VOICE OF THE PERSECUTED

Category Archives: Asia

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Pray for Central Asian Stan Republics

(Voice of the Persecuted) You are invited to join us on Saturday, February 4, 2023, in a prayer conference call for the persecuted church hosted by Persecution Watch. 

Kazakhstan

  • Human rights organizations have described the Kazakh government as authoritarian, and regularly describe Kazakhstan’s human rights situation as poor.
  • 18.9 million people, Islam 69%, Christian 17% Uzbekistan
  • 31 million people: 96% Islam, 2% Christian
  • NGO’s have defined Uzbekistan as “an authoritarian state with limited civil rights”

Turkmenistan

  • 5.6 million people: 93% Islam, 6% Christian.
  • The country is widely criticized for its poor human rights. Notable issues – treatment of minorities, press freedoms, and religious freedoms

Kyrgyzstan

  • 6 million people: 90% Islam, 7% Christian
  • Throughout its existence, the country has continued to endure ethnic conflicts, revolts, economic troubles, transitional governments, and political conflict.

Tajikistan

  • 9.7 million people: 96% Islam, 2% Christian
  • There is extensive corruption and violations of human rights, including torture, arbitrary imprisonment, worsening political repression, and a lack of religious freedom.

In the 13th century, much of this territory was subjugated by the Mongol Empire under Genghis Khan. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union from 1988 to 1991, these nations had painful changes.  Most ethnic Europeans fled these new states for Russia or Ukraine.

Prayer Points:

  • Praise – In Kazakhstan there has been church growth. Almost 0 evangelicals in 1990 to 15 thousand in 2010.  Pray the church continues to grow and mature!
  • New oil wealth goes to an elite few, but many live in poverty.
  • As a new “Stan” identity grows, and with it a Muslim identity, may minority rights be respected
  • Need for Mercy Ministries.  There is a lot of brokenness in these nations.  People who lose their documents sometimes are forced to live in garbage dumps. Pray Christian ministries are allowed to help!
  • The power of Christ to break through alcoholism, drug use, and broken families.
  • Nearly 100 people were killed in the recent border clash between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. Pray for peace for our brothers in these nations!
  • Access to Bibles, Christian literature, and training
  • Many Christians are the ethnic Europeans or belong to the Orthodox church. Both groups are growing smaller.  Pray for believers and churches from the Asian majorities. 
  • Pray for bridging the cultural divide between different ethnic groups and languages.  We are all one in Christ!
  • Converts from Islam face retribution from government, Imams, family and neighbors. 
  • Pray for Holy Spirit grace.

We are continuing to lift up these persecuted witnesses to the Lord:

Alice Loksha Ngaddah was kidnapped in February 2019. She is a mother of two, working as a nurse for UNICEF. Pray for her release.

Leah Sharibu prisoner of Boko Haram since 2018. Pray for her release.

Pastor Wang Yi to be released from Chinese prison.

Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani For the release of Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani from Iran, and his family as their persecution continues. Pastor Nadarkhani is serving the second year of his six-year sentence, recently reduced from ten years.

Anita to make an easy transition into her new culture and that the Lord will be gracious in bringing her family members where they too will be able to freely worship our Lord without fear.

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)

Michael Laird, 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 

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 the Faithful in Afghanistan

(Voice of the Persecuted) You are invited to join us on Thursday, February 2, 2023, in a prayer conference call for the persecuted church hosted by Persecution Watch.

Afghanistan: Population: 38.9 million, Christians – thousands

The Taliban’s takeover of power in August 2021 forced many Christians either further underground or away from the country entirely. Many house groups closed, if not all, with believers forced to leave behind everything they own. This legacy continues into 2022.

The rigid form of society imposed by the militant group leaves no room for deviation, meaning Christians – most of whom are converts from Islam – must keep their faith secret. The consequences of discovery remain unthinkable.

Although conversions usually happen as a family unit in Afghanistan, if a woman decides to convert to Christianity on her own, discovery can bring violence, house arrest, forced marriage or sexual abuse. Women and girls already suffer acute oppression and discrimination under the Taliban. Following Jesus can severely exacerbate this.

