Updates on the Persecuted Church – June 20, 2023

June 20, 2023

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Dozens of school pupils massacred by Islamists in Uganda; Pastor and ten church members escape abduction attempt in Kogi State, Nigeria; Anti-Christian incidents less frequent in Sri Lanka

  • More than 40 people, almost all school students in their mid-teens, were killed in a vicious Islamist attack on a boarding school in Christian-majority Uganda. Residents near the school heard students singing Gospel songs as part of their evening worship before the attackers from jihadi group Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), based in north-eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), launched their assault after 10pm local time on June 16. The school in Mpondwe, Kasese District, has just over 60 students, most of whom live there. Victims were either shot, hacked to death with machetes, or burned to death in their dormitories. Eight people were critically injured. Six students were abducted and forced to carry food that the Islamists stole from the school. Pray for the bereaved and traumatized, asking for the Lord’s comfort following this evil act. Pray also for the recovery of the injured and the safe return of those abducted. Ask that the Lord will bring peace to this troubled region of Africa.

Read more: Islamists spilling “rivers of Christian blood” in Africa

  • A pastor and ten church members in Kogi State, Nigeria, narrowly escaped being abducted by gunmen, who were forced to retreat by security forces. The church members were journeying home from a wedding earlier this month when their bus came under fire. “It was by the help of God that we were miraculously saved from the kidnappers,” said one of the passengers, John. Some of the passengers were treated for gunshot injuries. Give thanks for the quick action of the security forces and the failure of the abduction attempt. Join with our brother John in praising God for His help at this time of need.
  • The National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka (NCEASL) documented ten anti-Christian incidents in the first quarter of 2023 – a reduction from the 18 reported in the previous quarter and the 33 reported in the first quarter of last year. The incidents include threats and intimidation directed towards church leaders and other believers by local officials or extremists. In one case a Christian worker received death threats. In another Hindu nationalists distributed leaflets accusing Christians (and Muslims) of seeking converts fraudulently. Give thanks for the reduction in such incidents, and pray that Christians will be free to practice their faith.

Related Countries

Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Uganda