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Persecution Watch: Praying for Believers in India

(Voice of the Persecuted) You are invited to join us on Thursday, May 19, 2022 in a prayer conference call for the persecuted church hosted by Persecution Watch.

INDIA: Population: 1,3 billion Christians 68,8 million

India is home to nearly 1.3 billion people — 2.3% Christians, 14.2% Muslim and 80% Hindu. India’s religious minorities experience hostility from the government and Hindu extremists. 

India’s government is run by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which backs Hindu extremists. Narendra Modi, the Indian prime minister, and the BJP have endorsed laws and policies that have enabled Hindu extremists to harass Christians and Muslims in the day-to-day. Hindu extremists want all Indians to be Hindu and believe that converting Christians and other religious minorities is simply returning them to their original faith.

“It is not conversion; it is reconversion,” stated Vyankatesh Abdeo, the national secretary of a Hindu organization, in an LA Times article. “A thousand years ago, all the Muslims and Christians in India were Hindu. They were converted by the sword. We are just bringing them back to their original faith.”    

 Indian government officials often spread disinformation and make inflammatory remarks about religious minorities. Before and during the pandemic, many BJP politicians, leaders, and members of Hindu extremist organizations made remarks or allegations in public and on social media about Christians and Muslims.

Several of India’s states enforce anti-conversion laws. According to USCIRF’s 2020 report, one-third of India’s 28 states have passed laws that “limit or prohibit religious conversion to protect the dominant religion from perceived threats from religious minorities.” One particular anti-conversion law in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh demands that those converting from one religion to another must notify authorities of the change within 60 days. Giving gifts, such as Bibles, or providing food at church events could be seen under the law as allurement or inducement to convert.

Wild claims have been leveled against Christians as a result of anti-conversion laws. In 2017, six Christians were arrested for allegedly plotting to kidnap children and forcibly convert them. The Christian chaperons were taking the children, whose parents were also Christian, to a 4-day Bible camp. Violating anti-conversion laws is punishable with fines and up to 10 years in prison.

In the states where these anti-conversion laws have gone into effect, pastors and priests are most frequently accused and jailed for “coercing” or “bribing” Hindus to convert to Christianity. Uttar Pradesh’s anti-conversion law labels pastors and priests as “religion converters” and classifies discussing divine displeasure (i.e. talking about heaven or hell) as “forcing conversion.” In October, seven pastors were arrested during a prayer meeting in Uttar Pradesh for “forcing conversions” and “assembling illegally.”

Indian politicians and Hindu extremists have pushed for a nation-wide institution of these anti-conversion laws under the guise of “religious freedom.” This would increase the already widespread accusations and harassment of Christians for preaching the gospel. Hindu extremist mobs, motivated by false allegations, frequently burst into services, demand arrests, attack Christians, and destroy churches or other Christian establishments.

Alliance Defending Freedom described a typical attack: “A mob will arrive at a prayer meeting or Christian gathering, shout abuse and harassment, and beat up those in attendance, including women and children. Then, the pastors or priests are usually arrested by the police under false allegations of forced conversions.” Police rarely hold mob members accountable or investigate incidents of violence against Christians.

The Indian Parliament amended a law in September restricting and in some cases freezing the finances of non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Amendment of the law was meant to cut down on the misuse of foreign funds, however these restrictions forced Christian, humanitarian and religious freedom advocacy NGOs to shut down. Many of these NGOs were distributing COVID relief.

Indians who convert from Hinduism to Christianity often face immense pressure to reconvert or are ostracized from their friends and families. By converting, these Christians risk losing their jobs and are boycotted by their community, dealing a significant blow to their income sources. Particularly during COVID-19, Christians were turned away from local and government aid centers and denied basic necessities, such as food, water or clothing. 

