Thursday, February 15, 2007

VOM: Indonesia - Muslim Mob Attacks House Church

Muslim Mob Attack House Church – VOM Sources

This week 50 Muslim fundamentalists stormed a house church in an Indonesian village, questioning the use of the house for church services. According to VOM sources the mob raided the house disrupting the service and smashing a keyboard. Christians in the village are afraid and leaders are considering moving the house church to another area. Psalm 138:3, Psalm 32:7

VOM: India - Pastor's Conference Attacked/Christian Martyred

Pastor's Conference Attacked by Hindu Militants/Christian Martyred for Christ – VOM Sources

On February 2, a pastor's conference in Raipur, Chhattisgarh state was attacked by about 100-500 members of the Hindu militant group Dharam Sena. At least 10 Christian leaders were injured and property and money stolen. Pray God heals all those injured and that believers remain faithful.

On Saturday, February 10, 58-year-old Christian, S. Stanley, was stabbed and killed by rioting youth in front of his house in Pavaloor, Kerala State, India. Youths assembled in front of his house shouting blasphemous abuses against Christians. When Stanley and his wife asked the youths to leave, they became angry and stoned the house. While Stanley was inside the house calling the police, the attackers climbed over the locked gate, entered the house and stabbed him several times on his back, neck and stomach. His wife was also assaulted, VOM contacts said. Pray for the family of this brother, especially his wife who sustained injuries from the beatings. Isaiah 48: 13; Psalm 41:3

Open Doors: Israel


Gaza’s Fatah-controlled police force removed the last five officers stationed at Gaza Baptist Church, the only evangelical church in Gaza. Fatah security forces seized the church on February 2 as a watch point and sniper nest against Hamas militants. Gaza Baptist’s pastor, Hanna Massad, canceled services February 4 due to heavy street fighting. Though fighting waned during power-sharing talks between the two groups vying for Gaza’s control, Fatah police told Massad that it would retain some of its troops within the building for fear of Hamas take-over. Massad told Open Doors that the soldiers left late last week following an apparent breakthrough in the talks. Despite damages to the building, the church was able to hold morning and evening services on February 11. Read More>>

Please Pray:

For divine protection over the Gaza Baptist Church from any future violence or disruptions that would interfere with the ministry and fellowship of these believers. Psalm 127:1

That Pastor Massad and his congregation will be strengthened and encouraged to persevere despite the instability that surrounds them, and that their God-given love and compassion for the non-Christians around them will intensify, emboldening them to further put their faith into action. Acts 4:29

That the Gaza Baptist Church will continue to be a beacon of Christ’s unconditional and unrelenting love for His people. Matthew 5:14-16

WEA RLP: Uzbekistan


Persecution has so escalated in Uzbekistan that in November 2006 the US State Department added Uzbekistan to its list of Countries of Particular Concern (CPC) for its ongoing violations of religious freedom. Christians are not only persecuted by radicalised local Muslims, but by the repressive government of President Islam Karimov which views Islamic militants and Protestants equally as a serious threat to social harmony and national security. Dmitry Shestakov (37), pastor of a registered Full Gospel church in Andijan, refused to give the police a list of church members when they raided his home in June 2006. He was arrested on 21 January 2007 and stands accused of stirring up inter-religious hatred and distributing religious extremist literature. His trial is imminent and he could face up to 20 years in prison. Please pray.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Forum 18 - Russia

8 February 2007


Local authorities in widely separated parts of Russia are demanding the demolition of several Protestant churches and mosques, Forum 18 News Service has noted. This follows an apparently unusual level of interest in their buildings' fire safety and other technical factors in recent months.

In one example, Glorification Pentecostal Church - which is threatened with demolition - in the central Siberian city of Abakan questions the validity of numerous claimed violations, such as a failure to keep the storage area under the staircase clear, as "the only thing present under the stairs during the fire safety inspection was a jar of gherkins," Forum 18 was told.

