VOICE OF THE PERSECUTED

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Persecution Watch: Praying for Believers in Cameroon

(Voice of the Persecuted) You are invited to join us on Thursday November 18, 2021 in a prayer conference call for the persecuted church hosted by Persecution Watch.

Cameroon: Population: 25.9million, Christians 15.9 (61.3)

Cameroon, formed by an amalgam of former French and British colonies, has a Christian population of around 70% with Muslims comprising 20% (mainly in the Far North). Despite political tensions between the northern Francophone region and the smaller Anglophone region in the south-west, Cameroon has enjoyed relative stability since gaining independence in 1960.

Conflict between religious groups is rare in most of the country. However, in the Far North, which borders Boko Haram’s base in north-eastern Nigeria, rural Christian communities are routinely subjected to Islamist violence. For example, two Boko Haram suicide bombers blew themselves up and killed seven people, including the village chief and two teenage boys, on 5 April 2020 in the small border town of Amchide. This town, which is majority Christian, has been attacked many times by Boko Haram.

Attacks by the Nigerian Islamist group have increased since 2014, with gangs of up to 300 militants laying waste to Christian villages, devastating crops, and killing livestock. Eyewitness accounts of attacks describe heavily armed militants encircling Christian villages, shouting throughout the night as they kill, loot, and burn. With food, clothing and livelihoods taken, the defenseless Christians had nothing left but “only eyes to cry” said one Cameroonian Christian.

The UN estimates that more than 170,000 Cameroonians, mainly Christians, have been forced to flee their homes; others “hide out” in the hills, or travel to a town, for safety at night rather than stay in their beds. In August 2020, Boko Haram militants descended on a camp for internally displaced people (IDP) in Nguetchewe village and killed at least 18 Christians as they slept; some bodies were found dismembered.

In Cameroon, it is very difficult for Muslims who want to convert to Christianity. In predominantly Muslim parts of the country, there has been a process of radicalization. When Bibles or other Christian literature are found in their possession, converts from Islam have been threatened. They are not free to express their faith or Christian beliefs—even to immediate family—because doing so exposes them to the risk of violent responses from their community.

Many Christians with a Muslim background face problems with local communities in remote areas in the northern regions, where the central government is not strong enough to keep peace and religious freedom—or to defend these areas from attacks by Islamic extremists. Female converts from Islam are often forced into marriage with non-Christians, and Christian women also face the danger of abduction by Boko Haram.

Prayer Points

  • Pray that Lord will strengthen the government to take the right measures in the north of Cameroon. To help the people whose lives have been disrupted by Boko Haram violence that has spilled across the border from Nigeria.
  • Pray for peace in the storm. Many Christian communities have faced targeting. The level of intimidation these believers face is extremely difficult. Pray for peace in the storm.
  • Pray for Christians to become proactive in dealing with the threats from Boko Haram. To monitor movements, patrols, watchman etc.
  • Pray for converts from Islam, that they would be protected from violence and oppression at the hands of their family, friends, and community.
  • Pray God would protect Christian women in Cameroon who are at constant risk of abduction, forced marriage and sexual violence at the hands of Boko Haram. Pray they will be protected, that victims will find healing from their trauma, and that God would confuse and undo the schemes of the Enemy.
  • Pray for more effective and successful strategies for military operations aimed at uprooting the ADF and other violent militia from their strongholds.
  • Pray that the Lord through His Holy Spirit will show Christian Pastors and leaders on how to counteract the Islamic persecution and power grab.
  •  Pray that the Lord will give His believers the ability to love their enemies and to forgive them.
  • Pray God would touch the hearts of the Boko Haram militants. Ask that He would turn them from violence, and they would see the true face of the Prince of Peace.
  • Pray for NGOs to provide much needed spiritual and physical support including trauma counseling.
  • Pray that the Lord that He will give His believers both courage and protection witnessing to Muslims.
  • Pray that the Lord will give much increase and protection to His church in the Cameroon and that it will prevail against the onslaught of Muslim jihadists and radicals.

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.

Andy, Persecution Watch Prayer Call Moderator

VOP Photo: Prayer Team in Cameroon who prayed with us during a Prayer Conference Call Event for Andrew Brunson.