  • Pray that the Lord will touch President Prime Minister Modi through His Holy Spirit to open up to Christianity.
  • Pray that God will soften the hearts of Hindu extremists, that they will see Christians as valuable Indian brothers and sisters.
  • Pray for those in authority that they will commit to freedom for all people of faith.
  • Give thanks to God that many people are coming to know Jesus after being healed of sickness; pray that this will continue.
  • Pray for healing of the many victims of religious violence. Pray that the Lord will heal hearts and bodies.
  •  Pray for believers to connect with other believers. According to Open Doors USA, many believers “don’t know any other Christians.” as persecution is coming from all areas of life.  Social boycotts, covid lockdowns and pressure from Hindu extremists to “reconvert” breed isolation.
  • Pray for the protection of believers from hostile Hindus as they seek fellowship and worship.
  • Pray to the Lord for Hindus converting to Christianity that they stay strong in the face of persecution from neighbors and authorities.
  • Pray to the Lord to have His hand of protection on believers, who in this hostile environment, who bring the Gospel to the lost.
  • Pray to the Lord that they will continue to have unrestricted access to the internet. That the internet will have messages to encourage the saints and touch Hindus.
  • Ask God continued protection, strength, and encouragement for all NGOs as they covertly serve the church in India as the authorities.
  • Pray that the Lord will give His believers the ability to love their enemies and to forgive them.
  •  Pray to the Lord that the gates of Hell will not prevail and that the Lord Jesus Christ will continue to grow His Church. That the powers of darkness will be unable to stop spreading throughout INDIA.

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

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

Andy, Persecution Watch Prayer Call Moderator

Prayer Conference Call Details

Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday

From any location on your phone

USA Time Zone:

9:00 PM Eastern

8:00 PM Central

7:00 PM Mountain

6:00 PM Pacific

Call in number: (667) 770-1476 (Note: We have a new call-in phone number)

Access Code: 281207#

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

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

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

What is Persecution Watch?

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

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

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

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

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

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

God bless and protect you in your faithfulness to serve.

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

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

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

Persecution Watch: Praying for Believers in Iran

(Voice of the Persecuted) You are invited to join us on Thursday, May 12, 2022 in a prayer conference call for the persecuted church hosted by Persecution Watch.

IRAN: Population: 84.3 million, Christians 800,000

Iran Seeks Regional “Eliminationism” of Christians. Iran is an overlooked source of Christian persecution in the Middle East, according to a senior fellow with The Philos Project. In a recent presentation, Farhad Rezaei discussed the West’s view of Christian persecution that often silos the issue to jihadists, failing to account for Iran’s “strategy of eliminationism” in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Lebanon.

In an organized and strategic campaign, Iran seeks to shrink and suffocate the Christian minority communities in the Middle East through discrimination, imprisonment, abduction, and confiscation of property, to name a few. Domestically, Iran has made recent headlines for a “victory” in a case of nine Christians who were acquitted of their crimes of house church membership. However, several of the Christians from the group already face new charges and the vast majority of Iranian Christian converts have little hope for appeal. Intelligence officers at the notorious Evin Prison also recently violated the rights of imprisoned Iranian Christians by refusing to return the confiscated equipment to the interrogation branch.

Regionally, Iranian-backed factions in Iraq and Syria disrupt attempts for peace and restoration, pushing an anti-Christian agenda. Rezaei provided two rationales for Iran’s attempts to smother the region’s Christian population. One is strategic for Iran to expand a land bridge to the Mediterranean, across land that Christian communities currently reside in. The second is ideological and the “new Shi’ism” views that Christians are “pollution”.

The severity of persecution facing Christians in Iran remains largely unchanged. Sadly, things may get worse following changes to the country’s penal code, which further strangles religious freedom. Under the amendments, teaching the Bible or telling others about the Christian faith—which contradicts the teaching of Islam—could result in prosecution, as could the claim that Christians can communicate with Jesus, whom Islamic teaching regards as a prophet. Christians could also be accused of “insults … with the intent to cause violence or tensions.” This vague wording is open to interpretation, making Christians more vulnerable to unjust accusations.

