Updates on the persecuted Church – 22 March 2023

23 March 2023

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Chinese pastor released from prison; ten killed in Christian-majority Atyap Kingdom, Nigeria; Christian aid worker released by Islamists in Niger; Nagorno-Karabakh blockade continues.

Pastor Alimujiang Yimiti has been released after 15 years’ imprisonment in China [Image credit: China Aid]

  • Uyghur house church pastor Alimujiang Yimiti (Alim) has been released after 15 years’ imprisonment in China, and is now home with his family. Alim, a convert to Christianity from Islam, served as a pastor in Kashgar, Xinjiang province, until his arrest in 2008 for alleged anti-state activities. He was finally sentenced in August 2009 after being subjected to two trials held in secret, with his family prohibited from attending. Give thanks for Alim’s release and pray that he will recover fully as he re-adjusts to family life after the long years spent in captivity.
  • At least 10 residents of a community in Atyap Chiefdom, Zangon Kataf Local Government Area of Kaduna State, Nigeria, were killed in an attack by suspected Fulani extremists on 14 March. The attackers invaded Langson community at 9pm, shooting sporadically. They also looted a shop before being repelled by police. Several residents sustained injuries that required hospital treatment. Around 84% of the Atyap people are Christians. Ask that the Lord will comfort those bereaved and heal those wounded in the Atyap community, and that the authorities will act to prevent such attacks.
  • A Christian aid worker from the United States who was abducted by Islamists in Niger more than six years ago has been released. Jeff Woodke, 61, was taken by armed jihadists from his home in Abalak, northern Niger, in October 2016. He had lived and worked in Niger since 1992. Give thanks for the release of our brother, and pray for his recovery following his lengthy ordeal.
  • The blockade of Nagorno-Karabakh, an Armenian Christian region within Azerbaijan, has been continuing for more than three months. Residents continue to suffer shortages of food and medicine, along with power and energy outages. Pray for a peaceful resolution that will spare Armenian believers in Nagorno-Karabakh from further hardship.

Related Countries

Armenia, China, Niger, Nigeria