VOICE OF THE PERSECUTED

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Persecution Watch: Praying for Believers in Mozambique

(Voice of the Persecuted) You are invited to join us on Thursday, April 8, 2021 in a prayer call for the persecuted church.

Mozambique: Population 32.3 million, Christians: 17.4 (54%)

Attacks from Islamic extremists and the presence of drug cartels in some areas have all contributed to increasing persecution in Mozambique. Christians face extreme violence in the northern part of the country. Christians have been forced to flee their homes. Islamic extremists have looted and destroyed many Christian places of worship, Christian schools and businesses owned by Christians. Christian aid workers were also targeted. Because of this, it is difficult for Christians to gather—either inside or outside of churches—and it can be risky for believers to speak against persecution.

In the northern part of the country where Muslims are the majority, converts face extreme pressure to renounce their faith. If they refuse, they will usually be shunned. In April last year, a jihadist group with possible ties to Islamic State killed 52 people, burned down churches and institutions and attacked villages.

Churches in Africa have seen members beheaded, buildings reduced to ashes, and tens of thousands displaced. This terror is due to Islamic extremists, some reports say 15 people were beheaded in a single week by militants. 52 young people were killed during this year’s Holy Week after refusing to join the Islamic group.

The vast amount of the general public, however, have no idea this is happening or remain indifferent, says Bishop Luiz Fernando Lisboa from the Mozambique Pemba Diocese. “The world still has no idea what is happening, because of indifference, and because it seems that we have already become accustomed to wars,”  The bishop says extremists have attacked the church, burning benches and statues inside “Fortunately, they were unable to burn the building itself, only the benches,”  More than 1,100 people have been killed in extremist attacks since 2017 in the country, thanks to a campaign launched to persecute Christians and recruit young soldiers. Young Christians who refuse to join Islamic forces are punished, often with the loss of their own life.

Just last week in April. A group of terrorists sneaked into Palma and murdered a dozen defenseless people.

Mozambique has other dangers to. Adolescent girls are being abducted into the sex trade. Young boys have also been targeted and face violence or death if they do not comply. Due to so much violence, nearly 250,000 people have fled their homes and are now displaced. Many have left to Pemba, the capital city of the province Cabo Delgado.

Prayer Points

  •  Pray for the Government, President Filipe Byusi to take decisive action to uproot and remove radical Muslims.
  • Pray for more protection and that the current strain of Islamic extremists will be squelched before they grow and expand, potentially causing greater violence and persecution across the nation.
  • Pray for Christians who lost loved ones and survived the jihadist attacks in Mozambique’s northern region. Ask God to give them comfort, peace and the power to forgive their persecutors.
  •  Pray for NGO’s as they work to provide more than relief aid to their traumatized community members and fellow believers with trauma counseling and pastoral training.
  • Pray that the Lord will confuse and discourage Muslim kidnappers. Pray that the Lord will keep adolescent girls and boys safe from the sex trade.
  • Pray for wisdom and discernment for pastors and church leaders, as they shepherd their people and train them to be prepared for any potential persecution—so they will be ready to stand strong.
  • Pray that the many Christian converts from Islam are protected will grow in knowledge and faith. That they find it easy to fellowship with other believers
  • Ask God to give believers many opportunities to share the gospel. Pray for open doors and divine appointments
  • Pray that the Internet has powerful messages that resonate and convict Muslims as well as communications that guide and edify Christians.
  • Pray to the Lord for the rebuilding of churches that were destroyed by Muslim extremists.
  •  Pray that they get to know that we are praying for them and that they will experience God’s comfort.
  •  Pray for the Lord to strengthen the Church in Mozambique and to give the Church unity in the face of Islamic extremist threats. Ask God to give them the courage to keep meeting and keep growing in their faith.

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 pastor Wang Yi to be released from prison.
  • Pray for Anita, a Christian convert facing a long prison term who escaped and now waiting for a visa 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.