Since men are at the forefront of public life, male converts can face harassment, ostracism, kidnap, violence, and death, if discovered. Consequently, Christian men opt to keep low profiles, with some choosing low-level positions in the workplace, to avoid unwanted attention.

Thousands of Afghan refugees are now living in countries bordering Afghanistan, often in poor conditions in camps for displaced people, and many Christians are among them.

However, since leaving Islam is considered punishable by death under the prevailing Islamic law, choosing to follow Jesus remains an extraordinarily brave decision to make, because it can have devastating consequences – be it at the hands of the authorities, or even a believer’s family, tribe, or clan in an attempt to preserve its ‘honor’.

Prayer Points

  • Pray that the Lord will touch Hibatullah Akhundzada, who is Taliban leader, in a very special way to protect and preserve human life.
  • Pray that the Lord will protect Christians from discovery when Muslim militia conduct house to house searches to detect and kill Christians.
  • Pray that the Lord will make His believers invisible to the forces of darkness, put a hedge of protection around them and help them to deflect probing questions like “we don’t see you in the mosque.
  • Pray that the Lord will protect His believers who are forced deeper in the underground to hold church services.
  • Pray to the Lord that the isolated Christians in Afghanistan will find secret fellowships to find comfort and strength.
  • Father God, we pray that you would touch the Taliban leadership to recognize the value of women as helpmates and as teachers.
  • Lord, we ask You, the great and almighty God to supernaturally open the doors to education for girls and women.
  • Pray that the Lord to protect Christian teenagers and women from forced marriages to Muslim men.
  • Pray for the Christian refugees who fled from violence and persecution that they easily adapt to the culture in their new country
  • Pray that believers have easy access to the internet online bibles and that messages will give them find strength and comfort.
  • Pray to the Lord that He will appear to many Muslims in their sleep and that they will become seekers to find out more – to be connected to believers.
  • Pray to the Lord to protect the NGOs secret networks from detection by the forces of darkness. to be able to bring help to believers in Afghanistan.  
  • Pray for Christians to be deeply anchored in faith and that they know that we pray for them.
  • Pray that in spite of all the persecution that the Lord will grow the numbers of believers and that the day is near where Christian can come above ground.

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 pastor Wang Yi to be released from prison
  • For the release of Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani from Iran, and his family as their  Persecution continues. Pastor Nadarkhani is serving the second year of his six-year sentence, recently reduced from ten years.
  • Pray for Ryan Kohler, pilot for Mission Aviation who is in prison in Mozambique. While flying supplies to orphanages in the Northeast of the country, he and two others were detained and accused of supporting terrorism.

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)

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 

Access Code: 281207#

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

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

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

What is Persecution Watch?

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

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

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

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

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

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

God bless and protect you in your faithfulness to serve.

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

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

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

Praying for Believers in North Korea

(Voice of the Persecuted) You are invited to join us on Thursday, January 26, 2023, in a prayer conference call for the persecuted church hosted by Persecution Watch.

North Korea: Population: 25.9 million, Christians about 400,000

North Korea, being second in Christian persecution last year, made it back to the top and is again Number One (1)

North Korea remains a brutally hostile place for Christians to live. If discovered by the authorities, believers are either sent to labor camps as political prisoners where the conditions are atrocious, or killed on the spot – and their families will share their fate as well. Christians have absolutely no freedom. It is almost impossible for believers to gather or meet to worship. Those who dare to meet must do so in utmost secrecy – and at enormous risk. A new ‘anti-reactionary thought law’ makes it amply clear that being a Christian or possessing a Bible is a serious crime and will be severely punished.

A report issued in 2022 by The International Bar Association and The Committee for Human Rights in North Korea said that Christians are particularly targeted and exposed to torture in North Korean prisons. “Detention periods have been documented as being longer for Christians than other groups, and witnesses have reported that ‘identified Christians are interrogated for longer periods, usually under torture’, and subjected to some of the worst forms of torture to force them to incriminate others during interrogation,” it said.

