News. “They told me that to get them back I have to go to the public prosecutor.”

Beghal, who wrote to the prosecutor asking for his belongings to be returned to him, is scheduled to appear before a judge on June 16. He is accused of fundraising for the creation of a Christian association without authorization.

Islam is the state religion in the 99-percent Muslim country. Since 2000, thousands of Algerian Muslims have put their faith in Christ. Algerian officials estimate the number of Christians at 50,000, but others say it could be twice that number.

Algeria ranked 24th on Open Doors’ 2021 World Watch List of the countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian, up from 42nd place in 2018.

Persecution Watch: Prayer for Nigeria

3/27/2021 Dear Prayer Warriors, (Voice of the Persecuted) and Persecution Watch invite you to join us Saturday in a prayer conference call for the persecuted Church.

Prayer for Nigeria

Nigeria has the largest population in Africa, about 205 million. About half are Christians, Northern part majority Muslim, Southern part majority Christian. Nigeria has the highest violence against Christians of any country in the world, mostly in the east and middle belt, and spreading southward.

President Buhari’s father was a Fulani chieftain. Fulanis follow Islam and are the largest nomadic group in the world. They believe all land was given to the Muslims by Allah and have no problem taking it away from everyone else.

There has been a sharp increase to enforce Islamization of Nigeria. This attempt is affecting Christian communities, even in the South. The Fulani and other Muslims are appointed to all key governmental positions, not enforcing crimes against Christians. Christian families have little support from the government, including little education

About 7,000 Christians have been murdered in the last 5 years, mostly men and boys. Many girls and young women are abducted, some sold, some forced to marry Muslim men. Entire villages have been wiped out. Yet, there is very little International reporting from the press and seemingly little interest from other countries.

  • Pray God would strongly intervene in this situation; move by His Spirit across Nigeria

  • Pray for followers of Islam, from President Buhari and others in power to the Fulanis, Boko Haram, other Muslims.  

  • Pray for protection of villages
  • Pray protection for girls who have been abducted; for their physical, emotional and spiritual protection.  We can pray for Leah and Alice at this time.
  • Pray for families of these girls


  • Pastor Brunson said he had to fight for his sanity when surrounded by Muslims in prison, doing their constant rituals and having no contact with other Christians.

  • Pray for those in prison and girls forced to marry Muslims would know God has not forsaken them, feel His presence, recall scriptures, not forsake the Lord.

  • Pray for their release


  • Pray for unity for the church in Nigeria


  • Pray for divine courage to face what they are facing; help them to have joy in the midst of tribulation
  • Pray would be able to forgive their persecutors and even pray for them


  • Pray for divine strategies; teach church how to war against enemy; hear from Lord clearly


  • Pray to raise up powerful and Godly leaders; fresh anointing for them


  • Pray for signs and wonders to know that Yahovah is God and not Allah;  Psalm 86:17  
  • Pray for boldness for the evangelists with signs and wonders to confirm truth of the Word

  • Pray for those displaced, against discouragement, etc.


  • Wake up church in other countries to pray for them, to help bear one anothers’ burdens and they would feel those prayers
  • Pray for NGO ministries; for wisdom, divine connections, finances, protection…

  • Pray for internet and other means of communication

  • Pray this situation in Nigeria will be brought to the attention of the world and pressure to stop persecution be applied

  • Pray for the harvest; build Your church in Nigeria

We will also continue to pray for:

Leah Sharibu and Alice – Nigeria

Pastor Wang Yi – China

Pastor Youcef Nadarkani- Iran

Anita – Iran

Valerie, Persecution Watch Prayer Call Moderator

Prayer Conference Call Details

Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday

From any location on your phone

Time:

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 (please check your time zone). Blaine also served as Prayer Director for Voice of the Persecuted and our missions became one. The prayer mission of Persecution Watch is an important part of our own.

With the passing of Blaine into glory on December 26, 2019, Voice of the Persecuted is committed to continue the prayer conference call for the persecuted along with our dedicated prayer warrior team.

On occasion, persecuted brothers and sisters have been invited on the call to share the trials they’re 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’re new to the call and can’t 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!

