Ten years ago, the Christians of Kandhamal District in Odisha State, India, became the centre of terrible anti-Christian violence. Over 100 people were killed, with 56,000 more forced to flee their homes. Now, almost a decade later, CSW are still praying to see justice done for the survivors. There have been hardly any convictions and not a single person imprisoned. In May this year, lawyers were told that compensation totalling about £1.7m will be disbursed to 14 survivors of the violence. Let’s pray that all the survivors will receive the justice they need to heal and move on, and for the peace and healing of God’s presence with them.
An American pastor, Andrew Brunson, was arrested in October 2016 in Turkey and accused of having links to the Gulen movement, the organisation deemed responsible for the attempted military coup in July 2016, and to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party. If convicted, Pastor Brunson faces up to 35 years in prison. Please pray that he will be released, and the charges dropped. Pray also For God’s powerful presence to protect the many journalists, human rights workers, activists and other members of civil society who are in prison in Turkey.
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.
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)