Andy, Persecution Watch Prayer Call Moderator

Prayer Conference Call Details

Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday

From any location on your phone

Time:

9:00 PM Eastern

8:00 PM Central

7:00 PM Mountain

6:00 PM Pacific

Call in number: 712 775-7035

Access Code: 281207#

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

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

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

What is Persecution Watch?
Persecution Watch is a U.S. national prayer conference call ministry that prays specifically for the global Persecuted Church. For over a decade, Blaine Scogin led this national network of believers who faithfully pray for the persecuted and the global harvest for the Kingdom of God.

The group meets via a free call-in service every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday night at 9pm Eastern (please check your time zone). Blaine also served as Prayer Director for Voice of the Persecuted and our missions became one. The prayer mission of Persecution Watch is an important part of our own.

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

On occasion, persecuted brothers and sisters have been invited on the call to share the trials they’re facing. The team serves to encourage them by washing their feet in Spirit led prayer.

Time is often reserved for those on the call to ask questions. We believe this helps to gain a better understanding of the situation that persecuted Christians endure in their specific nations. Q&A also helps us to focus our prayers based on their current needs.

Persecution Watch also hosts callers who want to pray united from other nations. If your heart is perplexed by the sufferings of our persecuted brothers and sisters, you no longer need to pray alone. We welcome all who desire to pray for the persecuted church and consider it a joy to pray together with you.

If you’re new to the call and can’t find your voice, listen in and pray silently or on mute. We are grateful and thank the Lord for bringing us all together to pray in agreement for our persecuted family in Christ. We can all be prayer warriors on this call!

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

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

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

Persecution Watch: Praying for Believers in Egypt

3/30/2021 Dear Prayer Warriors, (Voice of the Persecution) and Persecution Watch invite you to join us in a prayer conference call for the persecuted Church.

“O LORD, God of my salvation, I cry out day and night before you. Let my prayer come before you; incline your ear to my cry!” Psalm 88:1-2

Our brothers and sisters live in countries where Believers are interrogated, beaten, and even killed for their faith. Despite all this they have the peace of knowing that they are in the hands of the most High and nothing can separate hem from the Love of God – Br. Dave 

Tonight, we will pray for the persecuted in Egypt 

Although the laws have changed and more churches have received permission to operate or build a facility, radical Muslims still attack, burn and vandalize some of these churches. One congregation received official recognition and renovated the ground floor of the apartment building as their church. The first time they gathered, hundreds of Muslims from the area attacked not only the church, but also the apartments of the Christian in the area. They shouted, “kill the Christians whenever you find them!” Christians fled the area. It was weeks before things settle down and the Christians returned on, but sadly the government had closed the church to protect them’ from father attack. – D. Pat

Churches in Egypt often face difficulties obtaining government permission to operate. During the time of President Mubarak’s administration, he was the only one who could grant permission, and being a Muslim, he rarely did. 

We will also continue to 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

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

Time:

9:00 PM Eastern

8:00 PM Central

7:00 PM Mountain

6:00 PM Pacific

Call in number: 712 775-7035

Access Code: 281207#

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

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

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

What is Persecution Watch?
Persecution Watch is a U.S. national prayer conference call ministry that prays specifically for the global Persecuted Church. For over a decade, Blaine Scogin led this national network of believers who faithfully pray for the persecuted and the global harvest for the Kingdom of God.

The group meets via a free call-in service every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday night at 9pm Eastern (please check your time zone). Blaine also served as Prayer Director for Voice of the Persecuted and our missions became one. The prayer mission of Persecution Watch is an important part of our own.

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

On occasion, persecuted brothers and sisters have been invited on the call to share the trials they’re facing. The team serves to encourage them by washing their feet in Spirit led prayer.

Time is often reserved for those on the call to ask questions. We believe this helps to gain a better understanding of the situation that persecuted Christians endure in their specific nations. Q&A also helps us to focus our prayers based on their current needs.

Persecution Watch also hosts callers who want to pray united from other nations. If your heart is perplexed by the sufferings of our persecuted brothers and sisters, you no longer need to pray alone. We welcome all who desire to pray for the persecuted church and consider it a joy to pray together with you.

