Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Barnabas Fund: Pakistan - Evicted Christians Living in Squalor

2,000 Pakistani Christians evicted to the roadside and living in fear of typhoid

Local doctors and experienced news correspondents are shocked by the appalling conditions being endured by some 2,000 Christians in downtown Islamabad, the Pakistani capital. Despite being only ten minutes from health centers, two people have died in the 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43 degrees Celsius) heat, with many more in danger of dying from dehydration, infection or the cumulative effects of poverty.

How did they end up here? Approximately a year ago, around 214 Christian families were promised land in the Chak Shahzad district of Islamabad. The Capital Development Authority (CDA) of Islamabad arranged their move and told the families to set up tents there until possession had been finalized. Then three months ago the CDA changed their minds forcing the Christian families to live in the road amidst squalid conditions, where their only water supply runs all too close to an open pit latrine and a waste dump. There are up to 20 people sharing one tent, which only adds to the discomfort.

Our partners in Pakistan commented, “Since Christians are discriminated against by the majority population, nothing has been done to help them.”

Whilst the Pakistan authorities are still to act, Barnabas has been able to secure a way to provide practical aid to the families now. This aid will take the form of food items including rice, lentils, onions and cooking oil for each affected family, as well as buckets and water containers to reduce the risk of typhoid affecting the tightly packed camp.

For only $56.94 (£34.75 or €40.33) you can feed a whole family for a month. Five water containers each capable of carrying 20 liters, costs only $12.15 (£7.40 or €8.60). Any one of these items could be a lifesaver.
Donate here.

Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, International Director of Barnabas Fund says, “Here is a real opportunity to save lives. Our brothers and sisters in Islamabad are in dire need of material assistance to prevent disease ravaging their already stricken camp. Please be praying that we can raise the necessary funds quickly to meet this life-threatening need.”

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

ICC: (From the Seoul Times) - Pakistan: Christians Burned Alive in Retribution

Pakistani Christians in Gojira, as many as six, and possibly more, have reportedly been burnt alive by Islamic extremists following a rumor of desecration of the Koran (with no evidence).

Read more here:

Compass Direct: Somalia - Christian Convert Murdered

Somalia (CompassDirect)

A Somali man who converted from Islam to Christianity was shot dead Tuesday morning near the Kenya border by members of Al Shabaab, the Muslim extremist group. The group is currently hunting converts to Christianity as they seek to establish Sharia (Islamic law) throughout the country.

Read more at:

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Florida School Administrators Face Prison Time (OneNewsNow)

A principal and an athletic director are facing criminal charges for a lunch-time prayer.

Last year, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against Pace High School in Santa Rosa County, Florida. The ACLU claimed some teachers and administrators were endorsing religion, but the school chose to give in to the ACLU's demands rather than fight them in court.

According to the settlement, all school employees are banned from engaging in prayer or religious activities before, during, or after school hours. Now two school officials are facing criminal charges for offering meal-time prayers at an appreciation dinner for adults who had helped with a school field house project. Principal Frank Lay and athletic director Robert Freeman are scheduled to go on trial next month on criminal contempt charges. If convicted, both are subject to fines and imprisonment.

Matt Staver is founder of Liberty Counsel, which will argue the court order prohibiting prayer at school-related events violated Lay's and Freeman's constitutional rights.

"In this particular case, Principal Frank Lay asked the athletic director to have a prayer for the meal at an honorary luncheon in celebration for some of the athletic achievements. And then in [another] situation, the clerical worker at an event where some employees of the school were present asked her husband, who is not an employee of the school, to have a blessing over a meal," he explains. "Because of those two events, these individuals now face criminal contempt."

Staver believes that the accusers in this case are students who recently graduated. If that is the case, he says the case is moot. However, Staver adds it is outrageous to punish a school official with potential jail time for simply praying.

Florida School Administrators Face (OneNewsNow)

A principal and an athletic director are facing criminal charges for a lunch-time prayer.

Last year, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against Pace High School in Santa Rosa County, Florida. The ACLU claimed some teachers and administrators were endorsing religion, but the school chose to give in to the ACLU's demands rather than fight them in court.

According to the settlement, all school employees are banned from engaging in prayer or religious activities before, during, or after school hours. Now two school officials are facing criminal charges for offering meal-time prayers at an appreciation dinner for adults who had helped with a school field house project. Principal Frank Lay and athletic director Robert Freeman are scheduled to go on trial next month on criminal contempt charges. If convicted, both are subject to fines and imprisonment.

Matt Staver is founder of Liberty Counsel, which will argue the court order prohibiting prayer at school-related events violated Lay's and Freeman's constitutional rights.

"In this particular case, Principal Frank Lay asked the athletic director to have a prayer for the meal at an honorary luncheon in celebration for some of the athletic achievements. And then in [another] situation, the clerical worker at an event where some employees of the school were present asked her husband, who is not an employee of the school, to have a blessing over a meal," he explains. "Because of those two events, these individuals now face criminal contempt."

Staver believes that the accusers in this case are students who recently graduated. If that is the case, he says the case is moot. However, Staver adds it is outrageous to punish a school official with potential jail time for simply praying.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

VOM: Pakistan - Third Instance of Houses Burned, Christians Killed

According to VOM contacts, Muslims have burned 45 Christian homes, as well as a church in Toba Tek, Punjab. Nine people, including women and children, may have died during the violence according to Window International Network. Some victims are assumed to have been burned alive. The rampage began after Muslims announced on loudspeakers they were going to “to teach a lesson to infidel Christians,” whom they accused of burning pages of the Quran. Muslims also blocked the road to keep assistance from reaching Toba Tek.

This mass destruction of homes is the second wave of violence in Punjab province. The first came on July 1, 2009, when Muslims made a similar false accusation of blasphemy against Christians in the village of Bahamin Wala.

Please Pray!
Pray for God's comfort and peace to reign in the hearts of the victims and families affected by this latest attack against Christians in Pakistan. Pray for the salvation of the Muslims in Pakistan, and that the perpetrators of these crimes will to be brought to justice.

Open Doors: Pakistan - Christians burned out of homes, killed

Following an accusation of “blasphemy” of the Quran, Islamic extremists set ablaze more than 50 houses and a church in the town of Gojra in northwestern Pakistan on Saturday, August 1. At least 14 Christians died in the attacks. The dead include women and children, with several other burn victims unable to reach hospitals for medical care, according to the Centre for Legal Aid Assistance and Settlement (CLAAS).

