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Hmong Christians in Vietnam Suffering Severe Persecution

(Morning Star News) – Severe persecution of Hmong Christians is underway in Nghe An Province in Vietnam.

In the central Vietnam province, officials vying with each other to create “Christian-free zones” operate “with no conscience or humanity,” as if they were in a different country than the one whose religious freedom measures they are violating, Christian leaders say.

Authorities put immense pressure on animist relatives to drive Christians from their homes, exiling them from family, livelihood and community with nothing but the clothes on their backs. Some Christians have been forcibly separated from spouse and children, home and fields, sometimes even their wedding rings, if they persist in their faith. Then officials wash their hands and say these outrages are purely family matters.

The only way out is for the offending Christians to recant and revert to the animistic practices of their ancestral religion. Most steadfastly refuse to give up their new-found faith, which they testify has freed them from demonic oppression.

More often than individuals, it is entire extended Christian families who are driven from their homes, but earlier this month one mother was separated from caring for her two sons. Though only 33, Lau Y Pa has two teenage sons whom she was unable to contact. When Morning Star News met with her on July 10, wet tissues were piled in front of her as she had just learned that another newly Christian relative, Lay Y Tong, had suffered the same fate.

Such suffering, which has been quietly going on for years (especially in Nghe An Province), has hit mainly members of the not-yet-legally recognized Vietnam Good News Mission Church (VNGNMC) and the officially recognized Evangelical Church of Vietnam-North (ECVN-N).

The VNGNMC connects its victims with congregations and Christians able to shelter them in the provincial capital of Vinh, or in Saigon or Hanoi.

Both church organizations report the worst violations of religious liberty are taking place in the Ky Son District communes of Huoi Tu and Na Ngoi. Two extended families of 13 and 19 people in the Na Ngoi commune villages of Khu Kha I and Ka Duoi respectively have been regularly pressured and persecuted since April, when they were officially accepted as members of the government-recognized ECVN-N.

Gangs of top local officials and police officers, numbering up to 20, come repeatedly, sometimes in the middle of the night, browbeating and bullying them and threatening worse unless they return to spirit worship. Refusal to recant for these families has meant the seizing of their livestock, crops, fields and farm machinery and tools, the ransacking of their homes and cutting off their electricity. It has resulted even in refusal to let their neighbors charge their cell phones.

In the worse cases, villagers are pressured into seizing all the Christians’ property and driving them out of their community. This has happened regularly to ethnic minority families in various parts of northern Vietnam in recent years; such treatment leaves less photographical evidence than beatings but has graver consequences.

ECVN-N leaders have appealed to local officials and federal agencies for redress by phone and in writing, pointing out that government officials are breaking specific articles of the national Law on Belief and Religion. Church leaders’ attempts to visit the persecuted have been blocked, and they have received no response from any government agency.

The VNGNMC has written and/or phoned the commune, four district level agencies, four provincial level ones, and five federal ones. These appeals cite provisions of Vietnam’s religion law that authorities have broken. Church leaders have received no reply, leading them to believe they have no redress.

The VNGNMC also has just reported the case of Vu Ba Sua; because of her faith, officials have refused to register the birth of her baby, now over 2 months old. This makes the child ineligible for social benefits.

Sua took the child to the Ky Son hospital for a lung infection but was refused help. The hospital informed her that no Christians in Ky Son District were eligible for any government assistance. Further, because Sua and her husband made it clear they would not give up their faith, officials came to their home and confiscated livestock the government had earlier provided them.

Nghe An Province is the birthplace of Ho Chi Minh and thus proudly considered the cradle of the communist revolution. Officials compete for the honor of calling their jurisdiction “a Christian-free zone.”

Church leaders have found that they are sometimes better off working out problems quietly with local officials rather than reporting abuses for international exposure and advocacy. At this point, without any response to months of patient and polite requests for redress, the church leaders are left with no choice but to ask for international assistance and pressure. The serious religious liberty abuses in Nghe An Province, completely contrary to Vietnam’s own laws, beg for an international spotlight.

It is easy to blame solely recalcitrant local “outlier” officials, but the refusal of any Vietnamese authority to intervene is inexcusable and argues for embarrassing exposure and international accountability.

The urgent request of church leaders was, “Please intervene for our persecuted Christians now!”

