India:* The murder of Pastor Eusebio Ferrao in Goa state early Saturday morning (March 18) has sent shockwaves through the Christian communities of India. Police have ruled out theft as a motive for his murder since nothing was missing from the church premises. While police are baffled, local Christians believe Pastor Ferrao was targeted because of his recently published comments on religious riots in the south of Goa.
India:* After being held captive for two months by the Kuki Liberation Army (KLA) in Manipur state, the Rev. Tongkhojang Lunkim was released this past Saturday. The Rev. Stephen Bryant, senior international editor and publisher of the Upper Room devotional, said Rev. Lunkim's kidnapping was clearly linked to his Christian work. 'Lunkim has lived with threats and danger ever since Christ called him', Bryant told the United Methodist News service. Before handing him over, the KLA forced Lunkim to stop his alleged 'anti-KLA activities,' and to apologize for his involvement. The Rev. M. Haokhothong, Lunkim's son-in-law, told Compass Direct that he was grateful for those who have prayed for his release.
Turkey:* A Turkish Muslim shouting insults against Christianity pulled a long butcher knife on two pastors and a group of teenagers on the evening of Saturday, March 11, at a church in Mersin, threatening them and their families. In a 30-minute standoff in the town on the southern coast of Turkey, Erdal Gurel entered the church while 25 of the church's young people were rehearsing for an Easter passion play. The 19-year-old Gurel was apprehended by police after threatening Pastor Hanri Leylek with a knife, cursing Christianity, and chasing the youths.
Turkey:* In a country where the media often portrays the tiny Protestant community exceedingly negatively, it is rare for news organizations to call attention to the religious persecution of these Christians. Normally, Turkish nationalists threatening to hang local Protestants for operating a Christian literature stall at a book fair wouldn’t have raised an eyebrow. However, the media have publicized the threats made by these Muslims, and justly brought attention to the persecution of this Christian minority.
Please Pray For:
- Open Doors projects in both India and Turkey.
- The safety of Open Doors staff in India and Turkey, and that there are many fruits from all their efforts.
- The non-Christians in India and Turkey, that they are reached with the Gospel; pray for our staff and other Christians as they minister and witness to them.