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Kidnappings Terrorize Christians in Kaduna State, Nigeria

Nurses, pastor’s wife taken, plus mass abduction from one village.

Nigeria (Morning Star News) – Fulani herdsmen in north-central Nigeria kidnapped a pastor’s wife from her home and two nurses from a hospital, while other Islamic extremists may have joined herdsmen in abducting more than 70 people from one village, sources said.

Fulaki Ozigi was kidnapped along with her husband, Mercy Place Ministry Church pastor Ozigi Hassan, and their four children from their home in Kudenda, in Kaduna state’s Chikun County, in the early hours of April 30, police said. Police pursuing the herdsmen into the forest were able to recover the pastor and the children, but the kidnappers escaped with Fulaki Ozigi, police spokesman Mohammed Jalige said.

At a public hospital in Idon, Kajuru County in southern Kaduna state, heavily armed Fulani herdsmen kidnapped two Christian nurses from a public hospital on the night of April 21, leaders of the Fellowship of Christian Nurses said. Cafra Caino, chairman of the Kajuru Local Government Council, identified the two women as Afiniki Bako and Grace Nkut.

A statement from the Fellowship of Christian nurses said they were “were very committed to sharing and living the gospel in their workplace.”

A nurse who escaped the attack, Rifkatu Alfred, said the herdsmen forced their way into the hospital shooting sporadically.

Nurse Afiniki Bako was kidnapped from a rural hospital in Kaduna state, Nigeria on April 21, 2021. (Fellowship of Christian Nurses)

“When they left, they called to say they were the kidnappers who abducted the two nurses, and if they are not given money, they will kill them,” Alfred told Morning Star News by phone, adding that they initially demanded 500 million naira (US$1.3 million) as ransom but later reduced it to 200 million naira (US$522,876).

Area resident Donatus Ayuba and Shingyu Shamnom, medical director of the hospital, concurred in separate messages to Morning Star News that the kidnappers were armed Fulani herdsmen.

Ishaku Yakubu, chairman of the National Association of Nurses and Midwives of Nigeria, Kaduna State Chapter, said the two nurses were serving the rural poor.

“We’re not safe, and health facilities in the state are no longer secured,” Yakubu said. “Beside the kidnapping of these two, five others were kidnapped before.”

Nurse Grace Zugwai Nkut was abducted in Kaduna state, Nigeria on April 21, 2021. (Fellowship of Christian Nurses)

Under Siege

In Libera Gida village, Kajuru County, militants from the Islamic extremist Boko Haram are suspected alongside herdsmen of kidnapping 72 residents on April 22, sources said.

Villagers counted 72 people missing after the late-night attack, 56 females and 16 males, according to a statement from Luka Binniyat, spokesman of the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU). The kidnappers called their families on April 29 saying they had 77 Christians in captivity – with the additional five possibly coming from other raids – and that they would be killed if 350 million naira (US$915,033) were not paid, Binniyat said.

The Kaduna state government failed to make any mention of the mass abduction in its regular updates on security in the state, he said.

“Meanwhile, after unceasing siege on Christian farming communities in Kajuru LGA, more Christian communities have fallen under the control of these armed men, which we now suspect to be a coalition of armed herdsmen and Boko Haram,” Binniyat said.

The number of communities captured by armed herdsmen in Kajuru County is now 31, and throughout southern Kaduna state they have taken no fewer than 100 communities, he said.

The Rev. Solomon Tafida, senior pastor of Salvation Baptist Church, Kaduna, estimated there are 4,000 Christians held captive in Kaduna state by either herdsmen or Boko Haram.

“Most of the Christian victims who escaped from the camps of the herdsmen say there are over 4,000 Christians being held in captive camps in forests along the Kaduna-Abuja highway, near Rijana village,” he said.

The Kaduna state government’s quarterly security report stated that a total of 323 persons were killed and 949 others kidnapped by bandits in three months across the state.

“Deaths linked to banditry, violent attacks, communal clashes and reprisals in the first quarter total 323 across the state,” said Samuel Aruwan, commissioner for internal security and home affairs, who released the report on April 30. “Of these, 20 were women and 11 were minors.”

Nigeria led the world in number of kidnapped Christians last year with 990, according to Open Doors’ 2021 World Watch List report. In the 2021 list of the countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian, Nigeria broke into the top 10 for the first time, jumping to No. 9 from No. 12 the previous year.

In overall violence, Nigeria was second only to Pakistan, and it trailed only China in the number of churches attacked or closed, 270, according to the list. Nigeria was the country with the most Christians killed for their faith last year (November 2019-October 2020), at 3,530, up from 1,350 in 2019, according to the report.

