During Lent 2020, each of the six prisoners pictured will be featured in weekly prayer profiles.
Top Row (left – right): Wang Yi (China), Leah Sharibu (Nigeria), Kim Jong Uk (North Korea).
Bottom Row (left – right): Meron Gebreselasie (Eritrea), Mahrokh Kanbari (Iran), Sawan Masih (Pakistan).
Each profile details arrest and sentence, background, prison conditions and daily prayer points (dated to begin on Sunday 1 March, the first Sunday of Lent).
WEEK 1 – Wang Yi (China)
Wang Yi (46) is a pastor of a large church in Chengdu, Sichuan Province. He was arrested in December 2018 and a year later sentenced to nine years in prison. His church was closed and many members detained.
WEEK 2 – Leah Sharibu (Nigeria)
Leah Sharibu (16) was abducted in February 2018 in a terrorist raid on her school in northeast Nigeria. The kidnappers said they would release her if she converted to Islam, but she refused. They say they will hold her as a “slave for life”.
WEEK 3 – Kim Jong Uk (North Korea)
Kim Jong Uk (54) is a South Korean missionary who worked in China with North Korean refugees. He was arrested in 2013 when he entered North Korea with Bibles. In 2014 he was sentenced to life imprisonment in labour camp.
WEEK 4 – Meron Gebreselasie (Eritrea)
Meron Gebreselasie is a pastor and anaesthetist who led a banned Pentecostal church. He was arrested in 2004 and put in a maximum-security prison. He has never been tried, sentenced or had access to a lawyer.
WEEK 5 – Mahrokh Kanbari (Iran)
Mahrokh Kanbari (61) is a convert from Islam who was arrested in December 2018 in a raid on a Christian meeting at her home in Karaj. In July 2019 she was sentenced to a year in prison. She began serving her sentence in October 2019.
WEEK 6 – Sawan Masih (Pakistan)
Sawan Masih (40) is a street sweeper from Lahore who has been in prison since 2013. He was arrested after a Muslim friend accused him of blasphemy. In 2014 he was sentenced to death. His appeal hearing has been adjourned repeatedly.