Photo: Evangelical Church in Vietnam. (Steffen Schmitz (Carschten), Wikimedia Commons)

Persecution Watch: Praying for Believers in China

(Voice of the Persecuted) You are invited to join us on Thursday July 21, 2022 in a prayer conference call for the persecuted church hosted by Persecution Watch.

Population: 1.4 billion, Christians 96.7 million

Surveillance in China is among the most oppressive and sophisticated in the world. Church attendance is rigorously monitored, and many churches are being closed down – whether they’re independent or belong to the Three-Self Patriotic Movement (the officially state-sanctioned Protestant church in China).

It remains illegal for under-18s to attend church. All meeting venues had to close during the Covid-19 crisis, but some churches were forced to remain closed once restrictions began to lift and were quietly phased out.

Christian leaders are generally the main target of government surveillance, and a very small number have been abducted.

The following two reports show what Christian’s experience:

The Chinese government continues its efforts to transform Christianity into a tool of the state. China offers yet another instance of the persecution of Christians by governing officials that is unfortunately on the increase not only in China, but in all too many other nations around the world.

“600 Church of Almighty God Members Sentenced in 2021,” by Wang Yichi, Bitter Winter, November 3, 2021:Since the CCP started carrying out a 3-year “Final Solution” plan against The Church of Almighty God (CAG) last September, the persecution has continuously strengthened. Even common CAG members have been sentenced to penalties as severe as seven years and six months in prison.

2019. During the following two years or more, the police kept them in pre-trial detention, and deprived them of visits from their relatives. When their relatives went to the detention house and applied for visits, the police not only refused to allow the meetings, but took the opportunity to interrogate the relatives about the faith of the arrested CAG members.

Church of Almighty God member dies in prison. On September 25, 2021, the People’s Court of Zhangqiu, a county-level city under the jurisdiction of Jinan city in the eastern province of Shandong, opened the trial against 48 CAG members, who had been detained for more than two years. They were sentenced to penalties of two, three, or more years in prison, including four members under the age of 20 and one 67-year-old devotee. One 80-year-old member was sentenced to two years and four months in prison, and later was allowed to serve her sentence outside the prison.

As readers of Bitter Winter know, reacting to the rapid development of the CAG, the CCP has put it on the list of xie jiao (banned religious movements) since its founding, carrying out a brutal persecution against it. Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, the CCP did not relax its efforts to crack down on the CAG.

A CAG member from Shandong Province was sentenced to four years in prison this August. Less than two months after her sentence, the local police informed her family that she had died of a heart attack, and urged them to cremate her body immediately. Before cremation, however, the police forbade her family from changing the clothes of the deceased, which would have allowed relatives to examine her body. The real cause of her death remains unknown.

Next:

The Chinese Communist Party’s persecution of Christians has taken a disturbing new turn. According to a recent Radio Free Asia report, Chinese Christians are being detained at secretive “brainwashing camps.” Writing under the pseudonym of Li Yuese, a Chinese Christian detailed the conditions of his detention in a “transformation facility” where he was held for 10 months after the CCP raided his house church in Sichuan province in 2018. Most of the prisoners held in these mobile facilities, operated by the United Front Work Department in collaboration with the state security police, have been taken from house churches that operate outside of state approval.

Imprisoned in a windowless room without ventilation, Li was subjected to verbal and physical abuse. United Front officials use intimidation, threats, and beatings to force detainees to renounce their faith. The repression was so brutal that Li testified, “After you’ve been in there a week, death starts to look better than staying there.” At his release, Li was in very poor health. He remains haunted by his experience.

Imprisoning Christians in brainwashing camps is another step in the CCP’s intensifying crackdown on religion. The CCP believes independent religious practice threatens its power. Under President Xi Jinping’s policy of “Sinicization,” the party seeks to conform religion to its political goals. Religious groups deemed to “disrupt public order” face severe monitoring and persecution.

The CCP’s persecution of Christians has also involved demolishing churches and arresting leaders like Pastor Wang Yi of Early Rain Covenant Church, who was sentenced to nine years in prison in 2019. Tibetan Buddhists, Uighur Muslims are also persecuted. Meanwhile, Falun Gong members are reportedly subject to forced organ harvesting and extrajudicial imprisonment.