Numbering in the millions across Nigeria and the Sahel, predominantly Muslim Fulani comprise hundreds of clans of many different lineages who do not hold extremist views, but some Fulani do adhere to radical Islamist ideology, the United Kingdom’s All-Party Parliamentary Group for International Freedom or Belief (APPG) noted in a recent report.

“They adopt a comparable strategy to Boko Haram and ISWAP [Islamic State West Africa Province] and demonstrate a clear intent to target Christians and potent symbols of Christian identity,” the APPG report states.

Christian leaders in Nigeria have said they believe herdsmen attacks on Christian communities in Nigeria’s Middle Belt are inspired by their desire to forcefully take over Christians’ lands and impose Islam as desertification has made it difficult for them to sustain their herds.

The APPG report noted that tribal loyalties cannot be overlooked.

“In 2015, Muhammadu Buhari, a Fulani, was elected president of Nigeria,” the group reported. “He has done virtually nothing to address the behavior of his fellow tribesmen in the Middle Belt and in the south of the country.”

The U.S. State Department on Dec. 7 added Nigeria to its list of Countries of Particular Concern for engaging in or tolerating “systematic, ongoing, egregious violations of religious freedom.” Nigeria joined Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan on the list.

In a more recent category of non-state actors, the State Department also designated ISWAP, Boko Haram, Al-Shabaab, Al-Qaeda, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, the Houthis, ISIS, ISIS-Greater Sahara, Jamaat Nasr al-Islam wal Muslimin, and the Taliban as “Entities of Particular Concern.”

On Dec. 10 the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda, issued a statement calling for investigation into crimes against humanity in Nigeria.

Herdsmen Kill Christians in Nigeria’s Nasarawa, Plateau States

Nigeria (Morning Star News) – Muslim Fulani herdsmen killed 12 Christians in Nasarawa state and three others in Plateau state the last part of April, sources said.

In north-central Nigeria’s Nasarawa state, herdsmen killed 12 Christian farmers in Ajimaka, Doma County, in attacks there and in 13 other villages from April 24 until April 29, area leader Barnabas Zayol told Morning Star News. The attacks displaced tens of thousands of people, Christian leaders said.

A survivor of the attack on Ajikama village, Terlumun Tsekaa, said the herdsmen arrived at about 2 a.m. on April 24 with guns and machetes and killed his wife, who was seven months pregnant, and 3-year-old child.

“There were more than 30 of these herdsmen who attacked us, and they were shouting ‘Allah akbar [Allah is greater]’ as they shot at us and burned our houses,” Tsekaa told Morning Star News. “They set fire on all houses in the village. They also killed a whole family of five members.”

In Doma County, the herdsmen also attacked Dooshima, Antsa, Dooka, Angwan Yara, Ikyayior, Targema, Tse Tor, Chia, Umurayi, Dooga, Gindan Rail and Ankoma villages; in Keana County, they attacked Ategher, Avewua, Ugbele Aondokaa, Ikper, Gborgyo and Uluwa Kwananke villages, Zayol said.

“They burned down houses and killed indiscriminately anyone they sighted,” Zayol said. “Those killed during the attacks include children and pregnant women.”

Victims were members of Universal Reformed Christian Church (NKST in Nigeria), Roman Catholic, Evangelical Reformed Church of Christ (ERCC) and Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) churches, he said. He identified those slain as Tsekaa Chiatyo, Kwaghdoo Tsekaa, Sewuese Tsekaa, Bobo Chiatyo, Aondosee Fidelis, Aboy, Igba Aduku, Iwueseter, Aseer, Kasehumba, William Katu and Aondowase Agbu.

Citing nine dead, police confirmed the attacks and said personnel were sent to the area. Ramhan Nansel, spokesman for the Nasarawa State Police Command, said in a statement that officers received report of the attack on Ajimaka at about 6 a.m. on April 24.

“Upon receipt of the information, a joint team of police and military personnel were deployed to the scene, where nine corpses were recovered, each with multiple machete cuts,” Nansel said.

Nasarawa Gov. Abdullahi Sule issued a statement through his chief press secretary, Ibrahim Addra.

“An attack that does not spare women and children bears the trademark of devilish elements who are bent on truncating the relative peace in the state,” he said. “A thorough investigations by security operatives have since commenced in order to expose the criminals and punish them according to the laws of the land. My condolences and prayers are with families of those who lost their lives.

