VOICE OF THE PERSECUTED

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Persecution Watch: Urgent Prayer Request from Myanmar

(Voice of the Persecuted) You are invited to join us on Tuesday July 13 ,2021 in a prayer conference call for the persecuted church hosted by Persecution Watch.

“Carrying the cross does mean following in Jesus’ footsteps. And in His footsteps are rejection, brokenheartedness, persecution and death. There are not two Christs – an easy going one for easy going Christians, and a suffering one for exceptional believers. There is only one Christ. Are we willing to follow His lead?” ~ Hudson Taylor

“In order to enjoy the Word, we ought to continue to read it, and the way to obtain a spirit of prayer, is, to continue praying; for the less we read the Word of God, the less we desire to read it, and the less we pray, the less we desire to pray.” ~ George Muller

Dear Prayer Warriors, we have received an urgent prayer request to pray for the people of Myanmar, their struggles, sufferings, and tribulations. Covid 19 has taken the lives of many, 60 ministers have died from this disease in Chin State. They are desperate for oxygen for people who are sick with the virus. Many have been unjustly dragged to prison and may not see their families again.

We will also remember these dear ones:

Leah Sharibu and Alice that they will be set free from Boko Haram captivity.

  • Leah Sharibu was kidnapped along with 109 other students on February 19, 2018 when Boko Haram attacked a boarding school in the city of Dapchi, Maiduguri Diocese, in north-eastern Nigeria. A month later, some of the girls died in captivity and all the others were released, except Leah. She was the only Christian in the group
  • Alice Loksha Ngaddah was kidnapped during the Rann attack on March 1, 2018. She was a nurse working with Unicef and is a mother of two.

Pastor Wang Yi to be released from prison, for his family, the children, and the 

church in China. Pastor Wang Yi who is currently serving his prison sentence.

Anita an Iranian Christian, persecuted by the Islamic regime seeking asylum.

Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani from Iran, for his release and his family as their persecution continues. At present he is serving his six-year sentence. 

The harvest 

  • “And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” Luke 10:2

The Lord’s servant,

Nadia Dybvik, Persecution Watch Prayer Conference Call Leader

Prayer Conference Call Details

Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday

From any location on your phone

USA Time Zone:

9:00 PM Eastern

8:00 PM Central

7:00 PM Mountain

6:00 PM Pacific

Call in number: 712 775-7035

Access Code: 281207#

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

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

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

What is Persecution Watch?

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

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

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

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

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

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

God bless and protect you in your faithfulness to serve.

Lois Kanalos, Founder, Voice of the Persecuted, Nadia Dybvik 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 Myanmar

5/20/2021 (Voice of the Persecuted) You are invited to join us on Thursday, May 20, 2021 in a prayer call for the persecuted church hosted by Persecution Watch. 

Myanmar: Population 54.8 million, Christians 4.3 million [8%]

Religious nationalism is especially strong in Myanmar and drives much of the persecution of Christians. There is an increasing emphasis on Buddhism, to the exclusion of all other religions. Converts to the Christian faith often face persecution from their families and communities for leaving, or “betraying,” the system of belief they grew up in. Communities who aim to stay “Buddhist only” make life for Christian families impossible by not allowing them to use community resources such as water.

Well-established churches have been attacked, and in some instances, Buddhist monks have invaded church compounds and built Buddhist shrines inside. Non-traditional church groups experience opposition too, especially those located in rural areas and/or are known for evangelistic activity. The government tries to act against extremist Buddhist monks, but sends mixed signals, since it has become clear that extremist monks enjoy the support of the army.

Myanmar is the scene of the longest civil war in the world, which began in 1948. Although much media attention has been given to the plight of Rohingya Muslims, the ongoing war against insurgent groups—which affects, among others, the states of Kachin, Karen and Shan (all of which have a strong Christian minority)—have gone largely unnoticed. The predominantly Christian Chin State was also affected by fighting. Christians are vulnerable to persecution by insurgent groups and the army, and more than 100,000 Christians in the north live in Internal Displacement Camps (IDPs) where they are deprived of access to food and health care.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought added challenges, since many Christians are deliberately overlooked in the distribution of government aid.

Myanmar has jumped one place from last year, reflecting the ongoing severe persecution facing many Christians. Converts continue to encounter tremendous hostility from family and the local community, while believers remain caught up in the fighting plaguing the states of Kachin, Shan and Karen, all of which have a significant Christian population, as well as predominantly Christian Chin State.

