During Lent 2021, each of the six prisoners pictured will be featured in weekly prayer profiles.
Top Row (left – right): Deacon Jang (North Korea), Asif Pervaiz (Pakistan), Leah Sharibu (Nigeria).
Bottom Row (left – right): Youcef Nadarkhani (Iran), Tekleab Menghisteab (Eritrea), John Cao (China).
Each profile details arrest and sentence, background, prison conditions and daily prayer points (dated to begin on Sunday 21 February, the first Sunday of Lent).
WEEK 1 – Deacon Jang (North Korea)
Jang Moon Seok is a Chinese Christian in his late 50s who is serving a 15-year prison sentence in North Korea. He ministered to North Koreans in a Chinese border city until, in 2014, he was abducted, brought into North Korea and put on trial.
WEEK 2 – Asif Pervaiz (Pakistan)
Asif Pervaiz (37) is a Christian from Lahore who was sentenced to death in September 2020 and is waiting for his appeal to be heard. He has been in prison since 2013, when a Muslim accused him of sending blasphemous text messages.
WEEK 3 – Leah Sharibu (Nigeria)
Leah Sharibu (17) was abducted in 2018 in a terrorist raid on her school. She was offered release if she converted to Islam but she refused and is being held as a “slave for life”. In January 2020, it was reported that Leah had given birth to a baby boy, fathered by a terrorist.
WEEK 4 – Youcef Nadarkhani (Iran)
Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani (44) began serving a six-year prison sentence in 2018 after being arrested at a house church meeting. He is a former Muslim who became a Christian aged 19 and is a leader of the non-Trinitarian Church of Iran (other members are with him in prison)
WEEK 5 – Tekleab Menghisteab (Eritrea)
Rev Tekleab Menghisteab (57) is an Eritrean Orthodox priest and physician who was arrested in 2004 because of his leadership in a Bible study renewal movement. He has never been tried and is believed to be in a cell with six other Christian. Tekleab suffers from diabetes.
WEEK 6 – John Cao (China)
Pastor John Cao (60) is serving a seven-year prison sentence for “organising illegal border crossings”. Chinese security agents seized him in March 2017 while he was returning to China from Myanmar, where he had been setting up schools and distributing food and clothing.