Updates on the persecuted church – 11 January 2023

11 January 2023

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At least 39 Christians killed in Kaduna State, Nigeria; one man killed in military attack on Myanmar church; Pakistani Christian woman threatened with “blasphemy” accusation; Egyptian church attacked by extremists.

  • At least 39 Christians were killed in separate attacks by suspected Fulani militants on 13 and 18 December 2022 in Kaura Local Government Area of Kaduna State. The assaults targeted the village of Mallagun and seven surrounding villages. Among the victims was 105-year-old Monica Kunal Ajuwai. Six entire families were wiped out. The attackers looted homes of grain and valuables before burning down 102 houses. Ask the Lord to comfort the bereaved and to bring peace to Nigeria’s troubled northern and Middle Belt regions.
  • A 52-year-old man was killed and five other people, including two children, were injured when the Myanmar military (Tatmadaw) shelled a church building in Christian-majority Kachin State. The attack took place in San Hka village, Hpakant township, on 30 December. Pray for Christians in Myanmar who have suffered violence and persecution for many years. Ask that the Lord will continue to sustain and provide for His children.
  • A female Christian security officer at an airport in Karachi, Pakistan, was threatened with a “blasphemy” accusation after a disagreement with a colleague over access to the airport car park. The colleague’s threat demonstrates how “blasphemy” accusations are misused in such disputes. “Blasphemy” accusations are highly dangerous as the death sentence is mandatory for those who make defamatory remarks about Muhammad, the prophet of Islam. The accused, their families, and Christian communities can also suffer mob violence at the hands of extremists. The colleague has since been dismissed by Pakistan’s Civil Aviation Authority. Give thanks for this swift response, and for the widespread condemnation of these threats from many in the Muslim community. Pray for our sister and her family who may still be targeted by extremists.       
  • A church in the Egyptian village of Ebis, Beheira Governorate, was attacked by a mob of Muslim extremists on 24 December. The mob threw stones at believers who were making repairs to the church roof. Police attended, allowing the work to continue, but the extremists then blocked lorries carrying building supplies from reaching the village, forcing construction to come to a halt. The church has also felt forced to close its health clinic, which serves both Christians and Muslims, for fear of attack. Give thanks for the police response. Pray that hostilities will cease, and that the church will be able to continue to function in peace.

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