Persecution & Prayer Alert

"...Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us
from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver
us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known
to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods
or worship the golden image that you have set up."
(Daniel addressing King Nebuchadnezzar)
~ Daniel 3:17-18 ESV


This week celebrates 20 years since The Voice of the Martyrs Canada first started its automated email service by providing the Persecution & Prayer Alert. Three years prior this being implemented, Glenn Penner (who was serving as VOMC's Communications Director at the time, and then later on as Chief Executive Officer) had been asked by some friends of the ministry if he could email them specific ways to pray for the persecuted church. Word got out and, by 2001, the number of people receiving this information had grown to the point that the emails could no longer be done manually. So, on August 1st of that year, a new website was launched, including the opportunity for online donations, purchasing of catalogue resources, and the automated email service. Since that first day, more than 1,000 Persecution & Prayer Alert emails have been sent out to thousands of faithful prayer supporters around the world.

We know that many of you have devotedly prayed with us throughout these two decades. As Floyd Brobbel, VOMC's present Chief Executive Officer, wrote: "Thousands have responded weekly to remember their persecuted brothers and sisters in prayer. Although the impact of this global prayer movement cannot be measured on this side of heaven, we continue our service of intercession in obedience and faith in the Lord who sustains and strengthens His people." May God richly bless each of you for your faithfulness!

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Sanjay Kumar Bharati - Photo: Morning Star News
Pastor Sanjay Kumar Bharati
Photo: Morning Star News

A pastor in northern India and his family were forced to flee after he experienced torture and threats from police. Pastor Sanjay Kumar Bharati was taken into custody on June 13th along with his wife, children, and several members of their church in Shyampur, Uttarakhand after authorities received a complaint that they were violating COVID-19 protocols. However, all of the interrogation questions asked by the police centred on the ministry of the church and conversions to Christianity.

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Riaz Gill - Photo: Facebook
Riaz Gill
Photo: Facebook

In recent months, a number of healthcare workers in Pakistan have faced opposition because of their Christian faith. In April, two nurses were charged with blasphemy after following instructions from their supervisor (see this report). In another instance, a nurse was accused of blasphemy by her co-workers for no apparent reason and subjected to abuse (read more). The latest reported case involves a Christian man who had been threatened and assaulted after receiving a promotion to a leadership position at his place of employment.

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Maria, husband, two children - Photo: VOMC Sources
Maria with her husband and two of her children.
Photo: VOMC Sources

In the previous week's Persecution & Prayer Alert, it was reported that Maria, the wife of a ministry training centre director, was suddenly arrested in Belarus on July 9th for unknown reasons. We are pleased to announce that shortly after the published report, Maria was released from custody.

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