1. Christian Persecution in India.
2. Pray for Nigeria Elections.
3. Update on Turkey.
4. Praise Report: Nadarkharni released from Iran Prison
1. Christian Persecution in India: A Growing Threat
Christian persecution in India has been on the rise over the past several years. The Indian government has implemented several laws and policies which have put Christians in India at risk, especially those belonging to minority religious communities.
Christians in India face increasing levels of discrimination, violence, and even arbitrary arrests because of their faith.
Recent reports from India have revealed that Christians have been targeted, harassed and tortured. In some cases, Christian individuals and organizations have been accused of forced conversion attempts in violation of the Indian penal code. In other cases, Christian places of worship have been vandalized or burned.
Right-wing groups have been known to attack Christian churches and cause disruption to their services. These groups are often led by politicians and try to use their influence to spread their beliefs and subjugate Christians. Recently some civil rights group has claimed that nearly 1000 tribal Christians in Chhattisgarh have been subjugated to violence and some of them have been forcibly converted to Hinduism.
Watch Christians protest against hate and violence:
- Prayer Points:
- Pray for the Indian Christians to stand strong in their faith amid fierce persecution.
- Pray for the release of pastors & believers who are in jails without opportunity for bail.
- Pray for the safety of the believers whether in the city or the tribal regions.
- Pray for the legal teams to represent the persecuted body of Christ in the various courts.
- Pray for the softening of hearts of the staunch anti-Christian governments & groups.
2. Pray for Nigeria – Presidential Elections outcome.
News of Bola Tinubu’s victory in the presidential election in Nigeria has raised tensions in the country and led to widespread despondency, particularly among Christians and young people.
According to official results, 70-year-old Tinubu of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) party won with 37% of the vote. However, political parties are opposing the outcome, with Labour’s Peter Obi reportedly planning on launching a legal challenge.
Open Doors reports that as news of the result began to emerge, that “the atmosphere here is that of anger, disappointment and fear of what may happen.”
- Please Pray:
- For restraint among citizens and that legal challenges will be pursued and heard with respect and fairness
- That those feeling despondent will not lose hope
- That the Holy Spirit will guide pastors, churches and Christians in their response to this complex and tense situation.
3. Update on Turkey and Syria Earthquake. City of Antioch.
Please continue to pray for Turkey and Syria where the earthquakes killed over 50,000 and injured more than a 100,000 people.
Pray that this nation will recover and that God will open the hearts of people who have not heard the Gospel. As we mentioned the city of Antioch (Antakiya) the whole city is reduced to rubble.
History notes the city has experienced nearly 60 earthquakes in its history.
Despite these, Antioch is described as a resilient city that kept reemerging from the rubble.
It is recorded by Roman historians that an earthquake in December 13, AD115, tens of thousands died, and the Roman Emperor Trajan, who was visiting the city, barely escaped with his life. Survivors gathered in the open space of the hippodrome, similar to survivors gathered in the modern stadiums today.
In the aftermath of the disasters, the Romans arrested the Christian bishop Ignatius and condemned him to death around this time, suggesting that perhaps they blamed Christians for the disaster.
Another earthquake on May 29, AD526, in which 250,000 persons perished.
Read: Christianity Today article on history of Antioch City.
Pray that people in Antakya will find refuge and strength and hope in God and that the small number of churches and Christians there will be source of blessing to the rebuilding of the City.
- Pray that Rebuilding of Antioch will open opportunities for the restoring of it’s Biblical destiny of being a Missionary sending City.
- Pray for the rebuilding of other cities in Turkey.
- Pray for Syrian cities affected by the earthquake amid war and displacement. Pray that relief will be sent across overcoming difficult challenges.
- Pray for various relief agencies including Christian NGOs who are helping those affected.
Praise Report: Yousef Nadarkhani released from prison
Christians worldwide has been praying for many years for Yousef who in 2010 when was sentenced to death for apostasy in Iran. The sentence was later changed to become a three-year custodial sentence for “evangelising Muslims,” and he was released in 2012.
In May 2016, Yousef (along with his wife, Tina, and three other converts) was re-arrested in Rasht. The following year he and the three men arrested with him were each sentenced to 10 years in prison for “acting against the national security through propagating house churches and promoting Zionist Christianity.”
The 10-year sentence was upheld on appeal. Yousef was arrested at home in July 2018 (both he and his son were physically assaulted during the arrest) and taken to Evin Prison .
Iranian Christians rejoice that pastor Yousef has been released but remember that he had been imprisoned unjustly and that many Christian converts remain detained in Iran.
Read More about Prisoners in Iran in Middle East Concern.
Prayer is requested that:
- Yousef will quickly adjust to life with his family and overcome the trauma of prison.
- Other Christians in Iran imprisoned for their faith will also be released
- Iran will stop the persecution of Christians and other faith communities
READ MORE: How to Pray for the Persecuted Christians.
Thank You for Praying With us.
- Christianity Today.
- Open Doors UK.
- Middle East Concern.