InChains brings you the news about the persecuted Church worldwide. It also brings you resources available for prayer, statistics, and more. Part of being the body of Christ is remembering those that are persecuted. “Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body.” We need to remember and pray for those that are being persecuted, but we also need to pray for those that are doing the persecuting, that they would come to Christ. “But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” InChains prays that you will use this knowledge to strategically and specifically pray.
In mid-February, Islamic extremists murdered two church leaders in eastern Burkina Faso, announcing to the community that they will not tolerate Christianity in the area. On Feb. 10, the extremists arrived at the home of well-known church leader Lankoande Babribile and shot him to death in front of his wife. Lankoande, who served in the village of Sebba near the border with Niger, was known for his Christian witness in the community, especially among the nomadic Fulani people. He is survived by his wife and nine children. Using a vehicle stolen from Lankoande, the terrorists went to the home of Pastor Tindano Omar on Feb. 13 and killed him and other members of his family. Pray for the comfort of surviving family members, and thank the Lord for the witness of His saints. (via iCommittoPray)
The 200 Christian refugees/IDPs in Rakhine State have yet to receive an COVID19 aid.
A video has emerged showing government officials breaking into a private residence and violently dealing with church members in an effort to shut down their worship. Police never presented warrants.
A journalist takes a look at the lives of pastors in China during the COVID19 pandemic.
Government is sending state-approved pastors to house church members in order to pressure them to switch to attending a state-sponsored church.
Pastor Wang Yi has been transferred but it has yet to be revealed where he was transferred to.
Cheng, a member of Early Rain Covenant Church, was arrested after allegedly criticizing the government on WeChat.
The new laws passed in February 2018 are having a chilling effect on orphanages. The new laws stipulate that any public interest charities are forbidden to proselytize. Thus, many orphanages are closing their doors as they are religious run institutions.
China is continuing its policy of requiring students to praise the communist party. Teachers are being told to renounce their faith, they are not allowed to promote religion in any form, they are to teach children to love and follow the party only, and the government is sending out monitors to make sure it is happening.
Rami Kamil, who wrote about religious freedom abuses, has had his sentence extended for 45 days. This was done without representation.
The Coptic Christian woman who survived an attack on her life is appealing the perpetrator’s claims that he is mentally unstable. The man is a known criminal and a known terrorist, yet he is claiming to be mentally ill. The woman’s lawyers are trying to get justice.
A church in Egypt was destroyed, along with a mosque. The church has owned the property for a long time. Muslims built a mosque on the property without permission. When the church built a second story, the mosque officials were upset. The local government decided to demolish them both and injured Christians in the process. Now Christians have nowhere to pray and the Muslims just moved to the mosque down the street.
The Libyan army has apprehended the mastermind behind the church bombings in 2016 and 2017.
Hindu nationalists, and those in government, have falsely accused Christian missionaries of a mob lynching.
Christians, and other minorities, are being denied COVID19 aid. They are also being detained arbitrarily, even when they do not test positive for the virus.
Pastor Nerren of the United States, was released after 7 months. He was accused of failing to declare money at the border. Nerren was carrying $40,000 for a children’s ministry. According to Nerren, India was planning on keeping him for years.
Eight Christians were arrested in April. They were falsely accused of violating India’s COVID19 restrictions. They were meeting to distribute aid to the needy but were accused of holding religious services.
In an attempt to grab their lands, Christians of five families were assaulted when they refused to deny their belief in Jesus.
Christians are being falsely accused for the actions of a tribal lynch mob. The rumors have spread like wildfire on social media and Christians are being targeted by vigilantes.
Iran will hear the appeals of a few Christian converts. Their verdicts are expected mid-May.
Four Christians, arrested for being a part of a house church, had their appeal heard on May 14th. They were unable to meet the bail requirements and were transferred to Lakan Prison.
A draft bill has been put forward to dismantle the bar association and create a council to replace them. This council would be filled with government chosen judiciary figures that are trained in Islamic religion.
Ismaeil got his hopes up when the judge asked for a re-trial. However, May 9th, instead of a reprieve, the judge issued an additional charge with an additional sentence. Thus, Ismaeil’s sentence was increased. Please be in prayer.
The tomb of Esther and Mordecai, along with a Christian cemetery, was set ablaze. It is thought that these incidents are in retaliation for Israeli and US policy decisions. Christians often get caught in the crosshairs of political upheavals.