If you’re new to the call and can’t find your voice, listen in and pray silently or on mute. We are grateful and thank the Lord for bringing us all together to pray in agreement for our persecuted family in Christ. We can all be prayer warriors on this call!

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

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

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

Persecution Watch: Prayer for Nigeria

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

Prayer for Nigeria

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

  • Pray for their release


  • Pray for unity for the church in Nigeria


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


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


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


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

  • Pray for those displaced, against discouragement, etc.


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

  • Pray for internet and other means of communication

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

  • Pray for the harvest; build Your church in Nigeria

We will also continue to pray for:

Leah Sharibu and Alice – Nigeria

Pastor Wang Yi – China

Pastor Youcef Nadarkani- Iran

Anita – Iran

Valerie, Persecution Watch Prayer Call Moderator

Prayer Conference Call Details

Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday

From any location on your phone

Time:

9:00 PM Eastern

8:00 PM Central

7:00 PM Mountain

6:00 PM Pacific

Call in number: 712 775-7035

Access Code: 281207#

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

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

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

What is Persecution Watch?
Persecution Watch is a U.S. national prayer conference call ministry that prays specifically for the global Persecuted Church. For over a decade, Blaine Scogin led this national network of believers who faithfully pray for the persecuted and the global harvest for the Kingdom of God.

The group meets via a free call-in service every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday night at 9pm Eastern (please check your time zone). Blaine also served as Prayer Director for Voice of the Persecuted and our missions became one. The prayer mission of Persecution Watch is an important part of our own.

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

On occasion, persecuted brothers and sisters have been invited on the call to share the trials they’re facing. The team serves to encourage them by washing their feet in Spirit led prayer.

Time is often reserved for those on the call to ask questions. We believe this helps to gain a better understanding of the situation that persecuted Christians endure in their specific nations. Q&A also helps us to focus our prayers based on their current needs.

Persecution Watch also hosts callers who want to pray united from other nations. If your heart is perplexed by the sufferings of our persecuted brothers and sisters, you no longer need to pray alone. We welcome all who desire to pray for the persecuted church and consider it a joy to pray together with you.

If you’re new to the call and can’t find your voice, listen in and pray silently or on mute. We are grateful and thank the Lord for bringing us all together to pray in agreement for our persecuted family in Christ. We can all be prayer warriors on this call!

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

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

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

Persecution Watch: Girls Cling to Faith in Captivity

3/16/2021 (Voice of the Persecuted) and Persecution Watch invite you to join us Tuesday, March 16 in a prayer conference call for the persecuted Church.

Dear Prayer Warriors, mass kidnappings of girls in Nigeria have been making global headlines recently which has been hard to watch for Naomi, a young woman who was abducted in an infamous Boko Haram attack on a school in Chibok, Nigeria.

Nigeria kidnappings: The Chibok captive who defied Boko Haram

During the three years she spent with Boko Haram, Naomi refused to bow down to pressure to marry one of their fighters or convert to Islam. Instead, she and another classmate wrote secret diaries in textbooks they were given to write Islamic verses. She kept them hidden in a makeshift pouch tied to her leg.

The Militants pressured other girls to marry them by withholding food. Naomi and some of her friends smuggled food to them.

They also sang hymns in front of their guards, quietly at first, then more boldly. Most of the kidnapped students were Christians. They wrote down their favorite Bible verses and prayers in their diaries. Please read the full BBC article here.

Women and girls are subjected to this horrible crime across the world and is on our hearts to pray for these dear ones of faith.

“12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel.” Ephesians 6:12-19

We will continue to pray for:

Nadia and Butch Dybvik

  • 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. She was a nurse working with Unicef and is a mother of two.

  • Pray for 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.

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

 

  • Pray or 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. 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.

  • Pray for the harvest

2 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

In the love of Christ,

Nadia Dybvik, Persecution Watch Prayer Conference Call Leader

Prayer Conference Call Details

Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday

From any location on your phone

Time:

9:00 PM Eastern

8:00 PM Central

7:00 PM Mountain

6:00 PM Pacific

Call in number: 712 775-7035

Access Code: 281207#

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

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

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

What is Persecution Watch?
Persecution Watch is a U.S. national prayer conference call ministry that prays specifically for the global Persecuted Church. For over a decade, Blaine Scogin led this national network of believers who faithfully pray for the persecuted and the global harvest for the Kingdom of God.