Several Iranian Christian converts face persecution at the hands of the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence. Fariba Dalir, age 51, began her two-year prison sentence at Evin Prison on April 16. Rahmat Rostamipour, age 49, remains imprisoned after being interrogated and arrested at his home on April 18. Rostamipour’s wife Azar was originally to be arrested as well but was summed later due to a panic attack their teenage daughter suffered during the raid. Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) agents arrested Dalir alongside five other converts in July 2021, including her fiancé Soroush. Guards held her in solitary confinement for 38 days and later released her on November 18, 2021 after posting bail of about $22,000 USD.  

Rahmat’s home in Anzali was raided by a dozen plainclothesmen in the early morning. IRGC agents confiscated Bibles, phones, ID cards, books, and the children’s school tablets. Authorities intended to arrest his wife as well but allowed her to stay due to their daughter’s trauma. Azar was summoned on April 19 for hours of interrogation, during which she was informally accused of “propaganda against the regime through involvement in house-church activities”.

  • Pray that President Raisi will honor the rights and contributions of Iran’s religious minorities.
  • Pray that God will change the hearts of religious leaders of Iran to recognize Jesus as their Lord.
  • Pray that God will open the eyes of the authorities to see that Christians aren’t a threat to Iran but a valuable part of Iranian society. Ask Him to change the hearts of those in charge, that they may even see the hope of Jesus.
  • Pray house churches will continue to powerfully equip believers for serving Jesus, and that God will keep them safe from raids and from harm.
  • Pray for believers who are in prison because of their faith that God will give them hope and peace.
  • Pray for the Christians to be protected and given wisdom in covert ministry work.
  • Pray that the believers keep their eyes on Jesus and remain joyful amid suffering.
  • Pray that the believers can love and forgive their persecutors.
  • Pray that the internet will be a spiritual resource for all Christians and also have messages that minister to Muslims.
  • Pray for believers that God will open doors to evangelism so that they can boldly share the Gospels.
  • Pray to the Lord that the NGO’s will continue to support Christians, both spiritually, trauma counseling and daily needs.
  • Pray to Jesus that He will continue to give an increase to the number of believers, encourage the leaders that the church will experience amazing growth.

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

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

Andy, Persecution Watch Prayer Call Moderator

Prayer Conference Call Details

Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday

From any location on your phone

USA Time Zone:

9:00 PM Eastern

8:00 PM Central

7:00 PM Mountain

6:00 PM Pacific

Call in number: (667) 770-1476 (Note: We have a new call-in phone number)

Access Code: 281207#

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

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

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

What is Persecution Watch?

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

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

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

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

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

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

God bless and protect you in your faithfulness to serve.

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

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

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

Pakistan: ‘Attack on pastors illustrative of increasing pressure’, say Christians

A Pakistani pastor was killed and another wounded Sunday in an attack outside their church in northwestern Peshawar.

The two pastors were leaving the Shaheedan-e- all Saints’ Church where they had led the Sunday morning service when two men on a motorbike drove up to their car. They shot Rev. William Siraj in the head, killing him on the spot. His colleague, Rev. Patrick Naeem, was injured and taken to a nearby hospital for treatment.

No-one has yet claimed responsibility for the attack and a man-hunt for the two assassins is under way.

The attack took place outside a church that was established in memory of the twin suicide bombing of the All Saints’ Church in September 2013, in which 127 church members were killed and more than 250 injured. An offshoot of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, or TTP, a Pakistani branch of the Taliban, claimed responsibility for the bombing.

Among those who died that day was the son-in-law of Rev. Siraj, who was killed yesterday. He had, since then, lived with and supported his widowed daughter. “He was a very humble and godly man, and we all respected and loved him. He loved us so much,” a visibly emotional church member told World Watch Monitor.

TV footage showed people carrying Siraj’s body from the car to a nearby house while chanting “Long live Jesus Christ”, according to Reuters.

‘Deliberate and planned’

The leader of the Church of Pakistan, a union of protestant churches in the country, Bishop Azad Marshall, condemned the killings in a tweet, calling for “justice and protection of Christians from the government of Pakistan”.

