VOICE OF THE PERSECUTED

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Persecution Watch: Praying for Believers in Tajikistan

(Voice of the Persecuted) You are invited to join us on Thursday September 16, 2021 in a prayer conference call for the persecuted church hosted by Persecution Watch.

Tajikistan: Population: 9.4 million, Christian 66,300 (0.7%)

 In Tajikistan, the government puts heavy pressure on all “deviating” religious groups by tightening and strictly enforcing existing laws. All religious activities must be approved by the government, and it is common for churches—particularly Protestant—to be raided by authorities. Church leaders and Christians can be detained if they are found to have any Christian materials that aren’t government approved. The country also has a law specifically targeting religious work among young people, leaving Christians unsure of what they are legally allowed to say to young Christians.

From time to time, police officers disrupt meetings and interrogate attendees. Local authorities often impose fines on Christians because of their faith and for legal reasons, such as gathering without a permit, possessing and printing religious material without a permit, or perceived proselytization. Persecution from the state includes searches, detention, interrogation, confiscation, fines, and imprisonment—all meant to pressure Christians and keep them in line.

The government of Tajikistan, a former Soviet republic, is primarily concerned with power and holding onto control, but the surrounding society is heavily Islamic. The Tajik ethnic identity is directly tied to Islam. That is why Christians who have converted from Islam bear the brunt of persecution at the hands of both the state and from family, friends, and community.

Russian Orthodox Christians and churches experience the fewest problems from the government because they do not usually attempt to contact, or evangelize, the Tajik population. “Early last year, my church was attacked by wicked people and the church building was confiscated by the court. Our church is now gathering inside a 40-ton container. We pray for a new building for our church. We also ask you to participate in prayer and support us in this. The Lord said, ‘Call me and I will answer you … ’

Although Tajikistan fell two rankings from last year’s World Watch List, persecution and pressure rose slightly. Violence is still very low, but pressure from every sphere of life increased just a bit. Being a Christian in Tajikistan continues to be difficult and dangerous, particularly for churches trying to show the gospel and make disciples. Tajikistan’s Christians who have converted from Islam are most at risk. They are doubly targeted by both the government and their communities and families. Additionally, Christians living outside Tajikistan’s major cities are more prone to experiencing greater pressure than followers of Jesus in urban settings.

Prayer Points

  • Pray for pastors and church leaders in Tajikistan, especially those who are monitored and detained by the government. Pray they will be safe and not be unjustly targeted, and that God will sustain their faith and the faith of their families.
  • Pray for converts to Christianity from Islam who live in areas of Tajikistan where conversion means severe pressure from family and communities. Pray they would sense they have a community that transcends location and situation, and that they would know they aren’t alone.
  • Pray that Christians in Tajikistan will have wisdom to know how to share their faith safely, and boldness to continue sharing the gospel. Pray God will soften the hearts of those enforcing the restrictions on evangelism, and that He might draw them to Himself through the courageous witness of our brothers and sisters.
  • Pray that churches and places where believers gather to worship and hear the word will be safe from confiscation and attacks by radicals.
  • Pray for that the Lord will appear to the radicals in their dreams and convert them to honor the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • Pray that God would be near to our brokenhearted brothers and sisters in Tajikistan. Ask God to make His presence felt to them.
  • Ask God to pour out His Spirit of love, order and calm over Christian communities, especially in the remote areas.
  • Pray for NGOs who provide immediate aid to believers when they are imprisoned, excluded from families and communities, and deprived of livelihood and employment because of their faith in Christ. They also strengthen the persecuted church primarily through literature distribution, prayer support, training for Christians, socio-economic aid, and persecution preparedness seminars.
  • Pray that the internet will have messages that encourage believers and bring hope to the lost.
  • Pray that Believers can love and forgive their persecutors.
  • Pray that the Lord will build HIS church and mightily add to the number of believers.

Update: Prayer point for Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli of Nepal has been removed.

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.

Merlaine, Persecution Watch Prayer Call Moderator

Prayer Conference Call Details

Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday

From any location on your phone

USA Time Zone:

9:00 PM Eastern

8:00 PM Central

7:00 PM Mountain

6:00 PM Pacific

Call in number: 712 775-7035

Access Code: 281207#

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

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

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

What is Persecution Watch?

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

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

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

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

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

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

God bless and protect you in your faithfulness to serve.

