During Lent 2018, each of the six prisoners pictured will be featured in weekly prayer profiles (which will appear on this page).
Top Row (left – right): Bakhrom Kholmatov (Tajikistan), Asia Bibi (Pakistan), Kim Jong Uk (North Korea).
Bottom Row (left – right): Sevada Aghasar (Iran), Yang Hua (China), Kidane Weldou (Eritrea).
Each profile details arrest and sentence, family background, prison conditions and daily prayer points (dated to begin on Sunday 18 February, the first Sunday of Lent).
Download a poster featuring the six prisoners
WEEK 1 – BAKHROM KHOLMATOV (TAJIKISTAN)
Pastor Bakhrom Kholmatov (42) was arrested in April 2017 after secret police officers raided his church and found Christian song books. He was sentenced to three years in prison on charges that the songs were “extremist”.
WEEK 2 – ASIA BIBI (PAKISTAN)
Asia Bibi (51) is a Christian farm worker who has been in prison since 2009 when she was accused of blasphemy. She is waiting for a Supreme Court appeal against her conviction and death sentence to be heard.
WEEK 3 – KIM JONG UK (NORTH KOREA)
Kim Jong Uk (52) is a missionary from South Korea who provided aid to North Korean refugees in China. In 2013 he was arrested during a visit to North Korea. He was accused of espionage and sentenced to life imprisonment in a labour camp.
WEEK 4 – SEVADA AGHASAR (IRAN)
Sevada Aghasar is a well-known Christian musician and songwriter from Iran. In July 2017 he was arrested and imprisoned for five years for posting Christian messages on Facebook and meeting with converts from Islam.
WEEK 5 – YANG HUA (CHINA)
Yang Hua (41) is a Chinese pastor who was arrested in December 2015 during a raid on his large house church. In 2017 he was sentenced to two and a half years in prison for “divulging state secrets”. He has suffered bouts of very bad health while in prison.
WEEK 5 – KIDANE WELDOU (ERITREA)
Pastor Kidane Weldou (in his 60s) has been in a maximum security prison for thirteen years because of his Christian faith. He has never been tried, and his wife and four daughter have never been allowed to visit him.