In a statement, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan’s chairperson, Hina Jilani, also demanded more steps for the protection of Christians and other minorities in Pakistan “whose right to life and security of person remains under constant threat,” she was quoted as saying by the Associated Press.

Although there had been no threats made to priests or the church in advance of Sunday’s attack, the way in which it was carried out “suggests a deliberate and planned attack; an act designed to intimidate, challenge and threaten those who offer rights, protection and freedoms to Christian minorities in Pakistan,” a local source, who wished to remain anonymous for security reasons, told WWM.

Attacks on Christian leaders, churches and individuals are nothing new in majority-Muslim Pakistan. The 2% minority faces religious freedom violations on several levels, from discrimination in education and the workplace to violent attacks.

The country’s blasphemy law is a tool that is regularly used, often to settle scores between individuals. The law is politically volatile as illustrated by threats and nationwide protests during the court case against Asia Bibi, the Catholic woman who was acquitted of blasphemy in 2019.

Increase in pressure after fall of Kabul

Peshawar is close to the border with Afghanistan, and since August the region has seen an uptick in attacks by the TTP, clearly emboldened by the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan, as reported by France24.

The withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan also caused an exodus of refugees, hoping to find safety in neighbouring countries such as Pakistan. “We have seen thousands of refugees coming to major Pakistani cities such as Peshawar and Quetta,” said a local source, who also wished to remain anonymous for security reasons. “The cities are unable to cope with such an influx and people are facing not just inflation, but homelessness and starvation also. Unfortunately, we have seen an increase in assassination attempts, families in Christian neighbourhoods who are being shot at, forced conversions and bombings. Today [Sunday, Jan. 30] was yet another example of this brand of violence.”

Pakistan is 8th on the Open Doors World Watch List of 50 countries where it is most difficult to live as a Christian but as far as local Christians are concerned, it might as well be topping the list together owing to its proximity to Afghanistan, which is No. 1. This country rose to first place for the first time after having been in 2nd position after North Korea for many years.

“Pakistan’s religious landscape and the social degeneration that is taking place, cannot be isolated and distracted from that of Afghanistan,” the local source said. “Pakistan might show a moderate face; its heart is increasingly extremist and it wants to embrace a form of Islam where the Madrassa [Islamic school] is the way to get educated, with the Quran as the ultimate textbook.” In recent months the government has ordered public schools to implement religion-centred changes such as making afternoon prayers mandatory and reciting the Quran during morning assemblies.

Following the 2013 bombings, in June 2014, Pakistan’s supreme court issued a list of instructions for the government to protect the country’s minorities, including the development of “appropriate curricula for primary, secondary and tertiary levels of education that promote religious harmony and tolerance.” However, 2020 research by the Lahore-based Centre for Social Justice showed that religious minorities continued to be either invisible or vilified in Pakistan’s school textbooks.

“Where does this leave minority children?” the local source said.  “The simple answer is this: in a queue for a visa, waiting to leave Pakistan and find hope and a future in a foreign land.”

Pastor Tied to Post, Beaten in Delhi, India

(Morning Star News) – Hindu extremists in the National Capital Territory of Delhi last month tied a pastor to a post at a busy intersection and beat him before hundreds of people, but police have yet to make arrests, sources said.

Accusing Pastor Kelom Kalyan Tete of forcible conversion as they beat him, Hindu extremists on Feb. 25 then abducted the bleeding pastor, bound his hands and tied him to an iron rod that divides a road into two at Fatehpur Beri Chowk crossroad in South Delhi, Pastor Tete said.

Though the attack took place in daylight in view of hundreds of people in a busy market area, police have yet to make arrests. Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police Harsha Vardhan said on March 4 that officers had questioned people and the investigation was ongoing.

In a video on social media, the bound Pastor Tete is seen sobbing as more than 150 people – including schoolchildren in uniform – surround him, taunt him and strike him.

Pastor Tete, 35, told Morning Star News that the assailants incited the schoolchildren and other passersby to shout, “Hail lord Ram” and to hit him for alleged conversion activities.