The KRG has decided to start trials for ISIS participants in mid-2021. Many Christians have sought refuge in the KRG and are anticipating justice through these trials.
Christians in Mandera are being denied food aid because of their beliefs. They are under curfew due to COVID19 aid and their local Muslim tribal chiefs are denying them the aid they need.
A young married couple were expelled from their family’s home recently after coming to faith in Christ. Phu and Sri married at a young age and moved in with Phu’s parents. After Sri gave birth to their daughter, she was often ill and had no one to care for her while Phu was working long hours on a banana plantation. Sri eventually sought prayer from a local house church and was healed of her illness. And in time, both she and her husband placed their faith in Jesus Christ. When Phu’s mother found out, however, she beat Sri severely, causing swelling to her face and ears. In addition, she told her son and daughter-in-law that they could no longer live with her. The couple and their baby need a new place to live, and Sri has no family to provide support for them. Pray for Phu, Sri and their baby. (via iCommittoPray)
Three Christian families from the Akha tribe were expelled from their village recently after refusing to renounce their faith in Christ. At the beginning of 2020, village authorities called the Christians to a meeting that included members of the Lao Patriotic Front. After accusing the believers of abandoning Akha customs and failing to follow the rules and traditions of the village, authorities told them that if they would not renounce their “Jesus religion” they would have to leave the village. The Christians told them they would not renounce their faith in Christ, pointing out they had not broken any laws, but wanted to stay in the village. At that point, village leaders loaded the Christians and their belongings onto a truck, drove them to some empty farmland outside the village and left them. The authorities then destroyed the Christians’ homes in the village. Pray that these faithful families will find a new place to live. (via iCommittoPray)
Despite laws being changed to ensure religious freedom, reports are coming out that Christians are still not being allowed to practice their faith due to the government considering the religion and American import.
A pastor in Nepal, who was arrested last month when he claimed prayer could heal COVID19, was released when his wife paid bail. However, when they walked out of the police station, he was re-arrested on new charges.
A pastor and his family were shot while praying. Thankfully, they have all survived.
Four people were ambushed, shot and killed. All victims were in their 20’s. Their names have been added to the martyr list.
More information has emerged. Michael Nnandi, a seminary student who was abducted in January and subsequently murdered, was killed because he would not stop proclaiming the name of Jesus.
Over 25 people were killed in Nigeria’s Middle Belt over the month of April.
In the last week of March, Christians reported multiple attacks by both Boko Haram terrorists and Fulani Islamic militants in the north. On March 23, Boko Haram ambushed a military convoy, killing about 70 soldiers and taking some captive. Three days later, Fulani Islamic militants attacked the Christian village of Miango, killing three villagers, injuring several others and burning Christians’ houses. The next day, Boko Haram kidnapped three Christian students who were returning home after taking university entrance exams. And on March 30, Fulani Islamic militants shot to death two Christian men in Dangwa village. “Even while we continue to pray for the world and this pandemic, let’s also continue to remember those who are still facing the attacks of Islamic fanatics,” a VOM field worker said. “Their hope lies in an ever-present, all-knowing and Sovereign King who is above all we could ever imagine.” (via iCommittoPray)
Kaduna State has seen multiple attacks by the Fulani in mid-May, across many villages/towns. One of those towns was reported as having 15 dead. President Buhari, although admitting the crimes are heinous, is placing the blame for Fulani attacks on Christians, saying that the Fulani are only seeking revenge from attacks on them. These are false narratives that the president is progressing. It has also been reported that the COVID19 lockdown has given the Fulani “leeway” to perpetrate these acts.
After slaughtering families in their homes, the Fulani kidnapped a pastor and a missionary.
Fulani attacked several villages in Adamawa State, killing two.
The town of Dapchi has been attacked again, by ISWAP. Two years ago, over 100 girls were kidnapped from this town. All were released except one, Leah Sharibou. She refused to renounce her belief in Jesus. During this month of Ramadan, ISWAP has attacked the town again.
After a spate of attacks, by the Fulani, in Benue state, 12 are dead and at least one abducted.
Fulani herdsmen attacked a home when they knew the family would be there because of the COVID19 lockdown curfews. They attacked, killing the mother and shooting the mother-in-law.
