Now the longest-running anti-government protests since the 1979 revolution, the current protest movement has also been costly with more than 500 deaths. 2 protestors have already been executed and dozens of others face the same fate. Those who have been detained say they were tortured including facing several mock executions. Loving Father, we thank You for Your mercy towards Iranian people. May those in power and authority also hear Your voice say, “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful” (The Bible, Luke 6:36).
Source: Iran protests: ‘No going back’ as unrest hits 100 days (BBC)
Formerly known as Persia, Iran retains its identity as one of the greatest empires of the ancient world. They have maintained their language, culture, and Shia interpretation of Islam. In recent years there has been an increasing internal divide between hard-line and moderate Muslims. Internationally backed US sanctions have taken a significant toll on the economy resulting in protests on the street and greater dissatisfaction with the Islamic clerics. Protests were brutally squashed, only fuelling the tensions. The COVID-19 virus has ravaged the nation, further exposing the government to criticism, however, elections that took place this year returned a hard-line government to power. The evangelical church has continued to see incredible growth. House churches carry great influence and their growth has resulted in ongoing arrests and restrictions on Christians.
Fifty thousand Burkinabe civilians have joined the Volunteers for the Defence of the Homeland to fight the violent extremists currently occupying nearly half of the country. The recruitment campaign was launched in October 2022 by Burkina Faso’s authorities after the recent coup. The military authorities intend to assign 35,000 VDPs in their residential communities and the remainder alongside the country’s Security and Defence Forces nationwide. The use of civilian auxiliaries to support the security forces in the fight against terrorism has been tested since 2020. Pray for unity and effective collaboration between the security forces and the VDP and citizens to participate in the war effort by making in-kind or cash contributions. Pray that escalation in terrorism will be nullified by divine intervention of God and for people to turn to God (The Bible, Psalm 143:12).
Burkina Faso stays in 32nd position in the World Watch report 2022 by Open Doors for Christian persecution. Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba is the interim president. sworn in on 16 February. On March 1, 2022. Burkina Faso is Africa’s fourth largest gold producer. It has so much potential, but the country also has the world’s fourth-lowest rating on the UN’s human development index. The country continues to struggle economically as well as with corruption. Disease, malnutrition, and low education levels are major issues. Freedom does exist in religion. In the Sahel region, Islamist extremist groups have a huge and growing influence. Jihadist violence has been rapidly increasing in recent years and militants have taken control of large parts of the eastern region. This has led to numerous attacks on Churches and hundreds of Church closures.