“I urge them and the rest of our citizens to be assured that this administration will do all within its power to ensure justice, peace and security across the state.”

Attack on Funeral in Plateau State

In neighboring Plateau state on April 25, Fulani herdsmen killed one Christian and wounded another in Miango, Bassa County, an area resident said.

“Danlami Musa, 21, was killed, while Friday Musa, 19, his brother, was injured during the attack at about 7 p.m. at the twins hills, Miango,” Patience Moses said. “Please keep praying for God’s intervention on our behalf.”

On the same day in Bokkos County, herdsmen killed Christian community leader Yakubu Dadel in Jwanshak village in an attack on a funeral service at about 8:30 p.m., his son said.

Ayuba Dadel said his father was killed as other villagers scampered into nearby bushes.

“We were holding a funeral service when the Fulani gunmen came shooting sporadically, and everyone scampered for safety,” Dadel said in a text message to Morning Star News. “My father was in his house and only ran out to lock his gate. When they sighted him, they chased after him with serious gunfire. They first injured him on the hand, and when he ran to his bedroom, they followed him, dragged him to the ground from his bed and shot him point blank.”

Also in Bokkos County, Fulani herdsmen attacked Daffo village on April 20, killing Christian resident Iliya Mutong, villagers said.

“Iliya Mutong was cut with machetes until he died at about 8 p.m.,” Kyanan Mizhim said in a text message to Morning Star News. “He was sitting in front of his house when a group of Fulani herdsmen attacked him.”

In Jos South County on April 9, Fulani herdsmen were suspected in the killing of eight Christian miners at Shawalan mining site, near Kuru village. Emmanuel Jang, a Jos South council official, said their bodies were retrieved from the site and a funeral was held for them.

“They were all members of the Church of Christ in Nations,” Jang said in a text message to Morning Star News.

On March 13 in Barkin Ladi County, high school student David James, 18, was killed by Fulani herdsmen in Dorowa Babuje village, his father said. Solomon James, 68, said in a text message to Morning Star News that his son was killed in their home shortly before 8 p.m.

Community leader John Choji confirmed the killing of James.

“Our community has been under siege of armed Fulani herdsmen for a number of years now,” Choji said.

In the Dutse area of Miango on Feb. 1, a band of herdsmen killed twelve Christian farmers as they worked their fields, according to Edward Egbuka, Plateau state commissioner of police.

World Leader in Christians Killed

Nigeria was the country with the most Christians killed for their faith last year (November 2019-October 2020), at 3,530, up from 1,350 in 2019, according to Open Door’s 2021 World Watch List report.

In the 2021 list of the countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian, Nigeria broke into the top 10 for the first time, jumping to No. 9 from No. 12 the previous year. In overall violence, Nigeria was second only to Pakistan, and it trailed only China in the number of churches attacked or closed, 270, according to the list.

Numbering in the millions across Nigeria and the Sahel, predominantly Muslim Fulani comprise hundreds of clans of many different lineages who do not hold extremist views, but some Fulani do adhere to radical Islamist ideology, the United Kingdom’s All-Party Parliamentary Group for International Freedom or Belief (APPG) noted in a recent report.

“They adopt a comparable strategy to Boko Haram and ISWAP [Islamic State West Africa Province] and demonstrate a clear intent to target Christians and potent symbols of Christian identity,” the APPG report states.

Christian leaders in Nigeria have said they believe herdsmen attacks on Christian communities in Nigeria’s Middle Belt are inspired by their desire to forcefully take over Christians’ lands and impose Islam as desertification has made it difficult for them to sustain their herds.

The APPG report noted that tribal loyalties cannot be overlooked.

“In 2015, Muhammadu Buhari, a Fulani, was elected president of Nigeria,” the group reported. “He has done virtually nothing to address the behavior of his fellow tribesmen in the Middle Belt and in the south of the country.”

The U.S. State Department on Dec. 7 added Nigeria to its list of Countries of Particular Concern for engaging in or tolerating “systematic, ongoing, egregious violations of religious freedom.” Nigeria joined Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan on the list.

In a more recent category of non-state actors, the State Department also designated ISWAP, Boko Haram, Al-Shabaab, Al-Qaeda, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, the Houthis, ISIS, ISIS-Greater Sahara, Jamaat Nasr al-Islam wal Muslimin, and the Taliban as “Entities of Particular Concern.”

On Dec. 10 the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda, issued a statement calling for investigation into crimes against humanity in Nigeria.