Clerics at local mosques broadcasted messages that those “who love Muhammad and Islam should gather with them to defend the Islam because it is in danger,” according to CLAAS and reported by Compass. As the crowd size grew, the attacks intensified. The Islamists managed to block main roads and railways to keep fire brigades from fighting the house fires. Authorities, in an effort to keep more Muslims extremists from entering from neighboring villages, blocked the roads into Gojra. Another six people died when Islamists shot at police and the police responded in return with tear gas and gunfire.

The same rumor of desecration of the Quran prompted an arson assault by Islamic extremists on the village of Korian last Thursday. At least 60 houses were gutted in that attack. Punjab Minister for Law Rana Sanaullah reportedly said an initial investigation of allegations of the Quran being blasphemed indicated “there has not been any incident of desecration.” Pakistan is ranked No. 13 on the 2009 Open Doors World Watch List of 50 countries which are the worst persecutors of Christians.

Father we pray for the victims of these heinous and violent crimes, asking for Your peace that passes all understanding to dwell in their hearts and homes. We bring before You the families enduring the loss of a loved one. Father, please replace their pain with love and forgiveness. We trust to You their comfort and ask that You empower believers in Pakistan to stand strong in their faith in You. Amen.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Forum 18: Uzbekistan

28 July 2009

Uzbekistan Baptist Union is facing criminal charges for allegedly unlawfully teaching children religion, and for supposedly misusing their property as a summer camp, Forum 18 News Service has learnt. As a result, Baptist Union Chair Pavel Peichev faces huge fines, the confiscation of the property, imprisonment, or some combination of these penalties. Baptists have vehemently denied the allegations. The authorities have also instituted checks on the tax and other obligatory payments by the Baptist Union. The first sign of trouble for the Baptists were two articles published by a government-sponsored news agency. Independent human rights defender sources think that the agency is sponsored by the NSS secret police, and that the author may be an NSS officer. The authorities have refused to discuss the details of the case, although the main prosecutor claimed to Forum 18 that "we have nothing against the [Baptist]denomination.". Repeated attempts to contact the author of the articles and the news agency have been unsuccessful.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Open Doors USA: Email - Weekly Prayer Alert - Third Christian this Year Dies in Eritrean Military Prison

Open Doors USA: Email - Weekly Prayer Alert - Third Christian this Year Dies in Eritrean Military Prison:

"Yemane Kahasay Andom, 43, died last week on July 23 at Mitire Military Confinement Center in Eritrea. According to sources, he was kept in solitary confinement in an underground cell two weeks prior to his death for his refusal to sign a recantation form. It is not clear what the contents of the recantation form were, but most Christians interpret the signing of such a form as the denouncement of their faith in Christ. Weakened by continuous torture, Andom was also suffering from a severe case of malaria.

Andom becomes the third recorded Christian to die while being incarcerated at the Mitire Confinement Center. In early January this year Mogos Hagos Kiflom, 37, died allegedly as a result of torture, and Mehari Gebreneguse Asgedom, 42, died as a result of ongoing physical torture and complications from his diabetes.

With the death of Andom last week, the number of Christians who have died while imprisoned for their faith in Eritrea now total nine. More than 2,800 Christians still remain imprisoned for their faith in Eritrea, which is ranked No. 9 on Open Doors’ World Watch List of the 50 countries which are the worst persecutors of Christians.

Father, please visit the imprisoned with your gentle company and comfort. Send strength to the families of those who have died while incarcerated. Give them grace to grieve, forgive their oppressors and reach out with Christ's love to a dying world. We pray you would turn the hearts of men in power; that the government would end the persecution of Christians and grant religious freedom to all.

“Thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ.” (2 Cor 2:14)"

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

VOM: Two Boys Beheaded by Islamic Extremists

Islamic extremists have beheaded two boys in Somalia because their Christian father, 55 year-old Musa Mohammed Yusuf, refused to give them information about an underground church leader.

The extremists from the group al shabaab killed 11 year-old Abdi Rahaman Musa Yusuf and 12 year-old Hussein Musa Yusuf, after abducting them in front of their mother. The terrorists are currently looking for Yusuf in Kenyan refugee camps.

Monday, June 08, 2009

ICC: Burmese Army attacks ICC Orphanage

ICC has advised that their orphanage in Burma was attacked by the Burmese Army as a result of fighting against the Karen people of that country. Some 400 children and adults were forced to swim the nearby river to Thailand, and they are now (those who made it) homeless, in wet clothing and without food.

ICC is requesting donations to help these children and the orphanage staffers. Please go to and help out. Make sure to note that you are contributing to assist the "Burma Orphanage" when you do so.

Forum 18: Azerbaijan (Direct Post)

3 June 2009
Azerbaijan's repressive new Religion Law, and amendments to both the Criminal Code and the Administrative Code came into force on 31 May, Forum 18 has learned. New "offences" - such as more severe censorship - and new punishments are introduced for religious activities and organisations the government does not like. All registered religious organisations must reregister by 1 January 2010, the third time reregistration has been demanded in less than twenty years. It is implied that unregistered organisations are illegal, and stated that "all religious organisations" can act only after gaining state registration. Parliamentary Deputy Fazil Gazanfarolgu Mustafaev told Forum 18 that "the new Religion Law will limit people's rights to freedom of conscience - that is clear." He thinks the Law should have been drafted in accordance with international human rights standards, and that this would have been more likely if expert advice from organisations like the OSCE and Council of Europe had been sought.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Prayer Bulletin from Voice of the Martyrs: China - Church Members Arrested

On April 30, 2009, 18 house church Christians and leaders were arrested by Public Security Bureau (PSB) officers, while they were gathered for communion at a house church in Xinye city, Henan province, according to China Aid Association.The Christians were taken to the PSB office in Xinye city and each forced to pay a 1000 Yuan (about US$150) fine. Currently 16 Christians are still being held by the PSB, including 10 preachers from Hubei province. The imprisoned pastors are, Wang Donggui, Yang Chengqun, GuoDaying, Hao Xuecheng, Lun Zhidian, Lian Fengmei, Chen Mingao, Ren Zhiai, Zhai Laoxue and Zhai Jinai

Please Pray !

The Voice of the Martyrs has supported persecuted believers in China for more than 30 years. VOM has numerous projects assisting believers in China some of which are, providing emergency aid to the families of imprisoned believers and supplying Mandarin Bibles to the Chinese church.

Ask God to encourage those remaining in prison and pray their testimonies will lead others to Christ.