“A huge crowd of around 150-200 people surrounded me and assaulted me, including schoolchildren who kicked me with their legs,” said Pastor Tete, who was punched and kicked in the head, chest, stomach, back and repeatedly slapped in the face.

“They hit me on my head so many times that I began to bleed from my nose and mouth – I thought that my nose bone was broken,” he told Morning Star News. “They got water and splashed it on my face, wiped the blood that was oozing out with a handkerchief and started to hit me again.”

The Hindu extremists had seized his phone, bag, Bible, motorbike, helmet and vehicle documents. Initially he had been beaten about four miles away at the Bhati Mines area at about 10:15 a.m., from which he was abducted, bound and beaten until about noon, he said.

No passersby had the courage to question or report the brutality of the attackers, he said.

“I was silent like Jesus was on the cross,” Pastor Tete said. “All my strength was gone. My vision became blurred, and I was not able to hear properly because of being slapped hard on my face repeatedly. I lost my voice for some time and was not able to further shout for help.”

At one point he thought he would be killed, he said.

“Later they started to say, ‘Get a thick bludgeon, and let’s hit him,’” he said. “Now, if they would have hit me with a bludgeon, I would be dead.”

After abducting him, the Hindu extremists initially said they were taking him to the Maidan Garhi police station, but they changed their minds and turned back and began to threaten him, he said.

“They said, ‘We will break your legs, tie you to a tree,’” Pastor Tete told Morning Star News. “They were conspiring to kill me. I pleaded and said, ‘Brothers, do not do this. What wrong have I done, let’s talk this matter out. It is not good; you are troubling an innocent man.’”

A crowd of more than 30 people gathered, and the Hindu extremists instigated them to assault him, he said.

“They punched me, threw me down on the ground, kicked me, and stomped over me,” he said.

The assailants then brought him to the crossroad and tied him to the iron post with a rope.

“Even the spectators could have questioned the men beating me to not take the law into their hands, and that if they had some issues, they should call the police,” he said. “But it is so hurting that nobody stepped forward. Everybody mutely watched them treat me in such an inhuman way.”

Pastor Tete said he did not know how, at about noon, the ropes binding his hands came untied.

“Only the Lord saved me – I believe that the Lord opened my tied hands,” he said.

Pastor Tete then managed to escape and, hiding in lanes behind vehicles, reached home, he said. He found his vehicle keys in his pocket, and he later sent someone to retrieve his motorbike. The assailants had left his mobile phone, motorbike papers, helmet and other possessions at one of the area shops, and church members collected them for him the next day, he said.

Originally from Simdega District in Jharkhand state, Pastor Tete has been ministering in Delhi for the past 18 years and pastors a church whose name is undisclosed for security reasons.

Police Inaction

Pastor Tete said police initially declined to register a First Information Report (FIR), doing so only after online news outlet Scroll.in reported the attack.

Instead of collecting evidence from the CCTV footage of the assault at the intersection where he was tied up, police called Pastor Tete to the Bhati Mines area, gathered some women and asked them questions about his preaching, he said.

“Everything is captured on CCTV,” Pastor Tete said. “The police are not gathering the evidence from the footage but instead are trying to frame me. Everything will be clear after they get the evidence from the CCTV.”

Scroll.in reported that the FIR has been registered under Indian Penal Code sections for kidnapping or abduction with intent of wrongful condiment, voluntarily causing hurt, wrongful restraint and “acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention.”

Since submitting a written complaint to the Maidan Garhi police station on Feb. 27, Pastor Tete has received neither a copy of the FIR nor its number despite several requests, he said.

The Head Constable of the Maidan Garhi station, known only as Rajendra, refused to give the FIR number to Morning Star News, stating that matters pertaining to a church cannot be disclosed.

Additional DCP Vardhan confirmed that an FIR was registered and asked Morning Star News to call an hour later for the FIR number – at which time phone calls to him went unanswered.

Pastor Tete said police were twisting the case and downplaying it. Officers told him the FIR was ready on Thursday (March 3), but when he went to collect it, they refused to give it to him, he said. The pastor has been going to the police station almost every day to request a copy of the FIR, but officers refuse to give him a copy or give an update on the case, he said.

