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Persecution Watch: Praying for Believers in Comoros
(Voice of the Persecuted) You are invited to join us on Thursday December 9, 2021 in a prayer conference call for the persecuted church hosted by Persecution Watch.
Cosmoros: Population: 870,000, Christians 4,200 (0.5%)
Christians in Comoros are not able to share their faith freely in public. If they do, they face legal consequences. In some parts of the country, extremist groups threaten Christians with violence. Proselytization by any religion except Islam is illegal and converts to Christianity can be prosecuted. Converts from a Muslim background face the most severe difficulties. They are often pressured to keep their faith private leaving them no option but to live out their faith in secret.
“Barely three days after I decided to follow Christ, my house was burned down. I was only able to rescue my laptop. All I had was the clothes on my back. I felt this was a test of my faith in Christ, but it turned out to be faith strengthening.”
The situation for Christians in Comoros has changed very little in recent years. While the country is making progress in stability and democracy, there is still a rise of radical Islamic sympathies among the population at large. However, the country has greatly improved from the 1990s when it spent several years ranked in the top 20 on the World Watch list. This year’s re-entry into the top 50 is due to the government’s pressure on all religious groups except Sunni Islam. The government believes the freedom of religion in the constitution is for foreigners, not for Comorians. That means converts have to hide their faith. The public stance of the government also gives locals a license to pressure and persecute Christians. Persecution is common in all Christian communities in Comoros. However, the level of persecution that Christians from a Muslim background experience is much more extreme than the levels other groups face.
Believers must meet in small groups and can share their faith only through one-on-one relationships. When they gather to read their Bibles or speak about their faith, they risk persecution from the community as well as imprisonment by the government. For example, when five believers hosted a Christian debate in a private residence, they were imprisoned upon their discovery. Prison terms are generally short, and treatment of Christians is usually left to the discretion of local village leader
Translating the Bible into the native languages has been slow and difficult, with only portions of the Scripture available after more than a decade of work. Most Comorian believers have digital versions of these translated portions on their smartphones.
Through local partnerships, Open Doors has come alongside Christians in Comoros since the 1990s. Through strategic partnerships with the local church, Open Doors supports and equips the persecuted church with economic development through in-depth training, leadership development, cross-cultural evangelism, and care for new believers.
- Pray that the Lord will touch President Azali Assoumani through His Holy Spirit to open up to Christianity.
- Pray that more bold evangelists among the Malagasy (Madagaskar) people will reach out to Comorians.
- Pray that Christian workers will remain encouraged by the gospel of Christ as they minister.
- Pray for wisdom in how to best reach the Comorian people.
- Pray for the translation of the Bible into Comorian dialects.
- Pray for leaders, pastors and Christians forced to rebuild their lives after being displaced.
- Pray for new believers, who are persecuted and ostracized when they come to faith.
- Pray for Christians in Comoros to be faithful and fruitful in their work, keeping in mind Colossians 3:23-24: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”
- Pray for Christians in Comoros to live joyfully and blamelessly, so that others will ask them about their lives and open a door for the gospel.
- Pray for Christians who left Islam to follow Jesus. Ask God to give them wisdom, courage and support—so they know they are never alone.
- Pray that the Lord will use the programs of Open Doors to bring support and hope to Christians in Comoros. Pray that these believers will be a testimony to the Lord’s grace and encourage many to come to Him in faith.
- Pray that the Lord will give His believers the ability to love their enemies and to forgive them.
- Pray to the Lord that Christians will experience God’s comfort and show them that they are being prayed for.
Pray that the Lord will supernaturally bring His church above ground – church buildings – protected by the authorities, adding to the number of believers daily. For our God does what is impossible for men, think big and bold.
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.
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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
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Note to Voice of the Persecuted (VOP) readers: The Persecution Watch prayer team is also the prayer team of Voice of the Persecuted. SIGN UP today.