Pray also that these believers are released.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Forum 18: Azerbaijan (Direct Post)

6 May 2009
Azerbaijan is apparently rushing restrictive amendments to its Religion Law through parliament, Forum 18 News Service has learnt. "Only the parliamentary deputies have the text, and it will only be published after its adoption," a parliamentary aide told Forum 18. The amendments - which reportedly include a ban on unregistered religious activity - have not been made public, and the full parliament is due to begin consideration of them on Friday 8 May. The refusal to make the text public denies the opportunity for public discussion of the proposals, complains Eldar Zeynalov of the Human Rights Centre of Azerbaijan. "Everything prepared in top secrecy is bad for human rights," he told Forum 18. Parliamentary Deputy Rabiyyat Aslanova, who chairs one of two committees which prepared the draft, told Forum 18 that state registration will be compulsory, but claimed that: "No one will be punished for practicing without registration, as long as they don't preach against the national interest or denigrate the dignity of others." She declined to discuss what this means, and confirmed that religious communities will have to re-register. Religious communities -especially of minority faiths - have struggled to re-register afterprevious changes.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

WEA RLP: More bad news from Orissa/Prayer Request (Direct Post)

KANDHAMAL DISTRICT, ORISSA STATE, INDIA, where Christians made homeless by the Hindu August-September 2008 pogrom are too afraid to leave the relief camps. Those who do return to their villages are finding that Hindus persecute and impose humiliating and repressive restrictions on them with impunity.

UPDATE: CHRISTIANS BEING EVICTED FROM ORISSA RELIEF CAMPS On 16 January 2009 the Orissa High Court rejected a petition from rights activist Keshamati Pradhan against the Orissa State Government's forcible closure of Kandhamal relief camps. The High Court said this was because the Supreme Court was considering Kandhamal riot cases, so Pradhan took her petition to the Supreme Court. However, the Supreme Court returned the petition to the High Court on 23 March, saying it wanted to hear the State's position first. Meanwhile, the Orissa State Government is declaring peace and evicting Christians from the relief camps in order to close them. The traumatised, homeless Christians are then forced to return to their villages without any protection or security. Pradhan's petition goes before the Orissa High Court on 6 April. Please pray.

ANOTHER RSS LEADER MURDERED IN ORISSA -- SITUATION 'EXPLOSIVE' On 19 March some 15 suspected Maoist rebels shot dead Hindu nationalist RSS leader Prabhat Panigrahi in Rudhiguma village, Kandhamal district. Just as in August 2008, the Hindu nationalists are saying that a 'nexus' between the Maoists and Christians is responsible. According to local Hindu nationalist BJP officials the situation in Kandhamal is 'explosive'. Meanwhile the BJP has named the Hindutva activist Ashok Sahu as its candidate from the Kandhamal Lok Sabha (Federal parliament) constituency. According to Sahu, Kandhamal is the 'model area' for Hindutva in the entire country. The Indian elections commence on 16 April. Please pray.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Forum 18: Tajikistan (Direct Post)


Tajikistan's restrictive new Religion Law, approved by both Houses of Parliament with little debate this month, could go to President Emomali Rahmon for signature within days, Akbar Turajonzoda, an independent member of Parliament's Upper House, told Forum 18 News Service. "This Law contradicts Tajikistan's Constitution and international norms," he insisted. "I voted against." Protestant communities are also concerned,with one pastor telling Forum 18 that "this Law will worsen the situation with religious liberties". The new Law favours the Hanafi school of Islam over other schools, restricts the number of mosques, requires the state to name all imams, restricts religious education, imposes compulsory censorship of religious literature and imposes wide-ranging state control over the activity of all religious associations. Officials reject the possibility of allowing debate on the Law. "We have already had enough public debates," a parliamentary official told Forum 18. "What we need is just to finally adopt it."

Friday, March 06, 2009

Forum 18: Uzbekistan (Direct Post)

6 March 2009
Natalya Kadyrova is one of several Protestant Christians known to Forum 18News Service to have been denied the exit visas Uzbek citizens need before they can leave their own country, apparently as punishment for their religious activity. The wife of a pastor of a Tashkent Protestant church,Kadyrova has already been fined for her involvement with her church.Muslims and Jehovah's Witnesses have told Forum 18 that their adherents have faced exit visa denials in the recent past. Human rights defenders are among others who face similar problems. However, Saken Kojahmetov, head of the Department of Entry and Exit at the Interior Ministry's Department of Entry, Exit and Legalisation of Citizenship in Tashkent, denied this to Forum 18. "We don't obstruct Uzbek citizens from travelling freely," he claimed. Asked why a number of religious believers cannot get exit visas,he responded: "If some people are saying this, let them come to me and raise their case and we will resolve it."

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Barnabas Fund: Violence in Nigeria (Direct Post)


An outbreak of violence between Muslims and Christians in the capital of Bauchi province in Northern Nigeria has left at least eleven people dead. Nine of the victims are said to be Christians, six of whom were shot and three killed with machetes. At least six churches, perhaps as many as 13, have been destroyed by fire, as well as three mosques and over 200 houses. Around a hundred people have been injured. About 4,500 people were displaced from their homes, and many of them have taken refuge in military barracks.

The latest eruption arose from a dispute between the congregations of a mosque and a nearby church on February 20, although the details remain unclear. Violence appears to have continued for at least three days. A night-time curfew has now been imposed, and a military and police presence established on the streets; the federal government has sent soldiers to the state to provide additional security. The security forces have also been deployed or placed on alert in adjoining states.

The police have given assurances that those responsible for the outbreak will be punished, and the state governor has asserted his resolve to maintain peace. However, some doubt the authorities’ commitment to the security of lives and property, especially those of Christians. Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, International Director of Barnabas Fund, says, “The chair of the Christian Association of Nigeria in Bauchi, Musa Tula, has expressed dissatisfaction over the measures being taken to ensure the safety of Christians in the state. He has also disputed the governor’s claim that the crisis is politically motivated, attributing it instead to religious tensions.”
Nigeria is almost evenly split between a mainly Muslim North and a largely Christian South. Some of the territories that lie along the dividing line explode into violence from time to time. Tensions have been running high in Bauchi since November 2008, when more than 300 people died in Jos, in neighboring Plateau State.

Christian and Muslim leaders have called for calm and for peaceful co-existence between adherents of the two religions. But various Christian groups have asserted that violence in the North is likely to stop only if the government acts more strongly to prevent the killing of Christians and to bring their murderers to justice.

