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.
Another church is ordered to close its door. It was ordered once before only to be allowed to reopen. On January 12th, a court ordered a church in Oran to close for good.
The Weifang City Anti-Evil Religious Association Office is rewarding towns and cities for cracking down on religious institutions.
Release International released an article detailing the persecution of the Christian Uyghur population.
The Three Self Churches (the ones sanctioned by the government) are being forced to give atheist material to their members. Members are instructed to read and take pictures of themselves with the book. Some members are leaving the state sanctioned churches for the illegal churches so that they can focus on Jesus and not be indoctrinated.
The indictment papers and the notification for Pastor Hao Zhiwei, Hong Ying, and Wan Yuanxiang has been released and is available to read. The three Christians from Hubei were falsely accused of fraud.
A coptic Christian, known for his documenting of the persecution in his country, is still in prison awaiting trial on terrorism charges.
The family of an Iranian pastor, who was hanged for his beliefs, discovered that the government had desecrated his grave in an effort to erase what had been done.
The Iranian government is doing even more surveillance on Christian churches and organizations as more and more are being converted to Christianity.
Iraqi Christians have optimism about change for 2020. Despite the difficulties they face, there have been public displays of welcoming for their community. AS the country forges its path into its new identity, the Christians hope to be included and believe there to be a window of opportunity to make that happen.
Three teachers were murdered in Kenya by al-Shabaab. The group took out the telecommunications in order to keep the victims from calling for help.
A man and his Muslim friend are facing blasphemy charges. The Christian was attacked by a group of Muslim men that held a grudge against him. When the man’s Muslim friend heard his screams, he came to his rescue. Now both of them face charges of blasphemy from the attackers.
When Asia Bibi was acquitted of blasphemy charges in 2018, protestors flooded the streets of Pakistan. Many turned violent. This month, 85 of those protestors were sentenced to 55 years each in prison for participating. Many of these people are part of the terrorist group that spearheaded the protests.
UPDATE: The three persons arrested in Turkey last week, for unknown reasons, by the anti-terror force have been charged. The charges are for giving Kurdish fighters a drink of water when they came to the monastery. Agenzia Fides also reports that one monk has been released from prison and put in to house confinement. In the days following the arrest, Turkish media reported that investigations regarding the monk had started in September 2018, when cameras mounted on two drones of the Turkish security services had filmed two PKK militants entering the monastery of Mor Yakup. Since then, the monastery and in particular Sefer had been placed under surveillance by intelligence services. In September 2019, a PKK militant arrested by Turkish security forces had confessed to having visited Mor Yakup monastery several times to eat and drink. Other testimonies reported in the Turkish media also confirm that the alleged “complicity” contested by the Turkish authorities to the Syriac Orthodox monk was limited to the simple offering of food and drinks to people who said they were hungry and thirsty.
The last two Christians in the town of Meer have been abducted. Over the years, the couple has refused to leave the area, despite being intimidated by Turkish authorities. Their abduction was discovered by their son who had come to visit.
Reports out of Turkmenistan are saying that a group of Protestant women was raided in December. They were arrested, fingerprinted and photographed. Their phones were confiscated and they were threatened as they were released this week.
We don’t often hear from Turkmenistan, as it is such a closed country. This time it is good news! It was reported that Pastor Kholmatov was released from prison in December!
Release International has published its January edition of Voices.
Voice of the Martyrs has a Global Prayer Guide available for free.
Christian Solidarity Worldwide has a prayer sheet for the week.
OpenDoors released its 2020 World Watchlist Report.
OpenDoors published an article detailing how advancing technology is also advancing the persecution against Christians.
If you would like to receive more frequent updates on Christian persecution, you can follow the Persecuted Church facebook page.