Photo: Nasarawa state, Nigeria. (Creative Commons)

Persecution Watch: A Biblical Understanding of why Christians are Persecuted

5/04/2021 Voice of the Persecuted and Persecution Watch invite you to join us on Tuesday, May 4 in a prayer conference call for the persecuted Church.

Dear Prayer Warriors, we know that the true followers of Jesus will go through persecution. For this reason, our Father is calling us to pray for our precious Brothers and Sisters.

Paul’s Charge to Timothy

“10 You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, 11 persecutions, sufferings what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured. Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them. 12 In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13 while evildoers and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:10-17

Those who follow Jesus will face persecution for their faith. Jesus warns His followers about the difficulties they will face. 

  • “Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” 2 Timothy 3:12
  • “Then He said to them all; “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” Luke 9:23
  • “10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.” Matthew 5:10-11
  • “12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Matthew 5:12
  • ” But I tell you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you.” Matthew 5:44 
  • “8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed” 2 Corinthians 4:8-9

The present Suffering and Future Glory.

“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” Romans 8:18

“Be on your guard; you will be handed over to the local council and be flogged in the synagogues.” Matthew 10:17 

“You will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles..” Matthew 10:18

“And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.” Matthew 10:22 

“When they persecute you in this city, flee to another. For assuredly, I say to you, you will not have gone through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes.” Matthew 10:23

Prayer Points

  • Let us pray for strength, courage and endurance.
  • That believers will be ‘Christ-centered and focused on our Lord, not swayed by trials or the world.
  • That they will not stumble due to the worldly opinions of them and our faith in Christ.
  • That lukewarm Christians would develop a hunger for God’s Word in the Bible and come to a knowledge of the Truth through the Holy Spirit.
  • That they will trust God and remain joyful in all situations knowing God’s promises will be fulfilled.
  • That their love and joy in Christ will be a light in the darkness for all to see.

Bring back our 112 Chibok girls – now and alive!’ Demands for closure and disclosure 7 years on. Click here to read report

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.

Persecution Watch: Praying for Believers in the Maldives

4/29/2021 (Voice of the Persecuted) You are invited to join us on Thursday, April 29, 2021 in a prayer conference call for the persecuted church.

Maldives: Population 459.000, Christians: a few thousands

The Maldives is viewed by many as a luxury holiday destination, but behind the beauty of this island paradise lies a strict Islamic regime. This chain of nearly 1,200 islands has one of the highest population densities worldwide, especially on its main island, Malé. The close-knit, homogeneous communities keep a close watch on their members for any sign of deviation—which naturally includes religious choice. All politicians relentlessly claim that they are keeping the Maldives 100 percent Muslim, effectively leaving no space for any alternative.

Conversion to Christianity can easily result in being reported to Muslim leaders or authorities. Expatriate Christians, most of them working in the tourist sector and coming from India and Sri Lanka, are also closely watched, making Christian fellowship very difficult. The Maldives’ place on the World Watch List remains virtually unchanged, demonstrating that very little has altered in the past year. The new government, inaugurated in November 2018, clearly shows no signs of hesitation in its determination to keep the islands entirely free from religious influence that is not Islamic.

Persecution mainly takes place away from the eyes of international tourists the country’s economy depends on. A church life in the true meaning of the word is virtually impossible. Converts go to great lengths not to be discovered by their families and communities. They would not only face strong opposition and pressure to return to Islam but could even lose their citizenship.

  • Pray that attitudes among government officials, especially President Solih, will soften towards Christians and other religious minorities.
  • Pray against the strongholds of the forces of darkness – pride, fear, duplicity, sensuality, occult practices.
  • Pray for the Lord to provide opportunities for believers to gather safely.
  • Pray that God will use the Bible to powerfully strengthen, encourage and nurture the lives of believers.
  • Pray for the Christians among expatriate migrant workers, that they can be good witnesses of the hope they have in Christ.
  • Pray for Bible translations into Dhivehi, the official language and also their heart language. A few years ago, only the Gospel of Luke and Acts were available in Dhivehi.
  • Pray for covert delivery of Bibles and discipleship materials.
  • Pray that peace will reign in the hearts of Maldivian Christians in their difficult and uncertain times.
  • Pray for protection for Maldivian Christians from a Muslim background, and ask that they would be able to withstand opposition from their families and communities.
  • Pray that the media will focus their attention on the oppressive Maldivian government.  
  •  Pray that the media attention on the Maldives will it make politically incorrect for the rich, the pleasure seekers to vacation there.
  •   Pray that Christians can love and forgive their persecutors.
  • Pray for the Lord to free the captives and bring the church above ground.

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.

