3 May 2023
Iranian Christian released from prison; More than 1,350 Nigerian believers killed by Islamists from February 2022 to January 2023; Church building destroyed and villagers forced to flee in Myanmar’s Christian-majority Karen State
- Malihe Nazari, a 50-year-old Iranian Christian convert whose son Mohammad-Hossein has been suffering from leukaemia for five years, was released from prison on 24 April, two days before his 25th birthday. Malihe had been held at Evin Prison, Tehran, since August 2022. She was serving a six-year sentence for allegedly disrupting national security by helping to operate a “house church”. Give thanks for Malihe’s freedom and pray that she will able to support her son. Pray that her release will be permanent.
- More than 1,350 Christians were killed in northern and Middle Belt Nigeria from 1 February 2022 to 31 January 2023, according to a new report. The Kukah Centre – founded by Matthew Hassan Kukah, a senior church leader in Sokoto State – also concluded that this violence is the result of anti-Christian persecution by Islamist extremists. Ask the Lord to sustain His Church in Nigeria, and to bring an end to the campaign of persecution being waged against His people if it is His will.
- Residents of Mae Ka Nae village in Myanmar’s Christian-majority Karen State were forced to flee from their homes after Tatmadaw (Myanmar military) attacks that began on 11 April. On the first day of the attack, a 500 lb. (227 kg) bomb was used to destroy the village church. Soldiers subsequently occupied Mae Ka Nae, burning down 12 houses that had survived the bombardment. Pray for the villagers, including the pastor of the church, who have been left homeless.