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

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

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

Photo: People in Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan. By Veni Markovski (CC BY 2.0) flickr.com/photos/veni/3482697139

Muslim Gunmen in Pakistan Wound at least Four Christians

Pregnant woman said to be among those injured.

Pakistan (Morning Star News) – Muslims in an area of Lahore, Pakistan on Monday (Sept. 6) fired high-powered weapons at the homes of Christians, wounding a pregnant woman and at least three other people, sources said.

A wounded Christian resident in the Shamsabad locality of Lahore’s Sherakot area, Asif Masih, said he heard shouts followed by bursts of gunfire from fully automatic assault rifles after he returned home from work that afternoon.

“When I was telling my kids to get inside, I saw a group of heavily armed men firing indiscriminately at a church located on the street,” Masih told Morning Star News. “They then trained their weapons on the homes of neighboring Christians and fired volleys of bullets at them.”

Gunmen eyeing him opened fire on him, wounding him in both thighs, he said.

“I barely managed to drag myself into my house and locked the gate, but they did not stop firing,” Masih said. “I could hear them shouting that they would not spare Christians living in the area and would also burn down our church.”

The assailants, identified as Dilshad Dogar, Butt Gas Wala and Chand Khencha, fired hundreds of bullets from Kalashnikov (AK-47) rifles and other weapons into homes in the area where more than 300 Christian families live, he said. Bullets pierced the gates of several homes, wounding three women identified as Nirma Bibi, Maria Kashif and Samina, and other Christians, he said.

“One of the injured women is six months pregnant,” Masih said. “She was hit in the leg by one of the several bullets fired at their gate, but fortunately her family members were able to secure her inside.”

Many people called the police emergency helpline after the shooting started at 2:30 p.m., but officers did not arrive until 8 p.m., he said, adding that local police have been lax in prosecuting the suspects as they were influential people. Masih was one of the complainants in the case against the gunmen.

“Our entire street has been riddled with bullets, and people have been injured, but the police have not included the sections related to terrorism in the FIR [First Information Report],” he said. “Moreover, I had stated in my application to the police that the accused had continuously threatened to burn the church and harm us, but even these facts were missing in the formal FIR.”

Registered the day after the attack, the FIR states that it arose out of a dispute between a Christian, Asghar Masih, and Dogar. Asif Masih denied the police version, saying officers were trying to protect the suspects.

“Ask them why Dogar and his accomplices opened fire on the homes of Christians and injured innocent people like us if they had just a personal dispute with an individual?” he said. “The police have been protecting the accused since day one because they are Muslims, and we are poor Christians.”

Attorney Javed Gill, a senior leader of the Christian Lawyers Association of Pakistan, said there were conflicting reports about the motives for the shooting.

“Several residents have claimed that the accused were opposed to the presence of a church in the locality and had been pressuring them to stop worship there, while some are saying that the incident was an outcome of a dispute over a girl,” Gill told Morning Star News. “Nonetheless, even if it was a dispute between two people, how can anyone justify the targeting of the entire Christian neighborhood with automatic weapons?”

Several hundred bullets were fired from various illegal weapons resulting in injuries, yet police failed to include Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act in the FIR, which would have made the attack a non-bailable offense, he said. Gill said police were also unable to explain why they did not intervene timely while gunmen were shooting innocent people and damaging property.

“Thank God no one lost their life in the gruesome attack, but the manner in which the accused acted shows that they would not have desisted from murdering any person who came in their way,” he said.

Police Response

Muhammad Azeem, station house officer of the Sherakot police station, declined to comment on whether officers were protecting the suspects and could not explain why they were delayed in reaching the site.

“We have arrested three men while raids are being conducted to arrest the other accused,” he said, sidestepping the question about the delay.

He also had no comment on why anti-terrorism sections were not included in the FIR when high-powered weapons resulted in injuries and kept panic-stricken people locked in their homes.

Asked why police failed to include in the FIR the anti-Christian comments the suspects made as stated by the complainants, Azeem said only that the case was registered on Tuesday (Sept. 7), “because we wanted to get to the bottom of the issue.” He said preliminary investigation showed the shooting was rooted in a personal dispute, but “further investigation will reveal the facts.”

“They [Christians] are our brothers, and we will protect them from any element who wants to disrupt peace in the area,” he said. “The incident has been noticed by the government, and all efforts are being made to bring the culprits to justice. It is not a religious issue as is being projected by the Christians.”