‘Bring back our 112 Chibok girls – now and alive!’ Demands for closure and disclosure 7 years on

Pictures of 82 girls freed in 2017; 112 are still un-accounted for
 

(World Watch Monitor) ‘I’m Chibok girl Dad. Bring Back Our Girls Now’ read the white letters on the man’s red T-shirt.

The same morning, 15 April seven years ago, he woke to hear his daughter had been abducted from her school dormitory at night. He’s not seen her since, has no idea if she is alive or dead. But amidst his anguish he pleads “Our people are being killed on weekly basis”.

This came on the 7th anniversary of the kidnap of 276 girls, even as global news headlined an attack on a humanitarian hub in the same state from which the schoolgirls disappeared into the Sambisa Forest on the night of April 14th 2014. 112 of them remain un-accounted for.

The dad pleaded ‘Even if our girls remain in the Forest, how has the government abandoned us? Why can’t it secure their parents and brothers? I appeal to [Borno] Governor Zulum…to bring peace to our land”. (There have been three attacks this week in the Borno town of Damasak, 200 miles north of Chibok, on the border with neighbouring Niger – this time by the Islamic State, West Africa Province (ISWAP), which has splintered away from Boko Haram.

Other figures from Chibok echoed his plea “If Nigeria does not rescue our Chibok girls, there’ll be no peace in Nigeria. Boko Haram is increasing in many ways. No amount of intimidation will stop us demanding your [the girls’] rights” said one into the camera. Asked what she would say to her daughter Sarah in case she might be watching, Mrs Samuel said ‘Keep hope alive; we wait for you’.

Sarah will soon turn 25, so was kidnapped at the age of 17. Mrs Samuel also apparently shocked her audience by saying she had not heard anything from the government since the release of 82 of the girls in May 2017.

During the Zoom event, the founder of Citizens’ Hub, Aisha Muhammad Yesufu also boldly challenged the Nigerian government:

“What is the crime of a Chibok girl? Is it that she’s a girl? Is it that she’s Nigerian? Is it that she’s poor?”

Event speakers all said they struggle to understand why recent mass school kidnaps (there have been at least three this year alone) have seen those children freed almost the very next day.

They point to initial denials and incredulity by the state and federal authorities; indeed the President at the time of the 2014 mass abduction, Goodluck Jonathan, eventually ordered an inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the mass kidnap because his government denied the incident had even happened for the first two weeks. The inquiry, led by retired Army-Gen. Ibrahim Sabo submitted its report on 20 June, 2014 but it has never been published and nothing has been heard of it since, according to one of the speakers.

Hence the slogan for this week’s event: “Bring Back our Girls- now and alive! Disclosure and closure” – disclosure of the Sabo report and closure for the abducted girls, their parents and communities.

Attendees heard that twenty parents have now died before seeing their daughters – again, most of them from high blood pressure or other stress-related medical conditions.

Seven years ago, a report showed how the Chibok girls’ kidnap appeared to be part of the Islamist group’s strategic approach to destroy the Christian community in N. Nigeria, where in some states, Christians still form a significant minority.

Keynote speaker, Cardinal John Onaiyekan, who retired a year ago from his role as Catholic Archbishop of the capital Abuja, said that the failure of President Buhari to fulfil his promise to defeat Boko Haram ‘by December 2015’ showed ‘graduating incompetence’. He pointed out that the Nigerian army has claimed to have killed the group’s leader Shekau at least four times. He also said that Chibok had led to kidnapping becoming an industry in Nigeria. He also compared the fact that 42 people – teachers and boys – kidnapped in Niger state had been found and freed after ten days, on 27 Feb this year, while one lone Christian girl Leah Sharibu remains in captivity more than three years after abduction, together with UNICEF nurse Alice Loksha, who was kidnapped in October 2018.

Aid groups estimate that more than eight million people in the north-east are in urgent of humanitarian assistance as a result of the 10-year Islamist insurgency.

Islamists in Pakistan Forcibly ‘Convert’ Catholic, Threaten Family

Social media post announcing ‘conversion’ of Adnan Bashir. (Morning Star News)

Pakistan (Morning Star News) – Members of an Islamic extremist political party in Pakistan have forcibly converted a mentally challenged Catholic and are pressuring his family to renounce their faith, a relative said.

Adnan Bashir, 40, wandered out of his home in Gujjar Khan, Punjab Province on April 14 and inadvertently walked into a sit-in protest of the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), said his brother, Fayyaz Bashir.