Prayer Points:

  • Pray for the Lord to touch President Chi and open his eyes to understand Christian Values.
  • Pray for the authorities in China to recognize the importance of religious freedom and allow the Church to gather and worship without restrictions.
  • Pray to the Lord that He will blind, confuse, and distract state agencies that control churches and Christian lifestyles.
  • Pray that, despite intense surveillance, faith will flourish in China and more people will discover God’s love.
  • Ask the Lord to protect and be with the believers who converted from Buddhism and Islam as they face intense persecution
  • Pray for church leaders who are monitored and harassed for their ministry. Ask the Lord to give them strength and wisdom
  • Pray for unity of all Christian churches, that their witness will continue to be powerful while being under constant pressure.
  • COVID 19 gave Chinese authorities a reason to shut down many churches – and keeping them shut. Ask the Lord to break the powers of darkness and that He will give the keys to His pastors that believers can worship again.
  • Pray that local NGO partners will be able to reach vulnerable Christians with vital Christian literature, training, and fellowship.
  • Pray that persecuted believers will not become bitter and be able to love and forgive.
  • Pray to the Lord to protect and comfort believers whose family members are serving prison terms.
  • Pray for the Lord’s hand to be on His believers and to encourage them to bring the Gospel message to the lost.
  • Pray that the Lord will continue to grow the number of believers in spite of challenges from the Chinese Communist Party and that the community of saints will greatly expand.

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

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

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

Pastor Wang Yi to be released from Chinese prison.

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.

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.

The Harvest

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

Andy, Persecution Watch Prayer Call Moderator

Prayer Conference Call Details

Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday

From any location on your phone

USA Time Zone:

9:00 PM Eastern

8:00 PM Central

7:00 PM Mountain

6:00 PM Pacific

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

Access Code: 281207#

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

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

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

What is Persecution Watch?

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

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

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

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

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

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

God bless and protect you in your faithfulness to serve.

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

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

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

Praying for Sudan with Mariam Ibraheem

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

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

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

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

The Harvest

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

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

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

Prayer Conference Call Details

Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday

From any location on your phone

USA Time Zone:

9:00 PM Eastern

8:00 PM Central

7:00 PM Mountain

6:00 PM Pacific

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

Access Code: 281207#

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

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

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

What is Persecution Watch?

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

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

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

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

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

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

God bless and protect you in your faithfulness to serve.

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

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

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

(Photo: Screen Grab via Fox News)

Church Building Locked, Leaders Arrested in Sudan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Special Guest: Imprisoned in Sudan to Freedom, Mariam Ibraheem

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Lord’s servant,

Nadia Dybvik, Persecution Watch Prayer Conference Call Leader

Prayer Conference Call Details

Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday

From any location on your phone

USA Time Zone:

9:00 PM Eastern

8:00 PM Central

7:00 PM Mountain

6:00 PM Pacific

Call in number: 712 775-7035

Access Code: 281207#

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

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

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

What is Persecution Watch?

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

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

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

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

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

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

God bless and protect you in your faithfulness to serve.

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

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

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

Persecution Watch: Iranian Christians released from Prison / Suicide spikes in Japan

Evin Prison, Iran

12/12/2020 (Voice of the Persecuted) “15 Through Him then, let’s continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips praising His name. 16 And do not neglect doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” Hebrews 13:15-16

Two Iranian Christians acquitted after imprisonment

Iran (MNN) — Two Iranian Christians have seen their prison sentences (a combined 10 years) overturned in the courts. Both were arrested during a raid of a house church in Tehran in 2018. Authorities charged them with “acting against national security.”

Iran has recently been condemned by the United Nations for human rights violations, a report the country has rejected. This mostly related to allegations of abuse during the November protests last year.

Daniel Hoffman of Middle East Concern says it’s hard to know why these two sentences were overturned, while many other Iranian Christians continue to languish in prison. “It’s always difficult to know exactly why certain governments do certain things. Of course, Iran has been called out over human rights abuses for quite a long time now. So it’s difficult to know what exactly was the reason why this happened. But we know from the past that the Iranian government is concerned about its image in the international community.”

Christians still in prison — The two Christians stated they loved their country and were simply gathering for a legal house church meeting. Still many Christians using the same arguments in court have not seen their sentences overturned.

