(May 30, 2023) Elizabeth Kendal, RLPB, updates May news, and requests prayer for…

The Bangladesh Armed Forces is waging a counter-terror operation in the Chittagong Hill Tracts. Because the BAF accuses the Christian Kuki-Chin minority of providing aid and support to al-Qaeda-linked jihadists (JAFHS), the Christian Kuki-Chin – who are seeking autonomy so they might preserve their people, lands and culture – are also under attack. Thousands have been driven from their homes, with the help of a tribal Buddhist militia that has forged a peace deal with the Bangladeshi government. This is an on-going – and indeed, existential – Christian crisis.

LIBYA [RLPB 693 (10 May)]
Six Libyan nationals arrested for apostasy (leaving Islam) and Christian proselytism (missionary work) could face the death penalty if found guilty. The authorities have broadcast video footage of their recorded ‘confessions’; one believer had already broken under torture.

INDIA [RLPB 694 (May 17)]
Rioting in the North East state of Manipur by the dominant, mostly Hindu Meitei tribe against the mostly Christian Kuki-Chin hill tribes has left the Christian community deeply traumatised.

INDIA: Religious rights upheld in Goa [RLPB 647 (June 1, 2022)]
In May 2022 Pastors Domnic and Joan D’Souza, of Five Pillars Church, Goa (a former Portuguese colony on India’s west coast), were arrested for allegedly ‘luring’ people to convert to Christianity. Lacking an anti-conversion law, the authorities booked the couple under the Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisement) Act for allegedly using magic to heal and convert people. Hindu nationalist BJP MPs – including the Chief Minister – immediately got busy plotting anti-conversion legislation.

The couple were subsequently bailed on health grounds. Then, in December 2022, the North Goa District Magistrate banned Pastors Domnic and Joan from carrying out religious activities in their own residence, citing communal tensions. On 19 May the Goa High Court quashed the order, ruling not only that the accusations of forced conversions levelled against the pastors were totally baseless, but that the state has a duty to extend all possible protection to its citizens to propagate their religious practice, as guaranteed under India’s constitution.

INDIA: Supreme court backs Christian appeal
Update: On May 17 India’s Supreme Court (SC) heard a petition filed by the Manipur Tribal Forum appealing for urgent intervention to contain the violence. The SC’s Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud denounced the order of the Manipur High Court that led to the sectarian violence, declaring it ‘absolutely wrong’, and asked Manipur’s BJP-led state government to furnish the SC with a status report.

A senior Catholic Church leader described the effect of the Chief Justice’s words as ‘like applying balm on the wounds.’

‘The high court order paved the way for violence and now the top court in the country has termed it illegal. This is something heart-warming amidst tension and fear,’ Father Velikakkam told UCA News on May 18. The toll to date: more than 70 dead and 231 injured; with 121 churches and some 1700 homes burned. The state has opened 318 relief camps in which 47,914 persons have been accommodated. While those in the camps are receiving some aid, those taken in by relatives and those languishing in the bush, are not receiving any government assistance. Around 62 companies of Central Armed Forces and 126 columns of the Indian Army have been deployed along with state police to maintain law and order.

AZERBAIJAN: Perilous state of Armenian minority
Update to RLPB 677, Nagorno-Karabakh Besieged, January 25, 2023. On April 23 Azerbaijan installed a border checkpoint at the entrance of the Lachin Corridor, the road that links Armenia to Nagorno-Karabakh (N-K; an Armenian Christian enclave inside Turkic Muslim Azerbaijan). While the blockade has now been suspended, all Armenians travelling to and from N-K are now being screened by Azerbaijani border guards. Armenian villagers living between the blockade (near Shusha) and the checkpoint report feeling trapped.

N-K residents requiring urgent medical care in Armenia are having to be escorted by Russian peacekeepers. Armenians in N-K feel abandoned, particularly by the West which is heavily invested in Azerbaijan and needs its oil. For the Armenians of N-K, the threat of genocide looms larger by the day.

