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Persecution Watch: Praying for Believers in Sudan

(Voice of the Persecuted) You are invited to join us on Thursday, June 30, 2022 in a prayer conference call for the persecuted church hosted by Persecution Watch.

Sudan: Population: 44.5 million, Christians 1.2 million

January 19, 2022 (KHARTOUM) – Abdel-Fattah al-Burhan Commander in Chief of the Sudan Armed Forces Wednesday tasked ministerial undersecretaries with the duties of ministers within the framework of a caretaker government. Al-Burhan tasked the Secretary-General of the Council of Ministers Osman Hussein with the duties of the Prime Minister. These decision aims to prepare for holding elections in the country, said the official agency

[ Former Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok resigned on January 2, after his failure to stop the bloody repression of protesters and to form a new cabinet.]

Despite Sudan making positive strides towards religious freedom in recent years, persecution of Christians remains at a high level in the country, and there are fears this will worsen following the military coup in October 2021.

The seizure of power occurred following an escalation in hostilities between conservative Islamists who want a military government and those who toppled Omar al Bashir in April 2019. The overthrow of al Bashir resulted in a transitional government, with power shared between the military and civilian leaders. During this time, the significant steps towards religious freedom included abolishing the death penalty for leaving Islam. However, these are now under threat following the coup. 

Even without the coup, social attitudes towards Christians have not changed, despite the positive steps made under the transitional government. This is especially the case in areas outside the capital Khartoum. Christians are still vulnerable to extreme persecution in public and private life, particularly if they have converted from Islam, and the government hasn’t put real protections in place for Christians and other religious minorities. For example, even with the change in official status, confiscated churches and lands have yet to be returned to their Christian owners, and trying to build new churches is still extremely difficult.

Christian women and girls in Sudan, particularly converts, are vulnerable to rape, forced marriage and domestic violence for their faith. On a broader level, Islamic extremists have reportedly kidnapped Sudanese girls for marriage and/or sexual slavery. Inside the home, converts may also be isolated to reduce the embarrassment and shame of the conversion on the family, as well as to ensure they cannot meet with other Christians. Converts will also be denied inheritance and, if they’re already married, divorced from their husbands. 

Church leaders are frequently targeted, including reports of drugs being falsely planted on them. Christian men and boys, particularly converts, are vulnerable to beatings, imprisonment or even murder. Converts may be kicked out of their house and shunned by their families, and face intense persecution in the workplace. 

07/06/2021 Sudan (International Christian Concern) –According to Christian Solidarity Worldwide, Boutros Badawi, a Christian activist and advisor to Sudan’s Minister of Religious Affairs, was attacked last week in the capital of Sudan.

“One assailant pointed a gun at Mr. Badawi’s head and threatened to kill him if he continued to say anything about confiscated properties belonging to churches, or the issues surrounding the Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church committees,” CSW said.

Badawai was brought to the hospital for the treatment of injuries on several parts of his body, reported Morning Star News.

“Christians in Sudan are still awaiting the return of properties seized by the government under the Islamist regime of Omar al-Bashir, ousted in April 2019,” said the news agency, adding that Badawi has been an advocate for the return of church properties confiscated under the previous regime.

Prayer Points

  • Pray to the Lord that He will guide Abdel-Fattah al-Burhan Commander in Chief of the Sudan Armed Forces   and the Secretary-General of the Council of Ministers Osman Hussein to form a civil government.
  • Pray to the Lord that the new government to be formed will continue to work for religious freedom and thwart and block the influence of Islamic hard liners.
  • Pray to the Lord to ease the tensions between Sudanese Christians and Muslims.
  • Pray to the Lord for special protection Christian women and girls in Sudan, particularly converts, are vulnerable to rape, sexual slavery, forced marriage and domestic violence for their faith. 
  • Pray to the Lord to free and comfort the converts which are kept isolated in their homes to reduce the embarrassment and shame of the conversion on the family, as well as to ensure they cannot meet with other Christians.
  • Pray for believers to continue to grow in strength and faith and keep their eyes on Jesus. That they know they are not alone, that they are prayed for.
  • Pray that the Lord will appear to many Muslims in their dreams and guide them to salvation.
  • Pray for the Lord that His hand of protection will be on His believers who bring the gospel to Muslims in a hostile environment.
  • Pray that Christians will remain joyful under suffering ang forgive their persecutors.
  • Pray that pastors and elders will be granted protection and wisdom as they minister to Christians.
  • Pray for the NGOs who bring hope, relief, and spiritual nourishment to the Sudanese Christians.
  • Pray for the Lord that He will increase the number of believers and spectacular growth of church communities.

