Page 2 - Persecution Trends 2023
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predominantly Christian, will continue to be persecuted and to live as slaves and second-class citizens to the north with an agenda to make the nation
an Islamic state. Whichever way this goes, Nigeria is a nation in need of prayers and a miracle.’
 • For peaceful elections in 2023 and political developments that would help to bring an end to the violence against Christians.
• For protection for Christian communities across Nigeria.
President Xi Jinping
The Eritrean Government continued to arrest Christians throughout 2022. Among those detained in the summer were a group of 17 men and women and eight children. This followed a number of detentions in the capital Asmara at the end of May as well as the jailing in March of 29 Christians who had attended a prayer meeting raided by the police.
‘The government under Xi Jinping wants to control everything, and currently Christianity is not fully under its
control (as it sees it),’ says our partner. ‘Christianity is being pictured as unacceptable to an atheistic, communist country, rather than an acceptable but minority belief.’
Release International partner Dr Berhane Asmelash believes that, unless there is a genuine change in
Unregistered churches have been prevented from meeting as groups, so congregations get together in small numbers in apartments. There are many reports of leaders and members of unregistered churches being taken in for questioning and an increasing number have faced charges related
It is anticipated that Christians will come under even greater pressure in 2023 with more calls for them to demonstrate unswerving allegiance to Xi Jinping by rejecting Christianity (and all religion).
Berhane Asmelash be a target for arrest
Persecution is increasing with repeated official messages stating
and persecution because they are authority figures in society and therefore perceived as a threat by the state. The number of believers currently in prison is estimated to be about 250.
government policy, these arrests and detentions will continue in 2023.
to cults, to being corrupt with money and illegal religious activity. Many young people, teachers and parents have been told that religion will harm their education and they should report anyone involved in such activity.
• Pray for Christians who have been arrested and imprisoned because of their refusal to deny Christ.
that Christians are unpatriotic and their beliefs outdated and Western in origin. Harassment of individuals in or outside churches has increased as attitudes have hardened.
 Evangelical church leaders continue to
There are reports of job offers being withdrawn if applicants express Christian beliefs.
• Pray for the best Christian resources to reach pastors and leaders so
that they are equipped to lead their congregations especially if these are divided into small groups.
 • For all the Christians currently detained, often in harsh conditions. Some have been behind bars for more than a decade. Pray that more would be released in 2023.
• For an end to the targeting and arrest of evangelical believers especially pastors and church leaders as part of wider religious freedom reform.

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