The group meets via a free call-in service every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday night at 9pm Eastern (please check your time zone). Blaine also served as Prayer Director for Voice of the Persecuted and our missions became one. The prayer mission of Persecution Watch is an important part of our own.

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

On occasion, persecuted brothers and sisters have been invited on the call to share the trials they’re facing. The team serves to encourage them by washing their feet in Spirit led prayer.

Time is often reserved for those on the call to ask questions. We believe this helps to gain a better understanding of the situation that persecuted Christians endure in their specific nations. Q&A also helps us to focus our prayers based on their current needs.

Persecution Watch also hosts callers who want to pray united from other nations. If your heart is perplexed by the sufferings of our persecuted brothers and sisters, you no longer need to pray alone. We welcome all who desire to pray for the persecuted church and consider it a joy to pray together with you.

If you’re new to the call and can’t find your voice, listen in and pray silently or on mute. We are grateful and thank the Lord for bringing us all together to pray in agreement for our persecuted family in Christ. We can all be prayer warriors on this call!

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

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

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

Church Confirms Release of Pastor Threatened with Execution

Pastor Bulus Yakura with EYN member Kwajaffa Balamusa (left) after the pastor’s release from Islamic extremist militants. (Morning Star News courtesy of Kwajaffa Balamusa)

Nigeria (Morning Star News) – Church leaders have confirmed reports that Islamic terrorists who threatened to execute a pastor they abducted in northeast Nigeria freed him on Wednesday (March 3).

The president of the Church of Brethren in Nigeria (Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria, or EYN), Joel S. Billi, told church leaders on Thursday (March 4) that he had spoken to Pastor Bulus Yakura (also transliterated as Bulus Yikura) after he was freed, according to a notice posted on Friday (March 5) on the website of the Church of the Brethren’s U.S. headquarters by Zakariya Musa, head of EYN Media.

“Speaking to Yakura over the telephone today was heart-touching,” Billi said, adding that Pastor Yakura told him, “I am fine, thank you for your prayers and concern,” according to Musa.

Nigerian newspaper the Premium Times had reported that Pastor Yakura, an EYN pastor abducted from Pemi village near Chibok, Borno state in an Islamic terrorist attack on Christmas Eve, was freed after Christians met ransom demands.

Citing security sources, the newspaper reported that Islamic insurgent group Boko Haram freed Pastor Yakura on Wednesday evening (March 3). A Premium Times correspondent in the Borno state capital, Maiduguri, reported sighting Pastor Yakura at about 6:15 p.m. as he was taken to the office of Nigeria’s intelligence agency, the Department of State Services (DSS).

The Abubakar Shekau-led faction of Boko Haram, which in 2015 formally aligned with the Islamic State and changed its name to Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), released a video on Feb. 25 in which the pastor said he would be executed by March 3 unless government and church officials met the kidnappers’ demands.

After watching the video in which the pastor had announced the deadline for his execution, his wife had fallen ill and his children refused to go to school, Musa reported.

An EYN church member, Kwajaffa Balamusa, also confirmed the release of Pastor Yakura in a text message to Morning Star News on Sunday (March 7), accompanied by a photo of him and the pastor after his release.

“Thank God, for our EYN pastor is alive,” Balamusa said.

The Premium Times reported that on Wednesday (March 3), when asked to speak about his freedom, Pastor Yakura kept repeating, “I thank God, I thank God.”

The Islamic State recognizes the ISWAP faction that broke away from Shekau in 2016 as its cell in the region, according to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), and many Nigerians still refer to the Shekau-led faction of ISWAP by its original name, Boko Haram.

Efforts by the EYN and Pastor Yakura’s family resulted in his release, according to the newspaper.

Premium Times gathered from security sources that family members and the EYN church had been negotiating the release of the abducted pastor since last week,” the newspaper reported on Wednesday (March 3).