Prayer Conference Call Details

Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday

From any location on your phone

USA Time Zone:

9:00 PM Eastern

8:00 PM Central

7:00 PM Mountain

6:00 PM Pacific

Call in number: (667) 770-1476 (Note: We have a new call-in phone number)

Access Code: 281207#

Recommended: For those who may be subject to added charges for conference calls. Please download the app, it’s free!

MOBILE APP: Free Conference Call HD also provides a quick and easy way for you to dial into conference calls without having to remember the dial-in credentials. Save all of your conference call dial-in numbers and access codes using this free app. With the Free Conference Call HD you can instantly dial into a conference call via 3G/4G data network and or regular mobile carrier. Google Play link or App Store – iTunes

If you are experiencing any difficulties joining the call, please let us know.

What is Persecution Watch?

Persecution Watch is a U.S. national prayer conference call ministry that prays specifically for the global Persecuted Church. For over a decade, Blaine Scogin led this national network of believers who faithfully pray for the persecuted and the global harvest for the Kingdom of God. The group meets via a free call-in service every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday night at 9pm Eastern time in the United States (please check your time zone). Blaine also served as Prayer Director for Voice of the Persecuted, and the missions became one. Brother Blaine passed into glory on December 26, 2019. It was truly a blessing for all of us to serve alongside this dear man of God and he will be greatly missed. The prayer mission of Persecution Watch remains an important part of our mission. Voice of the Persecuted is committed to continue the prayer conference call for the persecuted along with the dedicated Persecution Watch prayer warrior team.

Prior to the passing of Brother Blaine, he confirmed the passing of the torch as prayer conference call leader to Nadia Dybvik. Nadia has a burdened heart for the persecuted and is a prayer warrior standing in the gap for them. She joined the Persecution Watch prayer team in 2013 and has been part of the core ever since. Before becoming the prayer call leader, she served in the role of prayer moderator since 2015. Blaine chose Nadia for her faithfulness to pray for the persecuted and her strong commitment to the Persecution Watch mission. We are blessed not only with her gift of prayer, but her genuine love for every brother and sister in Christ that comes on the call to pray. May the Lord continue to bless Nadia and the prayer team in the mission and their personal lives.

“Pray for us” is the number one request that we hear from the persecuted. As the members of the first century Church were moved by the Holy Spirit to pray, we too must continue to serve those suffering persecution by lifting them up to the Lord through prayer.

On occasion, persecuted brothers and sisters have been invited on the conference call to share the trials they are facing. The team serves to encourage them by washing their feet in Spirit led prayer. Time is often reserved for those on the call to ask questions. We believe this helps to gain a better understanding of the situation that persecuted Christians endure in their specific nations. Q&A also helps us to focus our prayers based on their current needs.

Persecution Watch also hosts callers who want to pray united from other nations. If your heart is perplexed by the sufferings of our persecuted brothers and sisters, you no longer need to pray alone.

We welcome all who desire to pray for the persecuted church and consider it a joy to pray together with you. If you are new to the call and cannot find your voice, listen in and pray silently or on mute. We are grateful and thank the Lord for bringing us all together to pray in agreement for our persecuted family in Christ. We can all be prayer warriors on this call!

God bless and protect you in your faithfulness to serve.

Lois Kanalos, Founder, Voice of the Persecuted, Nadia Dybvik, Persecution Watch Prayer Call Leader and the Persecution Watch Prayer Team

NOTE: Please fill out the form in the sign up link below to be included in our distribution list to receive urgent prayer requests, prayer points, notification of special prayer events and special guest speakers.

Note to Voice of the Persecuted (VOP) readers: The Persecution Watch prayer team is also the prayer team of Voice of the Persecuted. SIGN UP today.

Praying for Believers in Democratic Republic of the Congo

(Voice of the Persecuted) You are invited to join us on Thursday November 4, 2021 in a prayer conference call for the persecuted church hosted by Persecution Watch.

Population: 89.5 million, Christians 89.1 (95.2%) Government Unitary semi-presidential constitutional republic

The Democratic Republic of the Congo, also known as Congo-Kinshasa, DR Congo, the DRC, the DROC, or simply either Congo or the Congo, and formerly Zaire, is a country in Central Africa. It is, by area, the largest country in sub-Saharan Africa, the second largest in all of Africa, and the 11th-largest in the world.