Christians in Kachin State, in the north of the country, are especially exposed to persecution. Due to the ongoing fighting, more than 100,000 people—mostly Christian—are living in internally displaced persons (IDP) camps, most of them for years, and humanitarian access to them is blocked. Fighting continues as well in neighboring Shan State, which has a large minority of Christians, especially in the north. Chin State, which is predominantly Christian, has also been the site of a great deal of conflict.

From the coronavirus to cyclones, few have faced the litany of scourges confronting the Rohingya people today. While we must assist the Rohingya to weather these storms, we cannot forget why they find themselves in such vulnerable circumstances in the first place. Almost three years ago, the Myanmar government unleashed a campaign of violence forcing the majority of the Rohingya population to flee. Now is the time to call these crimes what they are: genocide.  

In the span of a few days in May, nearly one million Rohingya refugees living in mega camps in Bangladesh faced the arrival of the coronavirus and the strongest storm ever recorded in the Bay of Bengal. The coming monsoon season threatens flooding and landslides. Hundreds more Rohingya are stranded at sea after being turned back from the shores of Malaysia and Bangladesh. Many are feared to have drowned.

This is the result of decades of persecution and the Myanmar military’s campaign of murder, mass rape, and destruction in late 2017. This Tuesday will mark three years since that mass expulsion. As these anniversaries accumulate, there is a real danger that the international community will grow accustomed to their passing. These atrocities cannot become just another chapter in the long history of state violence in Myanmar. Genocide is the gravest crime a government can commit. Accountability for that crime is essential if the Rohingya are to ever feel safe in their homeland.  

Villagers with animistic beliefs take vengeance against Christians, claiming they are angering the local spirits. Church gatherings and church buildings are allowed in many parts of the country, but tolerance varies from state to state. Active believers who share their faith face difficulties. Within tribal groups, families oppose conversion and new believers are subject to close government monitoring. Buddhist monks have actively opposed new Christian converts and evangelists. Pastors face arrest and are usually held for a few days at a time.

Bibles can be purchased and owned legally in small numbers, but most people cannot afford them. While bookstores in large cities sell Bibles, they are unavailable in many regions. Most Burmese Bibles are smuggled into the country.  

  • Pray to the Lord for the military to return power to the civilian government leaders.
  • Pray that the Lord will intervene and bring a peaceful resolution to the ongoing civil war.
  • Pray to the Lord to protect the church leaders who are often targeted by Buddhist extremists and paramilitary groups.
  • Pray to the Lord to disqualify the power hunger generals using the military for their purposes.
  • Pray for those who have left Buddhism to follow Jesus – that God will strengthen, encourage and protect them.
  • Ask that all believers in Myanmar will receive and enjoy fruitful fellowship with other Christians.
  • Pray to the Lord that all the internally displaced people, including Christians, can soon return to their native homes.
  •  Pray for NGOs like VOM to distribute church materials, Bibles and provide training to Christians and provide emergency shelter and food.
  • Pray for the release of all Christians imprisoned or held captive, and for the safety of all Christians as they go about their daily lives.
  • Pray for the protection of church buildings and safety for the worshippers
  • Pray for special protection of converts from the Buddhist faith, that they can withstand pressures from family and community.
  • Pray to give the persecuted the ability to pray for and forgive their persecutors. 
  • Pray for the medical outreach teams.
  • Pray that the Lord will continue to mightily add to the numbers of believers and have His hand of protection on the church.

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

  •  Leah Sharibu, prisoner of Boko Haram since 2018, pray for her release.
  • Alice Loksha Ngaddah, kidnapped February 2019. She is a mother of two, working as a nurse for UNICEF. Pray for her release.
  •  Pray pastor Wang Yi to be released from prison.
  • Pray for Anita, a Christian convert facing a long prison term who escaped and now waiting for a visa 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, recently reduced from ten years.

Andy, Persecution Watch Prayer Call Moderator

Prayer Conference Call Details

Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday

From any location on your phone

Time:

9:00 PM Eastern

8:00 PM Central

7:00 PM Mountain

6:00 PM Pacific

Call in number: 712 775-7035

Access Code: 281207#

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

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

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 (please check your time zone). Blaine also served as Prayer Director for Voice of the Persecuted and our missions became one. The prayer mission of Persecution Watch is an important part of our own.

