Updates on the persecuted Church – 10 October 2023

11 October 2023

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Algerian church leader given two-year prison sentence; Twenty-nine killed in Christian-majority area of Myanmar; Pastor’s son killed as another family abducted in southern Nigeria; First new church building in Turkey’s 100-year history opened in Istanbul

Algerian church leader Youssef Ourahmane is appealing against his two-year prison sentence [Image credit: CNE/Pastor Youssef Ourahmane] 

  • A church leader in Algeria has been sentenced to two years’ imprisonment and a £605 ($725; €665) fine for allegedly holding an unauthorised religious meeting in a building not permitted to be used for religious worship. Pastor Youssef Ourahmane is Vice President of the Protestant Church of Algeria (EPA). The allegations stem from March 2023, when he supervised a number of Christian families who stayed at a church compound that includes a chapel that has been sealed by the authorities. Since church closures began in July 2018, 41 of the 45 EPA churches have been closed, with 15 of those physically sealed. Pray for the success of Pastor Youssef’s appeal against his sentence. Ask the Lord to sustain His people in Algeria.  
  • Twenty-nine people were killed and 56 wounded when the Buddhist extremist Tatmadaw (Myanmar military) bombed a camp for internally displaced people (IDPs) in Christian-majority Kachin State on 9 October. Among the dead were 11 children, the youngest of whom was 18 months old. The victims had already fled from another IDP camp after first being forced from their homes. Ask the Lord to bring an end to anti-Christian violence in Myanmar, and pray that there will be peace for all people.
  • Two pastors have been targeted in separate incidents in Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State, southern Nigeria. Pastor Nicholas Omoroka was able to escape after gunmen shot at his house near Oviri-Ogor. His son Christopher, in his 20s, was shot dead in the attack. Some 20 miles to the south, Pastor Agbadamashi Emmanuel, his wife and children were abducted by gunmen near Evwreni junction on 6 October. Pray that the Lord will comfort Pastor Nicholas and his family in their loss and ask for His intervention to bring about the release of Pastor Agbadamashi and his family safe and unharmed.
  • The first new church building to open in Muslim-majority Turkey since the founding of the modern Turkish Republic was inaugurated on Sunday 8 October in Yeşilköy, Istanbul. Church leaders and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan took part in the inauguration ceremony. Ask the Lord to make this new building a blessing for Istanbul’s Christian community.

Related Countries

Algeria, Myanmar (Burma), Nigeria, Turkey