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Concerning Report on China, We Must Pray

(Voice of the Persecuted) You are invited to join us on Tuesday July 27, 2021 in a conference prayer call for the persecuted church hosted by Persecution Watch.

First Report on CCP’s Belt and Road Initiative – China’s Dream, The World’s Nightmare: How the Chinese Communist Party is Colonizing and Enslaving the Planet.

This affects our Christian brothers and sisters all over the world. Please take time to read the report here!

Dear Prayer Warriors due to this latest news, I call upon and urge you to join me in prayer tonight. This is bigger then us. Not against flesh and blood but against an evil principality. We need our Father!

We will also remember these dear ones:

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. Pastor Wang Yi who is currently serving his prison sentence.
  • Anita, an Iranian Christian, persecuted by the Islamic regime and seeking asylum.
  • Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani from Iran, for his release and his family as their persecution continues. At present he is serving his six-year sentence. 

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

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.

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

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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.

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.

Herdsmen Kill Christians in Nigeria’s Nasarawa, Plateau States

Nigeria (Morning Star News) – Muslim Fulani herdsmen killed 12 Christians in Nasarawa state and three others in Plateau state the last part of April, sources said.

In north-central Nigeria’s Nasarawa state, herdsmen killed 12 Christian farmers in Ajimaka, Doma County, in attacks there and in 13 other villages from April 24 until April 29, area leader Barnabas Zayol told Morning Star News. The attacks displaced tens of thousands of people, Christian leaders said.

A survivor of the attack on Ajikama village, Terlumun Tsekaa, said the herdsmen arrived at about 2 a.m. on April 24 with guns and machetes and killed his wife, who was seven months pregnant, and 3-year-old child.

“There were more than 30 of these herdsmen who attacked us, and they were shouting ‘Allah akbar [Allah is greater]’ as they shot at us and burned our houses,” Tsekaa told Morning Star News. “They set fire on all houses in the village. They also killed a whole family of five members.”

In Doma County, the herdsmen also attacked Dooshima, Antsa, Dooka, Angwan Yara, Ikyayior, Targema, Tse Tor, Chia, Umurayi, Dooga, Gindan Rail and Ankoma villages; in Keana County, they attacked Ategher, Avewua, Ugbele Aondokaa, Ikper, Gborgyo and Uluwa Kwananke villages, Zayol said.

“They burned down houses and killed indiscriminately anyone they sighted,” Zayol said. “Those killed during the attacks include children and pregnant women.”

Victims were members of Universal Reformed Christian Church (NKST in Nigeria), Roman Catholic, Evangelical Reformed Church of Christ (ERCC) and Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) churches, he said. He identified those slain as Tsekaa Chiatyo, Kwaghdoo Tsekaa, Sewuese Tsekaa, Bobo Chiatyo, Aondosee Fidelis, Aboy, Igba Aduku, Iwueseter, Aseer, Kasehumba, William Katu and Aondowase Agbu.

Citing nine dead, police confirmed the attacks and said personnel were sent to the area. Ramhan Nansel, spokesman for the Nasarawa State Police Command, said in a statement that officers received report of the attack on Ajimaka at about 6 a.m. on April 24.

“Upon receipt of the information, a joint team of police and military personnel were deployed to the scene, where nine corpses were recovered, each with multiple machete cuts,” Nansel said.

Nasarawa Gov. Abdullahi Sule issued a statement through his chief press secretary, Ibrahim Addra.

“An attack that does not spare women and children bears the trademark of devilish elements who are bent on truncating the relative peace in the state,” he said. “A thorough investigations by security operatives have since commenced in order to expose the criminals and punish them according to the laws of the land. My condolences and prayers are with families of those who lost their lives.

“I urge them and the rest of our citizens to be assured that this administration will do all within its power to ensure justice, peace and security across the state.”

Attack on Funeral in Plateau State

In neighboring Plateau state on April 25, Fulani herdsmen killed one Christian and wounded another in Miango, Bassa County, an area resident said.

“Danlami Musa, 21, was killed, while Friday Musa, 19, his brother, was injured during the attack at about 7 p.m. at the twins hills, Miango,” Patience Moses said. “Please keep praying for God’s intervention on our behalf.”

On the same day in Bokkos County, herdsmen killed Christian community leader Yakubu Dadel in Jwanshak village in an attack on a funeral service at about 8:30 p.m., his son said.

Ayuba Dadel said his father was killed as other villagers scampered into nearby bushes.

“We were holding a funeral service when the Fulani gunmen came shooting sporadically, and everyone scampered for safety,” Dadel said in a text message to Morning Star News. “My father was in his house and only ran out to lock his gate. When they sighted him, they chased after him with serious gunfire. They first injured him on the hand, and when he ran to his bedroom, they followed him, dragged him to the ground from his bed and shot him point blank.”

Also in Bokkos County, Fulani herdsmen attacked Daffo village on April 20, killing Christian resident Iliya Mutong, villagers said.

“Iliya Mutong was cut with machetes until he died at about 8 p.m.,” Kyanan Mizhim said in a text message to Morning Star News. “He was sitting in front of his house when a group of Fulani herdsmen attacked him.”

In Jos South County on April 9, Fulani herdsmen were suspected in the killing of eight Christian miners at Shawalan mining site, near Kuru village. Emmanuel Jang, a Jos South council official, said their bodies were retrieved from the site and a funeral was held for them.

“They were all members of the Church of Christ in Nations,” Jang said in a text message to Morning Star News.