The U.S. State Department in December re-designated Pakistan among nine other “Countries of Particular Concern” for severe violations of religious freedom. Previously Pakistan had been added to the list on Nov. 28, 2018.

Pakistan ranked fifth on the Open Doors 2021 World Watch list of the 50 countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian.

Photo: Asif Masih was shot when Muslim gunmen attacked Lahore, Pakistan’s Sherakot area on Sept. 6, 2021. (Morning Star News)

Persecution Watch: Praying for Believers in Nepal

(Voice of the Persecuted) You are invited to join us on Thursday September 9, 2021 in a prayer conference call for the persecuted church hosted by Persecution Watch.

Nepal: Population: 30.2 million, Christian 1.3 million (4.2%)

In Nepal, converts from Hinduism are put under the most pressure; they are viewed as deviating from the faith of the ancestors, and therefore breaking with their culture and their national identity. Converts—and members of Protestant churches—experience pressure from family, friends, community and local authorities. Roman Catholic churches, as well as churches where more foreigners attend, often have fewer issues.

Nepal has a great deal of political instability, driven by governmental infighting as well as a constant push-and-pull between powerful neighbors China and India. Hindu extremists occasionally take advantage of this fact by attacking Christians.  The increase in persecution started when the Nepalese government introduced and enacted a sweeping anti-conversion law. This anti-conversion law has been used to expel foreign citizens. This law can be broadly applied, and since it says that anyone who causes an individual to convert to a different religion can be imprisoned, fined or deported, it has been used to target Christians. In some areas, Christians were also left out of COVID-19 relief that the government provided, re-emphasizing their status as second-class citizens.

Radical Hindu nationalists within Nepal, who want to see the country reestablished as a Hindu kingdom, have taken advantage of the country’s anti-conversion law. Using the new law, radicals accuse Christians of attempting religious conversions for merely sharing their faith. These developments have led Open Doors to rank Nepal number 32 on their World Watch List.

In Nepal, converts from Hinduism are put under the most pressure; they are viewed as deviating from the faith of the ancestors, and therefore breaking with their culture and their national identity. Converts—and members of Protestant churches—experience pressure from family, friends, community and local authorities. Roman Catholic churches, as well as churches where more foreigners attend, often have fewer issues.

Nepal has a great deal of political instability, driven by governmental infighting as well as a constant push-and-pull between powerful neighbors China and India. Hindu extremists occasionally take advantage of this fact by attacking Christians.

There is also an anti-conversion law in place in Nepal, which recently has been used to expel foreign citizens. This law can be broadly applied, and since it says that anyone who causes an individual to convert to a different religion can be imprisoned, fined or deported, it has been used to target Christians.    

Nepal fell two spots from 2020 to the 2021 World Watch List—and yet, persecution actually rose. But persecution rose worldwide, so it means Nepal is lower on the list. Pressure is high for Christians in every sphere of life, particularly in their private and national lives. This shows how restrictive life is for Christian converts from Hinduism, and how much the governing authorities make life difficult for followers of Christ.

In some areas, Christians were also left out of COVID-19 relief that the government provided, re-emphasizing their status as second-class citizens.

  • Pray to the Lord that His Spirit will convict Prime Minister K.P.S. Oli and his ministers and put it on their hearts to protect their Christian minorities.
  • Pray that Christians in Nepal will have wisdom to know how to share their faith safely, and boldness to continue sharing the gospel. Pray God will soften the hearts of those enforcing the restrictions on evangelism, and that He might draw them to Himself through the courageous witness of our brothers and sisters.
  • Pray for Christian women in Nepal who face persecution from their family members. Many are beaten, threatened, not allowed to go to church, rejected and left alone. Please pray that, with God’s strength, these women will continue to stand strong in their faith, and through them God would bring their entire families to know the saving grace of Jesus Christ.
  • Pray for believers who live in very remote villages. It is difficult for our local partners to contact them, and when they go through persecution, it can be difficult for our partners to reach them quickly. Pray for the Christians in these villages, that God would strengthen them and provide for their needs.
  • Pray for Christians who are discriminated against in government aid distributions during COVID-19 and cyclone relief. Often, poor day laborers faced a loss of income and starvation. Pray they would be able to recover, both physically and emotionally.
  • Pray for that the Lord will appear to Hindu extremists in their dreams and convert them to honor the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • Pray that God would be near to our brokenhearted brothers and sisters in Nepal. Ask God to make His presence felt to them.
  • Ask God to pour out His Spirit of love, order and calm over Christian communities. Pray for safety and protection in the days ahead.
  • Ask God to intervene against violence and bring the persecutors to justice.  
  • Pray for NGOs to work through church partners and volunteers in Nepal. The ministries are focused on areas, such as Bible and Christian material distribution, training for church leaders and Christians, including persecution preparedness training, socio-economic aid – including emergency aid for COVID-19 -legal help and advocacy, and special projects as requested by the local church to provides support, pastor training and relocation for persecuted Christians.
  • Pray that the Lord will guide and protect His believers when they reach out to give the Good News
  • Pray that Believers can love and forgive their persecutors.
  • Pray that the Lord will protect, strengthen, and encourage His believers and give them supernatural ability to continue to spread the Good News and that many Hindus will become believers.