Please Pray:
  1. For the Christians injured and bereaved in the violence, and for those whose churches, homes or businesses have been destroyed. Ask that God will comfort them in their distress and provide for their needs.
  2. For the rapid restoration of order in Bauchi, and that those responsible for the killings will be brought to justice. Pray too that the continuing tensions between Christians and Muslims in Northern Nigeria will not erupt into further violence.
  3. That the Nigerian authorities will act decisively at local and national level to provide protection for the country’s Christian citizens and to deter attacks upon them.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Forum 18: Azerbaijan, Serbia, Russia, Uzbekistan (Direct Post)

24 February 2009
Azerbaijan's wide-ranging religious literature censorship system has started to affect the export of such literature, Forum 18 News Service has found. Customs authorities recently confiscated Christian religious literature from Azerbaijani citizens leaving Azerbaijan. No mention is made in Azerbaijan's laws of censorship of religious literature taken out of the country. Similarly, Forum 18 was told by a customs official that customs regulations are also silent on this point. An official of the State Committee for Work with Religious Organisations, speaking after the confiscation of Muslim literature, told Forum 18 that "our society doesn'tneed books that don't suit our laws and our beliefs." He claimed that unspecified religious literature could cause unspecified "social harm andpossibly inter-religious and inter-ethnic violence."

26 February 2009
Apparently unaware that he was giving a public address, the governor of Kaluga Region has ordered that land legally owned by Word of Life Pentecostal Church be seized by "any" means, Forum 18 News Service has learnt. The order, made at a recent local government meeting broadcast live via the regional administration's website, has been captured and posted on the Internet site YouTube by a church member. No official was prepared to comment to Forum 18. Word of Life has complained of frequent bureaucratic harassment ever since its land and building became an impediment to shopping mall construction plans in Kaluga. In Udmurtia, Philadelphia Pentecostal Church is the latest congregation to report similar bureaucratic obstruction, which state officials usually insist is lawful and routine. Such problems are usually encountered by Protestants, who are more likely to have unsecured worship premises.

26 February 2009
In its survey analysis of freedom of thought, conscience or belief in Serbia, Forum 18 News Service notes that the most serious remains violent attacks, especially on Jehovah's Witness and Adventist property. The numbers of these attacks have been declining, and a crucial factor in this has been positive changes in media portrayals of non-Serbian Orthodox communities. Gaining legal status is difficult for communities defined by the Religion Law as "non-traditional" who must apply for recognition, and may face apparently arbitrary denials of status. This leads to practical problems for some communities, such as an inability to employ people.Restitution of confiscated property is a problem for most religious communities, including the Serbian Orthodox Church which suffered most communist-era confiscations. Legally, restitution of Jewish property confiscated in the Second World War is also difficult. Education is a sensitive issue, with problems such as negative portrayal of"non-traditional" communities in school religious education.

27 February 2009
Uzbekistan imposed harsh prison sentences yesterday (26 February) on five writers for the Islamic periodical Irmoq (Spring), Forum 18 News Service has learnt. The verdicts were: Bakhrom Ibrahimov and Davron Kabilov received 12 year sentences in general regime labour camps; Rovshanbek Vafoyev received a ten year general regime labour camp sentence; and Abdulaziz Dadahonov and Botyrbek Eshkuziyev each received eight year general regime labour camp sentences. Uzbek officials have refused to discuss the case with Forum 18. All five were arrested in mid-2008 by the NSS secret police on "suspicion of being sponsored by a Turkish radical religious movement Nursi." The Ezgulik human rights society stated that the defendants insisting they had violated no laws. "We want children to know the truth, to be able to tell the difference between black and white," they told the court. "But you call white black and black white." The verdict in a similar case against contributors to the Yetti Iqlim (Seven Climates)Islamic periodical is awaited. As part of the continuing crackdown on religious literature, pressure also continues on Baptists distributing literature in the street.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Open Doors: Egypt, Kenya (Direct Post)

February 25, 2009

Egyptian Law Granting Twins to Muslim to be Reviewed

In a turn of events the Egyptian Prosecutor General last week granted the mother of 14-year-old twins the right to appeal a custody decision awarding her sons to their Muslim father. The boy's father, who is a Muslim convert, was granted custody of the boys last September, contrary to Article 20 of Egypt’s Personal Status Law, which states children should remain with their mother until age 15.

Family Court decisions are not usually given recourse to the Court of Cassation, one of Egypt’s highest courts. “The Court of Cassation will pronounce a decision on the legal rule that Christian children, when one of their parents converts to Islam, should be automatically moved to the Muslim parent’s custody,” told the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) Director Hossam Bahgat to Compass News. “So it is very important in terms of changing the legal rule.”
Praise God for these turn of events and pray for the intersession of the Holy Spirit in their circumstances.
Read the full story>>

Kidnapped Nuns from Kenya are Released

Two nuns who have been held captive in Somalia since last November have been freed. Praise God!

In an early morning ambush, gunmen snatched Sister Olivero and Sister Caterina from the small north east Kenyan border town of El Wak taking them across the border into Somalia. Father Bongiovanni Franco, who worked with the sisters, told Compass that the sisters are fatigued. “Their movement from one place to another, and living in house confinement most of their stay in Mogadishu, seems to have affected their health it was like a prison cell.”

Both of the nuns have worked in Kenya since the 1970s providing much needed medical and nutritional care to malnourished children, expectant mothers and the elderly. We thank God for His protection and their safe release.
Read the full story>>
  • Pray for the Egyptian mother and her children. Pray for their witness before the Muslim community in which they serve Christ. May His light shine forth through them and touch the hearts of many. To God be the glory!
  • Pray for Sister Olivero and Sister Caterina as they recover from their incarceration. Pray for their physical and emotional healing as well as a special time of refreshing. Praise God for orchestrating their release!Pray for many Christian worldwide who suffer because of their faith in Jesus. Pray for His protection, provision and anointing as they build the church. Pray with them “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. It is better, if it is God's will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.” 1 Peter 3:15-17

Friday, February 20, 2009

Forum 18: Maldives, Serbia and Uzbekistan (Direct Post)

18 February 2009

Mohamed Nasheed's election as President of the Maldives was hailed as the dawn of a new era of democracy and freedom in the Indian Ocean country.Under former President Gayoom, the once religiously tolerant Maldives -which tended towards folk Islam - was changed into a society intolerant ofall beliefs except state-approved Sunni Islam. President Nasheed has, Forum18 News Service notes, taken no steps to dismantle the Gayoom legacy of continuing religious freedom violations. Indeed, the scope for violations has been increased by the creation of a new and powerful Ministry of Islamic Affairs. The 2008 Maldivian Constitution, inherited from the Gayoomera, also places many obstacles in the way of establishing human rights.Many Maldivians - especially secular and non-Muslim Maldivians forced to conceal their beliefs - have begun using anonymous weblogs to voice their concern over the situation. Fear of social ostracism and government punishment prevents this concern from being openly expressed. If President Nasheed does not respect all Maldivians' right to freedom of religion or belief, he will not be able to fulfil his promises to respect their human rights.* See full article below.

