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The Voice of the Martyrs

"He will cover you with His feathers, and
under His wings you will find refuge; His
faithfulness will be your shield and rampart."
~ Psalm 91:4 (ESV)


INDIA: Christians Forced to Burn Bibles

Sources: Christian Solidarity Worldwide, International Christian Concern, Mission Network News

Election ink - Photo: Flickr/UN Women Asia and the Pacific
Citizens in India are marked on their
finger with indelible ink after voting.
Photo: Flickr/UN Women Asia
and the Pacific (cc)

A prayer meeting that took place at a home in the state of Tamil Nadu was disrupted on March 19th by a mob affiliated with Hindu nationalist movements. The intruders demanded to know what was happening and then dragged those participating onto the street.

Neethiraj, a missionary with the India Evangelical Mission, had been visiting the home of a student in the city of Hosur to pray for a sick youth. As part of the incident, Neethiraj's bag, which contained Christian tracts, was emptied on the street. The attackers then gathered Bibles and hymnals from the home and forced the missionary to set them on fire.

The rise of Hindu nationalism in India remains a major issue for anyone who does not practise the Hindu faith. As India is in the middle of its national election process, Christians in many areas of the country are concerned about the rhetoric being used by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Milan Vaishnav from the Carnegie Endowment of International Peace network says, "One of the important things this election is going to determine is India's future as a secular republic that embraces pluralism and adheres to the founders' notion that India's unity is strengthened by its diversity." The incumbent prime minister, Narendra Modi, is a member of the BJP, which has held a majority in the national government during recent years.

The election process, with 900 million eligible voters, started on April 11th and will continue in various regions of the country until May 19th. For more information on the persecution facing Christians in India, go to our country report.

Please be mindful to intercede for India's elections over the next month. May those seeking to govern the country be prepared to respect its secular constitution and protect all people, regardless of religion. Pray for the ongoing outreach of the Gospel throughout the country, including the ministry of Neethiraj.


UGANDA: Imam Faces Wrath After Conversion

Source: Morning Star News

Hassan Podo - Photo: Morning Star News
Photo: Morning Star News

Hassan Podo was a 28-year-old imam from the village of Kerekerene in eastern Uganda. However, after having missed prayers at the mosque for three consecutive weeks, and seen entering a church building on March 16th, he was subjected to interrogation by his family.

When entering the family home that evening of the 16th, his brothers surrounded him, carrying sticks. They wouldn't allow him to finish answering their questions, but began shouting and beating him, calling him an "infidel" and an enemy of Islam. Fortunately, Hassan's wife and two children were able to escape to a nearby Christian's home.

Upon hearing the noise during the altercation, neighbours responded by helping Hassan to escape. He ran more than a kilometre before collapsing in an unconscious state. After receiving treatment in hospital, Hassan was taken to an undisclosed location, together with his wife and children. His father has since organized an appeal to fellow Muslims throughout the area, asking them to assist him in hunting down Hassan for blasphemy.

Hassan put his faith in Christ on February 24th, and his wife was saved one week later. Before his conversion, he had been part of a militant group that was involved in attacks against the church. Now in hiding, he and his family are receiving discipleship lessons from a pastor to strengthen their faith in the midst of this persecution.

Praise God for His work of salvation in the lives of Hassan and his wife. Pray that they will be strengthened in their newfound faith. May God touch Hassan both physically and emotionally, healing him of his injuries and the abuse he endured at the hands of opposing family members. Pray that he will be protected from those seeking to further harm him or endanger his life.


REPORT UPDATE


NIGERIA: Five Years After Chibok

Sources: World Watch Monitor, Aljazeera, UNICEF, The Africa Report

Chibok girls
Several of the Chibok girls

April 14th marked the fifth anniversary of an attack which shocked the world and devastated the lives of many in Nigeria. On that day, members of the Boko Haram militant group attacked a girls' school in Chibok, forcibly removing at least 276 young students, most of them Christians.

In the days and months that followed, a number of the girls were thankfully recovered. Yet, after five years, the whereabouts of 112 students remain unknown. Attacks by Boko Haram have continued in Nigeria with schools being frequently targeted. According to a report from UNICEF last year, more than a thousand children have been abducted between the year 2013 and this April 2018. Also, at least 2,295 teachers have been killed and more than 1,400 schools destroyed. VOMC's previously posted reports can be accessed at the Nigeria Country Report.

Following the Chibok incident, which drew the attention of the international community to the dire situation with Boko Haram, the Nigerian government has been criticized for doing little to free the rest of the schoolgirls. Some of the parents have died while waiting for their daughters to be rescued; others remain in grief. "There is great pain in our hearts every day when we remember our missing daughters," one parent confesses. "We leave it to God to help us."

Please continue to remember the missing girls and other innocent victims who are being held against their will, praying that they won't only be protected physically but also strengthened in their innermost being to stand firm spiritually. Pray also for the suffering families that are anxiously waiting to know what has happened to their missing children. May the authorities in Nigeria and other surrounding nations be proactive in seeking to find those still in captivity, and resolute in the international call to bring the perpetrators responsible to justice.

If you would like to post a prayer of praise or petition on behalf of our persecuted family around the globe, visit VOMC's prayer wall.



The Persecution & Prayer Alert is a ministry of:
The Voice of the Martyrs Canada, P.O. Box 608, Streetsville, Ontario, L5M 2C1
Tel. (905) 670-9721 Website: www.vomcanada.com

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