Again, we want to lift up these 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: (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 Sudan with Mariam Ibraheem

(Voice of the Persecuted) You are invited to join us on Saturday, April 2, 2022 in a prayer conference call for Sudan and the Persecuted Church with Mariam [Meriam] Ibraheem hosted by Persecution Watch.

Mariam, a Sudanese Christian mother was arrested and charged with “apostasy” (leaving Islam) after she refused to recant her faith in Christ. She was also sentenced to receive 100 lashes for having intimate relations with her husband, considered illicit in Islam because he is a Christian. Mariam delivered her second child while shackled to a bed in her prison cell. Miraculously, Mariam was later released and is now living in the USA.

We will also continue to lift up these 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.

The Harvest

“I am sending you, to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me” (Acts 26:18)

Join us as we pray with our dear sister, Mariam, for Sudan and the persecuted church.

Prayer call leader, Nadia Dybvik and Prayer call moderator, Valerie Creekmore will lead the call tonight.

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.

(Photo: Screen Grab via Fox News)

Church Building Locked, Leaders Arrested in Sudan

(Morning Star News) – Church leaders in Sudan were detained and questioned last month after Muslim extremists upset about the presence of their worship building locked it shut, sources said.

Hardline Muslims locked the building of the Sudanese Church of Christ (SCOC) in Al Hag Abdalla, about 85 miles southeast of Khartoum in Madani, Al Jazirah state, on Feb. 21, said Dalman Hassan, an SCOC evangelist arrested on Feb. 27 and released along with the church pastor later that day.

Hassan said the Muslims accused church members of hostility toward Islam by holding gatherings on Fridays, the Muslim day of mosque prayer.

“They cause chaos and disrespect others’ religion,” read one of the charges against the church presented to Al Hag Abdalla officials, Hassan said.

Church member Kotti Hassan Dalman said the hardline Muslims also charged the church with providing food to children to win them to Christianity and with taking their land for the worship building.

Church members said the land belongs to a Catholic school, and that hardline Muslims fabricated the land-grab charge because they don’t want a Christian congregation worshipping in the area. Police who arrested the evangelist and another leader identified only as Pastor Stephanou on Feb. 27 requested and received ownership papers showing the land did not belong to the Muslims, church members said.

“We are urging the religious leaders and believers’ all over the country to pray for us,” church leaders said in a statement on social media.

Following two years of advances in religious freedom in Sudan after the end of the Islamist dictatorship under former President Omar al-Bashir in 2019, the specter of state-sponsored persecution returned with a military coup on Oct. 25, 2021.

After Bashir was ousted from 30 years of power in April 2019, the transitional civilian-military government managed to undo some sharia (Islamic law) provisions. It outlawed the labeling of any religious group “infidels” and thus effectively rescinded apostasy laws that made leaving Islam punishable by death.

With the Oct. 25 coup, Christians in Sudan fear the return of the most repressive and harsh aspects of Islamic law. Abdalla Hamdok, who had led a transitional government as prime minister starting in September 2019, was detained under house arrest for nearly a month before he was released and reinstated in a tenuous power-sharing agreement in November. Hamdock was faced with rooting out longstanding corruption and an Islamist “deep state” from Bashir’s regime – the same deep state that is suspected of rooting out the transitional government in the Oct. 25 coup.

Persecution of Christians by non-state actors continued before and after the coup. In Open Doors’ 2022 World Watch List of the countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian, Sudan remained at No. 13, where it ranked the previous year, as attacks by non-state actors continued and religious freedom reforms at the national level were not enacted locally.