A cleric was seen on video bragging about forcing Christians to convert to Islam in order to receive aid. In addition, catholic aid organizations are reporting abuses by local leaders in distributing aid, forcing non-Muslims to convert before getting aid.
Pakistan activists are voicing their disapproval of an ad-hoc commission that was set up to oversee religious minorities but were given no power.
A pastor was attacked and his church desecrated by the neighboring Muslim land owner. This church ministers to over 350 families.
Maira is a 14-year-old girl who was abducted, forced to marry, and forced to convert. The man who abducted her states that she is really 19 and the parents have no right to try to get her back. The courts ruled in favor of the man, despite the parents providing a birth certificate, school records, and medical records showing that she is truly 14. The girl will not be returned to her family.
A muslim land owner forced his way into a Christian cemetery. He and his friends used a tractor to desecrate the graves.
A headmaster was injured during an attack on his school by the Fulani.
A Christian Parliamentarian was attacked by gunmen in late April. The attackers, on motorcycles, shot into his house in an attempt on his life. He says it is because he is taking a stand for religious minorities.
A deaf and mute girl was abducted from her house. The mother accuses the police of doing nothing, despite her giving them three names of the likely culprits.
The New York Times published a piece detailing the plight of Christians in Pakistan.
The Philippines military might be behind the smear campaign against a priest who is reaching out to indigenous peoples groups to help them understand their rights under Philippines law.
IDP camp has now been infected with COVID19. Christians are present in this camp as the violence in South Sudan has only recently been stilled.
A Greek Orthodox church is being destroyed by treasure hunters under the impression that Christian churches are full of riches. Villagers are begging the government to make it a historical site for tourism, but are being denied.
The Turkish media is still denying Turkey’s role in the Greek genocide in the early 1900’s.
A publication, slated to be released in September, is making false allegations against religious minority leaders, including Christians, in an effort to connect them with Gulen and his failed coup attempt. Many fear that the pictures, with names, next to the accusations will make these people a target.
In a country known for its religious freedom, many in the United States feel that the government is encroaching upon those freedoms, using the pandemic as an excuse to restrict religious freedoms. It is currently unclear if these restrictions will be retracted and how the courts will handle the cases that have come to them. Because of the possibility of religious freedoms becoming restricted, InChains is covering the relevant news.
Many religious organizations and religious freedom organizations are bringing suits against local and state governments. Despite the President of the USA signing an executive order stating that churches are essential businesses and can remain open, many local and state governments are refusing to allow it to happen. Legal battles are ensuing over the protections afforded in the 1st Amendment.
The courts came down in favor of the church in a case in the state of Virginia. Police had threatened the pastor with jail time and/or a $2500 fine for holding a service on Palm Sunday. There were 16 people in a room that could fit 290+ people. All were social distancing. The church brought suit against the governor and the courts favored the church.
Pastors and church administrators are raising the alarm in Kansas City. The city’s mayor has created an order to track people that come in/out of venues, including church services. Businesses are unable to operate under the strict guidelines and many feel like the mayor is overstepping boundaries and attempting to track people.
A church in Mississippi was burnt to the ground. “Bet you stay home now, hypokrits” (sic) was left as a message. This church had continued to hold services and brought suit against the city government over its stay-at-home order. Despite the state government deeming churches essential (meaning they can stay open), the city of Holly Springs refused to allow churches to open.
Churches in Illinois are bringing suits against the governor for his orders banning groups of more than ten. They argue that they are following all the rules put out for other essential businesses, yet the governor refuses to allow them to meet.
Over 1,200 churches are planning to reopen May 31st in California, in defiance of the state government.
Release International has set up a LockDown Website
Article (with links) providing info about the increased persecution during COVID19 pandemic. Discrimination, Persecution and Pandemic
CSW Prayer Diary
REPORTS, BOOKS, & MOVIES
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has published a report that Christian properties are considered as spoils of war, and thus are being confiscated by the HTS.
ICC has create a report on the blasphemy law situation in Pakistan: The Voiceless Victims of Pakistan’s Blasphemy Laws
The Nigerian Voice published a Special Report on the killings in Nigeria.
United States Commission on Religious Freedoms 2020 Annual Report
For a list of names of those martyred, please see the Martyr Page. Although this list is not everyone, I created it to honor those that have been martyred. If I have been able to find their name, I have recorded it here with a link to what happened.
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