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.

Persecution Watch: Praying for the Persecuted Church

(Voice of the Persecuted) You are invited to join us on Tuesday, March 8, 2022 in a prayer conference call for the persecuted church hosted by Persecution Watch.

Dear Prayer Warriors for it is written, 

 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. John 16:33

” Strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God. Acts 14:22

 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.” 1 Peter 4:12-14

Based on the linked reports below, we will also pray for Believers in Uganda and Nigeria.

New Christian Seriously Injured after Church Service in Uganda

Islamic Terrorists Kill Three Christians in Chibok, Nigeria

We have a prayer request 

A wife and her husband are former Muslims, now Christians in Egypt. Her husband as sharing about Christ on Facebook and was arrested. As of this writing, he has been in jail for 3 months. He is being tortured by the authorities and the prisoners. She is pregnant with their first child and is due any day. She has no money, so our co-worker took her to a local hospital and prepaid for her maternity and delivery.

  • Please pray for her during this stressful time and please pray that her husband will be released soon.

We will also continue to lift up these persecuted witnesses to the Lord: 

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

The Harvest

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

The Lord’s servant

Nadia Dybvik, Persecution Watch Prayer Conference Call Leader

Prayer Conference Call Details

Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday (Nightly as the Lord leads us to pray for Ukraine)

From any location on your phone

USA Time Zone:

9:00 PM Eastern

8:00 PM Central

7:00 PM Mountain

6:00 PM Pacific

Call in number: (667) 770-1476 (Note: We have a new call-in phone number)

Access Code: 281207#

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

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

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

What is Persecution Watch?

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

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

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

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

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

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

God bless and protect you in your faithfulness to serve.

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

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

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

UKRAINE: An Urgent Call to Prayer

(Voice of the Persecuted) In addition to the prayer calls for the Persecuted Church on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, Persecution Watch will be hosting a nightly Prayer Conference Call, as the Lord leads, to focus on the urgent prayer needs of the Ukrainian people. Please join us to pray!

The Lord’s servant,

Nadia Dybvik, Persecution Watch Prayer Conference Call Leader

Prayer Conference Call Details

From any location on your phone

Time: (Note: USA time zones – please check your 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.

The Ignored Pandemic: 360 Million Christians Persecuted Worldwide

(by Raymond Ibrahim) The year 2021 “saw the worst persecution of Christians in history”—with an average of 16 Christians butchered for their faith every single day.

This is according to the World Watch List-2022 (WWL), which was recently published by the international humanitarian organization, Open Doors.  The report ranks the top 50 countries where Christians are most persecuted for their faith. Annually published and released at the beginning of each year, the WWL uses data from field workers and external experts to quantify and analyze persecution worldwide.

According to the WWL-2022 (covering from Oct. 1, 2020 – Sept. 30, 2021), “over 360 million Christians suffer high levels of persecution and discrimination for their faith—a rise of 20 million from last year. The number represents one in seven Christians worldwide. This year records the highest levels of persecution since the first list was published 29 years ago…”

For this same reporting period, 5,898 Christians were murdered “for their faith,” a number representing a 24% increase from 2021 (when only 4,761 Christians were killed).  Additionally, “6,175 believers [were] detained without trial, arrested, sentenced or imprisoned,” and 3,829 Christians were abducted.

Perhaps even more reflective of the hate for Christianity, 5,110 churches and other inanimate Christian buildings (schools, monasteries, etc.), were attacked and profaned.

Crunching these numbers into daily averages, the above statistics mean that every single day around the world, more than 16 Christians were murdered for their faith; 27 were either illegally arrested and imprisoned by non-Christian authorities, or abducted by non-Christian actors; and 14 churches were destroyed or desecrated.

For the first time since these WWL reports were published, Afghanistan, which for years was usually ranked the #2 worst nation (following North Korea) shot up to the #1 spot, meaning “Afghanistan is now the most dangerous place in the world to be a Christian.”  Additionally,

Read full report at Gatestone Institute here

Praying for Believers in North Korea

(Voice of the Persecuted) You are invited to join us on Thursday, February 17, 2022 in a prayer conference call for the persecuted church hosted by Persecution Watch.

