Updates on the Persecuted Church – May 3, 2023

May 3, 2023

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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 has been released from the prison where she had begun a six-year sentence in August 2022 for helping to run an Iranian “house church” [Image credit: Article 18]

  • Malihe Nazari, a 50-year-old Iranian Christian convert whose son Mohammad-Hossein has been suffering from leukemia for five years, was released from prison on April 24, 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 February 1, 2022, to January 31, 2023, according to a new report. The Kukah Center – 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 April 11. On the first day of the attack, a 500 lb. 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.

Related Countries

Iran, Myanmar (Burma), Nigeria