Sudan had dropped out of the top 10 for the first time in six years when it first ranked No. 13 in the 2021 World Watch List. The U.S. State Department’s International Religious Freedom Report states that conditions have improved somewhat with the decriminalization of apostasy and a halt to demolition of churches, but that conservative Islam still dominates society; Christians face discrimination, including problems in obtaining licenses for constructing church buildings.

The U.S. State Department in 2019 removed Sudan from the list of Countries of Particular Concern (CPC) that engage in or tolerate “systematic, ongoing and egregious violations of religious freedom” and upgraded it to a watch list. The State Department removed Sudan from the Special Watch List in December 2020. Sudan had previously been designated as a CPC from 1999 to 2018.

Special Guest: Imprisoned in Sudan to Freedom, Mariam Ibraheem

Tuesday August 31, 2021 (Voice of the Persecuted) You are invited to join us as we welcome back Mariam Ibraheem, our special guest on the Persecution Watch prayer conference call, tonight. 

Mariam was born to a Muslim father and an Ethiopian Orthodox Christian mother. She grew up in poverty in a refugee camp in Sudan. Her father left the family when she was only six, and her mother raised her in the Christian faith. Left without family after the deaths of her beloved mother and sister, she was beginning to move past her grief—earning a medical degree, marrying the man she loved, and having a baby boy.

But in late 2013, her world was shattered when an unknown relative on her father’s side reported her to the police. The authorities said she was considered a Muslim because of her father’s background. She had broken the law by marrying a Christian man, must renounce her Christian beliefs and abandon her marriage. Under intense pressure, she refused to deny her faith.

Following a lengthy trial, she was charged with apostasy and adultery, and she was imprisoned with her nine-month-old son, Martin, on Christmas Eve. There, awaiting sentence, she learned she was pregnant with her second child. Later, by a Sharia court sentenced Mariam to 100 lashes and death by hanging. While shackled to a bed; Mariam gave birth to her daughter in her prison cell.

Her story gained international attention. Many advocated for her release, while Christians around the world prayed for her strength and freedom. Those prayers were answered, and Mariam is now living in the USA.

A book titled Shackled will be released in March 2022. It tells the story of this courageous woman who was willing to face death rather than deny her faith. From life in a refugee camp, under Islam, imprisonment and sentencing, to her remarkable escape from death to freedom.

Join us on the conference call as we speak with Mariam and pray together for the persecuted with her, tonight.

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 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.

Three Young Christians Assaulted in Khartoum North, Sudan

Khartoum Mosque (Azri Alhaq)

(Morning Star News) – A pastor’s son, his cousin and their 20-year-old aunt were assaulted in a suburb north of Khartoum, Sudan on Tuesday (Oct. 6) as Muslims continued targeting church members despite religious freedoms favored by the new transitional government.

Levi Hakim, 17, had gone into a shop in the Alsamrab neighborhood in Khartoum North (Khartoum Bahri) to make purchases that morning when a Muslim man approached and dragged him behind the Taqwa Mosque, Hakim’s mother said.

There two other Muslim men joined the assailant and, saying they were upset with the continued presence of Christians in the area, beat him in turns, she said.

“My son was beaten by three Muslim men, and he suffered injuries to his neck,” Adaarina Alfred Laku told Morning Star News, adding that the assailants did not rob him but tore off some of his clothing.

Hakim is a member of Khartoum National Presbyterian Church. When he failed to return from the shop, his cousin, 16-year-old Jal John Paul, went to search for him. Jal John Paul’s father, John Paul, is pastor of their church.

Upon the 16-year-old’s arrival, the assailants identified him as “another one of them [Christians]” and beat him, injuring his arm, Laku said. When the two teenaged Christians failed to return, Pastor John Paul’s sister, 20-year-old Nyawal Paul, went to the shop to see why her nephews were delayed, and the three Muslim men beat her too, Laku said. Nyawal Paul received first aid for minor injuries.