With the passing of Blaine into glory on December 26, 2019, Voice of the Persecuted is committed to continue the prayer conference call for the persecuted along with our dedicated prayer warrior team.

On occasion, persecuted brothers and sisters have been invited on the call to share the trials they’re facing. The team serves to encourage them by washing their feet in Spirit led prayer.

Time is often reserved for those on the call to ask questions. We believe this helps to gain a better understanding of the situation that persecuted Christians endure in their specific nations. Q&A also helps us to focus our prayers based on their current needs.

Persecution Watch also hosts callers who want to pray united from other nations. If your heart is perplexed by the sufferings of our persecuted brothers and sisters, you no longer need to pray alone. We welcome all who desire to pray for the persecuted church and consider it a joy to pray together with you.

If you’re new to the call and can’t find your voice, listen in and pray silently or on mute. We are grateful and thank the Lord for bringing us all together to pray in agreement for our persecuted family in Christ. We can all be prayer warriors on this call!

NOTE: Persecution Watch has a new email address for the prayer team and those who would like to receive urgent prayer requests, weekly call prayer points and notification of special prayer events and special guest speakers.

Please fill out the form below to be included in our new distribution list to receive this important information. We are grateful for your prayers and to the Lord for guiding us as we continue the Persecution Watch prayer call mission.

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

Special Guest Speaker: Missionary to Burma

5/15/2021 (Voice of the Persecuted) Dear Prayer Warriors, Persecution Watch will host a special guest, Sara S. Zondag, a missionary to Burma (Myanmar). We invite you to hear from this dear sister on tonight’s prayer conference call.

Background:

Sara grew up in the church in rural Wisconsin. After working as a genetic counselor for a few years, she felt called to move overseas to volunteer with some Christian organizations. Sara has been based in Chiang Mai, Thailand since 2011 and has been involved in church related projects in Thailand and in cross-border medical projects with the Karen ethnic group in Burma.

Since the end of World War II, Burma (or Myanmar) has been the site of political unrest. For most of this time the country has been ruled by a military dictatorship. Myanmar has many ethnic minorities that tend to live in the border areas of the country. The main minority groups – the Karen, Shan, Kachin, Chin – have faced fighting from the Burma Army. These ethnic groups have a large proportion of Christians. Missionaries to Burma came in the 1800’s and the Holy Spirit worked in the hearts of people from these groups. Missionaries were expelled from Myanmar in the 1960’s, but the church has continued to thrive within these areas.

On February 1st, Myanmar experienced a coup. In 2015, the military regime allowed democratically elected leaders into power, with limitations. Following repeat victories by these non-military leaders in the country’s 2020 elections, the military decided to retake governmental power by force and has been committing atrocities on people from their own Burman ethnic group as well as increased attacks on ethnic minority groups. 

Prayer Points

  • A miraculous change of heart from these military leaders, soldiers, and police who are attacking their own citizens.

  • For the Burma Army to end their attacks and bombing on the Karen, Kachin, and other minority groups.

  • Safety for the internally displaced people and refugees that these attacks are creating.
  • Courage for the believers in the face of all this difficulty.

We will also Pray for: 

Leah Sharibu and Alice that they will be set free from Boko Haram captivity.

  • Leah Sharibu was kidnapped along with 109 other students on February 19, 2018 when Boko Haram attacked a boarding school in the city of Dapchi, Maiduguri Diocese, in north-eastern Nigeria. A month later, some of the girls died in captivity and all the others were released, except Leah. She was the only Christian in the group.
  • Alice Loksha Ngaddah was kidnapped during the Rann attack on March 1, 2018. She was a nurse working with Unicef and is a mother of two.

Pastor Wang Yi to be released from prison, for his family, the children, and the church in China. 

  • On December 28, the police raided the Early Rain Church and arrested Pastor Wang Yi, his wife Jiang Rong, and ten elders of the well-known 750-member church for holding “illegal” services. Some 100 believers were detained, questioned, and later released. Pastor Wang’s wife was also released. Pastor Wang remained in detention.

Anita, an Iranian Christian, persecuted by the Islamic regime seeking asylum.