The Islamic extremist group Alliance for Democratic Forces (ADF-NALU) is responsible for the persecution of Christians in the eastern part of the country, attacking Christians and churches. The attacks from the ADF and other militant groups in the DRC are why violence is a huge risk for the Christian population and churches in the regions where militants are active. The violence has resulted in more than a million internally displaced people. Additionally, followers of Jesus are at risk for kidnappings and having their homes destroyed.

Converts, both from Islam and from tribal religions, face pressure to take part in non-Christian religious activities and ceremonies. Representatives of the Catholic Church, who publicly urged the government to abide by the constitutionally mandated electoral deadlines, reported they had experienced verbal harassment and interference based on their advocacy—the previous president of the DRC illegally remained in office years after his term was supposed to expire.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo wasn’t even in the top 50 of the World Watch List last year. Its sharp rise reflects the extreme violence inflicted on the Christian community of the DRC. In some parts of the country, Christians are under constant risk of brutal violence, and this is what has pushed the DRC’s rank much higher on the 2021 World Watch List. Islamic extremists are particularly active in the eastern part of the country. All Christians are at risk in these areas. Additionally, Christians who convert from Islam or from traditional religions (or religions that combine elements of Christianity and animism) may face social, familial and community pressure for their faith.

  • Pray for more effective and successful strategies for military operations aimed at uprooting the ADF and other violent militia from their strongholds.
  • Pray that the Lord through His Holy Spirit will show Christian Pastors and leaders on how to counteract the Islamic persecution and power grab.
  • Pray for the Lord’s abundant grace to the church in this area as they seek to minister Christ’s hope in these circumstances. It is hard to provide even the most basic of needs. Please pray for the Lord’s provision, strength, and hope.
  • Pray for the people, particularly Christians, whose lives have been – and are – disrupted by great suffering as they faced the death of loved ones, being uprooted from their homes and the destruction of livelihoods.
  • Pray for church in this area as they seek to minister Christ’s hope in these circumstances. It is hard to provide even the most basic of needs. Please pray for the Lord’s provision, strength, and hope.
  • Pray that those coming to terms with the loss of loved ones would experience the Lord’s comfort to them. Many have been kidnapped. Please pray they will be returned safely.  
  • Pray God would touch the hearts of the ADF militants. Ask that He would turn them from violence, and they would see the true face of the Prince of Peace.
  • Pray for followers of Jesus who left Islam. Pray they wouldn’t be oppressed or ostracized by their families, and that they would be safe from harm.
  • Pray for converts from Islam, that they would be protected from oppression at the hands of their families and communities. Pray they would be able to find Christians who could help them grow and mature in their faith.
  • Pray for NGOs like Mission Aviation Fellowship who fly in support like, vaccines for Covid and other needed vaccines to clinics in remote areas. (Using super chilling freezers to guarantee that vaccines arrive at the destination unspoiled at the correct temperature of -94F)
  • Pray that the Lord that He will give His believers both courage and protection witnessing to Muslims.
  • Pray that the Lord will give much increase and protection to His church in the Congo and that it will prevail against the onslaught of Muslim jihadists and radicals.

Andy, Persecution Watch Prayer Call Moderator

Prayer Conference Call Details

Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday

From any location on your phone

USA Time Zone:

9:00 PM Eastern

8:00 PM Central

7:00 PM Mountain

6:00 PM Pacific

Call in number: 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, Nadia Dybvik, Persecution Watch Prayer Call Leader and the Persecution Watch Prayer Team

NOTE: Please fill out the form in the sign up link below to be included in our distribution list to receive urgent prayer requests, prayer points, notification of special prayer events and special guest speakers.

Note to Voice of the Persecuted (VOP) readers: The Persecution Watch prayer team is also the prayer team of Voice of the Persecuted. SIGN UP today.

If you are experiencing any difficulties joining the call, please let us know.

Persecution Watch: Praying for Believers in Kenya

(Voice of the Persecuted) You are invited to join us on Thursday October 28, 2021 in a prayer conference call for the persecuted church hosted by Persecution Watch.