The beaten Christians, all members of the same church, did not know the three Muslim assailants, who appeared to be in their 40s, Laku said.

Her family reported the assaults to police on Tuesday (Oct. 6), but officers have not acted on the complaint, she said. Laku has since received an in-person threat from one of the assailants.

“One of the men cautioned me to drop the case, or else they will deal with us,” Laku told Morning Star News.

The Christian mother added that she was determined to proceed with the case to obtain justice for her son in spite of intimidation tactics.

The attacks come four months after June 6 asssaults on Christians in Khartoum. At the end of evening prayers at a mosque in the Al-Jerif East area, on the eastern bank of the Blue Nile River in Khartoum’s East Nile Locality, imams called for residents to rid Christian South Sudanese from the “Muslim area,” a source told Morning Star News. Attacks on Christians in the area followed that evening and the next day.

On June 20 in Omdurman, across the Nile River west of Khartoum, young Muslim men shouting the jihadist slogan “Allah Akbar [God is greater]” stabbed a Christian to death in a street assault on him and four other South Sudanese in the Shigla area, another source said.

The attacks come amid hopes that persecution of Christians would decline under the new transitional government. After Omar al-Bashir was deposed as president in April 2019, the government sworn in on Sept. 8, 2019 led by Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, an economist, was tasked with governing during a transition period of 39 months.

The transitional government faces the challenges of rooting out longstanding corruption and an Islamist “deep state” rooted in Bashir’s 30 years of power. After Bashir was deposed, military leaders initially formed a military council to rule the country, but further demonstrations led them to accept a transitional government of civilians and military figures, with a predominantly civilian government to be democratically elected in three years. Christians were expected to have greater voice under the new administration.

Following the secession of South Sudan in 2011, Bashir had vowed to adopt a stricter version of sharia (Islamic law) and recognize only Islamic culture and the Arabic language. Church leaders said Sudanese authorities demolished or confiscated churches and limited Christian literature on the pretext that most Christians have left the country following South Sudan’s secession.

In April 2013 the then-Sudanese Minister of Guidance and Endowments announced that no new licenses would be granted for building new churches in Sudan, citing a decrease in the South Sudanese population. Sudan since 2012 had expelled foreign Christians and bulldozed church buildings. Besides raiding Christian bookstores and arresting Christians, authorities threatened to kill South Sudanese Christians who did not leave or cooperate with them in their effort to find other Christians.

In light of advances in religious freedom since Bashir was ousted in April, the U.S. State Department announced on Dec. 20, 2019 that Sudan had been removed from the list of Countries of Particular Concern (CPC) that engage in or tolerate “systematic, ongoing and egregious violations of religious freedom” and was upgraded to a watch list.

Sudan had been designated a CPC by the U.S. State Department since 1999.

Sudan ranked 7th on Open Doors’ 2020 World Watch List of the countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian.

Radical Muslims Protest Sudan’s Abolishment of Apostasy, other Islamist Laws

Khartoum Mosque (Azri Alhaq)

(Morning Star News) – Radical Muslims in Sudan took to the streets today to protest the transitional government’s adoption of amendments to decriminalize apostasy and repeal other Islamist laws.

The apostasy law has been used for more than 30 years to persecute those who leave Islam. The government’s adoption this week of the Fundamental Rights and Freedoms Act also allows non-Muslims to drink alcohol and abolishes public flogging as a criminal punishment.

“We [will] drop all the laws violating the human rights in Sudan,” Justice Minister Nasredeen Abdulbari said.

Since the government announced plans for amendments to Sudanese law, Muslims took to social media to criticize the moves, terming them anti-Islamic and calling for massive demonstrations. Some called for “holy war” against the government for scrapping sharia (Islamic law) provisions.

On July 17, limited demonstrations took place in Khartoum, Khartoum North and Omdurman to protest the amended laws.

“Sharia, sharia or we die,” protestors shouted. “Listen you, Hamdok, this is Khartoum not New York.”

Dozens of people reportedly gathered in the protests. Brandishing banners reading, “No to secularism,” they shouted, “God’s laws shall not be replaced.”