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

  • Leah Sharibu, prisoner of Boko Haram since 2018. Pray for her release.
  • Alice Loksha Ngaddah, kidnapped February 2019. She is a mother of two, working as a nurse for UNICEF. Pray for her release.
  • Pray for Pastor Wang Yi to be released from prison.
  • Pray for Anita, a Christian convert facing a long prison term who escaped from Iran and praying to go to a country where she can express her faith openly.
  • For the release of Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani from Iran, and his family as their Persecution continues. Pastor Nadarkhani is serving the second year of his six-year sentence.

Andy, Persecution Watch Prayer Call Moderator

Prayer Conference Call Details

Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday

From any location on your phone

USA Time Zone:

9:00 PM Eastern

8:00 PM Central

7:00 PM Mountain

6:00 PM Pacific

Call in number: 712 775-7035

Access Code: 281207#

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

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

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

What is Persecution Watch?

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

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

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

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

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

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

God bless and protect you in your faithfulness to serve.

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

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

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

Persecution Watch: Praying for Believers in Bangladesh

(Voice of the Persecuted) You are invited to join us on Thursday September 2, 2021 in a prayer conference call for the persecuted church hosted by Persecution Watch.

Population: 169.8 million, Christian 903,000 thousand (0.5%)

Christians in Bangladesh face the greatest pressure in their general community and private life. Bangladeshi society is growing increasingly Islamic, with the government doing more to appease concerns from Muslim extremists. Islamic extremists in the country pressure all groups of Christians. Evangelistic churches—many of them Pentecostal—that work among the Muslim majority face the most persecution, but even historical churches like the Roman Catholic Church are increasingly faced with attacks and death threats.

At number 31 on the 2021 World Watch List, Bangladesh has risen by two spots primarily because of slight increases in many areas of persecution. In many aspects of daily life, pressure has tightened for Bangladeshi Christians, and they experience discrimination and persecution. There have been violent attacks against Christians in 2020, as well. In the spring, there was a violent incident against the tiny Christian community among the Rohingya refugee community that fled Myanmar for Bangladesh. There has also been better reporting, particularly in rural areas, which show how much pressure in church life has increased. Finally, in many situations, Christians were left out of COVID-19 government relief, often facing starvation or severe health issues.

Converts from a Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist or an ethnic/tribal background suffer the most severe restrictions, discrimination and attacks in Bangladesh. They often gather in small house churches or secret groups due to fear of attack.

08/02/2021 According to Asia News, a church in Bangladesh was attacked and demolished by Buddhist radicals. Local reports indicate the attack, which happened in two phases, took place after weeks of threats.“We were Buddhists and we met Jesus Christ in 2005,” Pastor Tubel Chakma Poran Adetion told Asia News. “In January of this year we build the church. Every day we gathered and prayed, but the local Buddhist majority didn’t like it. They attacked us and demolished our church twice.

On July 12, Buddhist radicals, led by Joan Chakma, reportedly confronted the Christians of Suandrapara and told them they had to tear down the church within three days. When the Christians did not succumb to these threats, the radicals attacked the church on July 15, damaging the church’s gate, cross, and other parts of the building.After the July 12 attack, the radicals demanded the Christians stop all kinds of church activities and reconvert to Buddhism. The Christians were given seven days to meet these demands.

On July 22, three days after the radicals’ deadline, they attacked again and demolished the church’s wall, door, and tin roof. The attackers told the Christians that there would be dire consequences for any who reported the attacks to the media or local police. “We did not go to the police station for security reasons,” Pastor Adetion told Asia News. “We are a minority and Buddhists can do anything to us. We want peace by talking to them.