The reason for such extreme persecution is that Christianity is seen as a particular threat to the dictatorial ideology and governance of the country’s barbaric regime. Christians are viewed as enemies of both the leadership and society in general.

Also: “No food, no church.” That’s what we’ve been hearing in North Korea as the country experiences the impact of its worst drought in nearly 40 years.

 • Pray that the Lord will soften the hardened hearts of Kim Jong-un and his regime.

 • Pray that the Lord will take away Kin Jong-un idols, that the Nuclear – Military complex will fold like a house of cards.

 • Pray to the Lord that the insane surveillance system will implode where almost everybody is an informer.

 • Father God, we thank You for the remarkable bravery of our brothers and sisters in North Korea. Continue to encourage, equip and empower them as they follow You amid such extreme persecution.

 • Pray that the Lord will protect secret gatherings of believers – may their meetings be places of divine encounter.

 • Pray to the Lord to protect the NGOs secret networks from detection by the forces of darkness.

 • Pray for NGO’s to be able to bring in sufficient supplies to North Korean Christians who desperately need emergency food relief.

 • Give wisdom, boldness and discernment to Your children to know how to express their faith in society without drawing the attention of the authorities.

 • Pray that the Lord will give supernatural strength to believers who are tortured to the point of death to deny their faith and or reveal the name of other believers, to not break down and bring glory to His name.

 • Pray that the Lord will be merciful and put an end to the cruel labor camps like Yodok. The prison is noisy from the cries and wailing of the tortured, women are raped and when they give birth babies are killed in front of them.

 • Pray that your words will continue to be readily available in North Korea, blind, confuse and distract the border guards. That nobody will come to harm for distributing the word.

 • Pray that the Lord will protect and give Hos strength and peace tp believers who have loved ones in prison or labor camp.

 • Pray that in spite of all the persecution that the Lord will grow the numbers of believers and that the day is near where Christian can plant churches.

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 pastor Wang Yi to be released from prison
  • For the release of Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani from Iran, and his family as their  Persecution continues. Pastor Nadarkhani is serving the second year of his six-year sentence, recently reduced from ten years.
  • Pray for Ryan Kohler, pilot for Mission Aviation who is in prison in Mozambique. While flying supplies to orphanages in the Northeast of the country, he and two others were detained and accused of supporting terrorism.

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)

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 

Access Code: 281207#

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

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

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

What is Persecution Watch?

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

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

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

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

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

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

God bless and protect you in your faithfulness to serve.

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

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

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

Praying for Believers in DR Congo and Indonesia

If they’re not Lutheran, Evangelical Christian women in Eritrea have to pray together in secret. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)

You are invited to join us on Tuesday, January 24, 2023 in a prayer conference call for the persecuted church hosted by Persecution Watch.

Dear Prayer Warriors, what a promise we have been given in John 3:16! 

“ 16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

For God so loved the world 

Tonight we will pray for:

Blast at Baptism Service in DR Congo Kills 16 Christians. Islamic State affiliate suspected in bombing of church. January 22, 2023 

https://morningstarnews.org/2023/01/blast-at-baptism-service-in-dr-congo-kills-16-christians/

Christian Worship Service Prohibited in Indonesia. Church blocked from renting one venue is banned from new site. January 19, 2023

https://morningstarnews.org/2023/01/christian-worship-service-prohibited-in-indonesia/

We are continuing to lift up these persecuted witnesses to the Lord:

Alice Loksha Ngaddah was kidnapped in February 2019. She is a mother of two, working as a nurse for UNICEF. Pray for her release.

Leah Sharibu prisoner of Boko Haram since 2018. Pray for her release.

Pastor Wang Yi to be released from Chinese prison.

Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani For the release of Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani from Iran, and his family as their persecution continues. Pastor Nadarkhani is serving the second year of his six-year sentence, recently reduced from ten years.

Anita to make an easy transition into her new culture and that the Lord will be gracious in bringing her family members where they too will be able to freely worship our Lord without fear.

