Persecution & Prayer Alert

"Who will arise and plead my right
and guard from numerous foes?
When earth and hell increase my plight,
my anxious worry grows!
'God, hold my sliding feet,' I cried.
'Your statutes are my stay;
Your mercies, constant by my side,
must guide me in Your way.'"
~ Hymn lyrics by Isaac Watts 

(Reading time: 1 - 2 minutes)
Man praying with mosque in the background
Pray that Christians will experience the Lord's peace and strength.

A Christian believer in Saudi Arabia, who was identified in previous Persecution & Prayer Alert reports as "A" or "Adam," has been sentenced with a large fine for allegedly attempting to convert Muslims to Christianity, as well as assisting his sister to flee the country. The accused believer was given 30 days to pay the fine unless an appeal was granted. (For more details about this situation, see this page.)

(Reading time: 3 - 5 minutes)
Young Pakistani bride
Pray for young believers who
are facing forced conversion.

Two 13-year-old girls from Christian families have been forcibly married to their employers and converted to Islam in separate incidents. These recent cases further demonstrate the ongoing abuse of young Christian girls in the country. It is estimated that about 1,000 believers were married against their wills to militant Muslims between November 2019 and October 2020. For information on Christian persecution in Pakistan, and to read reports about other instances of forced conversion, go to our country report.

Nayab Gill
On May 31st, Shahid Gill received the devastating news that the custody of his 13-year-old daughter had been given to a 30-year-old man who forcibly converted her to Islam and then married her.

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Refugees in the woods - Photo: Morning Star News
Christians driven from their homes.
Photo: Morning Star News

Tribal animists have forced more than 50 Christians to flee their homes and seek shelter in the jungles of Odisha. These believers represent several families that are now stranded without proper shelter, food and water.

The conflict began within the past two months in the village of Sikapai where opposing villagers destroyed the roofs of homes belonging to as many as eight Christian families. Not only had the belongings of the targeted Christians been looted, these victims were also subjected to physical beatings and consequently driven into the jungle. When five Christian families in the nearby village of Kotlanga received similar threats, they remembered what had happened in Sikapai and likewise fled their homes, joining the other displaced families in the jungle.

(Reading time: 1 - 2 minutes)
Pastor Zafar Bhatti - Photo: Pakistan Christian Post
Pastor Zafar Bhatti
Photo: Pakistan Christian Post

Pakistani pastor, Zafar Bhatti, has been in prison since July 2012, after being accused of sending blasphemous text messages. In May 2017, he was sentenced to life imprisonment. The accused pastor denies any involvement in the texts, stating that the phone in question was not even registered in his name (see this report).

After numerous delayed appeal hearings, a court in Rawalpindi ruled on June 22nd, 2021, to uphold the sentence, despite the fact that new evidence had been presented proving Pastor Zafar's innocence. His lawyers now intend to appeal to the High Court.

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