Abadalla Hamdok was appointed prime minister by an 11-member sovereign council of six civilians and five military leaders last year after President Omar al-Bashir was deposed in April 2019. Hamdok’s government has implemented several democratic initiatives.

The apostasy law was used in 2014 to condemn to flogging and death the then-pregnant, Christian mother Meriam Yahi Ibrahim on false allegations of leaving Islam. She was released from prison on June 23, 2014, less than two months after Morning Star News broke the story of false charges of apostasy against her that set off a firestorm of international protests.

Sudan’s amended laws also ban female genital mutilation and abolish its law requiring women to obtain permission from a male guardian to travel abroad with their children.

“While the full text of the legislation has not yet been made public, reports indicate that the apostasy law was replaced by an article that prohibits hate speech,” a U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) statement reads. “However, the status of Sudan’s blasphemy law remains unclear.”

USCIRF Vice Chair Anurima Bhargava praised the amendments.

“We applaud the significant, historic steps Sudan is taking to safeguard the rights of women and girls and the freedom of religion or belief and urge, wide, immediate and effective implementation of these reforms,” Bhargava said in a statement. “We also urge Sudan to continue with necessary legislative reform, including repealing the country’s blasphemy law and ensuring that laws regulating hate speech comply with international human rights standards and do not impede freedom of religion or belief.”

Church leaders and other Christians termed the move as positive but said they were still waiting for the return of Christians assets confiscated under the prior Islamist regime.

“It is a good move, and I hope all will go well with these changes of laws,” the Rev. Yahia Abdelrahim Nalu of the Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church (SPEC) told Morning Star News.

Apostasy was introduced in Sudan in 1983 as part of the sharia imposed by Col. Gaafar al-Nimeiry during his rule from 1969 to 1985, leading to civil war between the predominantly Muslim north and the Christian and animist south.

Following the secession of South Sudan in 2011, Bashir vowed to adopt a stricter version of sharia and recognize only Islamic culture and the Arabic language. Church leaders said Sudanese authorities demolished or confiscated churches and limited Christian literature on the pretext that most Christians have left the country following South Sudan’s secession.

In April 2013 the then-Sudanese Minister of Guidance and Endowments announced that no new licenses would be granted for building new churches in Sudan, citing a decrease in the South Sudanese population. Sudan since 2012 had expelled foreign Christians and bulldozed church buildings. Besides raiding Christian bookstores and arresting Christians, authorities threatened to kill South Sudanese Christians who did not leave or cooperate with them in their effort to find other Christians.

After Bashir was deposed, military leaders initially formed a military council to rule the country, but further demonstrations led them to accept a transitional government of civilians and military figures, with a predominantly civilian government to be democratically elected in three years. Christians were expected to have greater voice under the new administration.

The new government that was sworn in on Sept. 8, 2019 led by Hamdok, an economist, is tasked with governing during a transition period of 39 months. It faces the challenges of rooting out longstanding corruption and an Islamist “deep state” rooted in Bashir’s 30 years of power.

In light of advances in religious freedom since Bashir was ousted in April, the U.S. State Department announced on Dec. 20, 2019 that Sudan had been removed from the list of Countries of Particular Concern (CPC) that engage in or tolerate “systematic, ongoing and egregious violations of religious freedom” and was upgraded to a watch list.

Sudan had been designated a CPC by the U.S. State Department since 1999.

Sudan ranked 7th on Open Doors’ 2020 World Watch List of the countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian.

Ramadan Day 17: Praying for Muslims to come to Christ – Sudanese Arabs

(Voice of the Persecuted) Sudanese Arabs, weary and mistrustful after years of fighting.

WHO ARE SUDANESE ARABS?

Sudan has a very long and complicated history, influenced by cultures from the north, south, east, and west. Sudanese Arabs (population est. 43 million) include city dwellers, rural farmers, and pastoral nomads. Most live close to the Nile River, Sudan’s most distinct physical feature, whose two major tributaries converge in the capital, Khartoum.