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: (667) 770-1476 

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 the Philippines

(Voice of the Persecuted) You are invited to join us on Tuesday, January 3, 2023, in a prayer conference call for the persecuted church hosted by Persecution Watch.

Philippines consists of over 7,600 islands

Population: 109 million

88.7% Christian (76% Catholics, Evangelicals 10% – Operation World)

6.0% Islam

5.3% Other / None

The last President, Duterte, was considered by many as a violent despot. The current President Bongbong Marcos is facing arrest in the United States, for whitewashing the human rights abuses and plunder that took place during his father’s presidency (1965 – 1986). 

The majority of Muslims live in Mindanao and nearby islands.  Mindanao is one of five provinces that came under the Muslim rule in 2019, from a peace deal with the rebel Moro Islamic Liberation Front. The Islamic Abu Sayyaf rebels rejected the peace deal, as it preferred a broader Asian caliphate.

Islamic extremists routinely threaten Christians and have killed many pastors. However, a significant number of Christians remain as a bold witness. Communist rebels also attack Christians.

Please Pray:

  • that cross-cultural workers will reach out fearlessly in dangerous unreached areas, especially among the Maguindanao people.
  • Pray that newly baptized believers will stand firm in their faith.
  • Pray for believers who feel called to live and minister among an unreached people group.
  • Pray that a new believer will be able to tell his/her family about new life in Christ.  
  • Pray that village community leaders will welcome front-line workers.  
  • Pray for all believers in the Philippine’s Muslim-majority Mindanao Island, who endure various forms or persecution.
  • Pray that, despite persecution, these new Believers would continue to grow in their faith and be a light in their village.

The Manila metropolitan area has 20 million people. Most evangelicals live in the wealthy areas.  50% of the slums & squatter communities have no evangelical church.

  • Pray that the Body of Christ remembers them.

Philippines has many cults with Christian names -usually, they are controlling.  

  • Pray for biblical truth to prevail!

Philippines’ main export are people – 8 million working abroad as nurses, domestic servants, etc. – some work in closed countries to share the gospel, sometimes suffering for their faith.

  • Pray for their boldness, protection, and their witness.

Palawan is an isolated island where many Muslims are moving in.  But many indigenous people are coming to the Lord.

  • Pray the church would grow, and witness to the Muslims.

In 2013, a super typhoon named Haiyan (deadlier than Hurricane Katrina that had swept the US) ravaged the central provinces of the Philippines, killing an estimated 10,000 victims.   

  • Pray that the Lord will give unwavering faith in the Lord to our Filipino brothers and sisters.

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

  • Leah Sharibu, a 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 to make an easy transition into her new culture and that the Lord will be gracious in bringing her family members where they too will be able to freely worship our Lord without fear..
  • For the release of Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani from Iran, and his family as their persecution continues. Pastor Nadarkhani is serving the second year of his six-year sentence, recently reduced from ten years.

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)

Michael Laird, 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 

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 Afghanistan

(Voice of the Persecuted) You are invited to join us on Tuesday, December 13, 2022 in a prayer conference call for the persecuted church hosted by Persecution Watch.

Afghanistan: officially the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan

Population: 38 million, Christians in the thousands

Ethnic groups: 42% Pashtun, 27% Tajik, 31% 5+ other groups

GDP Per capita: $500 (2018 estimate, so probably much less now.)

At least 244,000 Afghans have been displaced since the US Military has left; 80 per cent are women and children.

Christians who remain in Afghanistan after the Taliban takeover last summer routinely face persecution and torture from the Taliban government. Taliban denies Christians exist in the country.