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, recently reduced from ten years. Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani converted to Christianity at the age of 19 and leads a 400-member house church in Rasht, Iran. Since 2006, Iranian authorities have consistently harassed and detained Pastor Nadarkhani and his family. In 2010, the authorities sentenced him to death for apostasy before acquitting him in 2012. Pastor Nadarkhani was tried again in 2017 on false charges of “acting against national security” and promoting “Zionist Christianity,” for which he was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment. By July 2018, plainclothes agents raided Pastor Nadarkhani’s home to execute the sentence, beating and apprehending him and using a taser gun on one of his sons. He is now incarcerated at the notorious Evin prison near Tehran.

The harvest 

  • “And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” Luke 10:2

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

Time:

9:00 PM Eastern

8:00 PM Central

7:00 PM Mountain

6:00 PM Pacific

Call in number: 712 775-7035

Access Code: 281207#

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

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

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 (please check your time zone). Blaine also served as Prayer Director for Voice of the Persecuted and our missions became one. The prayer mission of Persecution Watch is an important part of our own.

With the passing of Blaine into glory on December 26, 2019, Voice of the Persecuted is committed to continue the prayer conference call for the persecuted along with our dedicated prayer warrior team.

On occasion, persecuted brothers and sisters have been invited on the call to share the trials they’re facing. The team serves to encourage them by washing their feet in Spirit led prayer.

Time is often reserved for those on the call to ask questions. We believe this helps to gain a better understanding of the situation that persecuted Christians endure in their specific nations. Q&A also helps us to focus our prayers based on their current needs.

Persecution Watch also hosts callers who want to pray united from other nations. If your heart is perplexed by the sufferings of our persecuted brothers and sisters, you no longer need to pray alone. We welcome all who desire to pray for the persecuted church and consider it a joy to pray together with you.

If you’re new to the call and can’t find your voice, listen in and pray silently or on mute. We are grateful and thank the Lord for bringing us all together to pray in agreement for our persecuted family in Christ. We can all be prayer warriors on this call!

NOTE: Persecution Watch has a new email address for the prayer team and those who would like to receive urgent prayer requests, weekly call prayer points and notification of special prayer events and special guest speakers.

Please fill out the form below to be included in our new distribution list to receive this important information. We are grateful for your prayers and to the Lord for guiding us as we continue the Persecution Watch prayer call mission.

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

Tonight: Prayer call for the Persecuted: Myanmar

Myanmar (Burma) Photo by David Mark

(Voice of the Persecuted) Thursday, 7/9/2020  MYANMAR – Population: 54.3 million, Christians 4.3 million

Buddhist extremism and a dictatorial military

In 1966 all foreign missionaries were expelled by the Burmese government, but the Burmese Protestant church has become a vibrant missionary-sending movement, despite financial limitations and geographic isolation. The growth in conversions to Christianity can also be attributed to changes in generations of minority groups from animism to Christianity, or as a reaction to Buddhist nationalism, generally associated with the Burmese majority. The percentage of Christians in the Chin minority group grew from 35% in 1966 to 90% in 2010 and in the Kachin minority group, it grew from 40% in 1966 to 90~95% in 2010. Generally speaking, most Christians are from the minority ethnic groups such as the ChinKarenLisuKachin, and Lahu.   

The international community has rightly called out the horrific ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims in Burma’s Rakhine state. But the Buddhist-dominated Burmese military has systematically attacked other religious minorities too, including Christians. After a recent lull in the mayhem, the country’s Christians now fear more violence and persecution.  The army also maintains tight control over the government in Myanmar, restricting and minimizing the rights of Christians.

Pressure on Christians has slowly increased and converts face strong pressure from their family and community. Rebel groups are active in Wa State, and many churches have been forcibly closed. Buddhist extremists maintain that to be Burmese—the majority ethnic group in Myanmar—is to be Buddhist, so there is intense pressure on all religious minorities, including Christians.

Communities that aim to remain “Buddhist only” make life for Christian families impossible by not allowing them to use community water resources. Some church groups experience opposition, too, especially in rural areas, or if they are known for proselytizing. Christians often meet in homes or business places; otherwise, they risk losing their land and churches that could be forcibly taken. Children of Christians can also face discrimination from teachers and bullying by other children. The government tries to act against radical Buddhist monks, but sends mixed signals. In the past year, it became even clearer that radical monks enjoy the support of the army.

In predominantly Christian states like Kachin State, Karen State or in Northern Shan, even well-established historical churches are being attacked. Fighting increased in 2018, adding thousands more to the IDP camps that are already ill-equipped to provide for the huge numbers of people. Due to intense fighting in Kachin and Shan State, more than 100,000 Christians have been forced to flee their homes and are living in camps where they have been denied access to food and healthcare because they are not Buddhists.

