On 25th June, an Iranian man, facing spurious charges, was released after a court hearing. Mohammadil Yassaghi was arrested on 10 April and accused of ‘spreading propaganda against the establishment’. A 52-year-old father of three, Mr. Yassaghi is a member of the Church of Iran: the same as Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani, and three others, whose extremely harsh sentences were recently upheld. His arrest and the sentences of his fellow Church members are part of an ongoing official campaign of harassment of Christians. Our prayers are a powerful lifeline for these Christians. Please pray for strength and courage for our brothers in Iran.
This week, CSW received news from Nigeria that around 200 people, mostly women and children, have been killed in attacks on their villages in Barkin Ladi LGA, Plateau State, by Fulani herder militia. There is now a dawn to dusk curfew, and travel is extremely restricted. Please ask God to bring healing and peace in Nigeria. Pray for all who have lost loved ones in the attacks and that in the absence of official protection, the Lord himself would deliver Nigeria from the funders and perpetrators of this and other violence.
Pastor Yang Hua, the leader of Living Stone Church in China has been released after completing a two-and-a-half-year sentence for ‘illegally possessing state secrets’. His time in prison has been exceptionally hard on his health. According to friends and supporters, he is now in urgent need of medical care and suffering from multiple and serious health problems. Please pray for a complete recovery from his ordeal and ask God to provide both physically and spiritually for his church as they continue to be the subject of government harassment and intense pressure.
This week, the world watched as President Donald Trump met North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore, for a summit in which, sadly, it seemed that human rights, including freedom of religion or belief, were swept to the side. Prior to the summit, CSW joined over 300 other nongovernmental organisations in calling for “lasting improvements to the dire human rights situation” in North Korea. Following the initial meeting between these two world leaders in Singapore, and as they develop this process of engagement, please pray that they would not take human rights off the negotiating table.
On 12 June, US President Donald Trump will meet the North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, in Singapore. The UN describes the human rights situation in North Korea as ‘without parallel in the contemporary world’. At least 100,000 people are held in prison camps, regularly experiencing slave labour and torture. There’s absolutely no open expression of religious faith, and if you’re caught with a Bible you could face execution, or a life sentence in a prison camp. Please pray for the two leaders ahead of their meeting: that human rights are prioritised in their discussions, that these talks would result in concrete steps in closing the prison camps and that true peace and justice would come to the Korean peninsula.
Please pray this week for the Sharon Retreat Centre in Iran, which was served with an eviction notice earlier this month. The centre belongs to the Assemblies of God (AoG) Church. It is a large and valuable property, and in 2015 a Revolutionary Court issued a confiscation order. The government has in the past accused the AoG of being funded by the US Central Intelligence Agency, to infiltrate and undermine the country. Please pray that the AoG will be able to reclaim the Sharon Retreat Centre from the Iranian government.
Who are Christian Solidarity?
Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) works in over 20 countries across Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America, defending everyone’s right to freedom of religion or belief. Three quarters of the world’s population lives in countries with severe restrictions on their religious freedom – in fact, it’s one of the most widely-violated human rights in the world. We think this is unacceptable. We’re working to change it. Our vision is of a world where everyone is free to choose their beliefs – to hold and practise any religion they like, or none at all.
Find out more on the Christian Solidarity Worldwide website (click here)