“One Mumtaz Ahmed and some others forced him to publicly recite the Kalima (proclamation of Muhammad’s prophethood, signaling conversion to Islam) and converted him to Islam,” Fayyaz Bashir told Morning Star News, adding that his younger brother has been under treatment for a mental disorder since 2018.

A few hours later acquaintances informed him by telephone that a video of his brother reciting the Kalima at the TLP demonstration was going viral on social media, Fayyaz Bashir said. Back home that evening, Adnan Bashir told his brother and other family members that he was watching the protestors when Ahmed, his former employer, offered him sherbet on the condition that he join the demonstrators.

“Mumtaz is also a local leader of the TLP, and he used the opportunity to force my brother to say the Kalima in the presence of the charged mobs,” Fayyaz Bashir said, adding that they renamed him Khadim Hussain after his “conversion.”

Safdar Chaudhry, chief executive of prisoner welfare group Raah-e-Nijaat Ministry, a Christian organization based in Rawalpindi, said Adnan Bashir has denied converting to Islam.

“When Adnan’s family contacted me for support, I brought him to Rawalpindi and admitted him to a hospital for treatment. When I asked Adnan about his conversion to Islam, he outright denied it, saying he’s a Christian,” Chaudhry told Morning Star News. “It’s obvious that Mumtaz Ahmed exploited Adnan’s mental condition for ulterior motives, but this has put the entire family and community members at serious risk.”

Fayyaz Bashir said his brother had been hospitalized in 2018 at the Government Benazir Bhutto Hospital in Rawalpindi after his condition was discovered. Married with two children, Adnan Bashir began working at a shop owned by Ahmed after he was discharged from the hospital.

“Adnan left the job after some months after his condition again deteriorated,” Fayyaz Bashir said. “We live in a joint family, and it was decided that we would financially support Adnan and his family so that he doesn’t have to suffer from work-related mental stress.”

After the video spread on social media, the family started receiving phone calls from Muslim acquaintances and some unknown callers, he said.

“The callers congratulated us over Adnan’s conversion and asked when the rest of us would also embrace Islam,” he said. “Some others are threatening us with serious consequences in case we ‘force’ Adnan to revert, warning that apostasy is punishable with death in Islam.”

The family is facing a serious security threat as TLP members are monitoring their movement, Fayyaz Bashir said.

“Our lives have become miserable due to the threats and surveillance by TLP activists,” he said. “Our children keep asking what will happen to them, as their Muslim friends keep raising this issue. We can neither seek help from the police or any other government or religious leader, because everyone is fearful of the TLP, and also because this matter can easily be turned into a religious issue.”

Rise of TLP

The TLP was founded by hard-line Barelvi cleric Khadim Hussain Rizvi after the 2011 assassination of former Punjab Gov. Salmaan Taseer.

Taseer was gunned down by his police bodyguard, Mumtaz Qadri, for speaking in favor of Pakistan’s most high-profile blasphemy convict, Aasiya Noreen, better known as Asia Bibi, who was sentenced to die before she was acquitted. Since its inception, TLP members have engaged in violent protests across the country and are a driving force behind the increase in blasphemy cases and related attacks in Punjab and Sindh provinces.

The violent organization has not only forced government officials to surrender to its demands on several occasions but has also found support within the armed forces of Pakistan. On April 12 police, acting on orders of the federal government, arrested TLP chief Hafiz Saad Rizvi, son of Khadim Rizvi, who had announced that the group would besiege the federal capital on April 20 for failing to act against France over caricatures deemed blasphemous to Islam last year.

Protests erupted in several Muslim countries last year over France’s response to the killing of a history teacher beheaded by an 18-year-old man of Chechen origin for showing cartoons of Muhammad, prophet of Islam, in a class on freedom of speech. At the time, the Pakistani government signed a deal with TLP promising to present a resolution in parliament by April 20 seeking expulsion of the French ambassador and boycotting French products.

Saad Rizvi’s arrest plunged Pakistan into chaos for nearly a week as charged mobs blocked major highways and roads, attacked government and private property, killed at least five policemen and seriously injured more than 850 others.

In retaliation, the federal government declared TLP as a proscribed organization and announced it would ask the Supreme Court to revoke the party’s registration with the Election Commission of Pakistan.

The government on April 14 issued a statement that it has “reasonable grounds to believe that the TLP is engaged in terrorism, [has] acted in a manner prejudicial to the peace and security of the country, [was] involved in creating anarchy in the country by intimidating the public, caused grievous bodily harm, hurt and death to the personnel of law enforcement agencies and innocent by-standers, attacked civilians and officials, created wide-scale hurdles, threatened, abused and promoted hatred, vandalized and ransacked public and government properties including vehicles and caused arson, blocked essential health supplies to hospitals, and has threatened, coerced, intimidated, and overawed the government [and] the public and created a sense of fear and insecurity in the society and the public at large.”