2 Timothy 1:7 “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

  • Maybe someone will accuse you of something that you have not even done, but they so fear for their own lives that they must give the Taliban something. So, it’s a country ruled by fear now – pray against the spirit of fear.
  • Reversal of progress for women – Girls’ schools remain closed-Pray for a change of heart for the Taliban government to see girls and women as equal contributors to the economy and society.
  • Please pray for the religious minorities, especially secret believers who live in fear of being discovered. May the Lord be close to them, provide for their needs with food, medicine, and timely help, and protect them from harm.
  • It has been a year since the withdrawal of the US forces from Afghanistan. To this day, Christian minorities live in deep fear and face violent persecution. Pray for the safety and protection of believers from being discovered.
  • Drug addiction has become worse under the Taliban government. Pray for healing and restoration for many who are under the clutches of drug abuse.
  • Many people are forcibly evicted from their homes in various provinces if they are perceived to support the former government. Please pray for the families who have to leave everything behind as they flee to safety.
  • Some women are already being kidnapped and forced into marriage. The boys are at risk too-the Taliban may recruit them. Pray for Afghanistan parents to have wisdom, and God protect the children.
  • Pray that the Lord will blind the radical Muslims and Jihadists, confuse them, distract them, frustrate them in their quest to hunt down Christians.
  • Pray for the safety of Muslim background believers who are under tremendous pressure, that the Lord will give them wisdom to deflect questions like ‘why did you miss prayers?’, ‘we don’t see you in the mosque’.
  • Pray for the Lord to comfort, console and have His hand on the young Christian girls and women who were kidnapped and were forced into marrying Muslims.
  • Pray for protection of teenagers and men from being forced into the Taliban military.
  • Pray for the Christian refugees who are trying to restart their lives in a strange country and culture.
  • Pray for the refugees who live in tent cities so that they can stay warm in the coming winter month.
  • Pray that the Lord will put His hedge of protection around those Christians who stayed behind and must hide their faith. Pray that these Christians will connect with other believers for fellowship and encouragement.
  • Pray to the Lord for protection and provision for Christians who are witnessing to Muslims.
  • Pray to the Lord that He will give wisdom and discernment to those who want to return to Afghanistan to His witnesses.
  • Pray to the Lord that Christians will forgive and love their persecutors.
  • Pray for the NGOs working to equip and encourage Afghan Christians and that the Lord will show them creative ways to distribute aid and support.
  • Pray that the gates of hell will be closed and that in due time the Lord will let His believers plant churches all over Afghanistan.

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

  • Leah Sharibu, a 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 to make an easy transition into her new culture and that the Lord will be gracious in bringing her family members to Canada.
  • For the release of Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani from Iran, and his family as their persecution continues. Pastor Nadarkhani is serving the second year of his six-year sentence, recently reduced from ten years.

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)

Michael Laird, 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 

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 Laos

(Voice of the Persecuted) You are invited to join us on Thursday, November 10, 2022 in a prayer conference call for the persecuted church hosted by Persecution Watch.

LAOS: Population: 7,2 million; Christians 203,000 thousand

Following the constitution of 1991, Laos is a people democracy with the revolutionary party of the Laotian people as the state party. That is, this party – a Communist Party – has the government and is the only political party allowed. The supreme executive has been appointed a state president, elected by the National Assembly for five years.

Christian freedom in Laos is severely curtailed by the intense monitoring of the Communist authorities. House churches that do not have administrative approval are considered “illegal gatherings” and must operate underground. Even the majority of registered churches do not have permanent church structures and must conduct worship services in homes.

The brunt of persecution is reserved for converts to Christianity, who are deemed guilty of betraying the Buddhist-animist traditions of their community. They frequently face pressure and violence from their families and the local authorities, both of whom will stir up opposition from the local community or religious leaders. This can lead to converts being expelled from the village.

Despite Laos dropping four places on the World Watch List, the situation for Christians remains largely unchanged. While fewer Christians were arrested compared to last year, an increasing number of converts are being displaced from their homes as they face rejection by their villages. The pandemic also made gathering information more difficult, so the reality may be more severe than reported.

Provinces such as Luang Namtha, Phongsaly and Houphan in the north, and Khammuane and Savannakhet in the south, have traditionally been difficult places for Christians to live. The local authorities in these areas still seem determined to silence Christian witnesses.