On March 13 in Barkin Ladi County, high school student David James, 18, was killed by Fulani herdsmen in Dorowa Babuje village, his father said. Solomon James, 68, said in a text message to Morning Star News that his son was killed in their home shortly before 8 p.m.

Community leader John Choji confirmed the killing of James.

“Our community has been under siege of armed Fulani herdsmen for a number of years now,” Choji said.

In the Dutse area of Miango on Feb. 1, a band of herdsmen killed twelve Christian farmers as they worked their fields, according to Edward Egbuka, Plateau state commissioner of police.

World Leader in Christians Killed

Nigeria was the country with the most Christians killed for their faith last year (November 2019-October 2020), at 3,530, up from 1,350 in 2019, according to Open Door’s 2021 World Watch List report.

In the 2021 list of the countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian, Nigeria broke into the top 10 for the first time, jumping to No. 9 from No. 12 the previous year. In overall violence, Nigeria was second only to Pakistan, and it trailed only China in the number of churches attacked or closed, 270, according to the list.

Numbering in the millions across Nigeria and the Sahel, predominantly Muslim Fulani comprise hundreds of clans of many different lineages who do not hold extremist views, but some Fulani do adhere to radical Islamist ideology, the United Kingdom’s All-Party Parliamentary Group for International Freedom or Belief (APPG) noted in a recent report.

“They adopt a comparable strategy to Boko Haram and ISWAP [Islamic State West Africa Province] and demonstrate a clear intent to target Christians and potent symbols of Christian identity,” the APPG report states.

Christian leaders in Nigeria have said they believe herdsmen attacks on Christian communities in Nigeria’s Middle Belt are inspired by their desire to forcefully take over Christians’ lands and impose Islam as desertification has made it difficult for them to sustain their herds.

The APPG report noted that tribal loyalties cannot be overlooked.

“In 2015, Muhammadu Buhari, a Fulani, was elected president of Nigeria,” the group reported. “He has done virtually nothing to address the behavior of his fellow tribesmen in the Middle Belt and in the south of the country.”

The U.S. State Department on Dec. 7 added Nigeria to its list of Countries 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.

Photo: Nasarawa state, Nigeria. (Creative Commons)

70 Students, Four Teachers Abducted During Attack on Nigerian College, 2 Dead

(CBN  06-21-2021) A rescue operation is underway to locate more than 70 students and four teachers in Nigeria who were abducted by a group of armed militants on Thursday as violent attacks and kidnappings continue throughout the country. see video report below

The Guardian Nigeria reports that nearly 100 gunmen attacked the Federal Government College in Kebbi state, leading to the death of a police officer and a student.

Authorities say the gunmen who are seeking ransom payments were responsible for the attack, which is the third mass kidnapping over the past three weeks in northwest Nigeria. 

Usman Aliyu, a teacher at the school, said most of the abducted children were girls.  

“They killed one of the (police officers), broke through the gate and went straight to the students’ classes,” Aliyu told Reuters.

One local resident said frantic parents descended upon the school after the gunfire ceased, in an effort to search for their children. 

“When we got there we saw students crying, teachers crying, everyone is sympathizing with people,” said Atiku Aboki.

“Everyone was confused,” he added. “Then my brother called me (to say) that his two children have not been seen and (we) don’t know if they are among the kidnapped.”

Several Nigerian schools have been targets since December by armed insurgents threatening to harm their captives unless a ransom is paid.

More than 300 boys were taken from a Government Science secondary school on Dec. 11 where police engaged in a shootout with the assailants.

Then, hundreds of girls were kidnapped in February from the Government Secondary Jangebe School in Zamfara state after a large group of gunmen raided the school.

In March, eight members of Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) in Kaduna were abducted at gunpoint. Kidnappers demanded a ransom of $131,000. 

And earlier this month, one student was killed and 10 people were abducted from the main campus of Nuhu Bamalli Polytechnic in Zairia, Kaduna state.

International Christian Concern, a persecution watchdog, reports these large-scale kidnappings which were originally thought to have been carried out by loosely organized bandits. But recently, Kaduna state governor El Rufai informed the public that these ransoms were used to fund Boko Haram and their extremist agenda.

Please continue to pray that God’s protection will comfort those who are still missing and for His love to bring encouragement to their families.

Join us tonight on the Persecution Watch Prayer Conference Call as Brother Andy leads prayer to intercede for our brothers and sisters in Nigeria.

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Special Report-Nuns arrested by Chinese Communist Party as Beijing turns up heat on Church in Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Extracts from The Guardian article: Read the full report here. In May, two Chinese nuns who work at the mission were arrested by mainland authorities during a visit home to Hebei province, according to three Catholic clerics with knowledge of the matter. The nuns, in their 40s, were detained for three weeks before being released into house arrest without being charged. They are forbidden to leave the mainland, according to one of the clerics. Meanwhile, Western diplomats say, Chinese security agents have stepped up surveillance of the mission in recent months.”

Fearless, Cardinal Zen calls for courage.

“We are at the bottom of the pit – there is no freedom of expression anymore,” the former Bishop of Hong Kong, Cardinal Joseph Zen, told Reuters in a written reply to questions. “All these things are normal in mainland China. We are becoming like any other city in China.”

With the exception of 88-year-old Cardinal Zen, all Church leaders, local priests and parishioners interviewed for this article declined to be named. “For any word you say,” Zen told Reuters, the authorities “can say you’re offending the National Security Law.”

 

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