Kenya:  Population: 53.5 million, Christians 44 (82 %)  

In Kenya, Christianity is the majority religion, but that hasn’t stopped the spread of persecution. Particularly, Christians with a Muslim background in the northeast and coastal regions live under constant threat of attack—even from their closest relatives. Our research revealed that Christians were attacked and forced to flee their villages, and Islamic extremist group al-Shabab has infiltrated the local population to monitor the activities of Christians in those areas.

However, organized crime is also a serious problem. Corrupt officials often fail to take measures against persecutors—increasing the potential for further incidents against Christians. For believers in Kenya, daily life is filled with pressure—especially in their private and social lives. And in some regions like the northeast, where al-Shabab is a constant threat, church and community life are very difficult and can also include the threat of violence.

The situation for Christians in Kenya has remained dire over the last three years. While Kenya moved down five spots from the 2020 World Watch List, violence actually increased significantly reflecting an overall increase in persecution across the list versus an improved situation for Kenyan Christians.

 Christians living in and around the northeastern part of the country must live with the fear that they can be targeted at any time. Hotspots for attacks by al-Shabab include Mombasa, Mandera, Garissa, Wajir, Lamu and Tana River. In these areas, many local informants assist in organizing attacks on churches and Christians. As a result, many believers have chosen to relocate from these areas to the center of the country.

Open Doors and other NGOs have been present, working in Kenya through local partners and churches since the early 2000s. We offer support to churches in the volatile Islam-dominated northeastern border and coastal regions. Much of our work has been in the area of equipping the church—and more recently, our work has focused on COVID-19 relief. Christians are increasingly facing persecution, and it is our mission to see the local church prepared to disciple new believers, train leaders, and help them remain strong. Open Doors also assists in cross-cultural evangelism, economic empowerment, and leadership and trauma care training.

  • Pray that the government will protect the rights of believers in Muslim majority areas.
  • Pray for the wisdom and strength of government leaders standing against Islamic extremism.
  • Pray for the protection of Christian minorities along the coast.
  • Pray that churches in central Kenya will encourage and support ministry work in Muslim majority regions.
  • Pray for Christian converts from Islam who face ongoing threats and persecution from family members.
  • Pray for the continued boldness of churches in northeastern Kenya as they face Islamist attacks.
  • Pray for those sharing the gospel with Somalis living in Kenya. 
  • Please pray for the Lord’s continued grace for new believers in Kenya. Pray that through trials and persecution they would see the Lord’s faithfulness in protection and provision.
  • Pray that the Lord, through His Spirit, would grant the persecuted joy, peace and courage in their suffering.
  • Pray for Christians in the northeast who face threats of deadly attacks from al-Shabab. Ask God to protect them, to shelter them from violence and to give them a peace that only comes from Him.
  • Pray that the godly leaders would equip and disciple new believers as well as grow the saints in faith.
  • Pray believers effectively share the gospel with their neighbors—strengthening and expanding the worldwide Church for the glory of Christ.
  • Lord Jesus we pray that you will guide and encourage your church in Kenya through these difficult times of increasing violence. We pray that you bind the forces of darkness.

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.

Andy, Persecution Watch Prayer Call Moderator

Prayer Conference Call Details

Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday

From any location on your phone

USA Time Zone:

9:00 PM Eastern

8:00 PM Central

7:00 PM Mountain

6:00 PM Pacific

Call in number: 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, Nadia Dybvik, Persecution Watch Prayer Call Leader and the Persecution Watch Prayer Team

NOTE: Please fill out the form in the sign up link below to be included in our distribution list to receive urgent prayer requests, prayer points, notification of special prayer events and special guest speakers.

Note to Voice of the Persecuted (VOP) readers: The Persecution Watch prayer team is also the prayer team of Voice of the Persecuted. SIGN UP today.

If you are experiencing any difficulties joining the call, please let us know.

Persecution Watch: Praying for Believers in Burkina Faso

(Voice of the Persecuted) You are invited to join us on Thursday September 23, 2021 in a prayer conference call for the persecuted church hosted by Persecution Watch.