In daily life, converts are persecuted by their Buddhist, Muslim or tribal families and communities. Christians in rural areas additionally suffer from the brutal and almost forgotten long-term war the Burmese army is fighting against insurgency groups, especially in the north.

In March 2019, Human Rights Watch published a report about how predominantly Christian Kachin girls and women are trafficked and sold as brides to China (“Give us a baby, and we’ll let you go”).

In most schools, all pupils—including non-Buddhists—are required to recite Buddhist teaching or prayers before classes begin.

Converts from Buddhism are discriminated against in various ways. In one report, a teacher refused to give a Christian student a list of questions provided to others in preparation for tests. In another case, when a family sold a plot of land, the earnings were distributed to all siblings of the family except the convert.

  • Pray for peace in the land; peace between the Myanmar government and the Kachin Independent Army. Pray that the war would cease and people could return to their homes.

 

  • Pray that the army will stop systematic persecution of minority groups such as Chin, Karen, Lisu, Kachin, and Lahu. It looks like ethnic cleansing.

 

  • Pray against the trafficking of girls and woman into China

 

  • Christian converts from Islam or Buddhism face strong pressure from their family, friends and neighbors to recant their faith. Recently introduced laws have made conversion very complicated, though it is not forbidden outright. Pray for increased religious freedom.

 

  • Pray that believers would have courage and endurance in the face of persecution.

 

  • Pray for persecuted Christian minorities, that they would lovingly minister to persecuted Rohingya Muslims, especially those choosing to return from exile in Bangladesh. Pray that many hearts would be opened to the truth of Christ.

.

  • Pray for the safety and security of displaced believers. Ask God to use His Church to bring provision and medical care

 

  • Pray for the protection of NGOs which provide “covert” support to Believers

 

  • Pray believers are bold in sharing the gospel, this in spite of the hostile environment

 

  • Pray to the Lord that He will bind the forces of darkness and enable the church to continue to grow and that His hand of protection is over the minority groups.

Again, we want to lift up persecuted witnesses for the Lord and pray for Leah Sharibu and Alice, pray that they will be set free. And also lift up pastor Wang Yi to be released from Prison and ask for the release for Anita, a Christian convert recently sentenced to 6 years in prison for sharing the Gospel in Iran

You are invited to join us on Thursday, July 9 in a prayer call for the persecuted church.

Andy, Persecution Watch Prayer Moderator

Prayer Conference Call Details

Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday

From any location on your phone

Time:

9:00 PM Eastern

8:00 PM Central

7:00 PM Mountain

6:00 PM Pacific

Call in number: 712 775-7035

Access Code: 281207#

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

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

What is Persecution Watch?
Persecution Watch is a U.S. national prayer conference call ministry that prays specifically for the global Persecuted Church. For over a decade, Blaine Scogin led this national network of believers who faithfully pray for the persecuted and the global harvest for the Kingdom of God.

The group meets via a free call-in service every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday night at 9pm Eastern (please check your time zone). Blaine also served as Prayer Director for Voice of the Persecuted and our missions became one. The prayer mission of Persecution Watch is an important part of our own.

With the passing of Blaine into glory on December 26, 2019, Voice of the Persecuted is committed to continue the prayer conference call for the persecuted along with our dedicated prayer warrior team.

On occasion, persecuted brothers and sisters have been invited on the call to share the trials they’re facing. The team serves to encourage them by washing their feet in Spirit led prayer.

Time is often reserved for those on the call to ask questions. We believe this helps to gain a better understanding of the situation that persecuted Christians endure in their specific nations. Q&A also helps us to focus our prayers based on their current needs.

Persecution Watch also hosts callers who want to pray united from other nations. If your heart is perplexed by the sufferings of our persecuted brothers and sisters, you no longer need to pray alone. We welcome all who desire to pray for the persecuted church and consider it a joy to pray together with you.

If you’re new to the call and can’t find your voice, listen in and pray silently or on mute. We are grateful and thank the Lord for bringing us all together to pray in agreement for our persecuted family in Christ. We can all be prayer warriors on this call!

NOTE: Persecution Watch has a new email address for the prayer team and those who would like to receive urgent prayer requests, weekly call prayer points and notification of special prayer events and special guest speakers.