[I]n a positive development in Samara, a pre-1917 Belokrinitsa Old Believer Church has been regained by the corresponding local parish.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

VOM: China - House Church Leaders RELEASED

UPDATE - Chinese House Church Leaders Released

Nine house-church leaders arrested in the village of Chencun, Henan province on January 6, 2007, were released from prison on January 20. The church leaders were not given any legal certificate of their arrest, detention or release. Local Christians believe police deliberately refused the Christians any legal evidence of their detention in order to prevent possible lawsuits. Thank God for the release of these believers. Pray their persecutors will be brought to justice.

VOM: Zimbabwe - Christians, Journalists Arrested

Christian Leaders Arrested - VOM Sources

The entire leadership of the Zimbabwe Christian Alliance (ZCA) and some journalists were arrested during a meeting in Kadoma on January 26. The alliance is involved in a number of measures to support those suffering from the on-going political and economic crisis in Zimbabwe and to work toward a resolution. At least 1000 people gathered in and around a church building to pray for Zimbabwe when armed riot police raided the meeting and arrested the leaders. Eight senior leaders were charged with holding an illegal political meeting. During interrogation, they were accused of working to overthrow President Robert Mugabe. After being interrogated throughout the weekend, the eight were arraigned on January 29 and released on $100,000 Zimbabwe dollars ($415 US) bail each. They are scheduled to appear in court on March 5. Those facing charges are Jonah Gokova, Pastor Raymond Motsi, Pius Wakatama, Pastor Ancelemon Magaya, Pastor Watson Mugabe, Pastor Zvizai Chiponda, Lawrence Berejina and Gerald Mubaiwa. Pray those charged will be acquitted. Thank God for their release. Ask God to encourage the leadership of ZCA to faithfully carry out their God-given task. 1 Peter 5:1-4

VOM: Uzbekistan

Pastor Arrested by Secret Police in Uzbekistan - VOM Sources/ Compass Direct News

A pastor was arrested by Uzbek secret police on January 21. During the raid of the Full Gospel Church in Andijan, secret service officers asked Pastor Dmitry Shestakov to step outside with them for five minutes. They then escorted him to the nearest police station. At last report, he was still in police custody. The pastor is accused of "incitement of national, racial and religious enmity," under Article 156 of Uzbekistan's penal code. He could face up to five years in prison if convicted of this charge. Pray God will give this Christian brother the right words to say when he stands before accusing authorities. Pray the Holy Spirit will bring his neighbors, friends and persecutors to Christ through his faithful witness. Romans 12:14, 21

VOM: China - More Christians Arrested

Christians Arrested in China - VOM Sources /China Aid Association

On January 22, 2007, three "Minority for Christ" workers were arrested in Guizhou province. Guizhou has one of the largest Hmong populations and is also one of the strongest Communist provinces in China.

VOM sources also report that security police arrested 11 Korean Christians after visiting a local village in China. After extensive interrogation they were released. The group is helping a local village build a new church building.

On January 26, 2007, Hua Huidi and his 76-year-old mother were attacked and wounded by seven police officers while walking near a 2008 Olympic hotel site in Beijing, China. According to China Aid Association (CAA), Hua, an active house-church member in Beijing, and his mother were kicked on the ground and later taken to the Olympic Police Station for questioning.

"When Hua asked the police to release his sick mother and explain the legal ground for the detention, he was beaten repeatedly. While the temperature in Beijing was in the 20s, cold water was poured on him. He was later taken to a detention center," CAA said. Hua's family learned that he was sentenced to one month of criminal detention. Pray God continues to protect Christians in China. Persecution is expected to intensify ahead of the 2008 Olympics. Ask God to give believers wisdom and courage as they face these difficult times. Deuteronomy 31:6

VOM: Colombia - Teachers Forced to Deny Christ

Teachers Forced to Deny Christ - VOM Sources

A VOM contact reports that three teachers working with a tribal group are being forced to deny Christ in order to be permitted to teach for the next year. All three teachers intend to stand firm. An effort is being made in some of the tribal areas to eliminate Christianity. Pray God gives these believers courage to stand against this persecution. Ask God to protect them and use their experiences to bring others to Christ. 1 Corinthians 16:13

Open Doors: Turkmenistan

My Note:

This is a particularly important change in power. The Turkmenbashi had set himself up as a focus of worship, which included a statue, a temple and writing his own "bible", required reading for all Turkmen.