20 February 2009

State registration, or legal status, is difficult for "non-traditional"religious communities to gain in Serbia, Forum 18 News Service has found.This can prevent communities from, for example, employing people as clergy or other religious workers. However, although some religious communities known to Forum 18 are without legal status, this has not practically affected them. There does not appear to be a pattern in why some communities are practically affected but not others, and the Religion Ministry itself is not actively harassing unregistered organisations. Several unregistered religious communities are challenging the decision not to register them. These include the Jehovah's Witnesses, the Seventh-day Adventist Reform Movement, and the Montenegran Orthodox Church, which is not recognised by other Orthodox churches. A number of smaller communities have considered trying to register as non-governmental organisations(NGOs), but as a draft NGO Law has not been passed by Parliament it is unclear when this will be legally possible.

17 February 2009

Uzbekistan continues to attack the sharing of information and opinion in religious literature, Forum 18 News Service notes. In the most recent known cases, contributors to two Islamic religious periodicals - Irmoq (Spring)and Yetti Iqlim (Seven Climates) - are facing criminal charges, allegedly for distributing information on the Turkish Muslim theologian Said Nursi. Obiddin Makhmudov of Uzbekistan's state Agency of Press and Information told Forum 18 that "I just found out yesterday from the national TV channel that the magazine's [Irmoq's] staff are suspected of having ties with a banned religious organisation." Baptists are being punished for distributing religious literature free-of-charge, in one case being questioned for seven hours without food or water. A different Baptist has been fired from his job as an electrician, after the NSS secret police and ordinary police confiscated his religious literature from his mother-in-law's flat. Asked by Forum 18 why police raided the flat, Police Inspector Alisher Umarov claimed they were "allowed" to do passport control"anywhere and anytime."

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Open Doors: Bangladesh, Turkey, Nigeria (Direct Post)

Bangladeshi Christians Seek Justice in Church Bomb Blast

About 70 people were attending Sunday prayers at Baniarchar Catholic Church in Gopalganj, when a bomb went off killing 10 people and injuring 20 others. Anna Halder, whose son Suman Halder was killed in the 2001 bomb attack, told Compass she wants to see justice within her lifetime. “I want this government to investigate properly to find the real culprits,” she said.

With the election of a new government, the chief priest of Baniarchar Catholic Church, Father Jacob Gobbi, said he has urged officials to revive the investigation. “A completed investigation also would restore the dignity of Christians who became suspects, as police used the initial call for an investigation to detain and harass some Christians,” he said.

The Awami League-led Grand Alliance, which won a landslide victory in elections last Dec. 29, does not include Islamic fundamentalist parties and now carries with it the hope for justice.

Read the full story >>

Two More Arrested in Malatya, Turkey Murders

A Turkish court has charged two more men for instigating the murder of three Christians in Malatya in 2007: Huseyin Yelki, a former employee of the Christian publishing house where the Christians were killed, and Varol Bulent Aral, an ex-journalist suspected of ties to a group that tried to engineer a political coup.

While the plaintiff’s attorneys said they don’t believe Aral and Yelki are the masterminds themselves, they hope these two men could act as links for the investigation to go higher up the chain of command. “In my opinion, Yelki and Aral are just middle guys between the real instigators and the ‘hit-men,’” said Cengiz, representing the plaintiff lawyers. “Their inclusion into the court file has sparked hope for the first time since the case started. I hope we will be able to reach the higher links and deliver justice to them.”

Read the full story >>

Open Doors Responds to Recent Violence in Jos

Christians in Jos are traumatised by the religious riot of November 28. The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) reports that 129 Christians, including five pastors, were killed. About 45 churches were torched and looted, and more than 30,000 people were displaced during the violence.

Many Christians believe that Muslims used the recent elections as an excuse to cleanse Jos and to forcefully claim the city for Islam. “The Muslims betrayed our trust. We are trying to show them the love of Jesus Christ. We give them land. We welcome them into our houses… God knows our love for them and even after this incident we still love them. They are God’s creatures. We must pray for them,” shared Rev. John Kisa, pastor of the Evangelical Church of West Africa (ECWA Church) in Jos.

The Open Doors (OD) team in Nigeria is working around the clock to address the immediate needs of victims. OD visited injured Christians in hospitals, gave them Bibles, prayed with them and offered some assistance to cover their medical expenses. OD is planning to provide for fifty widows, including the widows of the five murdered pastors, with trauma counselling, three month’s relief aid as well as school fees for the remainder of this year. OD will also rent temporary housing for the families, while helping them reconstruct their homes. In a few informal displacement camps, OD also had a time of encouragement with Christians as hundreds of Bibles were handed out.

“This is a wonderful development! While others are thinking of physical food, you have brought us Life in its entirety. This is what we need in a time like this,” said a thankful recipient of a Bible.

Please Join in Prayer For:
  • Pray for Christians in Bangladesh, Istanbul and Nigeria seeking justice.
  • Pray they will allow God to be the author of the justice they seek.
    “I know the Lord secures justice for the poor and upholds the cause of the needy. Surely the righteous will praise Your name.” Psalm 140:12-13.
  • Pray for the authorities in these countries as they investigate and attempt to prosecute.
  • Pray their hearts will be open to the truth and that they will be willing to be used by our Father as He imparts justice.
  • Pray for the families in Jos as they rebuild their community.
  • Pray for OD’s workers as they model Christ while assisting in the rebuilding efforts.
  • Pray for divine inspiration and protection.
  • Praise God for the example of His servants and followers in the persecuted church. Pray for their courage, strength and boldness as they proclaim His name and endure the cost.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

China Aid: Chinese Attorney Being Held Hostage By Government

Gao Zhisheng Held Hostage

Gao Zhisheng, part of the ChinaAid Legal Defense Team, was kidnapped by more than a dozen police on February 4. He has not been seen or heard from since. Gao wrote an account in his own words which reveals the severe torture he suffered for more than 50 days when he was first abducted.