Please fill out the form below to be included in our new distribution list to receive this important information. We are grateful for your prayers and to the Lord for guiding us as we continue the Persecution Watch prayer call mission.

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

Civilian Christians Killed amid Military Fighting in Western Burma

Photo: commons.m.wikimedia.org

Unknown whether caught in crossfire or deliberately targeted.

Burma (Morning Star News) – Burmese army jet fighters killed 21 civilians from the predominantly Christian, ethnic Chin group in airstrikes this month in western Burma (Myanmar), sources said.

In Paletwa Township, Chin state, the army on March 14 struck Meiksa Wa villages 2 and 3, killing 12 civilians, area residents reportedly said. Eight more died in attacks the next day on Wetma village, and one was killed in Pyaing Tain village, they said.

The Burmese military’s Members of Parliament said the predominantly Christian villages were targeted because army personnel believed Arakan Army (AA) rebels from Rakhine state, on Chin state’s southern border, had taken cover in them, according to Mai Thin Yu Mon, program director of Chin Human Rights Organization (CHRO).

Another 28 civilians were wounded in the attacks, he said, adding that more than 1,500 villagers fled the areas as some of their houses were burned down.

Chin Christian leaders and local residents said that, based on past persecution they have endured at the hands of the military, they suspect army personnel fired indiscriminately at the villages in part because the inhabitants were Christian. Under the previous military regime, troops came to their villages and systematically persecuted the Christians in order to impose Buddhism. Prior CHRO reports have outlined how Burmese troops destroyed church buildings and persecuted Christians.

Brig. Gen. Zaw Min Tun, a military spokesman, reportedly said that government troops were returning fire at AA rebels, and that it was unclear which side caused the civilian casualties.

“We used fighter jets and helicopters in military operations, but it is difficult to tell [if the fatalities] were caused by the jets,” he told The Irawaddy. “When we use the jets, we take more care and aim only at the enemy’s location.”

Encouraging Buddhism to try to unite Burma’s disparate peoples, the Burmese government has long persecuted Chin Christians for their faith. Many ethnic Chin retain their ancestral animist beliefs and practices, though today most are Christians, according to the Joshua Project and other sources.

Amid fighting in Chin state’s Paletwa area and in Rakhine state, unarmed ethnic Chin are targeted by both sides. The Rakhine people are predominantly Buddhist. CHRO’s Mai Thin Yu Mon said AA soldiers also attack civilians when they suspect Burmese army soldiers have taken cover in their buildings.

“Sometimes, the AA’s soldiers said that they were informed that the government soldiers stay in the villages, so they opened fire into the villages,” he said. “So villagers got injured because of those indiscriminate attacks.”

Though religious buildings and properties are commonly seen as safe places in Burma during armed fighting, local residents said that both Rakhine rebel and government troops take over Christian churches to use as shelter and cover during offensives.

CHRO condemned the Burmese military for indiscriminate attacks against ethnic Chin, Christian villages in a press statement. The rights group added that both government forces and Rakhine rebels commit abuses such as demanding money from the Chin, arresting those who cannot pay and using them as human shields in battle.

AA rebels recently kidnapped three Chin villagers who were not able to meet their demands for rice bags, Mai Thin Yu Mon said.

“The villagers were released after three days of detention,” he said. “But they were ordered to provide 20 bags of rice. The rebels have been extorting money and foods from Chin villagers since 2015.”

There are more than 2,600 Chin villagers taking shelter in the Samee Internally Displaced Persons camp in Chin state, including 20 pregnant women, he said. An estimated 90 percent of the IDPs are Christians.

“IDPs in the Samee camp also urgently need food, clothes, blankets and medicines,” May Thin Yu Mon said. “We are collecting donations for them. Some individuals who are ethnic Chin singers also donated some money.”

The Rev. Dennis Ngun Thawng Mang of the Chin Baptist Convention said he had received word of the attacks on the ethnic Chin, Christian communities.

“We are preparing to provide some financial assistance,” he said. “We are also trying to meet Burmese army officials. We will ask them not to harm our Chin Christian communities. We will ask them to protect our Chin Christian communities.”

Burma is about 80 percent Buddhist and 9 percent Christian. The country is ranked 19th Open Doors’ 2020 World Watch List of the countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian.

