Persecution Podcast Episode 56
This week Dory discusses Turkmenistan, China, and India. Dory then continues as this episode’s speaker, where she shares her knowledge on Eritrea and an interview with Helen Berhane, a persecuted Christian.
Shipping containers in Eritrea, like the ones pictured above,
have been used to imprison Christians.
Nations discussed for prayer:
- A group of Protestant Christians who have been meeting in a private apartment were heavily fined recently, most likely on charges related to unregistered religious activity. The Christians were meeting in Turkmenabad, in eastern Turkmenistan, on Jan. 22 when their meeting was raided by police. Seventeen Christians were fined, and two children who were present were forced to stand in front of their school to face public insult. The group is most likely being charged under the section of Administrative Code that prohibits “support for or participation in the activity of a religious group or religious organization not officially registered in accordance with the legally established procedure.” Locals told Forum 18 that the fines are equal to one or two months’ pay for those in an average state job. “I don’t know how these people are going to pay the fines,” one said. Victims of persecution in this former Soviet republic are often afraid to make their stories known, fearing government reprisal. Pray that these believers will remain firm in their faith. Pray that God will provide them with the funds to pay their fines and that their testimonies will cause the police and the judge in the case to seek after God.
- Authorities in southwestern China recently prevented a prominent house church leader from traveling to Hong Kong for an evangelical training conference. Wang Yi and three other church members were stopped by plainclothes police at the airport in Chengdu, Sichuan province, on their way to the conference. All four were taken to the police station, but only Wang was detained. The other three were able to continue on to the conference. After Wang was released several hours later, he returned to the airport to continue his trip, but he was again detained. Pray that God would grant boldness and tenacity to Christians in China.
- A pastor whose house was targeted by Hindu militants during anti-Christian violence in 2008 was recently found dead in Kandhamal, Orissa state, India. Police initially claimed that Pastor Saul Pradhan, 45, froze to death, but his relatives suspected murder. Officials have since detained two members of a radical Hindu group, Marda Pradhan and Baiju Mallick, in connection with his death. On the evening of Jan. 10, two Hindu men came to Pastor Pradhan’s house and asked him to come with them. The next day, Pastor Pradhan’s wife and a few villagers found his body lying near a pond in the jungle. His pants were torn, his mouth was bloody and his arms and legs looked twisted. Despite the battered state of Pradhan’s body, police claimed they had little reason to suspect foul play. The officials also claimed that there were no injury marks on Pastor Pradhan’s body. They refused to file a report of suspected murder and accused the pastor’s family members of “spreading rumors about murder in hopes of receiving compensation from the government” for the August 2008 attacks in the region. Praise God for Pastor Pradhan’s life and witness. Ask God to fill his loved ones with the peace that surpasses understanding in the midst of their grief. Pray that those responsible for Pastor Pradhan’s death will be brought to justice and will come to faith in Christ.
This week’s speaker is Dory P., who shares her experiences learning about Eritrea. She recently interviewed Helen Berhane, author of Song of the Nightingale, about persecution in Eritrea.