Prior to his release, Nigerian newspaper Sahara Reporters had reported that the Christian community in Borno state’s Chibok County had contributed money for ransom in order to secure the pastor’s release.

Pattern of Executions

In a video released on July 22, Islamic extremists thought to be members of ISWAP executed five Nigerian men in Borno state, with one executioner saying it was a warning to “all those being used by infidels to convert Muslims to Christianity.”

On Jan. 20, 2020, Islamic terrorists executed the Rev. Lawan Andimi, district chairman of the EYN in Michika County, Adamawa state, also in northeast Nigeria.

A video released in January 2020 shows ISWAP terrorists executing Christian university student Ropvil Daciya Dalep, a member of the Church of Christ in Nations who was kidnapped on the Damaturu-Maiduguri Highway while returning to studies in Maiduguri, Borno state.

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 Christian support organization 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.

Nigeria led the world in number of kidnapped Christians last year with 990, according to the WWL report. In the 2021 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.

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.”

 

Muslim Fulani Kill 11 Christians, Wound Two, in Nigeria

Homes burned by Fulani assailants in Bassa County, Plateau state, Nigeria in February 2021. (David Mali photo)

Nigeria (Morning Star News) – Muslim Fulani herdsmen shot four Christians to death on Sunday (Feb. 14) in north-central Nigeria, following the killing of seven other Christians earlier in the month.

Muslim Fulani herdsmen ambushed the four members of the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) at about 8 p.m. in Kwall District, Bassa County of Plateau state, three of them near Ri-Bakwa village and one in Zirshe village, according to David Mali, spokesman for the Irigwe Development Association (IDA). The IDA unites the predominantly Christian, ethnic Irigwe of Plateau state.

“Irigwe nation has again been thrown into the state of grief, heart-brokenness following the unwarranted killing of four of our Christian men by the Fulani herdsmen at two villages of Kwall District, Bassa LGA of Plateau state,” Mali said in a press statement. “Four of them from Rikwe-Chongu village were ambushed along Ri-Bakwa axis near Kpachudu, and three were killed instantly while one sustained gunshot injury. The other one from Zirshe (Ntireku) was ambushed and killed instantly.”

Mali identified the slain Christians as Ezekiel Maja, 29; Emmanuel Agaba, 39; Moses Daburu, 26; and Kefas Bulus David, 31. Wounded was Bitrus Ezra, 42.

The herdsmen burned several houses and food grains worth millions of naira in Zirshe village, he said.

“Irigwe nation is our land, and no amount of evil force can compel us to relinquish it to those who hate us and our Christian faith,” Mali said. “We are known for resilience, and so we shall remain till the end of age.”

Such unprovoked violence must be stopped, and the Christian Irigwe’s decision to be a peace-loving people who will not retaliate should not be taken as an act of cowardice, Mali said.

“In the same vein, we want to call with a high tone on the authorities saddled with the responsibility of protecting lives and property to step up efforts in ensuring that the needful is done in terms of apprehending the culprits and absolute justice served, so as to put an end to all manners of destruction of lives and property within Irigwe nation,” he said.

The killings followed a Feb. 7 Fulani herdsmen attack on Christians in the villages of Kishosho and Zirshe in southern Kaduna state’s Kauru County, Mali said. Church elder Danlami Sunday, 40, and four other Christians were killed, he said. There are villages called Zirshe in both Kaduna state and Plateau state.

“This attack occurred around 7:30 p.m. of Sunday, Feb. 7, where Fulani Herdsmen in their numbers ambushed and killed the harmless and innocuous people of Kishosho and Zirshe communities of Kauru LGA, Kaduna state,” he said. “One sustained some degrees of injury and has been hospitalized. The five Christians were killed at Kishosho and Zirshe villages. The herdsmen also attacked Kigam village and burned foods and grains.”

In Plateau state’s Miango area, in Bassa County, Fulani herdsmen on Feb. 2 ambushed and killed two Christians on a road in Dudu village, he said. Raphael Bawa, 39, was shot dead, while Aga Mabo was shot in the chest and later died at Enos hospital, according to Mali.

