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 

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Shafqat and Shagufta
Pray for Shafqat and Shagufta's safety.
Photo: Family

After seven years on death row, Shafqat Emmanuel and his wife Shagufta Kausar were cleared of all charges against them by a Pakistani court on June 3rd, 2021. They were convicted on April 4th, 2014, after being accused of sending "blasphemous" text messages. The texts were allegedly sent from Shagufta's phone, which had gone missing a month prior and was never recovered. Furthermore, as the couple are illiterate, they would not have been able to send the alleged texts. (See this page for more details on the original conviction.)

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Rundown church that was returned. - Photo: Middle East Concern www.meconcern.org
The church building in Mostaganem.
Photo: Middle East Concern

On February 27th, Pastor Rachid Seighir was convicted of "shaking the faith" of Muslims through the availability of materials in his church's bookstore in Oran, Algeria. He, along with his bookstore sales representative, Nouh Hamimi, were sentenced to two years in prison. For more on this case, see this report.

The men appealed the decision, and a ruling was expected on May 30th. After a week's delay, the judgement was reduced on June 6th to a one-year suspended sentence, along with a fine of $1,800.00 CAD each. The men intend to appeal their initial conviction.

Government-Mandated Church Closures

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A man in the desert.
Pray that Saudi believers will know they are never alone.

A court in Saudi Arabia has recently imposed a hefty fine of 300,000 SAR (which converted equates to approximately $97,000 CAD) on a Christian man who can only be identified as "A" or "Adam" for security reasons. He has been given 30 days to pay the fine unless an appeal is granted within that time.

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Pastor Yang Hua - Photo: ChinaAid
Pastor Yang Hua
Photo: ChinaAid

The Living Stone Church in Guiyang City has faced repeated persecution from Chinese authorities. Imprisoned on December 9th, 2015, Pastor Yang Hua suffered mistreatment until his release in June 2018 (see this report). After his release, he continued to serve the church despite ongoing opposition. Another pastor of the church, Su Tianfu, was imprisoned in May 2018 for one year and then served six months of house arrest.

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