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

Although North Korea’s official name is the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, in reality it functions as a totalitarian regime. Driven by a paranoid tyrannical leader, persecution pervades every aspect of civic, social, family, and private life. While formally North Korea is an atheistic country its constitution nominally grants freedom of religious belief but prohibits the use of religion for “drawing in foreign forces or for harming the State.” According to the document, “The government treats religion as a threat to the state-propagated ideology known as Juche, which preaches ‘self-reliance and self-development.”

Under North Korea’s songbun system, citizens are classified based on their perceived loyalty to the state. Religious practitioners belong to the “hostile” class, which limits their access to educational and employment opportunities, as well as other state benefits.  North Korea has a network of prison camps (kyohwaso) and labor training camps (rodongdanryondae) to house an estimated 80,000–120,000 prisoners of conscience and other citizens declared “enemies of the state.” Experts estimate that tens of thousands of these prisoners are Christians, the majority of whom were arrested by the Ministry of State Security because they possessed a Bible.

Christians are particularly vulnerable for targeting because they are viewed as having ties with Western countries, and thus posing a threat of foreign infiltration. Even family members often must keep their faith secret from one another for fear of discovery. Fellowship with other believers in group worship poses too great a risk. “There are no formally registered, independent houses of worship in North Korea. The government has established several state-sponsored religious organizations and permits five churches to operate in Pyongyang. However, human rights groups and defectors from the country allege that these institutions exist merely to provide the illusion of religious freedom.’’

Anyone caught practicing religion or even suspected of harboring religious views in private is subject to severe punishment, including arrest, torture, imprisonment, and execution. The possession and distribution of religious texts remains a criminal offense under North Korean law, so proselytization is impossible. Being found with mere pages of a Bible could result in immediate death or imprisonment in one of the terrible prison or labor camps where slave labor, torture, deprivation, and death are commonplace. Despite these realities, it is estimated that there are 200,000 to 400,000 “secret” Christians in North Korea. According to one report published by Open Doors. at least 200,000 Christians have gone missing.  

Given the extreme persecution, it is a miracle that the North Korean underground church is not only able to exist but is reported to be thriving and growing. One Christian dreams that “one day the borders will open and [they] will unite with the South Korean and the Chinese church to bring the gospel to some of the darkest places on this earth.”

  • Pray for the Lord to change the heart of Kim Jong Un and the other leaders of NK.
  • Pray Christians who worship secretly, that the Lord will keep them safe from informers.
  • Pray for the Lord to comfort Christians families who are in prison – the inhuman prisons and labor camps.
  • Pray For Christian parents as they struggle to tell their kids about Jesus.
  • Pray that NGOs will support Christians whose family members have been imprisoned for their witness.
  • Pray for North Koreans as they deal with famine conditions and COVID-19 problems due to closed border to China S Koreas can’t send food support to Christians.
  • Pray that front line workers are protected and equipped, have the tools to advance the kingdom.
  • Providing Bibles even though they are considered illegal by the government.
  • Pray for Christians who try to travel to safe housed in China that the Lord’s hand of protection is on them.
  • Pray to the Lord that He will help North Korean refugees to heal from their trauma.
  • Pray that illegal Christian radio stations minister to believers.
  • Pray that believers experience God’s comfort.
  • Pray that believers know that they are not alone, that we are praying for them.

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

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

Andy, Persecution Watch Prayer Call Moderator

Prayer Conference Call Details

Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday

From any location on your phone

USA Time Zone:

9:00 PM Eastern

8:00 PM Central

7:00 PM Mountain

6:00 PM Pacific

Call in number: (667) 770-1476 (Note: We have a new call-in phone number)

Access Code: 281207#

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

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

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

What is Persecution Watch?

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

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

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

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

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

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

God bless and protect you in your faithfulness to serve.

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

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

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

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