January 23, 2020

NIGERIA: Kidnapped Pastor Executed

Pastor Lawan Andimi
Pastor Lawan Andimi

A leader of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and pastor of a Brethren church, Lawan Andimi, was executed by Boko Haram terrorists on January 20th. Pastor Lawan was kidnapped during a raid in the town of Michika on January 3rd (read more). Shortly after, a video was released in which the pastor speaks of his faith in God's sovereignty despite the situation. He told his family: "God is still alive.... Don't cry, don't worry, thank God for everything." News of his death also came via video, sent to the same journalist, showing the beheadings of Pastor Lawan and an unnamed soldier.

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ALGERIA: Church Ordered to Close

Oratoire Church - Photo: Morning Star News www.morningstarnews.org
The Oratoire Church in downtown Oran, Algeria.
Photo: Morning Star News

The Governor of Oran has ordered the closure of a church that had been previously closed and then reopened. In February 2018, the Oratoire Church was closed on allegations that it did not have the appropriate permission to operate. Then on June 18th of the same year, it was reopened (read more). However, the governor issued a new order on November 10th, 2019, demanding that the church close. The most recently issued notice was not received by Pastor Seighir until January 11th of this year.

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TURKMENISTAN: Christmastime Raid

Christians studying the Bible - Photo: World Watch Monitor www.worldwatchmonitor.org
Pray that Turkmen believers will have opportunities to share God’s truths.
Photo: World Watch Monitor

A group of women who gathered on December 26th had their worship time disrupted by a police raid. The home was searched and cell-phones were confiscated. The women were forced to give legal statements and have their photos and fingerprints taken. At last report, no fines had been levied.

Though other faith groups have faced harassment throughout the year, this is the only known raid of Protestant Christians in 2019. Even so, the country's leaders maintain tight controls on freedom of belief, allowing only approved activities and religious literature. Any sharing of one's faith is banned and punishable. More information on the persecution of Christians in Turkmenistan is available here.

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