The Cost Of Confessing Christ In Pakistan

Prayers are needed for a pastor in Punjab who was hospitalised after being shot in the shoulder by an Islamist extremist on the evening of Sunday 3 September. Eleazar Sidhu – also known as Pastor Vicky – is the minister of a church in Faisalabad. He was returning home from conducting an evening service in nearby Jaranwala when he was accosted by an armed extremist. The gunman asked Pastor Vicky to recite the Islamic declaration of faith, which would have been considered a conversion to Islam. The pastor was shot when he instead began reciting a declaration of faith in Christ. Islamist slogans were discovered painted on the walls of Pastor Vicky’s church building on 28 August. The graffiti also included a curse against him. Jaranwala was the scene of antiChristian riots on 16 August when at least 22 church buildings and dozens of Christian homes were attacked. Give thanks for the faith and bravery of Pastor Vicky. Pray that he will make a full recovery and that his family will be kept safe. Ask that his stance in affirming his faith in the Lord despite the threat of death will inspire the Christian community in Faisalabad to stand firm and draw on God’s strength (1 Corinthians 16:13). Pray for protection of the Church in Pakistan from extremists as anti-Christian feeling remains high and that false accusations of “blasphemy” will not prevail.

Northern Nigeria Suffering Of Believers

There are several different factors that are causing terrible suffering for God’s people in Northern Nigeria. Perhaps the chief trouble is the Fulani herdsmen from Niger, who are travelling south to the region because of drought in their home territory, looking for fertile land to settle. They find rich pasture and agricultural land in Northern Nigeria, where the rains are regular and the soil is rich. They move into villages and either scare away the population, or just kill many in cold blood, taking everything over, as though they have been there all along! It is not explicitly religious, and they kill indiscriminately, but since the population is mainly “Christian”, the suffering is focused on them. This is distinct from the religious persecution of the Islamic State groups, who focus on Christians explicitly.

Pray For Persecuted Christians In Ukraine

The Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 has brought immense suffering to the Ukrainian nation. So many reports have reached us all of the terrible cost of this outrageous and cruel war.

But what you might not be fully aware of is the fact that this conflict has led to the persecution and oppression of evangelical leaders and believers in Ukraine by the Russian forces and those supportive of the invasion.

During this last year in the occupied areas of Ukraine, evangelical pastors have been arrested, interrogated, tortured and even expelled from their towns.

Church buildings have been confiscated and used for purposes that fit the agenda of the occupying forces.

What Do You Hope To Achieve?

Deborah Samuel, a Christian student, was beaten and stoned to death in an appalling incident at a college in Sokoto State, Nigeria. Deborah’s alleged crime was to have insulted Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, in a WhatsApp message. There is no evidence that Deborah did as alleged, but the accusation alone was enough to seal her fate. Even if she had, her murder at the hands of a Muslim mob was not deserved. A fellow student reports that Deborah’s last words to her attackers were, “What do you hope to achieve with this?” This is a question that could be asked to all the Islamist groups across Nigeria – indeed, all those around the world who commit violence against Christians and persecute the Church.

Christians are the most persecuted group in the world. Pray for and support your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.

Release International. The voice of persecuted Christians throughout the globe.

View the Release International website here: Release seek to help persecuted Christians in their time of need. It is through the reporting work of release that we can know specific people imprisoned for their faith, and pray for them. What if it was your brother in prison? Are Christians not our brothers and sisters in Christ?