Violence against Christians in Africa is INCREASING

Posted in News

WATCH LIST“We are calling for prayer for TWR Woman of Hope in Central Africa. The security situation is serious as we write to you. The rebellion made its foray through coordinated attacks from the city of Bangui. Several people died, mostly in the southwest and north of the capital Zone where our prayer groups are located. Some phones don't answer calls. All activities are blocked. No news. Urgently pray for us. According to reports, children are traumatized by the detonations of heavy weapons.”

This message which we recently received from a TWR worker in the Central Africa Republic (CAR), is a confirmation of the staggering statistic, released by Open Doors last week, that Christians in Sub-Saharan Africa faced up to 30 percent higher levels of violence than the previous year, while other parts of the world saw a decrease in violence during the Covid-19 pandemic.* 

“Covid-19 has given new weapons to people who want to suppress and eradicate Christianity,” Henrietta Blyth (CEO of Open Doors UK & Ireland), said. “In Africa and Asia, Christians are being denied food aid. In Nigeria and across sub-Saharan Africa, Islamic militants are exploiting Covid-19 restrictions to intensify their attacks.”

The latest World Watch List* has seen one more West-African country, namely Nigeria, added to the top ten countries where Christians face the most extreme persecution. Four African countries - Somalia, Libya, Eritrea and Nigeria - are now in this top-ten list, cumulatively accounting for 40 percent of countries worldwide.

Furthermore, 17 African countries are in the Open Doors ranking of the 50 countries where Christians face the most extreme persecution, accounting for around 33 percent of countries worldwide.

Of the 4700 people who have been killed for their Christian faith, documented in the Open Doors report, over three and a half thousand of these killings happened in Nigeria.

The heart-breaking reality is that millions of Christians in Africa still face oppression and violence because of their faith. Many instances of forcible conversion by marriage indicates that apart from faith, gender bias is still very prevalent in many of these countries.

Thankfully, there are also good news reports, such as that in 2019 the transitional constitution of Sudan guaranteed freedom of religion and omitted reference to sharia as a source of law.

Throughout these difficult times and turmoil, TWR continues to speak hope to the continent, because HOPE KNOWS NO BARRIERS.

In 2021, increased terrorist attacks in Northern Mozambique displaced thousands of people. During this time of stress and uncertainty, TWR launched an audio programme in Portuguese called. “Hope in Hard Times”, offering psychological and spiritual resources to help listeners navigate their trauma and look for the peace that can only be found in Jesus. The programme drives toward giving hope and directing people to Christ. This project, in partnership with other organizations, also includes suggestions on how to cope with difficult situations.

Similarly, many new projects, initiatives and programming in more African languages, proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus, are in development and added on a regular basis.

A listener from Benin recently wrote:

“I enjoy being one of the TTB (Thru the Bible) Fongbe programme listeners, even though I am a new listener. I listen to TWR programmes on radio and on the WhatsApp group, and these programmes help me very well to be daily aware of my identity in Christ. Through many of these TTB Fongbe programmes, I have been taught that I can face any situation in prayer by faith. So, two weeks ago, my daughter came back from the office with a swollen leg. It was so painful to her that she could neither lay down nor sit down.

She was weeping and was doubled up with pain. It was a difficult situation. The Spirit of God convinced me to pray at that very time… Then I remembered one of the of TTB Fongbe programmes in which the host said that as father, I am the Priest of my house. I asked my wife and my children not to be afraid. I started to pray in the Name of Jesus as we were asked to do so in many programmes of TTB FONGBE. Miraculously, we didn’t even have to go to the hospital before she was healed. I’m very grateful to God for everything he is doing in my life through the programmes of TTB Fongbe.”

*https://www.opendoorsuk.org/news/latest-news/violence-rise-africa/

*https://www.opendoorsuk.org/persecution/world-watch-list/

1. Pray for the PERSECUTED CHURCH in Africa

2. Pray for TWR to be able to SPEAK HOPE

3. GIVE HOPE by supporting TWR

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