Tonight on Persecution Watch: China, Burma and India (12/21/19)

 

(Voice of the Persecuted) Dear prayer warriors, the Lord is manifesting His power all over the world. The enemy knows it and like a roaring lion he is enraged and on a rampage to devour any one who is rejecting the love of God. However, he was given no power to touch any of the Lord’s elect!

(John 3:17-21) “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.”

Now more then ever we are experiencing how close we are to the end. With the Lord’s leading, we will lift up the Church in the following nations on tonight’s prayer call.

China: Crackdown on Christianity Ramps Up 

Myanmar (Burma): Rebels Who Closed More than 100 Churches Allow 51 to Reopen

India: Christians Face Increased Persecution as Christmas Nears

I welcome you dear one’s to come as God’s Spirit leads you to intercede for our brothers and sisters and for the global harvest!!!

In Christ Love

Nadia Dybvik Prayer Call Moderator

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What is Persecution Watch?
Persecution Watch is a U.S. national prayer conference call ministry that prays specifically for the global Persecuted Church. For over a decade, Blaine Scogin has led this national network of believers who faithfully pray for the persecuted and the global harvest for the Kingdom of God. The group meets via a free call-in service every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday night at 9pm Eastern (please check your time zone). Blaine also serves as Prayer Director for Voice of the Persecuted.

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

Persecution Watch also hosts callers who want to pray united from other nations. If your heart is perplexed by the sufferings of our persecuted brothers and sisters, you no longer need to pray alone. We welcome all who desire to pray for the persecuted church and consider it a joy to pray together with you. If you’re new to the call and can’t find your voice, listen in and pray silently or on mute. We are grateful and thank the Lord for bringing us all together to pray in agreement for our persecuted family in Christ.

Rebels in Burma Who Closed More than 100 Churches Allow 51 to Reopen

Burma (Morning Star News) – Ethnic rebels who closed more than 100 churches in eastern Burma (Myanmar) in 2018 have allowed 51 Baptist churches to reopen, sources said.

Ethnic Wa rebels of the United Wa State Army (UWSA) this week announced they had permitted 51 Baptist churches to reopen in northern Shan state after investigating the congregations and their activities for 14 months. The review process is still underway for the remaining churches, according to UWSA officials.

At least 10 church buildings were destroyed when UWSA troops closed the churches in September 2018 and detained more than 200 Christians who were later released after investigation.

“We are investigating the rest of the churches. We shut down the churches because some people who work at the churches were very extreme,” Nyi Rang, in-charge of UWSA’s liaison office in Lashio town, northern Shan state, told Morning Star News. “In some places, there were a few houses. But there were many churches. It created disunity with local ethnic communities.”

The general secretary of Lahu Baptist Convention, identified only as the Rev. Lazarus, said the churches were not “extreme.”

“I don’t think churches and our religious activities create division and problems, because we have churches that belong to ethnic Wa, Kachin, Lahu, Ahkar and Lisu,” Lazarus told Morning Star News. “There could be other reasons to shut down the churches.”

The re-opened churches are located in Shan state’s Panghsang, Hopang, Kho Pang and Namphan townships, he said.

Most of the population in the Wa region bordering China worships spirits, called Nats. Many ethnic races such as the Lahu, Ahkar, Kachin, Lisu, as well as some Wa, however, are Christian. There are some Buddhists in the region.

The UWSA is Burma’s largest ethnic armed group, with an estimated 30,000 soldiers. Its leaders have communist views, a reflection of their long-time proximity to the Chinese border.

Lazarus said denomination officials were happy that 51 churches were reopened.

“We are very happy, and we thank the Wa authorities for allowing us to reopen the churches,” Lazarus said. “We hope that they will also reopen the rest of closed churches.”

The Lahu Baptist Convention released a statement on Sept. 25, 2018, asserting that some Lahu students detained by the UWSA were forced to serve as UWSA soldiers. Earlier that month, UWSA troops shut down at least 10 churches, including six belonging to Kachin Baptist Convention.

All church buildings constructed after 1992 would be destroyed or shut down as they were built without permission of UWSA’s leaders, the group said in a Sept. 13, 2018 press statement.

A UWSA-run television program stated that the rebel group had arrested and interrogated religious leaders for violating organization regulations and laws prohibiting foreigners to serve as religious leaders in Wa-controlled areas.

Christian leaders have said the militants, who predominantly follow tribal religions, seek to reduce the spread of Christianity.