“In recent times, Fulani herdsmen have killed hundreds of our people, with thousands displaced, houses razed down and farmed crops destroyed, leaving behind 200 orphans and vulnerable children, as well as 50 women widowed,” he said.

School Attack

In Niger state on Wednesday (Feb. 17), gunmen attacked a boarding high school for boys, killing a Christian student and abducting 42 people, sources said.

Benjamin Habila was killed in the attack on the Government Science College, Kagara town in Rafi County, an area resident said.

“A Christian student, Benjamin Habila, was shot dead by the bandits as he tried to escape from them, while seven other Christian students and staffs were captured alongside other non-Christian students, staff and their family members,” Justina Aliyu told Morning Star News by text message. “They were taken away at gunpoint into forests.”

The gunmen, dressed in military camouflage, attacked between 1:30 a.m. and 2 a.m., reportedly gathering students outside and chasing and shooting those trying to escape, including Muslims.

Niger Gov. Abubakar Sani Bello said that 27 students, three staff members and 12 relatives were abducted.

A spokesman for Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said armed forces and police had been directed to ensure the immediate and safe return of those abducted.

Aliyu, a Christian resident of Kagara, said the assailants were Fulani who broke into the school, shooting and raiding the staff quarters and student hostels. The statement from the governor’s office identified some among those kidnapped as Christians Philip Dodo and his wife, Hannatu Philip Dodo, Christiana Adama, Faith Adama, Shem Joshua, Ezekeil Danladi, Habakuk Augustine and Polonius Vincent.

About 1,000 students were at the school at the time of the attack.

Country with Most 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 Christian support organization 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.

Nigeria led the world in number of kidnapped Christians last year with 990, according to the WWL report. In the 2021 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 Islamic State West Africa Province (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.

Persecution Watch: Praying for Believers in Eritrea

2/18/2021 (Voice of the Persecuted) Eritrea: Population 5,3illion, Christians: 2,5 million

Christians from non-traditional denominations face the harshest persecution in Eritrea, both from the government and from the Eritrean Orthodox Church (EOC). The EOC is the only Christian denomination recognized by the government, and it is tightly controlled by those in power.

Government security forces monitor phone calls, scrutinize activity, and conduct countless raids which target Christians, seize Christian materials and damage house churches. Christians can be arrested and imprisoned without trial. Many Christians are held in inhumane prisons because of their faith, and their loved ones often do not know where they are or even if they are still alive. In June 2020, the UN reported there was no meaningful progress to address human rights violations in Eritrea.

Non-EOC Christians and Christians from a Muslim background face extreme opposition from their families and communities and from the state, often being denied crucial social services and other resources.

Evangelical churches must meet secretly. The government actively seeks to infiltrate these underground churches and imprison their leaders. About 600 believers are known to remain in prison, including several top leaders. Imprisoned Christians are not given a trial or allowed to see their families, many of whom do not know where their loved ones are imprisoned or even if they are still alive. Christians simply disappear and are assumed to be in government prisons. The conditions inside these “prisons” are some of the harshest in the world. Christian prisoners are provided meager rations and held in shipping containers in extreme desert conditions for years.

Bibles are available, but the government tracks each Bible sold. Christian literature is highly regulated, and most believers who want Bibles must smuggle them in. For this reason, many believers must access Scripture by digital means.

 

  • Pray for President Isaias Afwerki that he will have an encounter with the Living God and that he will be convicted and stop Christian persecution.

 

  • Pray that believers’ faith would grow, that their love would increase, and that their faith would be steadfast in persecution and affliction.

 

  • Pray Eritrean Christians and church leaders would have wisdom and opportunities to engage their government on the topic of religious freedom.

 

  • Pray for those suffering terrible conditions in prison, held because of their faith, and for the Christian women and children whose husbands and fathers are in prison.

 

  • Pray, ask the Lord will show grace and comfort to the families who do not know of the whereabouts of their imprisoned loved ones and provide for their spiritual and physical needs.

 

  • Pray that the NGOs will have wisdom in how to empower believers, supporting them in all their needs.