The brunt of persecution is reserved for converts to Christianity, who are deemed guilty of betraying the Buddhist-animist traditions of their community. They frequently face pressure and violence from their families and the local authorities, both of whom will stir up opposition from the local community or religious leaders. This can lead to converts being expelled from the village.

Despite updating a law to protect religious activities and uphold religious freedom, Christians in Laos continue to face harassment by local officials, according to sources from the communist country.

A Christian villager told Radio Free Asia on 5/7 that in Luang Prabang province in the country’s north, religious rights are still restricted, with officials deriding Christianity as an American import. “They say that in our village there is no Christian god, and that our ancestors were all animist,” according to the anonymous source. An official once told the source, “But you people believe in America’s god. Don’t you remember what America did to our country?” He was referring to widespread bombing carried out in Laos during the Vietnam War.

Christian villagers are also marginalized in their interaction with the government, sometimes they are cheated out of their land, the source added. “They say that Christians have no rights, and that no one will take care of them,” he said. “We even go to speak to the village leaders, but these are the same people who are already angry with Christians.”

Ethnic Hmong Christians in Laos remain objects of suspicion by authorities for refusing to renounce their Christian faith, with three families evicted from their homes and village in Luang Namtha province’s Tine Doi village earlier this year.

Despite Laos dropping four places on the World Watch List, the situation for Christians remains largely unchanged. While fewer Christians were arrested compared to last year, an increasing number of converts are being displaced from their homes as they face rejection by their villages. The pandemic also made gathering information more difficult, so the reality may be more severe than reported.

Provinces such as Luang Namtha, Phongsaly and Houphan in the north, and Khammuane and Savannakhet in the south, have traditionally been difficult places for Christians to live. The local authorities in these areas still seem determined to silence Christian witness.

  • Pray that the Lord will convict Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith, who is also the LPRP general secretary, the leader of Laos, to give freedom to Christians to live their faith.
  • Pray that Christians will find increasing favor with local religious leaders and government officials.
  • Pray that all imprisoned Christians will be strengthened in body, mind and spirit—and for their imminent release.
  • Pray for protection of new believers who now face persecution for deciding to follow Jesus. 
  • Pray for the house churches and their leaders. Ask God to hide them from surveillance, attacks and imprisonment.
  • Pray for the pastors and leaders that to covert = underground ministry work.
  • Pray for God to open doors to evangelism and protection for the believers who boldly proclaim the Good News.
  • Pray to the Lord to bring an end to the trafficking of Laotian girls into China and give those who have been sold a way to escape their situation.
  • Pray to the Lord to guide His believers through His Holy Spirit on how to counter allegations that Christianity is an American religion.
  • Pray that despite government obstruction of both printing and importing Christian literature, distribution of Bibles will safely reach Christians.
  • Pray for Bible translations at the situation is highly complex. There are 31 languages in need for translation – and another 26 languages.
  • Ask God to provide protection for Open Doors and all other NGOs to have wisdom as they serve our family in Laos.
  • Pray for the Lord to supernaturally strengthen and grow His church and that the forces of darkness will fail to prevent the spreading of Christianity.
  • Ask God to provide protection for Open Doors partners and wisdom as they serve our family in Laos.

We are continuing to lift up these persecuted witnesses to the Lord:

Leah Sharibu prisoner of Boko Haram since 2018. Pray for her release.

Alice Loksha Ngaddah was kidnapped in February 2019. She is a mother of two, working as a nurse for UNICEF. Pray for her release.

Pastor Wang Yi to be released from Chinese prison.

Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani from Iran for his release and his family as their persecution continues. Pastor Nadarkhani is serving the second year of his six-year sentence.

Anita, a Christian convert, had faced a long prison term but was able to escape from Iran. She and her family have finally arrived in their permanent host country where they can express their faith openly. Pray for an easy transition into the new culture. Pray also for her family still waiting for asylum. May they be reunited soon.

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)

Andy, Persecution Watch Prayer Call Moderator

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

  • Leah Sharibu, a 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 to make an easy transition into her new culture and that the Lord will be gracious in bringing her family members to Canada.
  • For the release of Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani from Iran, and his family as their persecution continues. Pastor Nadarkhani is serving the second year of his six-year sentence, recently reduced from ten years.
  • 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)

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 

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.