The government move failed to deter the TLP, and though hundreds of members were taken into custody, the party continued to hold several cities hostage by blocking roads and entry and exit points. Prime Minister Imran Khan repeatedly claimed that the government would not succumb to the TLP’s demands, but he ultimately capitulated and released Rizvi and all other TLP members in custody.

The prime minister has since filed a resolution in parliament for debate over expelling the French ambassador from Pakistan.

The U.S. State Department on Dec. 7 re-designated Pakistan among nine other “Countries of Particular Concern” for severe violations of religious freedom. Previously Pakistan had been added to the list on Nov. 28, 2018.

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

Egypt’s Claim of Killing Suspected Executioners of Christian Suspicious

(Morning Star News) – The Egyptian Interior Ministry’s claim – a day after Islamic terrorists released a video showing the execution of a 62-year-old Christian grandfather – that police had killed three of the suspects in the killing seems suspicious at best.

The Egyptian government didn’t bother to say on what date the three members of the Islamic State affiliate in the North Sinai were killed in a gun battle in the Abtal area, a convenient omission since it’s also unclear when Coptic Christian businessman Nabil Habashi Salama was killed. The video was released on April 18, and the government statement was released the next day.

The government claimed three other suspects involved in the execution escaped. Terrorist and government assertions are difficult to verify as media access is restricted in the restive North Sinai, but if the Egyptian government claim that three jihadists were killed is true, it also raises the question of why security forces couldn’t rescue Salama before he was executed.

When Salama was kidnapped in the coastal town of Bir al Abd in the North Sinai in early November, it wasn’t clear who had done it or why. Was he perceived as a well-off businessman whose family could pay a large ransom? A Christian to be despised for his part in the leading the construction of a church building? Or perhaps they thought his Coptic Orthodox denomination was rich enough to pay a ransom.

The three unmasked men who seized Salama off the street in Bir al Abd had to steal a vehicle to make their get-away, which seemed a bit less sophisticated than a typical IS operation.

The reasons for his execution became clearer with the release of the video. His son told Coptic Orthodox leaders that while in captivity his father had told him he was kidnapped for his role in building the church of St. Mary, St. Karas and St. Abanoub in Bir al Abd, according to a tweet by a church bishop.

“He poured his heart and soul into this church and always said, ‘Do not think that I am building this church for here; I am building for myself a home in heaven,’” the bishop reported Peter Salama telling him. “In their efforts to have him abandon the faith, they humiliated my father, and broke all his teeth to torture him. Yet, through all this, and we are so joyful for him.”

In the video, one of three IS terrorists standing with rifles behind the kneeling Salama says, “We thank the great Allah who ordered his followers to kill, and the kafirs [apostates] to be subjugated until they pay the jizya while down on their knees. This is a message to Crusaders in every spot on earth: As you fight, you will be fought, and as you capture you will be captured.”

Then the militant, using a derogatory term for Christians, addresses Egyptian Christians, saying, “This is your reward for supporting the Egyptian army,” and shoots Salama in the head, killing him, according to Egyptian newspaper Watani.

As the Egyptian military has waged a campaign against IS in the Sinai, the Islamic extremist militants see Coptic Christians as supporting the Egyptian army, even as some Copts lament indifference by the government and security forces’ lack of effectiveness; critics say the government could have rescued Salama long ago.

In the video, the jihadists also kill two Bedouin tribesmen they accuse of fighting with the military. The Bedouins have provided intelligence on jihadist militants to military and police.

The Coptic Orthodox archbishop in his tweet quotes Salama’s son as saying, “We are currently telling our kids that their grandfather is now a saint in the highest places of heaven. The ISIS militants used to contact me during the time when my father was kidnapped, and, though I knew he said this under pressure, he would say, ‘All is fine, thanks to God.’ He explained to me that the militants wanted to enforce the Jizya tax on the Christians, and that he was kidnapped due to his efforts in building the church.”

The Jizya, a koranic protection “tax” on Christians and other non-Muslims, grants the right to practice another religion but is used to subdue them as second-class citizens.

“It was heart-wrenching to see the execution of my father,” Peter Salama told Watani, adding that since his father’s execution he has received threats from IS terrorists. “He had never done anything wrong, in fact he loved to serve everyone and was loved by all in Bir al-Abd.”