He wrote how he was forced to lie naked on the floor for 13 days and nights:
"The electric shock baton was put all over me. And my full body; my heart, lungs
and muscles began jumping under my skin uncontrollably. I was writhing on the
ground in pain, trying to crawl away. Wang (one of the interrogators) then
shocked me in my genitals…. Every time when I was tortured, I was always
repeatedly threatened … 'Your death is sure if you share this with the outside
Gao's family is concerned that Gao may be experiencing the same abuse now. Because of his work defending underground Christians and others persecuted in China, the Chinese government has tried to silence him since 2005. His wife and two children have also been abused, tormented and cut off from the outside world during this time.

ChinaAid calls all Christians and those who value human dignity and justice around the world to act on Gao Zhisheng’s behalf.

» Find out how.

Monday, February 16, 2009

China Aid: Shuang Shuying released; sends thanks for prayers and support

“A Letter of Thanks to the Brothers and Sisters All Over the World”
from Shuang Shuying

I am Shuang Shuying, 79 years old. Two years ago, my son Hua Huiqi (a house church pastor in Beijing) was put in jail by the Chinese police. In order to force my son to compromise his faith and betray brothers and sisters, I was sentenced to two years in prison as a hostage by the Public Security Bureau. During my imprisonment, the PSBs of Beijing came to my prison interrogating, threatening and harassing me numerous times. They even directed other prisoners to take off all of my clothes and forced me stand alone outside in the evening without letting me sleep. Seven prisoners kept watching me in turn. I was not allowed to move even when the mosquitoes bit me or I would be slapped on my face and poked in the veins on my hands. I still had wounds that were unhealed on my hands. The PSB officers even forced me to drink my own urine. They threatened me not to tell anyone about the tortures I experienced.

During these terrible circumstances, I prayed without ceasing. I asked God to give me strength. Every time when my son came to visit me and shared with me that brothers and sisters from all over the world had been praying for me, I felt greatly strengthened and empowered which has enabled me to continue to live. When I was released from jail this morning (February 8), I went to visit my hospitalized old companion (husband), who is not even able to recognize me anymore because of losing consciousness. So I sincerely plead to brothers and sisters all over the world to continue to pray for me and my husband. At the same time, I want to thank each one of you for your continuous prayers, care and support for my husband, Hua Zaichen, and me.

A branch of the Body of Christ
Shuang Shuying

The day after this letter was written, Shuang Shuying’s husband Hua Zaichen, 91, went Home to the Lord. We are grateful for the witness of this elderly couple who have laid down their lives for the Truth and for religious freedom in China. Shuang Shuying and her family continue to suffer persecution from Chinese officials. Thank you to all who are praying for this family and are providing aid for them in their hour of great trial.

Write an encouraging letter to Shuang Shuying as she rebuilds her life:

Mrs. Shuang Shuying
Room #107
Building #23
Tai Ping Qiao Xi Li
Fengtai District
Beijing, CHINA 100076

Friday, February 13, 2009

Forum 18: Armenia (Direct Post)

9 February 2009
If two draft Laws which began passage through Armenia's Parliament on 5 February are adopted, spreading one's faith would be banned, Forum 18 NewsService has learnt. Those who organise campaigns to spread their faith would face up to two years' imprisonment, while those who engage in spreading their faith would face up to one year's imprisonment or a fine of more than eight years' minimum wages. Gaining legal status would require 1,000 adult members, while Christian communities which do not accept the doctrine of the Trinity would be barred from registering. "These proposed Laws contain violations of all human rights." Russian Orthodox priest Fr. David Abrahamyan told Forum 18. Religious affairs official Vardan Astsatryan told Forum 18 the government backs the draft Laws "in general". He declined to explain why the government has not involved the OSCE in preparation of the draft Laws.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

ICC: ACTION ALERT - Sign petition for Sri Lankan Christians (Direct Post)

SRI LANKA - New attempt to enact anti-conversion law

Buddhist monks have once again introduced an anti-conversion bill to restrict conversions in Sri Lanka.

The Jathika Hela Urumaya (National Heritage Party), which is led by Buddhist monks, introduced the bill under the title "Prohibition of ForcibleConversion of Religion Bill" on Tuesday, January 6. The bill was first introduced in the Sri Lankan parliament in 2004, and was subsequently challenged in the Sri Lankan Supreme Court. The Supreme Court ruled that the bill was valid except for two clauses, and since then the bill had remained in committee after being revised in accord with the Court's ruling.

Reports indicate that the bill will be debated in parliament in February and is likely to pass. Though proponents claim that the bill would only restrict "fundamentalist" groups from using monetary rewards or coercive methods to convert people, the language is so broad that it would criminalize any form of humanitarian assistance from religious groups.

The bill is especially concerning because it is the culmination of a widespread pattern of violent attacks on Christians in Sri Lanka (see photo of a church in Sri Lanka's capital Colombo attacked in July 2008). Similar measures enacted in several Indian states such as Orissa have led to an increase in attacks on Christians. If this bill is passed, it would likely serve to legitimize anti-Christian persecution.

Here's How You Can Help

#1 Pray: The first thing you can do to help is stop right now and ask the Lord to intervene.

#2 Next,
review our petition. Sri Lankan officials are concerned about their relationship with the United States and other Western countries, so when the people shout, they will listen. We have also found that evil prefers to stay hidden and when we shine the light on it, it flees.

#3 Electronically sign the petition by
clicking here.

Print out the petition and take it to your church and have everyone you know sign it. Send it back to us so we can present it to the Sri Lankan Ambassador. Feel free to print out extra signature pages for large numbers of sign ups. When you have collected all your signatures, please mail the signature pages to :

PO Box 10277
Silver Spring, MD 20914-0277

or fax them to us (301-989-1709).

Please get them back to us by March 12.

#5 Forward this email to all your email contacts and ask them to do the same.

Sincerely in Christ,

Jeff King
President, ICC

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Open Doors: Eritrea (Direct Post)


Christians Arrested During Communion

January 28 – On January 25, security officials arrested 27 members of the Rhema Church in Assab during their Sunday worship service. The 20 men and seven women were beaten as they were taken to a local police station. More than 300 Christians have been arrested since October 2008.