The significance of the strong, traditional tribal system decreases the closer one gets to urban areas. Sudanese Arabic is the primary language for government, business, education, and the arts.

Islam arrived with the Arabs in the 7th century. “Sudan” stems from the Arabic word for “black.” The Arabization and Islamization of Sudan over the centuries has created an identity crisis among both Arab Africans and Black Africans.

WHAT ARE SUDANESE ARABS’ GREATEST STRUGGLES?

People are tired of the fighting. Few trust each other. Many live without hope. Most simply want to live life in peace, work, get married, have children, and earn enough to feed their families.

Sudan remains one of the poorest countries in the world. Access to clean water and decent health care is very limited. Young men who want to get married lack the resources to provide a dowry.

Sudanese who claim direct Arab ancestry have an advantage over Black Africans who have been “grafted in” as Arabs through intermarriage and/or conversion to Islam. This “Arab racial supremacy” is, in part, tied to the history of slavery in the country and generates deep resentment.

Various conflicts have impacted Sudan for centuries. South Sudan seceded from Sudan in 2011, and the fight over territory and lucrative southern oil reserves rages on. The Sudanese are also wrestling to create a new identity and government infrastructure since the 2019 ouster of Omar al Bashir.

Sunni Muslims, the majority, are often organized into religious “brotherhoods” with strong Sufi (mystical) influences. Holy men and women are important figures. Pre-Islamic beliefs in spirits and magic continue to influence the daily practice of Islam.

The political organization known as the “Muslim Brotherhood” (originating in Egypt) was established in Sudan in the 1960s and heavily influenced the government under the brutal dictatorship of Omar al Bashir from 1989 to 2019.

WHAT IS GOD DOING AMONG SUDANESE ARABS?

Christians in Sudan have suffered greatly – especially over the past 30 years, as the state implemented Sharia law, terrorized believers, confiscated church properties, and forbade the distribution of Christian literature. Most foreign Christian missionaries and organizations were expelled after the establishment of South Sudan in 2011.

Since al Bashir’s ouster, the new Minister of Religious Affairs has promised that confiscated lands and properties would be returned to churches and that Christians would be guaranteed freedom of worship. Christmas was declared a public holiday in 2019, and believers marched in the streets singing and chanting their praises to God! They are cautiously optimistic about the future. However, while the state may no longer officially persecute Christians, their family and friends most likely will.

House church fellowships are growing along with the national churches. There is a renewed conviction that Sudanese Arabs will be reached by Sudanese believers. These fellowships need discipleship and leadership development, especially in areas of personal holiness. The New Testament is available in Sudanese Arabic, as are the JESUS film and other media; however, more internet and radio broadcast resources are needed to reach and teach oral learners.

PRAYER POINTS

  • Pray that all unreached people groups across Sudan would have access to the truth, the life, the hope, and the joy that are only available through Jesus Christ.

We continue to pray for the persecuted:

  •  Leah Sharibu and Alice, both held captive by the Boko Haram.
  • For Pastor Wanh Yi from China, who has been sentenced to 9 years in prison for sharing boldly the love of God.
  • For Anita, a Christian convert recently sentenced to 10 years in prison for sharing the Gospel in Iran.
  • For Pakistani Christians and other minorities who are facing discrimination and persecution during the coronavirus crisis. Muslims are denying Christians relief food packages because of their faith in Christ.

“Our prayers do have an impact on the things of eternity and the souls of men and women to find truth in him who is the Living Word. Please join us on the prayer conference call to lift prayers up together. As ever, I remain your brother and prayer partner in our Lord Jesus. Meet you on the call!

If you are unable to participate on the call, or cannot join us on a particular evening, you can still use the prayer points and pray in your personal prayer closet. The only thing I would urge you is, please do it.  Whether you pray privately, in a group, or on our call, please pray for a great harvest of souls during this time of Ramadan.” – Blaine Scogin, Founder of Persecution Watch and former Prayer Director of Voice of the Persecuted.

