8 February 2023
Christians among millions affected by Turkey-Syria earthquake; Nigerian pastor abducted and killed; Christian on trial for importing Bibles into Northern Cyprus; blockade of Christian-majority Nagorno-Karabakh continues.
- Many Christians are among those affected by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake that has led to more than 10,000 confirmed deaths in south-east Turkey and northern Syria. Modelling suggests that the total number of fatalities could be more than 30,000. The World Health Organisation has estimated that 23 million people have been affected. Pray earnestly for all those who are suffering, especially for our brothers and sisters, as well as for the success of search and rescue efforts and the humanitarian response.
- A pastor in Adamawa State, Nigeria, has been killed by suspected Islamist terrorists. Pastor Jerry Hinjari was abducted from his home in Yola, the state capital, on the evening of 25 January, and his body was discovered the following day. Ask the Lord to be very close to the grieving family and congregation of Pastor Hinjari as they endure the grief and trauma caused by this act of violence.
- The case against Ryan Keating, a Christian in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, for alleged illegal importation of Bibles, New Testaments and other Christian books from the (southern) Republic of Cyprus is continuing. Keating was summoned by the Ministry of Labour for questioning about his Christian activities on 31 January; the questioning was postponed, however, because the relevant official was not present. A further court hearing is scheduled for 13 February. Keating’s lawyer maintains that the case against him is a violation of his religious freedom. Pray that the charges against Keating, first made in March 2021, will be dropped.
- The blockade of Nagorno-Karabakh, an Armenian Christian region within Azerbaijan, has been continuing for more than eight weeks. Residents are suffering shortages of food and medicine, along with power and energy outages. Give thanks that Barnabas has been able to get aid into the blockaded region, and ask that this will continue. Pray for a resolution that will allow Armenian Christians to live in peace.