Hoffman says the release brings welcome news, but we must continue to pray for Iranian Christians still in prison. “Sometimes they are mistreated by either their captors or by other prisoners. And of course, there is still very much the issue of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well, which has spread through some of the prisons in Iran. So prayer for their physical well-being and protection is definitely appreciated. And of course, we can pray for justice to be done in their situation and for them to be released and reunited with their loved ones.”

Pray these prisoners will know they are not forgotten, and that Jesus will comfort them.

And rejoice over these two prisoners that have been released. Pray they would continue bearing witness to the love and peace of Jesus.

Dear Prayer Warriors, let us praise the Lord!

” 1 Praise the Lord!
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good;
For His mercy is everlasting.

2 Who can speak of the mighty deeds of the Lord,
Or can proclaim all His praise?” Psalm 106:1-2

“Let love of the brothers and sisters continue.” Hebrews 13:1

Suicide killing more people in Japan than COVID-19

(MNN) — While other countries battle rising COVID-19 cases, Japan is seeing a different kind of spike – suicides.

More people in Japan have died by suicide in 2020 than from COVID-19. In fact, their suicide numbers in October alone outnumbered the nation’s total COVID-19 deaths in the first 11 months of the year.

One of the reasons for the rise in suicides is because Japan has a very group-oriented culture. Belonging to a group – whether it’s a family, a workplace, or some kind of community – and functioning within that group is incredibly important.

Pandemic shutdowns and solitary quarantines can cut individuals off from their group identity. As a result, many Japanese people are dealing with severe depression and anxiety.

Takeshi Takazawa with Asian Access says even online tools like social media and Zoom aren’t the same. “I’m talking with you now even though we’re miles apart, but this is a little bit different from face-to-face group talking [and] processing, and that is challenging for us and especially younger people who need heavy connection.”

Many single young people in Japan travel to Tokyo to work. Throughout the year, they make frequent visits to their families back home, but the pandemic has changed that too.

Takazawa says, “They’re told by their homeland family, ‘Please don’t come back. Don’t bring the pandemic. It’ll be bad. Grandma and Grandpa need to be protected so don’t come back.’”

It’s also hard for college students. “Many of the freshmen, they never went to campus. They never met anybody even though they entered school. Then all they see is a screen… They join a club or team but they practice separately.”

What Japan needs is hope – the kind found in Jesus. According to The Joshua Project, 97 percent of the Japanese population is unreached with the Gospel.

Pray for the people of Japan to find their hope and belonging in Christ alone.

We will also continue to pray for:
· Leah Sharibu and Alice that they will be set free from Boko Haram captivity

On Jul 08, 2020 · 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.

· 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.

· For Anita, an Iranian Christian, persecuted by the Islamic regime.
· 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.

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.

· For the harvest

“2 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

In the love of Christ,

Nadia Dybvik, Persecution Watch Prayer Call Leader

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.

Breaking: CCP Operative Threatens Pastor, Others in USA

Bob Fu praying at The Return—National and Global Day of Prayer and Repentance Photo: Institute on Religion and Democracy

(By Faith McDonnell for IRD) On Monday, September 28, a Chinese Communist Party (CCP) operative publicly threatened the life of the Rev. Dr. Bob Fu. All of us who believe in religious freedom and human rights need to speak out.

Fu, the founder and president of China Aid, is a former prisoner of faith in China and outspoken activist. In May he became an Adjunct Senior Fellow for Religious Freedom in China here at IRD. And just this past weekend he spoke at The Return, a globally-viewed gathering for repentance and revival that took place on the National Mall in Washington, DC.

Moments before Dr. Fu went to the podium at The Return to pray on behalf of the Christians in China and the nations, he received shocking news. Chinese Communist thugs were surrounding his home in Texas, harassing his wife and children. He asked the tens of thousands in attendance at The Return to pray for his family. And he asked God to transform China into a “mission-sending” nation and to bring Communist leaders to repentance.

I sought out Fu after he finished speaking. I discovered that in addition to intimidating his wife and children, the thugs slandered him. They brandished signs declaring — ridiculously — that “Bob Fu is a Fake Pastor” and “Bob Fu is Responsible for COVID-19.” Fortunately, the police dispelled the Communist agents swiftly. And fellow church members brought comfort to his family.

But the threat was not over. Monday I received word about disturbing, threatening videos against Fu and others. These videos came from Chinese Communist Party agent, Guo Wengui, aka Miles Kwok. It was he who sent thugs to Fu’s home.