Burkina Faso: Population: 20.9 million, Christian 4.9 million (23.8)

Burkina Faso has seen a sharp rise in Islamist activity since 2016. Militants linked to ISIS and al-Qaida, who had been largely contained in neighboring Mali and Niger, have crossed porous borders in the north to broaden their influence in the Sahel region. Christians have been a primary target of the jihadists’ campaign since April 2019, when approximately 70 Christians were killed, and five churches were attacked. More than 200 churches have reportedly closed in northern and eastern Burkina Faso due to security issues and threat of attack. As many as 10,000 Christians have fled their homes as a result of violence and threats against Christians. Nearly 800,000 people in total have been displaced by the conflict, adding to an already strained economy amid political uncertainty.

Just over half of Burkinabe are Muslims. The main persecutors are Islamists linked to the al-Qaida and ISIS terrorist groups.

Large churches in the capital city operate openly, and until recently even Christians living among Muslims in some villages had freedom to practice their faith. However, attacks against Christians increased dramatically in 2019. Today, few Christians remain in the north or east of the country

Bibles in French and the Moore language are readily available in the capital city, but few Bibles are available in local languages. Distribution is difficult because of security issues in the countryside. The literacy rate is less 

Fearful of more attacks, Christians in northern Burkina Faso are beginning to flee the conflict area for safer towns in the country’s southern area. Those who remain are living in what is rapidly feeling more and more like a ghost town. Churches and schools are now closed. And Christians are in hiding, said a local church leader who asked to be unnamed for security reasons. He told Open Doors: “No one dares to sleep in his house because of fear of being killed. It’s very hard for us.

According to the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project, reported fatalities from attacks targeting civilians have risen by 300 percent in Mali (No. 24 on the World Watch List), 500 percent in Niger, and a staggering 7,000 percent increase in Burkina Faso compared to the same period last year.

The news agency reports that “home-grown militant groups, as well as extremists linked to al-Qaeda and Islamic State, have been in the country’s north (bordering Mali) since 2016, but have expanded to new fronts in the east and southwest, threatening the stability of neighboring countries.”

  • Pray that God will bring peace and restoration to Burkina Faso.
  • Pray for the Lord’s provision to all the displaced in their physical needs. Please pray the government will receive wisdom and display accountability as they seek to create order in the affected areas.
  • Pray that strong Christians will be elected to government positions and that Christian leaders will stand boldly for Christ as they endure persecution.
  • From a pastor in Burkina Faso: “Pray for Burkina Faso, so that the peace of God will reign in the country, and our people will be able to go back to their villages and continue their daily activities. Pray also for our pastors who have been displaced, that God will equip them and put His words of hope on their lips as they minister to their congregations.”
  • Pray for protection for those involved in evangelism, discipleship and church planting, to continue despite Islamist attacks.
  • Pray for unity and wisdom among those facing persecution.
  • Pray for the Lord’s provision in the lives of our displaced brothers and sisters in Burkina Faso. Pray that they will not be ruled by fear but experience the peace only the Lord can give through His Spirit.
  • Pray for grace for Christians to remain firm in the faith as they face increased hostility. Many people, including Christians, have been severely traumatized by the deterioration in security and the displacement they have suffered. Please pray the Lord will be at work in their lives to bring healing and comfort.       
  • Thank the Lord for the efforts by the church to provide for the needs of fellow Christians through church collections.
  • Pray for the Lord’s provision to all the displaced in their physical needs. Please pray the government will receive wisdom and display accountability as they seek to create order in the affected areas.
  • Pray for that the Lord will appear to Muslim extremists in their dreams and convert them to honor the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • Pray that God would be near to our brokenhearted brothers and sisters in Burkina Faso. Ask God to make His presence felt to them.
  • Ask God to pour out His Spirit of love, order and calm over Christian communities. Pray for safety and protection in the days ahead.
  • Ask God to intervene against violence and bring the persecutors to justice.  
  • Pray for Ministries and NGOs who are supporting the families of pastors martyred by terrorist groups linked to al-Qaida and ISIS. Providing aid to numerous displaced Christians who have fled recurring attacks in the northern part of the country.  
  • ·Pray that Believers can love and forgive their persecutors.
  • Pray that the Lord will protect, strengthen, and encourage His believers and give them supernatural ability to continue to rebuild churches and that many Muslims will become believers.

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.