The right new leader could make a great deal of difference to believers living in this country. jma


For many Turkmen, President Niyazov (alias Turkmenbashi, Father of the Turkmen) was and still is the great leader who brought prestige, identity and respect to his country. Yet other Turkmen hoped for a change in society when Turkmenbashi died unexpectedly on December 21, 2006. On February 11, presidential elections will be held. The current interim president has become a candidate, promising reforms in the educational system, improved living standards, and accessibility of information. However, he is silent about changes in the political system, freedom of the press, and the release of political prisoners. Since he has come to power, interrogations and arrests have not decreased, and ethnic Turkmen who leave Islam and become Christians continue to face humiliation and psychological pressure from Muslim clergy and authorities. Read More>>

Please Pray:

For the outcome of the elections—that a God-fearing leader will be elected to lead the nation into a new dawn where freedom, justice, and truth are triumphant. Jeremiah 30:21

That the election process will remain peaceful, without civil fighting or power struggles. Psalm 133:1

That God will be glorified by the faith and testimonies of His Turkmen followers, and be moved to have compassion and mercy on this nation, delivering the oppressed, restoring the broken and transforming the hearts of the lost and of the oppressors. Isaiah 42:1

Monday, February 05, 2007

VOM: Vietnam

Four Church Leaders Arrested - VOM Sources

Four church leaders from Tuyen Quang province were arrested by border patrol police at the border between China and Vietnam in Ha Giang province. They were on their way home from collecting books and funds for the Pastor Support Program in Vietnam. There is no further information on their arrest. Pray God will protect them in prison and open a door for them in prison so they can share the gospel for which they suffer. Ask Him to encourage their families and for the Vietnamese government to release them. Colossians 4:2-3

VOM: Pakistan

Evangelists Beaten at Muslim Festival - VOM Sources

A team of Pakistani Christian evangelists supported by The Voice of the Martyrs was attacked and beaten Friday, January 26th, after handing out more than 13,000 Christian tracts at a Muslim festival in Pakpattan, Pakistan. Three members of the four-member team were roughed up by radical Muslims then taken to the police station where they were detained and questioned before being released. However, the fourth evangelist, the leader of the team, was badly beaten by a mob of more than 100 angry Muslims, who then dragged him through the crowd before taking him to the police station. He was beaten so severely that he reported blood in his urine and his stool. VOM contacts are taking him to a hospital for medical care. Pray for God's protection for these courageous believers. Ask God to heal their injuries and for the Holy Spirit to comfort their families during this difficult time. Hebrews 12:1-3, Psalm 107:20

Forum 18: Kazakhstan - President too busy with "important affairs" to meet with Baptists

30 January 2007

Amanbek Mukhashev, head of Kazakhstan's Religious Affairs Committee, has petulantly complained to Forum 18 News Service about a request from a group of Baptist churches to meet President Nursultan Nazarbayev to discuss state harassment of their congregations. "Instead of tearing the President away from important affairs the Baptists would do better to register their churches and not violate the law," he told Forum 18. The Council ofChurches Baptists, who have over 100 congregations in Kazakhstan, estimate that more than 40 of their members have been fined for their role in worship services since legal restrictions on religious freedom were made harsher in July 2005. "It is perfectly natural that the President will not meet the Baptists," a Presidential Administration official stated. PastorYaroslav Senyushkevich commented to Forum 18 that "we regret that officials have such an attitude towards us."