President Denies Persecution

January 20 – After banning all independent Protestant churches in May 2002, President Isaias Afwerki and his government deny that religious persecution exists in Eritrea, insisting such reports are based on “false allegations, exaggeration and baseless fabrication.” However, the arrest of believers has continued unabated into 2009, bringing the total number of Christians in prisons to almost 3,000.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Forum 18: Kazakhstan (Direct Post)

3 February 2009

Kazakhstan has resumed jailing Baptists, Forum 18 News Service has learnt. Yuri Rudenko from Almaty Region was the third unregistered Baptist pastor to be jailed for three days for refusing to pay fines for unregistered worship. Baptists point out that this breaks Kazakhstan's Constitution, but officials have refused to discuss this with Forum 18. The jailing took place as Elizaveta Drenicheva, a Russian working as a missionary for the Unification Church (commonly known as the Moonies), was jailed for two years for sharing her beliefs. Other religious believers who strongly disagree with her beliefs, as well as human rights defenders, are alarmed by the jail sentence. "This is a highly dangerous precedent," one Protestant who preferred not to be identified told Forum 18. "It seems to me that any believer who preaches about sin and how to be saved from it could be convicted in the same way." Baptist churches in Akmola region have also been raided and their members questioned, and another Baptist pastor is facing the threat of jail tomorrow (4 February).

5 February 2009

Human rights defenders and religious minorities have complained to Forum 18 News Service of a "wave" of hostile media coverage of religious communities. They think this is part of a government-sponsored campaign to gain greater public acceptance of a new Law restricting freedom of thought, conscience and belief. "All these articles have one source: the KNB secret police," Ninel Fokina, head of the Almaty Helsinki Committee, told Forum 18. Told that journalists and editors had denied this to Forum 18, she responded: "Who's going to admit such coverage is ordered?" Protestants such as Seventh-day Adventists, Baptists and Pentecostals have faced media attacks along with Ahmadi Muslims, the Hare Krishna community and Jehovah's Witnesses. One of many examples of media intolerance is four separate newspapers publishing an identical article attacking the Jehovah's Witnesses. One of the newspapers credited the article to a named former Jehovah's Witness, one credited a different author, and two of the newspapers credited KNB secret police offices in different Kazakh regions.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Open Doors: Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Gaza (Direct Post)

Saudi Arabian Authorities Arrest Christian Convert

Saudi authorities have reportedly arrested a 28-year-old Christian man for describing his conversion and criticizing the kingdom’s judiciary on his website. On Jan. 13, Saudi police arrested Hamoud Bin Saleh “because of his testimony that he converted from Islam to Christianity,” according to the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI). Bin Saleh, who had been detained for nine months in 2004 and again for a month last November, was reportedly being held in Riyadh’s Eleisha prison.His journey to Christ began after witnessing the public beheading of three Pakistanis convicted of drug charges. Shaken, he began an extensive study of Islamic history and law, as well as Saudi justice. His research led him to an exploration of other faiths and of the Bible. After reading how Jesus forgave rather than stoned a woman condemned for adultery, Bin Saleh prayed to receive Christ as his Savior. According to Compass Direct News Bin Saleh encouraged others to “just look and ask for the light of God.”

Please pray for those living in darkness, that they too will seek the “light” of Jesus.

Read the full report>>

Egyptian Christians Sent to Prison

On Jan. 22 a judge sentenced six Christian brothers to three years in prison with hard labor for resisting arrest and assaulting authorities.

Last September, police officers raided a café in Port Sa’id, because they were open for business during Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting. When they tried to defend their café, the brothers were arrested and charged with resisting arrest and assaulting authorities.

There is no law in Egypt under which the brothers could be prosecuted for opening their café during Ramadan. “Police did not want to see people eating during Ramadan. This is unfair, because whatever people’s beliefs are, the law is something else and they should not be mixed,” said Ramses el-Nagar, the Christians’ lawyer. “We would like to see Egypt free and treating all citizens equally.”

Read the full report>>

In a separate Compass Direct News report, Martha Samuel Makkar, who was arrested at Cairo’s airport last December for carrying forged identification documents, was granted bail on Jan. 24th. In the documents it listed her religion as Christian. Makkar explained in court her reasons for conversion, avowing her Christian faith and repudiating the judge’s claims that converting from Islam to Christianity was impossible.

Bail was granted to Makkar only after the judge took her aside and threatened her saying “Nobody changes from Muslim to Christian you are a Muslim.” She replied, “No, I am a Christian.” Judge Tawfiq then said, “If I had a knife now, I would kill you.” Praise God he gave the decision to let her go free.

Read the full report>>

Relief for Gaza -Update Report

The Bible Societies in Israel and Palestinian Areas launched a joint initiative called “Standing in the Gap,” offering practical as well as spiritual relief for the suffering Gazan people. Open Doors is co-supporting a part of the program which is called “Love your Neighbor/Comfort my People.” It is not for Christian families only but also will be used in reaching out to Muslim neighbors in Gaza.

Working through several churches and organizations in Gaza they are trying to reach the neediest by setting a criteria of priority. Included in this aid program is help for 50 Christian families who fled Gaza and have found refuge in the West Bank. John Fox, an Open Doors fieldworker says: “We are very grateful for this great program and are happy to be able to co-support this initiative.”

Please Join in Prayer for:
  • Divinely inspired compassion and justness for Bin Saleh in Saudi Arabia and all who will be deciding his fate. “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy… Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:7, 10
  • Thanksgiving to God for the boldness and courage of Christians like Bin Saleh and Martha Makkar to speak forth His truth in love without fear of consequence. “…But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1Cor 15:57
  • The Egyptians brothers who have been unjustly accused and sentenced to prison. Pray for all Christians persecuted because of righteousness. Pray they are strengthened and encouraged daily.
  • Love and mercy to prevail in Gaza. Pray that the humanitarian efforts will provide much needed relief and that it will pave a way for them to receive hope for salvation in Jesus Christ.

Open Doors provides the 2009 World Watch list

Open Doors today announced their 2009 World Watch list of the countries who have been the worst when it comes to persecuting Christians among their citizens. Once again, the primary position of shame belongs to North Korea.

You can download a copy of the report here and get educated on where things stand in the world. There's also an e-card function that lets you e-mail a copy to some else.

Let's let people know where things stand.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Open Doors: Iran, Pakistan (Direct Post)

Three Iranian Christians Arrested from Homes in Tehran

Jamal Ghalishorani, his wife Nadereh Jamali, and Hamik Khachikian were arrested on January 21st and are being held without charges by Iranian authorities. These Christians were taken from their homes in the early morning. Their families have not been notified as to where they have been taken or how they will be charged, according to a Compass Direct News report. Arrests and pressure on Christians from authorities have ramped up even further in the past few months, the source said.