Christian Family Suffers after Arrests at Birthday Party

(Morning Star News) – A Christian mother and her family in northern India have suffered assaults and threats since she and others were arrested from her son’s birthday party on false accusations of fraudulent conversion, her husband said.

“Our lives have turned into a living hell as we struggle to survive each day with our 7-year-old son,” Mahendra Kumar told Morning Star News. “We face threats every day and do not know what will happen tomorrow.”

Kumar’s wife, Indrakla, was one of six women, four of them Christians, arrested on charges of fraudulent conversion based on a complaint of members of the Hindu extremist Vishwa Hindu Parishad (World Hindu Council) on July 30 in Maharajganj, Azamgarh District, Uttar Pradesh state.

“We have been targeted several more times after we filed a counter-complaint regarding the harassment and attacks that we have faced,” Indrakla told Morning Star News.

The six women were arrested when Hindu extremists intruded into a large birthday celebration for the couple’s only son on July 30 in Maharajganj District’s Bishunpura village, accusing Christians of using the event as a cover to fraudulently convert people. Those arrested remained in jail for more than a month before being bailed out.

Since then, on two occasions assailants deliberately rammed a car into Kumar while he was on his motorbike with his son, and the family has received several threats, he said.

On Oct. 21 Kumar and his wife awoke at 2 a.m. to the sound of several people banging on their door.

After Indrakla, who goes by a single name, was released on bail on Sept. 1, the family opted not to return to their rented home upon learning that Hindu extremists were planning to attack them. When they returned in October, the threats and harassment continued.

Jailed

Indrakla was getting her son ready for the party at about 1:30 p.m. on July 30 while three Christian women sang worship songs in an area near the house under a tent cover, she said.

The family had invited around 600 people, including 300 church members. About 150 guests had arrived when someone informed Indrakla that a group of men had arrived, arguing and objecting to the gathering.

When Indrakla told the intruders, members of the VHP, that they were gathered only to celebrate her son’s birthday, they accused her of luring people to convert under guise of the party. Police soon arrived, and in their presence the VHP members continued to harass her and her husband, she said.

“I stepped forward and tried to reason with them that it was my son’s birthday, and if there is nothing wrong with Hindus performing Hindu worship during their family birthday celebrations, what is wrong if we sing Christian choruses and pray before we eat?” Indrakla said.

The Hindu extremists refused to heed or answer her, she said.

“The atmosphere of celebration soon changed into despair as the police and Hindu extremists denigrated us,” Indrakla said. “They termed our birthday celebration as a ceremony for luring Dalit masses into becoming Christians.”

Dalits have historically been regarded as “untouchable,” lower than and thus outside the lowest level in the Hindu caste hierarchy.

Police arrested Indrakla and three other Christians – identified only as Savita, Anita and Sadhana – and the owners of the house, identified as Subhagi Devi and Sunita, two women who are not Christians.

All six were taken to the Maharajganj police station, where officers tried to pressure Indrakla into confessing that she distributed Christian literature, she said.

“I said, ‘I don’t have any literature, and neither do I distribute any literature,’” Indrakla said.

One of the two landladies told police that they were witnesses to the birthday party and that no form of conversion was taking place.

Officers told the six women they would release them by evening, but instead they were charged on a complaint of Ashutosh Singh, block president of the VHP, with “provocation and criminal intimidation” and, under the Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Act 2021, with “unlawful conversion from one religion to another by misrepresentation, force, undue influence, coercion, allurement or by any fraudulent means,” in First Information Report No. 286.

The arrested women were transferred to the Azamgarh police station that night, and the next morning, July 31, they appeared before a special lower court, as it was a Sunday. They were denied bail and sent to Azamgarh jail.

Forced conversion is punishable by imprisonment of one to five years with a minimum fine of 15,000 rupees (US$181), and three to 10 years of prison for the conversion of minors and women from the Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe community.