BURMA (MYANMAR): Rev. Dr Samson’s appeal denied
Update to RLPB 675, Burma: Christian Leader Arrested, Dec 14 2022
On May 3, to mark the occasion of Vesak (an important Buddhist festival), the Burmese junta amnestied and released 2135 political prisoners. Among those not released was the Rev. Dr Samson (65), a former leader of the Kachin Baptist Convention (KBC) and respected peace advocate. Arrested on December 4, 2022, Dr Samson was charged with ‘terrorism, unlawful association, and inciting opposition’, and sentenced on Good Friday 7 April to six years in prison [RLPB 689 (April 12)].

On May 2 – the day before the Vesak amnesty – the Myitkyina Prison Court, in Burma’s northern Kachin state, rejected Dr Samson’s appeal.

CHAD: Christian villages attacked
On Monday morning May 8 Fulani Muslim militants attacked Christian communities in Logone Oriental, a region in Chad’s deep south bordering north-west Central African Republic and north-east Cameroon. According to Barnabas Aid, at least 17 people were killed, including (according to Catholic media) an infant. ‘Among the dead were a pastor, Doumro Tadingao Gaston, and 12 other worshippers who were attending a prayer meeting in the village of Don.

Around 20 villages in the region have been burned down, with several thousand people displaced by the violence. This follows Islamist attacks on four other southern Chadian villages a month earlier, in which two pastors were killed and many other people injured.’

In April, Agence France Presse (AFP) reported on the escalating ‘clashes between [semi-nomadic Arab] herders and [sedentary indigenous] farmers in southern Chad’. Authorities accuse ‘rebels based in neighbouring Central African Republic [CAR] of igniting the trouble’. According to Chadian General Ahmat Dari Bazine, the rebels are aiming ‘to create problems between herders and farmers, between Muslims and Christians.’

One Christian leader warns (in personal correspondence) that there is a ‘drift towards genocide of some villages and communities… [as] people speaking Fulani have attacked villages and church services killing many people including three pastors and a Catechist… There has been the move of many Fulani Communities from CAR to settle in the forest of Southern Chad. These Fulanis seem armed and ready to deal with any opposition to their ambition. Chad has experienced since last year many horrible situations in the South.

The recent attack on churches and the killing of people in villages has affected the church in Chad. The Evangelical Fellowship of Chad is sending a high-level team to access the situation, encourage Christians who are traumatised, seek ways to assist the victims, and promote peace according to the Bible…’

IRAQ: An existential Christian crisis

On Friday May 12 hundreds of Christians – including many nuns and priests – gathered in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square to show support for Cardinal Louis Raphaël Sako, Patriarch of the Chaldean Church, as tensions between the Church and Iraq’s political leaders heat up. Iraq’s electoral law mandates that five parliamentary seats be reserved for Christians. However, anyone – not just Christians – may elect those Christian representatives.

Consequently, major Kurdish Sunni and Arab Shi’ite political parties work to ensure the election of corrupted Christians who – for personal gain – will advance Kurdish or Arab Shi’ite interests at the expense of the mostly indigenous Assyrian Christian community. For advocating for change and for the rights and future of Iraq’s Christians, Cardinal Sako has come under intensive attack. The current situation further exacerbates Iraq’s existential Christian crisis.

MALI – Burkina Faso: Dr Ken Elliot released
On 19 May media reported that Australian missionary Dr Ken Elliot (88) had been released from captivity in Mali and reunited with his family in Western Australia. In January 2016 Dr Elliot and his wife, Jocelyn, were abducted from their home near Djibo, in northern Burkina Faso, by terrorists linked to al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb [RLPB 341 (Jan 27, 2016)]. While Jocelyn was released a few weeks later, Dr Elliot was retained. As a medical doctor, he was far too useful to be let go.

The jihadists released a video in July 2017 in which Dr Elliot gives his name and requests that governments do what they can to negotiate his release. From the 6:20 minute mark, he addresses his family: ‘I just want to say again, I love you all. I appreciate all your prayers and all your cares; and I look forward to one day being reunited… I pray God will bless all of you, abundantly.’ At that time many (possibly including Dr Elliot himself) suspected the terrorists would never release him, and that he would die in captivity. We do not know any details about how he came to be released. What we do know, is that his release and homecoming is a wonderful miracle of divine mercy ‘in answer to the prayers of many’ (2 Corinthians 1:11).

