Release International Update and Prayer requests.

Thank you so much for praying for all our brothers and sisters worldwide who have paid a high price for following Jesus this past year. Whether they are in prison or in hiding, in fear or on trial, we know that your prayers mean the world to them. And we rejoice that the gospel is continuing to bear fruit in countries opposed to the Christian message despite even more restrictions imposed following the outbreak of coronavirus. In China, where the pandemic started, the authorities in Shandong province banned online preaching and ‘fellowships that meet without approval’ but as restrictions on churches’ activity increased because of the virus, many resorted to livestreaming services on the internet. We also reported that our partners ministering to North Korea received a moving testimony from a man to whom they gave the Bible in digital form. He said the virus was spreading fast in places such as Pyongyang and Sinuiju but added: ‘I think we will all die from starvation or being infected. Both are deadly and cause despair, but after knowing Him, my fear has vanished. Thank you.’ We also thank God that the Sudanese Government abolished committees set up under the previous regime to seize control of church affairs. Churches will still need to take legal action to regain control of properties confiscated under President Omar al-Bashir’s Government. Please continue to pray for Christians in northern Nigeria where attacks by Boko Haram terrorists and militant Fulani herdsmen continue and for Christians in India who have been targeted by Hindu extremists. We thank God that the numbers of evangelical prisoners of faith in Eritrea declined this year from around 600 to 300. As you celebrate Christmas this year please remember those brothers and sisters still behind bars in countries like Eritrea and China, believers such as Wang Yi of the Early Rain Covenant Church who looks set to spend his third Christmas in jail. Thank you again for interceding for our persecuted family this year. Your prayers are helping your Christian brothers and sisters to stand strong in the fight. May God bless you richly this Christmas and into 2021. (Sources include: China Aid, Morning Star News, Release partners, VOM Canada, VOM Korea)

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