 

  • Pray that the Pastors will encourage their saints.

 

  • Pray to the Lord that believers will continue testify and share the gospel in very difficult circumstances.

 

  • Pray for easy access to the internet and that both Believers and Muslims will see messages that encourage and or convict them.

 

  • Pray the Lord will enable Christians to forgive their persecutors.

 

  • Pray to the Lord that His hand of protection is over His Eritrean Church and that He will bind the forces of darkness and grow HIS CHURCH.

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

  • Leah Sharibu and Alice, prisoners of Boko Haram since 2018, pray for their release
  • Pray pastor Wang Yi to be released from prison.
  • Pray Pray for Anita, a Christian convert persecuted for her faith in Iran.
  • 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.

Andy, Persecution Watch Prayer Call Moderator

Prayer Conference Call Details

Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday

From any location on your phone

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Call in number: 712 775-7035

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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

What is Persecution Watch?
Persecution Watch is a U.S. national prayer conference call ministry that prays specifically for the global Persecuted Church. For over a decade, Blaine Scogin led this national network of believers who faithfully pray for the persecuted and the global harvest for the Kingdom of God.

The group meets via a free call-in service every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday night at 9pm Eastern (please check your time zone). Blaine also served as Prayer Director for Voice of the Persecuted and our missions became one. The prayer mission of Persecution Watch is an important part of our own.

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

On occasion, persecuted brothers and sisters have been invited on the call to share the trials they’re facing. The team serves to encourage them by washing their feet in Spirit led prayer.

Time is often reserved for those on the call to ask questions. We believe this helps to gain a better understanding of the situation that persecuted Christians endure in their specific nations. Q&A also helps us to focus our prayers based on their current needs.

Persecution Watch also hosts callers who want to pray united from other nations. If your heart is perplexed by the sufferings of our persecuted brothers and sisters, you no longer need to pray alone. We welcome all who desire to pray for the persecuted church and consider it a joy to pray together with you.

If you’re new to the call and can’t find your voice, listen in and pray silently or on mute. We are grateful and thank the Lord for bringing us all together to pray in agreement for our persecuted family in Christ. We can all be prayer warriors on this call!

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

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

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

Christians in Kenya Fearful after Five Church Buildings Burned

 

 

Kenya (Morning Star News) – Arsonists set five church buildings on fire and threw feces on the charred structures from Jan. 20 to Jan. 24 in a village in western Kenya, sources said.

St. Monica Church’s building was burned on Jan. 20 in Otamba village, in the Nyaraibari Chache area of Kisii County. On Jan. 21, the buildings of the Worldwide Church with 100 members, a Seventh-day Adventist church and a Legio Maria (an indigenous movement that broke with mainstream Roman Catholicism in 1963) congregation were torched; at about 3 a.m. on Jan. 24, arsonists burned the building of a 250-member Pentecostal Church, all in the same village.

“Apart from setting the churches ablaze, the arsonists also committed the heinous acts of scooping human feces onto the buildings to discourage the faithful from attending their ruined churches,” an area source said. “A majority of the church members were afraid to attend services [in or near the ruins] in the aftermath of the burning of the churches, fearing that the arsonists might follow them right into their homes, risking the lives of their families.”

The churches incurred damages in the millions of Kenyan shillings to the structures, chairs and other items in the buildings, the source said.

The Church and Clergy Association of Kenya condemned the burnings in a press statement.

“We demand the investigating authorities to get to the bottom of the matter and expose the agents of such heinous acts,” the statement reads.

Church leaders have appealed to police to increase security in the area and find and prosecute the culprits. Daniel Ratemo, chairman of the Pentecostal Church, appealed for financial support and prayers.

A priest at the Legio Maria church called on police to find the arsonists.

“Evil should not overcome the good that the gospel of Christ brings,” said the priest, whose name is withheld for security purposes.

Kenya was ranked 49th on Open Doors’ 2021 World Watch List of the countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian.

According to multiple sources, 10 suspects have been arrested. Authorities have yet to release their findings for the motive behind the church attacks.

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