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NIGERIA: Eleven Christians Reportedly Killed

NIGERIA: Eleven Christians Reportedly Killed

In a video released on 26 December, ISIS shows the murder of eleven Christians, claiming that it was committed in retaliation for the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the ISIS leader who died during a raid in Syria by US special forces in October.

In the video, which has Arabic subtitles, eleven men with their heads covered are shown. The first is shot to death, followed by the beheadings of the other ten. The producers of the video claim that all of the slain victims had been captured in Nigeria’s Borno State in recent weeks. The voice-over commentary contained the following announcement: “This message is to the Christians in the world. Those you see are Christians and we will shed their blood as revenge.”

A previously recorded video was also recently released featuring eleven Christians who had been taken captive, leading to speculation that these may be the same men. In the earlier video, the men pled for intervention by the Nigerian government and the Christian Association of Nigeria. At the time, they claimed that Leah Sharibu was still alive and with them.

Sources: BBC, National Post, Aljazeera, Release International

  • Pray for those in fear for the fate of their captured loved ones. Intercede for the victims who remain in captivity.
  • Ask God to grant the country’s authorities wisdom, assistance, and guidance in their attempts to stop the rampant violence in Nigeria.
  • Ask the Lord to intervene in the lives of the perpetrators to bring radical repentance and transformation, by the work of His Spirit.

Post your prayer in the comments below.

INDIA: Pastor Beheaded by Radical Communists

INDIA: Pastor Beheaded by Radical Communists

Members of India’s Naxalite political group have killed another evangelist in India’s Odisha state.

Pastor Saanvi had shared the Gospel in villages near his home for the past six years as a bi-vocational minister, even planting house churches in two of the villages. Though members of the local Naxalite group, who subscribe to a Marxist-Leninist political philosophy, had repeatedly warned him to stop his ministry work, he continued to tell his neighbours about Jesus.

Then, one evening, the Naxalites appeared at Saanvi’s door and asked him to accompany them. Sensing something was wrong, his wife, Saisha, followed at a distance, carrying their two children. When she saw her husband tied to a tree, she began pleading with them to let Saanvi go. Instead, however, they beheaded him in front of her and their children.

Source: The Voice of the Martyrs USA

  • Please pray for Saisha. Ask God to comfort and help her overcome the shock and grief of this tragedy. Commit to the Lord her children.
  • Pray the death of Pastor Saanvi will not be in vain but somehow the Lord may bring spiritual good from it.
  • Pray the authorities will pursue justice for this family and community.

Post your prayer in the comments below.

INDIA: Christian Convert Killed and Left on the Road

INDIA: Christian Convert Killed and Left on the Road

An Indian man who had become a Christian last year was killed and beheaded in eastern India earlier this month.

On 11 February, Anant Ram Gand, 40, was taken from his home in the village of Raigarh Tehsil, in the district of Nabarangapur, Odisha, by three men who killed him and left his decapitated body in the middle of the road.

At the time, his wife Sukbati, 38, was away with their four daughters and Anant was at home alone with his 6-year-old son.

Since his conversion to Christianity nine months ago, Anant and his family had been harassed by the villagers. They were prevented from drawing water from the public well and he was beaten on two occasions. Later he was excommunicated from the village and he and his family moved about a kilometre away from the village.

India has seen a wave of anti-Christian violence in recent years, with a notable increase since Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist BJP came to power in 2014. States with so-called “anti-conversion laws”, such as Odisha, have been particularly affected. The laws are meant to prevent forced conversions, but in effect are used as a pretext to anti-minority harassment. Those accused of attempting to convert others to another religion often face mob violence.

Sources: Persecution Relief, AsiaNews, World Watch Monitor

  • Uphold in prayer the loved ones of Anant. Pray the Lord may help them to cope with shock and grief. Pray particularly for Sukbati as she comes to terms with the loss and makes decisions concerning her and her children’s future.
  • Pray Sukbati and her children may come to know and love the Lord as Anant did. May they not hesitate in relying on Him as their great comfort, strength and provider.
  • Pray the family will be granted justice. Commit to God the three men responsible and all those in Odisha who oppose the Gospel.

Post your prayer in the comments below.