Andy, Persecution Watch Prayer Call Moderator

Prayer Conference Call Details

Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday

From any location on your phone

USA Time Zone:

9:00 PM Eastern

8:00 PM Central

7:00 PM Mountain

6:00 PM Pacific

Call in number: 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, Nadia Dybvik, Persecution Watch Prayer Call Leader and the Persecution Watch Prayer Team

NOTE: Please fill out the form in the sign up link below to be included in our distribution list to receive urgent prayer requests, prayer points, notification of special prayer events and special guest speakers.

Note to Voice of the Persecuted (VOP) readers: The Persecution Watch prayer team is also the prayer team of Voice of the Persecuted. SIGN UP today.

Children in Burkina Faso (Photo: by RobertoVi)

Persecution Watch: Praying for Uganda

(Voice of the Persecuted) You are invited to join us on Tuesday, September 14, 2021 in a prayer conference call for the persecuted church hosted by Persecution Watch.

Dear prayer Warriors, I’ve often been told that our persecuted family ask that we pray for them. And that we pray that they endure their persecutions and be faithful to Jesus. I am thankful to the Lord that He leads us to pray for our dear family.

Uganda: Population: 39,570,125 ReligionProtestant 45.1%, Roman Catholic 39.3%, Muslim 13.7%, other 1.6%, none 0.2%

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

Also see Prayercast Uganda for country summary and prayer points.

I invite you to join me tonight, as we pray for Uganda. 

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 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, Nadia Dybvik, Persecution Watch Prayer Call Leader and the Persecution Watch Prayer Team

NOTE: Please fill out the form in the sign up link below to be included in our distribution list to receive urgent prayer requests, prayer points, notification of special prayer events and special guest speakers.

Note to Voice of the Persecuted (VOP) readers: The Persecution Watch prayer team is also the prayer team of Voice of the Persecuted. SIGN UP today.

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)

Christians Slain in and near Jos, Nigeria, including 12 Children

Nigeria (Morning Star News) – Fulani herdsmen and suspected local Muslims killed 40 Christians in and near Jos, Nigeria in attacks on Aug. 25 and Aug. 15, sources said.

Armed with machetes and guns, herdsmen attacked the predominantly Christian community of Yelwa Zangam, Jos North County on the night of Aug. 25, killing 16 Christians and then burning to death 17 others when setting fire to their homes, area residents said. The dead included 12 children.

Local community leader Sunday Bunu identified the 16 Christians gunned down or killed by machete as Na’omi Joshua, a 12-year-old girl; Blessing Joshua, a 15-year-old girl; Rejoice Bala, a 19-year-old woman; Dashe Daniel Ganga, a 90-year-old woman; Mercy Daniel Ganga, a 40-year-old woman; Monica Ishaya, 38; men killed were Daniel Igyem Ganga, 110; Bulus Bagudu 45; Yohanna Bala, 42; Joshua Daniel, 40; Samson Danjuma, 26; Michael Busa, 25; Timothy Bitrus, 25; Naphthali Amos, 24; Philemon Bitrus, 22; and Uwenni Joshua, 20.

Burned beyond recognition in the house fires, according to Bunu, was a 4-year-old girl, Timara Ishaya; a 5-year-old girl, Goodness Bala; an 8-year-old girl, Lovina Markus; a 13-year-old girl, Susana Ishaya; Halima Asabulu, 90; Sylvia Ajida, 56; Paulina Asabulu, 50; Deborah Asabulu, 37; Bridget Nathaniel, 20; boys killed were Ephraim Hosea, 9; Titus Bitrus, 13; Titus Ajida, 16; Silvanus Dauda, 17; Barnaba Hosea, 17; and Yunana Bitrus, 17; men killed were Yahanum Solomon, 18, and Babuka Bitrus, 75.

Yelwa Zangam resident Bitrus Pada confirmed that 33 Christians were killed in the attacks in the area, which is near the University of Jos, while several others received hospital treatment for injuries. Pada said he lost two members of his family in the attacks.

“Those of us who survived this attack need urgent supply of food items and temporary shelter, as most of our possessions were burned and looted by the herdsmen,” Pada told Morning Star News.