Guo is a Chinese billionaire businessman who fled from China to the United States in 2014. He was accused of bribery, fraud, and money laundering. Guo uses his large social media following on YouTube, Twitter, and his personal website to incite and encourage violence against leading critics of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). One of his tactics is to turn around and name these freedom fighters as CCP agents, thieves, and traffickers! These include human rights activists and prominent members of the Chinese diaspora.

In videos on September 27 and September 28 Guo threatens Fu again. Guo also threatens many other Chinese former dissidents and freedom fighters. He threatened some leaders of Tienanmen Square who now live in the United States. One he threatened was Pastor Zhang Boli, still on the CCP’s “Most Wanted” list.

In the video on September 28 Guo addresses Fu directly. He boasts that some “100 or 200 operatives” are coming to his house. This intimidation, violence, and slander geared towards confusion and misdirection are the kinds of tactics that the Chinese Communist regime employs against those who dare to speak out about the human rights violations it perpetrates.

Many in the West have emboldened the CCP in recent years. Large, powerful entities such as Disney, the NBABig Techmajor U.S. banks, and others have consistently acquiesced. So the CCP believes it can even control Chinese Americans. . . in America! This needs to end!

Please pray for Bob and his family. Pray also for all the other Chinese heroes slandered and threatened by Guo and the CCP. In addition to prayer, you may wish to:

  • Join us in the statement below. To sign, please indicate so with your name, city, state in the comment section for this article.
  • Urge the United States government deport this Chinese operative.
  • Inform YouTube that Guo uses his channel to issue death threats and intimidation. We hear over and over how YouTube warns or shut downs conservative and Christian YouTube channels. Let’s see if social media will not have a double standard for once.

Read and sign the Joint Statement here

CCP Rewriting The Gospel: Jesus Actually “Killed” The Woman Taken in Adultery

Christ and the Woman Taken in Adultery (one of a set of 12 scenes from The Life of Christ) Metropolitan Museum of Art

More warnings coming out of China. (Bitter Winter) The story in John 8 is presented to Chinese students as one where the Savior waits for the Pharisees to leave, then stones the adulterer himself.

Every Christian knows the story. It is told in the Gospel of John, 8:3–11. “The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery; and making her stand before all of them, they said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery. Now in the law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” Jesus at first ignored them, but then told the Pharisees,  “Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Since they knew they were not without sin, “they went away, one by one, beginning with the elders; and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him.” Jesus said to her, “‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?’ She said, ‘No one, sir.’ And Jesus said, ‘Neither do I condemn you. Go your way, and from now on do not sin again.’”

It is a powerful story about mercy and forgiveness. Jesus does not condone the sin, but forgives the sinner with his divine authority. Mercy and forgiveness, however, are unknown to the CCP. Perhaps in anticipation of the future promised “sinicization” of the sacred scriptures of all religions, a textbook published by published by the University of Electronic Science and Technology Press for teaching “professional ethics and law” in secondary vocational schools tells a different version of the story, as revealed by UCA News.

Here is how the textbook presents the story of the woman taken in adultery: “The crowd wanted to stone the woman to death as per their law. But Jesus said, ‘Let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone.’ Hearing this, they slipped away one by one. When the crowd disappeared, Jesus stoned the sinner to death saying, ‘I too am a sinner. But if the law could only be executed by men without blemish, the law would be dead.’”

Christians in China are protesting against a textbook making Jesus a sinner and a killer. Actually, however, the incident is subtler than that. It is not, or not mostly, about painting a negative image of Jesus. It is about the CCP itself. Many CCP bureaucrats, judges, and police officers are notoriously corrupted. Yet, the story teaches that they should be obeyed. If “sinners” would be prevented from “executing the law,” including administering the capital punishment with or without due process, “the law would be dead.”

As told to Chinese students, the story teaches that the law and the Party are good and pure, and transcend the impure human beings who happen to represent them.

Even if the officers are corrupted, their decision should be acceptedbecause, honest or corrupted, they represent the Party, and the Party’s law should never be questioned.

This is standard CCP theory, but totally distorts the meaning of Jesus’ teaching in John 8. Mobilizing Jesus for the CCP propaganda is blasphemous and offensive to Christians. Yet, we can expect more such distortions as religious scriptures are gradually “sinicized.”

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