Updates on the Persecuted Church – June 14, 2023

June 14, 2023

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Church minister released two days after abduction in Anambra State, Nigeria, while attacks in Plateau State leave 21 dead; Islamists kill 12 in attack on village in eastern DRC; Lachin Corridor blockade reaches grim six-month milestone

Church minister Stanislaus Mbamara was abducted by gunmen in Anambra State, Nigeria, but was subsequently released safe and unharmed [Image credit: Nnewi Diocese] 

  • A church minister who was abducted by gunmen in Anambra State, Nigeria, has regained his freedom. Stanislaus Mbamara was kidnapped while driving on June 2, but was set free on Sunday, June 4. Praise the Lord for answered prayer with Stanislaus’s release. Pray that he will experience full recovery from his ordeal and be inwardly strengthened to continue his ministry with increased resolve.
  • Suspected Fulani militants killed 21 people in attacks on Christian communities in Plateau State in Nigeria’s Middle Belt on the evening of Sunday, June 11. Twenty died in simultaneous raids on villages in Riyom Local Government Area (LGA), while a pastor was killed in nearby Barkin Ladi LGA. Residents expressed concern that security forces had not intervened even though the communities in Riyom LGA had experienced several attacks in the preceding two weeks. Ask that the authorities will prioritize security and provide protection for the vulnerable communities. Pray that Christians who lost loved ones will draw strength from the God of all comfort and experience growing trust in Him even amid their pain.
  • Twelve people were hacked to death by suspected Islamist militants in Christian-majority North Kivu province, Democratic Republic of the Congo, on June 8. Four women and four children were among those killed in the attack, which was carried out by the jihadi group Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) on the village of Bukokoma. Pray that the Lord will comfort those bereaved and restrain the extremists seeking to threaten and kill His people.
  • The blockade of Nagorno-Karabakh – an Armenian Christian enclave within Muslim-majority Azerbaijan – has now lasted six months. The Lachin Corridor, the only land route linking Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia itself, has been blockaded since December 12, 2022. In a statement Armenian President Vahagn Khachaturyan decried “severe humanitarian challenges” with 120,000 people deprived of basic needs, including months with gas and electricity supplies cut off. Pray that God will bring the blockade to an end and enable food, medicine, and other essential supplies to get through. Give thanks that Barnabas continues to fund provision of food and other practical aid for the Christians of Nagorno-Karabakh.