Johnson Jauro, a top leader of the predominantly Christian Anaguta people in Jos, confirmed the attacks, as did area resident Jeremiah Bulus. Bulus said the herdsmen shot Christians as they slept in their houses at about 10 p.m.

“Corpses have been taken to the mortuary,” Bulus said. “We are still making efforts to recover more corpses from several houses which the herdsmen also set ablaze. The situation is really bad for us.”

‘Let Her Blood Speak’

Three Christian university students in Jos were killed on Aug. 15 by suspected local Muslims, as were four other Christians in and near Jos in separate attacks, sources said.

The three Christian students of the University of Jos were identified as Doris Bitrus Danboyi, Bagu Christopher and Iyaye Abuma Shedrack. Bitrus Danboyi, a student of the Department of Religion and Philosophy, was killed while returning to campus from her church worship, according to her uncle, Godwin Tengong.

“Islamists killed my niece while she was coming back from church! Let her blood speak!” Tengong said.

Area resident Lilian Madaki said that Bitrus Danboyi was killed around Bauchi Road Junction in Jos on her way back from church. Ayuba Iliya, a member of her Assembly of God church, said in a text message that his wife taught her in Sunday school.

“I watched this girl grow,” Iliya said. “She couldn’t have been above 20, yet the human vampires snuffed life out of her, while the government has kept a conspiratorial silence on the deaths of many more innocent children killed in the heart of town.”

A relative, Saje Daniel Dalyop, said Bitrus Danboyi made a great impact for Christ at only 20 years old.

“She is indeed a martyr,” Dalyob said. “Our loss but Heaven’s gain. Jesus remains Lord.”

The body of Christopher, a history and international studies student at the university, was found Aug. 15 after he had gone missing, said student Atomigba Tordoo.

“He was killed by Muslims in the town,” Tordoo said.

Shedrack, a first-year student of microbiology, was stabbed to death by suspected local Muslims in Jos. Danladi Joshua Adankala, president of the Students’ Union of the University of Jos, said in a text message, “The incident of Sunday, Aug. 15, resulted in the brutal killings of Christian students by some elements guided by inhuman and barbaric philosophies.”

Adankala said two other Christian students of the university, Mafeng Ezekiel and Mangal Joseph, were still missing and three others wounded.

“Three Christian students, Moses Joyce Tsaku, Kwaghaondo Kingsley Aondona and Peace Isaiah, were stabbed and injured by the Muslims,” he said.

Four other Christians were reportedly killed on Aug. 15 by local Muslims in the Terminus, Yan Trailer and Katako areas in Jos and in Dong, a suburb of the city.

A worship auditorium of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) on Bauchi Road in Jos also was set ablaze by local Muslims on Aug. 15, according to Jos North Local Council officials.

The killings reportedly came in retaliation for an Aug. 14 massacre of 25 Fulani Muslim travelers by youths belonging to the predominantly Christian Irigwe ethnic group along Rukuba Road in Jos North County. Reportedly returning from an annual Islamic New Year (Zikr) prayer event in Bauchi state, the travelers were en route to Ikare, Ondo state when they were intercepted and killed by the Irigwes who were retaliating for the prior killing of their kinsmen by suspected Fulani herdsmen.

The Rev. Polycarp Lubo, chairman of the Plateau State Chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), said church leaders were tired of conducting funerals for members killed on a nearly daily basis in Plateau state.

“We are tired of telling Christians to calm down, take it easy, pray,” Pastor Lubo said. “Christians will be in their houses and still get killed while sleeping; I don’t understand this.”

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 Doors’ 2021 World Watch List. 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.

In this year’s World Watch 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.

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: Aug. 28 funeral by Anglican Diocese of Jos for 17 of 33 Christians killed on Aug. 25 in Yelwa Zangam, Plateau state, Nigeria. (Facebook Anglican Diocese of Jos)

Fulani Herdsmen Kill 36 Christians in Kaduna State, Nigeria

Nigeria (Morning Star News) – Fulani [militants] killed 36 Christians in multiple attacks in Kaduna state, Nigeria this month with impunity, while a church leader complained that authorities arrested only Christians for defending themselves.