The radicals told us to destroy the church, but we will not,” Pastor Adetion continued. “If we have to sacrifice our lives, we will. They threatened us to return to our old religion, but we will not return. Jesus Christ is our savior. We will die for him.

Church leaders in Bangladesh report that the Christian community of Suandrapara has been praying in a small house church setting since 2005. However, local Buddhist radicals became enraged when the church members received funds to build a brick and tin building for their church.

  • Pray for the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and his ministers to protect the Christian minorites from radical Muslim persecution.
  • Pray for training for Christians from different tribes and cultures, that they would be equipped to take back what they have learned to strengthen their communities.
  • Pray for Christians who are discriminated against in government aid distributions during COVID-19 and cyclone relief. Often, poor day laborers faced a loss of income and starvation. Pray they would be able to recover, both physically and emotionally.
  • Pray for the small group of Rohingya Christians as they seek to follow Jesus in the refugee camps in Bangladesh. Pray they will be kept safe and will be able to walk with Jesus, no matter what.
  • Pray for that the Lord will appear to Islamic extremists in their dreams and convert them to honor the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • Pray that God would be near to our brokenhearted brothers and sisters in Bangladesh. Ask God to make His presence felt to them.
  • Ask God to pour out His Spirit of love, order and calm over these communities. Pray for safety and protection in the days ahead.
  • Ask God to intervene against violence and bring the persecutors to justice. These attacks have gone on for too long.
  • Pray for NGOs to provide support, pastor training and relocation for persecuted Christians.
  • Pray that the Lord will guide and protect His believers when they reach out to give the Good News
  • Pray that Believers can love and forgive their persecutors.
  • Pray that the Lord will bind the powers of darkness to build His church, that the gates of hell will be closed and that the number of believers will increase hundredfold.

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

  • Leah Sharibu, prisoner of Boko Haram since 2018. Pray for her release.
  • Alice Loksha Ngaddah, kidnapped February 2019. She is a mother of two, working as a nurse for UNICEF. Pray for her release.
  • Pray for Pastor Wang Yi to be released from prison.
  • Pray for Anita, a Christian convert facing a long prison term who escaped from Iran and praying to go to a country where she can express her faith openly.
  • For the release of Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani from Iran, and his family as their Persecution continues. Pastor Nadarkhani is serving the second year of his six-year sentence.

Andy, Persecution Watch Prayer Call Moderator

Prayer Conference Call Details

Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday

From any location on your phone

USA Time Zone:

9:00 PM Eastern

8:00 PM Central

7:00 PM Mountain

6:00 PM Pacific

Call in number: 712 775-7035

Access Code: 281207#

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

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

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

What is Persecution Watch?

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

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

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

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

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

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

God bless and protect you in your faithfulness to serve.

Lois Kanalos, Founder, Voice of the Persecuted, Nadia 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.

Pakistan: Another Christian woman accused of blasphemy for forwarding a text

In a report shared with Voice of the Persecuted, Shagufta Kiran, a Christian woman from Islamabad, has been accused of blasphemy for simply forwarding a message. Shagufta was arrested on July 29 by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and still in their custody under investigation.

Shagufta’s husband, Rafique Maish, told the Pak Christian News (PCN) that armed police raided their home and arrested his wife and two sons accusing them of violating Pakistan’s blasphemy law by forwarding a WhatsApp post which included blasphemous content.

He said: “They harassed my family and took possession of our telephones, computer and other valuable items. The police were armed with firearms instructed us not to move and to keep our hands up. They arrested Shagufta and my two sons without prior information or an arrest warrant.

“They took my wife and sons to the police station, charged Shagufta under 295-A and 295-B of Pakistan’s blasphemy but later on freed my sons.”

He said that they fled Islamabad because of fear and threats and have moved somewhere they feel safer.

Rafique further shared that Shagufta was arrested because she was a member of a WhatsApp group where someone allegedly shared a blasphemous message, which Shagufta forwarded to other persons without reading and knowing the consequences.

“Shagufta knew nothing about the post, she was not even the author of the post in question but was accused of passing it on,” Rafique explained.

Nasir Saeed, Director of the CLAAS-UK expressed his concern over the ongoing misuse and abused of the blasphemy law against poor and illiterate members of the religious minorities.

He said: “This is not the first time that someone has been charged for sharing a post on the social media, but there are several examples like Patras and Sajid and a young boy Nabeel who was recently granted bail, but the case against him is ongoing and he must prove himself innocent. Meanwhile the police have failed to find and arrest the authors of such posts.