PAKISTAN: Christian teens charged with blasphemy
On May 18 police in Lahore’s Qurban Lines neighbourhood arrested two Christian teenagers after a passing police officer claimed to have overheard them ‘disrespecting’ Islam’s prophet Muhammad. The boys – Adil Babar (18) and Simon Nadeem (14) – deny they had even been discussing Muhammad. Adil’s father, Babar Sandhu Masih (a Catholic) told Morning Star News (MSN) that he had been inside resting after lunch when he heard a commotion. He went outside to investigate, and found a policeman named Zahid Sohail beating Simon, and Adil trying to intervene. Sohail subsequently registered a blasphemy case against the boys – a case Masih insists is absolutely baseless.

Masih saw the boys briefly on 19 May. ‘Both boys were in a state of shock and fear and are still unable to understand why Sohail had gotten them arrested.’ Napolean Qayyum of the Pakistan Centre for Law and Justice told MSN that they were helping the two families and arranging legal support for their children. Christian Solidarity Worldwide reports (May 22), ‘Approximately 50 Christian families reside in the Qurban Lines area, and most of these families fled the area for fear of violence after the accusation was made.’

SUDAN: Christian flee Khartoum; Churches attacked
Since the conflict erupted on April 15, Christians have been fleeing Khartoum. Many Christians were settlers from the war-ravaged Nuba Mountains and South Sudan; they have fled back into harrowing situations, exacerbating an already serious humanitarian crisis marked by food insecurity and near total absence of medical care. But not all Christians have been able to flee and for those trapped in Khartoum the situation is rapidly deteriorating. On Sunday morning May 14, fighters belonging to Hemeti’s Rapid Support Forces attacked the Coptic Mar Girgis (St George) Church in El Musalama in old Omdurman (Khartoum’s twin city across the Nile).

Three worshippers received bullet wounds to their legs, while the church guard was shot in his abdomen. Assistant bishop Anba Sarabamon was assaulted; he sustained several fractures. His residence at the church premises was destroyed and his car was stolen. The Rapid Support Forces have forcibly occupied several churches, including the Episcopal All Saints Cathedral and the Coptic Virgin Mary Cathedral in Khartoum. These church compounds include schools, dormitories, and clerical residences. Everyone living in these compounds has had to be evacuated.

Please pray that our merciful God will protect, intervene, sustain and energise…

‘The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective’ (powerful and effective) James 5:16b.

Elizabeth Kendal is an international religious liberty analyst and advocate for the persecuted church. To support this ministry visit Above updates excerpted from RLPB reports.

Elizabeth, an Adjunct Research Fellow at the Arthur Jeffery Centre for the Study of Islam, Melbourne School of Theology, has authored two books: Turn Back the Battle: Isaiah Speaks to Christians Today (Deror Books, Melbourne) which offers a biblical response to persecution and existential threat; and After Saturday Comes Sunday: Understanding the Christian Crisis in the Middle East (Wipf and Stock, Eugene, OR, USA).


(September 19, 2022) Sabrina McGuire, 14-year-old daughter of missionaries to Romania, shares her first mission camp experiences…

The title above is a question I’ve asked myself many times before… and recently found some answers.

I had a great opportunity to go to a YWAM Christian camp where there were teachings on spiritual warfare, prophecy and many other subjects. Great teachings… but yet my heart  hungered for more. I never truly knew how to really practise Christianity in the real world… and I wanted to!

Blessing people
Fortunately we campers were told that our second week of camp was a mission trip to different locations in Romania. During that week we did volunteer work for churches, kids and food bases… and it proved to be a great way of blessing people as well as being blessed ourselves.



(August 12, 2022) Michael Ashcraft brings an encouraging example-for-all story…

Full of youthful energy and untiring passion, German Gastellum wanted a bigger ministry challenge to pour his indefatigable self into – the mission field of Villa del Rosario, Colombia, just across the border from socialism-scourged Venezuela.

Chasing souls with vigour in his 70s
He was a spry 72 then! Yes, you read that right. Seventy-two years old! That’s when he started. Now, he is 75!

