Thursday, April 13, 2006

Open Doors: Nigeria, Bangladesh, Israel

"Nigeria: * Two female Christian students remain missing after seven Muslims attacked them almost a month ago at Ahmadu Bello University in Kaduna state. The two students were about to bathe at the women's residence when the Muslim women emerged from a mosque and attacked, beating them until they were unconscious. The women, identified only as Joy and Priscilla, were treated at the university health clinic but disappeared immediately thereafter. Their disappearance has raised serious religious tensions on campus. James Kagbu, the university's Joint Chapel Council secretary, said "Muslim students under the auspices of the Muslim Students' Society have been terrorizing Christians in the university without provocation."

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Please pray:

-For Joy and Priscilla: for their protection and safe return; for their sustained faith; and that Christ will be manifest through the testimony of these women.

-For the Muslim students who took part in these attacks: that they will come to know Christ and the magnitude of His forgiveness and grace.

-For the alleviation of religious tensions on campus and that all other Christians will be able to love their Muslim colleagues with the love of Christ.

Bangladesh: * An angry mob recently set fire to a church in the Pancchari sub-district - a remote area of Bangladesh - capping a year of extreme hostility towards villagers who had converted from Buddhism to Christianity. While Bangladesh is predominantly a Muslim country, there are small pockets like Pancchari where Buddhism flourishes. According to Compass, Christians attacked in this remote region have been told not to contact the authorities or seek hospital treatment or they would face even greater persecution.

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Please pray:

-For the Christians living in the Pancchari region—for their protection and deliverance from violent attacks, and for the perseverance and faith to stand firm through the storms of persecution.

-For God’s mercy upon this sub-district—for the restoration of the Church and the whole village.

-That God will be able to use these acts of violence to show Himself as the Prince of Peace and arbiter of love to Christians and Buddhists alike.

Israel: * According to Compass, the Palestinian Bible Society bookshop in Gaza has reopened! After a five-week-long closure in response to unknown militants’ threats to bomb the building, Hanna Massad, pastor of Gaza Baptist Church, whose wife, Suhad, is the Bible Society bookshop’s director, said that the bookshop reopened with permission from the Gaza Interior Ministry, over the objections of the building’s owner. “Today,” explains Massad, “Was a very special day for us, after [facing] the pressure and the power of the kingdom of darkness face-to-face, especially in the last four days...We experienced the power of answered prayer. Thank you for praying with us and for us.” Massad asks for ongoing prayer: “The situation in Gaza [is] still very dangerous, and the threat [is] still on…The evil one [tried] everything he could to stop us from doing what God called us to do.”

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Please pray:

-That God will continue to bless and grow the ministry of the Palestinian Bible Society Bookshop.

-That it will be an unwavering source of Christ’s love to the Muslim World.

-That the Angels will continue to surround this shop and be victorious in this heavy spiritual battle.

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