NOTE: Persecution Watch has a new email address for the prayer team and those who would like to receive urgent prayer requests, weekly call prayer points and notification of special prayer events and special guest speakers.

Please fill out the form below to be included in our new distribution list to receive this important information. We are grateful for your prayers and to the Lord for guiding us as we continue the Persecution Watch prayer call mission.

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.

ISWAP Terrorists Execute Five Christians in Nigeria, Video Shows

Nigeria (Morning Star News) – Islamic extremist terrorists who kidnapped 11 Christians in northeast Nigeria on Christmas Day have executed five of them, according to a video released by the Islamic State’s AMAQ News agency.

The 49-second video, dated Dec. 29, shows five armed members of the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) lining up behind five men dressed in orange robes who are kneeling with their hands tied behind them. Ordered in the Hausa language to state their names, each of the kneeling men in turn is heard saying their name and adding, “I’m a Christian.”

Morning Star News heard the names spoken as Uka Joseph, Sunday, Wilson, Joshua Maidugu and Garba Yusuf.

Speaking in the Hausa language common throughout northern Nigeria, one of the ISWAP militants then says,

“This is a warning to Christians in all parts of the world and those in Nigeria. We have not forgotten what you did to our brethren in Zangon Kataf town and other parts of Nigeria. Use the heads of these five of your brethren to continue with your ungodly celebrations.”

The five Christians are then shot to death.

The executioner’s citing of Zangon-Kataf appears to refer to ethnic clashes in the area in Kaduna state in 1992 over a proposal to relocate a market away from land granted to the Hausa people, who are primarily Muslim. Clashes broke out between them and the indigenous, predominantly Christian Atyap people, resulting in 60 deaths in February 1992 and 400 more in May 1992, with Hausa youths killing many Christians of various tribes in retaliation.

On Christmas Eve ISWAP terrorists began an attack on Garkida, Adamawa state, that local residents assumed was launched by Boko Haram, the Islamic extremist group from which ISWAP broke off in 2016. Government and local sources said the Nigerian army repelled the attack, but as it continued into the wee hours of Christmas Day, the assailants were said to have killed six Christians and kidnapped 11 others.

Screenshot of video released by Islamic State showing execution of Christians in northeast Nigeria. (Morning Star News)

Morning Star News received messages from area residents on Wednesday (Dec. 30) asserting that six Christians were killed in Friday’s (Dec. 25) attack on Garkida, and that the Christians martyred in the video were among the 11 kidnapped.

Moses Abarshi, a Christian leader in northern Nigeria, notified Morning Star News that a Christian had told him that his brother and four other Christians had been executed for their faith.

“Please let us keep the family in our thoughts and prayers in this trying time,” Abarshi said by text message. “May the blood of these martyrs keep speaking for the gospel. May the church not be frightened and discouraged, in Jesus name!”

In the attack on Garkida town, ISWAP burned down homes, looted shops and stores, set fire to a hospital and took food from homes, area Christians said.

On July 22 a video was released showing terrorists believed to be members of ISWAP executing five men, with one militant saying it was warning to “all those being used by infidels to convert Muslims to Christianity.”

The U.S. State Department on Dec. 7 designated Nigeria as a Country of Particular Concern for engaging in or tolerating “systematic, ongoing, egregious violations of religious freedom.” Nigeria joined Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan on the list.

In a more recent category of non-state actors, the State Department also designated ISWAP, Boko Haram, Al-Shabaab, Al-Qaeda, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, the Houthis, ISIS, ISIS-Greater Sahara, Jamaat Nasr al-Islam wal Muslimin, and the Taliban as “Entities of Particular Concern.”

On Dec. 10 the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda, issued a statement calling for investigation into crimes against humanity in Nigeria.

On Jan. 30 Christian Solidarity International (CSI) issued a genocide warning for Nigeria, calling on the Permanent Member of the United Nations Security Council to take action. CSI issued the call in response to “a rising tide of violence directed against Nigerian Christians and others classified as ‘infidels’ by Islamist militants in the country’s north and middle belt regions.’”

Nigeria ranked 12th on Open Doors’ 2020 World Watch List of countries where Christians suffer the most persecution but second in the number of Christians killed for their faith, behind Pakistan.

Please pray for our brothers and sisters in Nigeria.

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