As Blaine Scogin did each year, the team will continue to host nightly calls during Ramadan. We will be following along with the Prayercast Team’s platform in praying for Muslims for the next 30 days, which began on April 24. Please sign up here to receive the daily video and prayer points from Prayercast which we will cover on the nightly prayer conference calls. If you have yet to do so, it’s not to late. Dear brothers and sisters, we challenge you to join us on the conference call to pray with us during these 30 nights of prayer for the persecuted, the harvest, and for Muslims to come out of the dark, receive the truth and follow Jesus.

In Christ,

Voice of the Persecuted and the Persecution Watch Prayer Team

Nightly call schedule through Ramadan 

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

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. Since the passing of Brother Blaine Scogin, we thank you for your patience as we have transitioned into this new season. 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 Conference Call: SUDAN

 

 

4/9/2020 (Voice of the Persecuted) Again, we want to lift up two persecuted witnesses for the Lord and pray for Leah Sharibu and Alice that this year will be the year where they will be set free. And also pray for pastor Wang Yi to be released from Prison.

Sudan

Population: 42,5 million, Christians 1.9 million

Sudan’s current political chaos has left Christians in limbo. The secession of South Sudan in 2011 has also made Christians more vulnerable as Islamic conservatives in Sudan push for a Shariah State. In 2019, civilian protests brought an end to the rule of dictator Hassan al Bashir. Further civilian protests forced the transitional military council to seek agreement with the coalition of opposition forces.

The ethnic-cultural landscape of the country is also complicated: Arab versus ethnic African, Muslim versus Christian. This is particularly true for ethnic Africans, as a significant number are Christian and still living in the country. All Christian communities in Sudan are afraid of having conversations about their faith with Sudanese Muslims as this might be construed as being an “act that encourages apostasy against Islam.” The level of persecution that converts and ethnic Africans face is enormous. There have been arrests; many churches have been demolished and others are on an official list awaiting demolition; many Christians have been attacked indiscriminately in areas like the Nuba Mountains where there is an ongoing conflict between government forces and rebel groups.

So as not to be discovered, converts from Islam will often refrain from raising their children as Christians because this might attract the attention of the government and community leaders (since children might inadvertently reveal the faith of their parents). This fear even extends to funerals where deceased Christians with a Muslim background are often buried according to Islamic rites in Muslim cemeteries, even though Christian and Muslim cemeteries are separate.

Christian converts with a Muslim background are particularly at risk since the law officially punishes conversion from Islam to another religion by death. They usually refrain from owning Christian materials or accessing Christian TV or websites. If discovered, these could be used as evidence against them by family or officials.

Christian children are often harassed in school or playgrounds due to their parent’s faith. A very high level of violence against Christians is evident, particularly in the Nuba Mountains, Darfur, South Kordofan and the Blue Nile State regions where Christians are targeted indiscriminately by government security forces. Thousands have been killed or displaced.

Prayer Points

Thank the Lord for these changes in Government and the agreement that was reached. Pray for continued openness as much uncertainty still remains, especially for religious minorities like Christians.

Pray for wisdom and accountability for the new transitional council headed by Abdalla Hamdok.

Pray that true religious freedom will be implemented following the coup.

Pray that the Lord will be encouraging His children and all who have been pained by the killings during the unrest.

Pray that believers will be bold in reaching out to the unsaved and that they will find open doors for the Gospel.

Pray for God to grant wisdom and protection to His believers who do covert ministry work.

Pray for protection and peace for Christians who converted from Islam. As family, friends and radical Muslims pressure and threaten them to deny their faith.

Pray that His believers are anchored in His word.

Pray to the Lord that the media will start reporting on Christian persecution by the government and radical Muslims

Pray that believers can love and forgive their persecutors

Pray that the Lord will both protect the community of the saints and add to their numbers in spite of the hostile environment.

Many blessings,

Andy, Prayer Call Moderator for Persecution Watch

Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday

From any location on your phone

Time:

9:00 PM EST

8:00 PM CST

7:00 PM MST

6:00 PM PST

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

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. Since the passing of Brother Blaine Scogin, we thank you for your patience as we have transitioned into this new season. 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

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