One of the landladies and Savita and Anita were released on Aug. 30, while Sadhana, Indrakla and the other landlady were released on Sept. 1.

“The ground reality is that under the garb of the allegation of forced conversions, people are being targeted by right-wing fanatic organizations being backed by the government to gain popularity or benefit politically,” the attorney representing the women, Munish Chandra, told local media outlet The Wire.

Attacks

While his wife was in jail, Kumar and their son had taken refuge at the home of Indrakla’s brother. On the way back from an Aug. 16 court hearing for the six women, a car crashed into the motorbike on which Kumar, his son and sister-in-law were riding.

“Thankfully, none of us were hurt in that accident,” Kumar said.

After the next hearing on Aug. 24, again a car rammed into his motorbike. Thrown onto the road from the impact, Kumar and his son sustained leg injuries, his sister-in-law several internal injuries, and her son several bruises.

“I am sure we were attacked by people sent by the complainant,” Kumar told Morning Star News. “It cannot be a coincidence that we are hit by a car on both the court hearings in the same way.”

The six women were granted bail at the Aug. 24 hearing, though they were not released until a week later, he said.

The cordial relations Indrakla had with those in her community before the July 30 incident have chilled since her arrest and jailing, she said.

“The community that we lived in have all suddenly turned their faces against us,” she said. “They are behaving as if we are their enemies. They say that we indulge in converting people.”

The landlords have been pressuring Kumar to vacate the house to spare them further trouble, and his extended family members have shunned him, he said.

“They have flatly refused to shelter us,” he said. “They say that till our case is settled, they will have nothing to do with us.”

Financial Setback

Kumar, a street vendor of cookies and candies, borrowed various resources from neighbors and other villagers to provide a “grand celebration for their son,” said their pastor, Santosh Kumar.

An emotional Indrakla said much money and planning went into preparing the birthday gathering where intruders set into motion events that have hurt their income. Due to the threats from Hindu extremists, Kumar cannot leave home and resume work.

“We borrowed utensils, harmonium, mic and all the items required,” she said. “We rented stuff from a tent house and have not paid for any of that yet.”

The food prepared for more than 600 people went to waste, and there was no one to tend to household affairs while Indrakla was in custody. Amid the chaos, some of the borrowed or rented items were stolen, along with some of their own possessions, Indrakla said.

“We have people coming and asking us every day to either return their things or pay for it,” Indrakla said. “Where do I get the money from to pay them?”

Counter Case

On Sept. 4, Kumar and Indrakla filed a private court complaint under the Code of Criminal Procedure over the attack and harassment they have faced.

They have also filed complaints to Scheduled Caste-Scheduled Tribe commission offices in New Delhi and Lucknow, as well as to the district superintendent of police, said Dinnanath Jaiswar, a Christian leader and social activist in Uttar Pradesh.

“Since these Hindu extremists came to know about the counter-complaint, they have targeted the family many times,” Jaiswar told Morning Star News. “Now the court has directed the police to investigate the threats and intimidation of the victims.”

Jaiswar noted that Indrakla and the other women are low-status Dalits, while the assailants are upper-caste Hindus.

“It’s a prestige issue for them,” he said. “They cannot digest how these Dalits have exercised their legal rights against the upper caste. For them, the reality has been that the law is there for the upper castes to be used against the lower-caste people. They think they are the higher strata of society and the government belongs to them.”

Christian families who are Dalits thus face double discrimination for being both low status and followers of Christ, he said.

Various entities have designated Uttar Pradesh as the state in India where Christians experience the most persecution. Christians make up only 0.18 percent of the state’s population, according to the 2011 Census, or 356,000 Christians in the highly populated state.

The hostile tone of the National Democratic Alliance government, led by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, against non-Hindus, has emboldened Hindu extremists in several parts of the country to attack Christians since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took power in May 2014, religious rights advocates say.

India ranked 10th on Open Doors’ 2022 World Watch List of the countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian, as it was in 2021. The country was 31st in 2013, but its position worsened after Modi came to power.

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