Updates on the persecuted Church – 26 September 2023
Barnabas Fund, 26th September 2023 (excerpts)
- More than 13,000 ethnic Armenian Christians have fled Nagorno-Karabakh since Azerbaijan seized control of the enclave in a military offensive launched on 19 September 2023. Bishop Hovakim Manukyan, Primate of the Armenian Church of the UK and Ireland, said, “There are reports of mass killings, raping, and torturing of people. A scene of war crimes is unfolding.”
- Afghanistan’s Taliban government has detained 18 charity workers (17 Afghans and one US citizen) for allegedly preaching Christianity. The workers were arrested from the office of Swiss charity International Assistance Mission (IAM) in early September. IAM is a Christian charity but provides aid to people of all religions. Pray that the authorities will be convinced of the vital contribution Christians are making to help Afghan people.
- Iranian-Armenian pastor Anooshavan Avedian, 61, reported to prison in Tehran, Iran, on 18 September to begin a 10-year sentence for engaging in “propaganda contrary to and disturbing to the holy religion of Islam”. Ask that Pastor Anooshavan will experience God’s sustaining power as he begins this long sentence.
- 23 pastors have been killed and more than 200 churches shut down because of anti-Christian violence within the past four years in Nigeria’s Kaduna State. The total number of Christians killed in Kaduna in this time is not known but is likely to be hundreds. Pray for God’s protection over church leaders and churches in Kaduna State.