“Shafqat Emmanuel and Shagufta Kausar have recently been released after seven years of blasphemy charges and have safely reached the Netherlands.

Their case was another which broadly followed the pattern of the case of Asia Bibi, who was acquitted by Supreme Court in 2018 but not everyone is lucky like them. Several are languishing in prison for years, but nobody speaks about them.

 “I don’t know how many years it will take for Shagufta Kiran to prove herself innocent.”

The European Union parliament has adopted a resolution in April for Shagufta and Shafqat Emmanuel, demanding that Pakistan allow space for religious freedom and urged the EU authorities to review the GSP Plus status for Pakistan.

Tonight! Continuing Prayer for Afghans on the Prayer Conference Call

Friday, August 20 2021 — With urgent requests for prayer coming out of Afghanistan, I urge you to join me on the prayer conference call to continue interceding for this vulnerable, weakened nation where so many feel abandoned.

Dear Prayer Warriors please pray:

That the Lord will strengthen the believers in Afghanistan empowering them with comfort and courage.

That the church will be bold in witnessing to their family, friends, neighbors, and enemies.

May He protect and defend the widow, the orphaned, the disabled and the lost ones.

Psalm 59:1-2

1 Deliver me from my enemies, O my God; protect me from those who rise up against me; 2 deliver me from those who work evil, and save me from bloodthirsty men.”

Psalm 59:10-11

10 My God in his steadfast love will meet me; God will let me look in triumph on my enemies. 11 Kill them not, lest my people forget; make them totter by your power and bring them down, O Lord, our shield.

As the Lord leads, I will meet you on the call 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.

Church Leader Warns ‘The Taliban Are Going to Eliminate the Christian Population of Afghanistan’

(Video) In an exclusive interview from an undisclosed location, Hamid told CBN News he’s very concerned about the future of Afghanistan’s tiny Christian community.

Read the full report here

Prayer Conference Call to pray for the crisis in Afghanistan

Tuesday, 8/17/2021 (Voice of the Persecuted) Reports coming out of Afghanistan have many hearts filled with sorrow. Along with others, I am deeply troubled by the latest events. There is much concern for Afghan Christians, women and children now abandoned and left in the hands of the Taliban.

In the past, the Taliban ruled over the country using oppression, fear, including public executions and stoning. It is no secret that they finance themselves through criminal means, the drug trade, human trafficking, and selling girls into sex slavery, particularly those do not belong to their radical religious ideology. Their sons are taken from their parents, forced to convert, educated in radical Islam, then trained to be soldiers in their jihadist army. Some news reports claim that the militant group appears to have changed and may be more humane. However, Afghans and others believe it’s a mere façade to gain international acceptance.

Brothers and sisters, there is power in prayer! James 5:16 (NIV) says, “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”

I call upon all of you to join us, tonight, on the Persecution Watch Prayer Conference Call to pray for Afghanistan. Let us stand together in the gap and intercede for them. Call upon the Name of the Lord to strengthen, empower and rescue His people. God be with them!

Prayer Points

  • For our brothers and sisters in Christ, that they will be protected and comforted.

  • Pray for God’s grace and mercy to be upon them.

  • Pray that the enemy’s plans will be thwarted, and that people will be miraculously rescued from danger. 

  • Pray that they will boldly share the Truth of Salvation.

  • Pray for the Harvest 

We will also remember our persecuted family around the world. Like believers in Afghanistan, many suffer extreme persecution and the threat of death for their faith in Christ.

I urge all of you to share this with your churches, pastors and ask others to pray with you. 

The Lord’s servant,

Nadia Dybvik, Persecution Watch Prayer Conference Call Leader

Prayer Conference Call Details

Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday

From any location on your phone

USA Time Zone:

9:00 PM Eastern

8:00 PM Central

7:00 PM Mountain

6:00 PM Pacific

Call in number: 712 775-7035

Access Code: 281207#

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

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

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

What is Persecution Watch?

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

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

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

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

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

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

God bless and protect you in your faithfulness to serve.

Lois Kanalos, Founder, Voice of the Persecuted, 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: Caught from video that was recorded by RAWA in Kabul using a hidden camera. It shows two Taliban from department of Amr bil Ma-roof (Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, Taliban religious police) beating a woman in public because she has dared to remove her burqa in public.

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