Earlier in the 13-minute video, Salama is made to look like a man confessing a crime as he admits he was responsible for building the Coptic Orthodox church in Bir al Abd and, in an obviously coerced statement, says that his “church is cooperating with the Egyptian army and intelligence’s war on the Islamic State.”

‘He Died a Great Man’

Salama owned shops selling mobile phones, garments and jewelry in Bir al Abd.

The kidnappers reportedly demanded a ransom of 5 million Egyptian pounds (US$318,000, though church sources say the demand was 2 million Egyptian pounds), and after the family was unable to pay it, Salama’s relatives followed local security officials’ advice to relocate from the area. They had to shut down all Salama’s businesses and leave.

Islamic extremists who have long terrorized the Sinai ramped up violence in 2013 after the army deposed President Mohamed Morsi, an Islamist of the Muslim Brotherhood, as part of a popular uprising. Christians were among IS’s favorite targets for torture and murder.

In the North Sinai in February 2017, in the Al-Arish area east of Bir al Abd, about 350 Coptic families fled after jihadist militants carried out a series of killings and threats. Copts also had to flee Al-Arish in July 2013 after a priest and a Christian businessman were killed.

While there are doubts about the military’s effectiveness, Pope Tawadros II, head of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, lauded security forces’ efforts against terrorists in a statement mourning the death of Salama.

“Even as the Church mourns her faithful son and servant, she feels joy at his heavenly award in Jesus Christ who he held on to and shed his blood for,” Tawadros said. “The Church confirms her support of all the Egyptian state’s efforts in battling terror, the attacks of which only make us more adamant in preserving our national unity. In this regard, we applaud the efforts of the Egyptian military and police. We offer our condolences to the family of the martyr and pray for the peace of our land.”

Salama had two sons and a daughter. His daughter, Marina Salama, said her piercing grief and shock over his death came with great respect for his faith.

“He lived and died a great man,” she said. “He is now in a better place, with Jesus whom he loved and served.”

Praying for Children and the Younger Generation (Part 2)

4/24/2021 Dear Prayer Warriors, (Voice of the Persecuted) and Persecution Watch invite you to join us, tonight, in a prayer conference call for the persecuted Church.

Praying for children and young people teaching our children is of the utmost importance. Part 2  

Proverbs 3:13-15  (wisdom)

“13 Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding,

14 for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold.

15 She is more precious than rubies;nothing you desire can compare with her.”

* Pray girls and young women not have false compassion in being talked into things they don’t really want to do.

* Have self-esteem, not succumb to ungodly peer pressure.

* Pray make purity fashionable again; dress modestly.

Proverbs 29:22

“22 An angry person stirs up conflict, and a hot-tempered person commits many sins.”

Ephesians 4:26

26 “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.”

* Pray against spirit of anger and violence.

Psalm 18:2

“2 The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”

* Pray girls and young women are protected from kidnapping, rape, trafficking.

Romans 1:26-27

“26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.”

* Pray against spirit of homosexuality.

* Against spirit of confusion regarding sexual orientation.

Psalm 119:105

“105 Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.”

* Pray would have access to Word, including childrens’ Bibles

* Pray would have desire to read the Word

* Pray for those smuggling Bibles or printing them illegally: protection, provision, etc.

Psalm 68:5

“5 A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.”

* Pray for fatherless and orphans; against spirit of rejection; know are accepted in the Lord, in the Beloved”

* Pray for children whose parents have been murdered or in prison.

1 Peter 2:21

“21 To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.”

* Pray children and young people not be bitter when persecuted for being Christians

* Pray would be able to forgive

Job 1:5

“5 When a period of feasting had run its course, Job would make arrangements for them to be purified. Early in the morning he would sacrifice a burnt offering for each of them, thinking, “Perhaps my children have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” This was Job’s regular custom.”

* Pray parents would be diligent to pray for their children, grandchildren whoever Lord leads.

* If parents aren’t believers, then relatives, friends or acquaintances, or even strangers would pray for them.

Psalm 20:4

“4 May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.”

Jeremiah 29:11

“11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

* Pray God’s purposes would be fulfilled in their lives.

Pray as led by Holy Spirit

We Continue to Pray for: 

– Leah Sharibu and Alice 

– Pastor Wang Yi

– Anita

– Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani

– The Harvest 

Our dear Sister Valerie will moderate the call tonight. 

For His Glory,

Nadia Dybvik, Persecution Watch Prayer Call Leader

Prayer Conference Call Details

Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday

From any location on your phone

Time:

9:00 PM Eastern

8:00 PM Central

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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.

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