The attacks from Aug. 4 to Saturday (Aug. 28) on Zangon Kataf, Kaura and Chikun counties took the lives of 17 Christians in Doh (Mado) village, five in Madamai, eight in Buruku and Udawa, three in Machun and three in Goran Gida, residents said.

The attack on Machun village, Zangon Kataf County, on Thursday (Aug. 26) took place at 7 p.m., said area resident Judith David in a text message to Morning Star News.

“Fulani herdsmen have killed three of our Christians, and five other Christians were also injured,” she said. “It rained at the time the herdsmen invaded our village. We all had already gone to houses to sleep when the herdsmen attacked the village, forcing us to flee into the bush in the rain.”

Samuel Aruwan, Kaduna state commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, confirmed the killings in a press statement.

“Police personnel responded to a distress call from Machun village and mobilized there,” he said. “On arrival, they were also alerted by gunshots from neighboring Manuka. As the assailants fled the area, the operatives found the corpses of three victims.”

The Rev. Jacob Kwashi, Anglican bishop of Zonkwa Diocese, and residents of the affected communities said the assailants were Muslim Fulani herdsmen.

In Doh (Mado) village, Zangon Kataf county on Aug. 22, sources reported 17 Christians were killed.

“My hometown of Doh (Mado) is under attack from Fulani herdsmen,” village resident Patience Bilyock said a text message to Morning Star News. “O God, arise and fight for your children.”

Kwashi, while conducting a funeral service for the 17 Christians killed in the village, said the government was doing nothing as killings continued each day in Middle Belt states.

“We have never seen an evil government in this country like the one of today. The government is fully in support of the bloodshed in Nigeria. We are being killed just because we are not Muslims,” Kwashi said. “These evil Fulani jihadists are enjoying the backing of the government to go about killing people, destroying their houses and farmlands, yet when we try to defend ourselves, the government will go about arresting our people. What kind of justice is this?”

Aruwan, the Kaduna state spokesman, said of the attack on Doh village that the assailants fled on sighting the forces of the Nigerian army. He identified nine of the dead residents as Moses Dangana, Mary Dangana, Jummai Dangana, Jerry James, Happy James, Endurance Stephen, Comfort Emmanuel, Jummai Tanko and Mary Clement.

“One resident, Magdalene Dangoma, sustained gunshot injuries and is receiving treatment in a hospital,” Aruwan said. “Two houses were razed in the attack. The troops of Operation Safe Haven also rescued 12 persons who were fleeing from the attackers. Those rescued are Patrick Chindon, Joseph Agbon, Polymer Joseph, Amos Francis, Keziah Amos, Linda Jonathan, Asabe Jonathan, Jonathan James, Lamin Yohanna, Titi Emmanuel, Patricia Michael and Jetral Bala.”

On Aug. 16, herdsmen attacked Goran Gida village, also in Zangon Kataf county. Aruwan said three residents were killed: Amos Bulus, Bulus Swam and Simon Akut. A resident identified only as Kezia was wounded, and the assailants set a car on fire, he said.

In Madamai village, Kaura County, herdsmen attacked on Aug. 15 at 5 a.m., said area resident Polycarp Bala.

“Five Christians were killed in this attack by Fulani herdsmen,” Bala said.

Aruwan identified those killed as Janet Yakubu, Gambo Yakubu, Jonathan Adamu, Mrs. Monday and Humphrey Barnabas.

In Buruku and Udaw‎a villages in Chikun County on Aug. 13, herdsmen killed eight Christians as they worked on their farms, residents said. Five Christian farmers were killed in Buruku village and three in Udawa village, area resident John Audu said.

“We are tired of the blood being shed on a daily basis here,” Audu said. “We need help.”

On Aug. in Magamiya village, armed herdsmen wounded one Christian.

“Christian by the name of Shedrach Yohanna was shot by the Fulani Herdsmen on his arm,” Maigamiya resident Jude Hassan said in a text message. Aruwan confirmed the attack and injury.

“Troops responded to a distress call, mobilized to the village and engaged the assailants and successfully repelled them,” Aruwan said.

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 Doors’ 2021 World Watch List. 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.

In this year’s World Watch 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.

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. —

Please remember our Nigerian brothers and sisters in your prayers.

Modified Photo: Domenico-de-ga at German Wikipedia

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