‘God gives me the strength through the Holy Spirit,’ he told God Reports at a June Bible conference in Tucson. ‘And the body is healthy. I have been through sicknesses and covid and all that, and I have survived that because of the high defences I have. One, I have spiritual defences; I have prayer and the power of the Holy Ghost working in me, and then I have normal defences and they’re kind of synchronised.’



(July 24, 2022) Michael Ashcraft reports amazing news…

When Danish street-preacher Torben Søndergaard was arrested by the FBI recently on suspicion of smuggling arms into America, it was a real head-scratcher.

The zealous founder of The Last Reformation decided to leave Denmark after insistent pressure by authorities and the media. His abuses? Treating mental illness as if ‘it were demon possession, encouraging people to stop taking their meds when healed by God, and home-schooling his daughters.’

The Danish persecution was a case study of atheistic entities confronting a faith-filled firebrand; the non-believers marshalled their forces so unrelentingly that Torben determined his name had been tarnished irreparably in Denmark that he needed a clean start and applied for asylum in America.

An even more bizarre accusation



(April 01, 2022) Honouring the memory of the late missionary statesman Dr George Forbes, we run one of his blogs, bringing an Easter reminder that God still loves the world…

Nations around the world have experienced so many troubles these past few years – and still are! But God truly loves them all!

God cares for all nations, just not Israel
David, who knew his God’s heart wrote, ‘O let the nations be glad and sing for joy; for you [God] shall judge the peoples righteously and govern the nations on earth’ (Psalm 67:4).

When this short psalm was written and then sung in Israeli households and other places, the truth of God’s love for all nations, as well as His eternal purpose for them was expressed well.



(March 13, 2022) Robert McQuillan shares about an intrepid missionary’s bold decision…

When I received a brief email a few days ago from missionary to Romania, David McGuire, I was immediately reminded of that old snowclone intro to the original 1966 Star Trek TV episodes – Where No Man Has Gone Before (Changed in the Next Generation series to the gender-neutral Where No One Has Gone Before).

Why? Why was I so thrown that I reminisced about that old classic intro? Well, with all the reports on TV news programs about what Ukraine is suffering from Russia’s invasion, likened unto Nazi Germany’s invasion of Poland back in 1939, one wonders ‘Who would want to travel to Ukraine at this time!’

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg says Russia might use chemical weapons following its invasion of Ukraine and that such a move would be a war crime, according to an interview in German newspaper Welt am Sonntag.

He added that although the Ukrainian people were resisting the Russian invasion with courage, the coming days are likely to bring even greater hardship.

‘That’ brief email
Let me tell you some things about my friend David McGuire. He doesn’t waste words, preferring to be about the Lord’s business! Consequently his short email simply said this…

‘About to leave home with medical and humanitarian to go and join with team from Cluj YWAM. From there we will travel up into Ukraine overnight to base ourselves where we can serve many needy people.

‘Pray for strength love and courage to bless and strengthen these we meet and have needs. The team will be led by Pastor Alin who will decide how and which way we travel and in what from Cluj. I travel with Project Romania van to Cluj and from there we see how leadership want best to go with vans.

‘For Jesus we live and love. Thank you for prayers.’

Let me tell you more about David…

Firstly… straight to the point
As intimated above, he’s not really one for words (so with pleasure I’ve reworded some lines, adding capitals… although his mission Reachout articles are great, such those mentioned below).

Rather David (right) uses his camera to let supporters and interested people like myself know how the Lord is leading him and what, with the Holy Spirit’s help, his missionary activities are achieving practical as well as spiritual needs (Read the article link highlighted below).



(February 25, 2018) Brian Bell challenges…

One of my favourite songs contains a chorus which includes the phrase ‘It always makes a difference when Jesus passes by…’

The message of the song is derived from specific instances in the life of Jesus. The brief meditation I share here is based on one – with suggestions as to how he made a difference and how we may try to follow his example.

Our daughter was married back in 2002 and I well remember the effort we made and (to be honest) the money spent to try to ensure the wedding guests were comfortable and would enjoy their meal.

Remember the incident of the wedding in Cana of Galilee (John chapter 2)? Let’s recall how the presence of Jesus ensured the guests Cana guests were able to continue enjoying the wedding. (more…)