The UWSA is the military wing of the United Wa State Party (UWSP), the de facto ruling party of the area. It was formed after the collapse of the armed wing of the Communist Party of Burma in 1989.

The UWSA announced its territory as the Wa State Government Special Administrative Region on Jan. 1, 2009, and although the government of Burma does not officially recognize its sovereignty, the Burmese military has fought alongside the UWSA against Shan nationalist militias.

Though de facto independent from Burma, the Wa state officially recognizes Burma’s sovereignty over all of its territory, and in 2013 the two parties signed a peace deal.

Burma is about 80 percent Buddhist and 9 percent Christian.

The country is ranked 18th on Christian support organization Open Doors’ 2019 World Watch List of the countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian.

Rebels in Burma Detain More than 90 Christian Leaders, Shut Down More Churches

Photo: Nick Youngson CC BY-SA 3.0 Alpha Stock Images

Burma (Morning Star News)  After shutting down at least 10 churches in early September, ethnic Wa rebels in eastern Burma (Myanmar) have closed dozens of other churches and detained 92 Christian leaders and 42 students in a bid to curtail Christian activities, sources said.

The United Wa State Army (UWSA) in late September detained the Christian leaders and students in territory it controls in Shan state, leaders of the Lahu Baptist Convention said in statement released on Tuesday (Sept. 25). Some students were also forced to serve as UWSA soldiers, according to the statement.

The 52 churches in Mong Pauk Township have been shut down, and the UWSA destroyed three church buildings and removed all Christian symbols such as crosses, according to the ethnic Lahu Christian leaders. A few religious schools also have been shut down.

Earlier in September, the UWSA troops shut down at least 10 churches, including six belonging to the Kachin Baptist Convention (KBC).

“The Wa officials instructed Christians in Mong Pauk not even to worship at home these days,” a local Christian leader based in Keng Tung told Morning Star News on condition of anonymity. “So, some Christian members dare not to live in Mong Pauk any longer. They came to stay in Keng Tung town as they are fearful.”

Wa soldiers are holding arrested Christian leaders and students in Mong Maw town, a stronghold base of the Wa rebels, said Tat Jack, a local resident whose relatives are detained.

“My uncle is a preacher,” Tat Jack told Morning Star News. “He lives at a village nearby the Wa rebel base, Panghsang city. He and his son were detained in early September. But we are not allowed to visit them. We also heard that many members of the Christian community there are detained.”

Christian leaders have said the militants, who predominantly follow tribal religions, seek to reduce the spread of Christianity. Wa rebel spokesperson Nyi Rang told The Irrawaddy, a Yangon-based new outlet, that the UWSA had detained the Christian leaders because there were “extremists” among them.

A UWSA statement released on Sept. 13 stated that all church buildings constructed after 1992 would be destroyed or shut down, as they were built without permission from the UWSA’s leaders.

On a UWSA-run television program, it was stated that the UWSA has arrested and interrogated the religious leaders for violating organization regulations and laws prohibiting foreigners to serve as religious leaders in Wa-controlled areas. It also accused some detainees of forcing ethnic people to convert to Christianity.

Dr. M. Hkawng, chairman of an ethnic Kachin political party, the Kachin National Congress, has said that missionaries improve the lives of ethnic minorities in the Wa region, educating them and enabling them to travel to overseas to Japan, the United States and other countries to pursue their education.

Although most of the population in Wa territory worships spirits or Nats, there are also Buddhists as well as Christian communities such as Baptists and Roman Catholics. Many area members of ethnic minority groups, such as the Ahkar, Lahu and Kachin, as well as the Wa, are Christians, sources said.

Some Christians suspect Chinese authorities are behind the recent aggression against Christians.

The UWSA is the military wing of the United Wa State Party (UWSP), the de facto ruling party of the area. It was formed after the collapse of the armed wing of the Communist Party of Burma in 1989.

The UWSA announced its territory as the Wa State Government Special Administrative Region on Jan. 1, 2009, and although the government of Burma does not officially recognize its sovereignty, the Burmese military has fought alongside the UWSA against Shan nationalist militias.

Though de facto independent from Burma, the Wa state officially recognizes Burma’s sovereignty over all of its territory, and in 2013 the two parties signed a peace deal.

Burma is about 80 percent Buddhist and 9 percent Christian.

The country is ranked 24th on Open Doors’ 2018 World Watch List of the countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian.

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