“We are quite sure that these arrests are part of a bigger operation from the government. Maybe up to 50 people were arrested. In Tehran alone already some 10 people were arrested all on the same day.”

The arrests are particularly disturbing in light of the Iranian parliament’s approval last September of a new penal code calling for a mandatory death sentence for “apostates,” or anyone who leaves Islam for another faith (i.e. followers of Jesus Christ). Under the new penal code, male “apostates” would be executed, while females would receive life sentences.

Read the full story>>

Pakistani Christians Acquitted in ‘Blasphemy’ Case

This is a historic victory for Christians in Pakistan … the first victory of its kind, according to Compass Direct News.

“This case can set a precedent for future blasphemy cases against Christians,” stated Shahzad Kamran, a case worker for SLMP (Sharing Life Ministries Pakistan). SLMP advocated for the men through reconciliation meetings with local Islamic leaders.

Nearly two years ago in March of 2007, during a religious holiday celebrating Muhammad’s birthday, Salamat Masih, his son Rashid, Ishfaq, Saba and Dao Masih were arrested and charged with “blasphemy” against Islam. Join us today in thanksgiving for the news of their release.

“This is a wonderful sign that has made history,” said Shahzad Kamran. The Islamic clergymen agreed to issue a fatwa (religious edict) declaring the accused men innocent of blasphemy. The Muslim witnesses in the case withdrew their testimony and the five Christian men were acquitted. “The cleric said he would do it because he did not want to bring harm and injustice to the community.”

Read the full story>>

Please Pray for:

  • Pray for persecuted Christians in Iran, Pakistan and all over the globe to be encouraged and strengthened as they give their all in service for Christ.
  • Pray for the families of the three Christians arrested in Iran.
  • Pray for their comfort and for the intercession of the Holy Spirit for all of their needs.
  • Thank our heavenly Father for the example that Islamic clerics recently set in Pakistan.
  • Pray that their heart for peace and justice will serve as an example to the entire Muslim community.
  • Pray that all Christians wrongfully accused of "blasphemy" will be the beneficiaries of this new precedent of reconciliation at the local level between Islamic leaders and Christian organizations.
  • Pray for open hearts, open minds, and a new beginning of revelation in Christ through reconciliation.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Open Doors: Pakistan, Eritrea (Direct Post)

Young Pakistani Sisters Returned Home
The ordeal of two teenage Christian sisters in Pakistan is over, but difficult times still loom ahead. Parvisha Masih, 18, and Sanam Masih, 14, who were kidnapped and assaulted last November, said “We are happy to return to the family, but we are feeling ashamed because there is no respect for us in society now.” In addition, these young girls face a long legal battle that will inevitably bring them into contact with their captors. “We feel very afraid, and we are still receiving threats,” Parvisha Masih told Compass Direct News. “I don’t ever want to see those men again.”

According to Javaid, a Pakistani member of parliament based in Karachi, Christian girls from poor families make easy targets, and many cases go undocumented. High legal fees often make it impossible for poor families to bring a case to court. On top of this, a biased legal system that favors Muslims over Christians is particularly reluctant to pass judgments that would undermine conversion to Islam.

This is the second known case of its kind in recent months. Saba and Aneela Masih underwent a similar ordeal last July, and although 10-year-old Aneela has been returned to her family, her 13-year-old sister, forced to marry one of the men who kidnapped her, remains with her captors. Read more

Dark Month for the Church in Eritrea
In early January, Open Doors learned of the death of two Christians under the harsh conditions in the Mitire Military Confinement. Mogos Hagos Kiflom (37) died as the alleged result of the continued physical torture he endured for his refusal to recant his faith. Mehari Gebreneguse Asgedom (42) died in solitary confinement. Sources say he died as a result of ongoing physical torture and complications from diabetes.

These deaths came amid the government’s continued campaign against Christians across the country. Late November, 34 members of the Kale-Hiwot Church in Dekemhare were arrested. Shortly before Christmas, at least 49 key leaders of underground churches in Asmara were rounded up over a two week period. The government arrested 15 members of the Kale-Hiwot Church in Keren on January 11 and around the same time closed down a printing press while arresting the owner. Read the full report on the events in Eritrea.

Please Join In Prayer For:
  • Parvisha and Sanam in Pakistan. Pray for God’s strength to help them endure judgment and criticism from their community.
  • Pray also for their family as they bravely stand alongside them.
  • Pray for Saba and Aneela.
  • Pray for Saba to be supernaturally protected from the mistreatment by her captors.
  • Pray for young girls in Pakistan and other parts of the world who face similar fears. “I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.” Psalm 34:4
  • The passing of our brothers Mogos and Mehari in Eritrea. “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His saints.” Psalm 116:15
  • The many Christians in Eritrea that they feel God’s mighty presence.
  • Pray for Him to protect and comfort them that “We may boldly say: The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” Hebrews 13:6.

Open Doors: Egypt, Bangladesh (Direct Post)

Egyptian Wins Rare Legal Victory to Revert to Christianity
Fathi Labib Yousef, who had long ago converted to Christianity, spent 31 years officially identified as a Muslim but has now won a rare legal victory to be officially registered in his “new” faith. According to Compass Direct News*, changing one’s official religious identity from Islam to any other religion in Egypt is extremely difficult. Religious reversion cases are difficult to win, but it is far more difficult for Muslim-born converts to Christianity to officially change their religious status. Read more about Yousef’s case on our website.

Bangladeshi Muslims Threaten Pastor for Evangelizing
A Christian pastor in Meherpur district suffers continued torture and harassment at the hands of 4,000 Muslims. Jhontu Biswas, 31, said residents of Fulbaria town accused him of misleading Muslims by distributing Christian booklets. They confronted him on Dec. 9 as they gathered for the Islamic Eid al-Adha festival of sacrifice. “They also accused me of converting poor people by offering money,” said Biswas. “They called several local journalists in that massive assembly to publish news against me and my activities. They took my photograph and interviewed me but did not publish anything in their respective newspapers.”

Biswas denied the accusations against him, and the Muslims threatened to harm him and others who converted from Islam to Christianity. Read more on the continual persecution Biswas endures for his faith.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Mexican Church Facing Lawsuit for Speaking Out - OneNewsNow (Direct Post)

Charlie Potts
OneNewsNow (1/24/09)

Mexican socialists are threatening the Catholic Church for opposing abortion, homosexual "marriage," and euthanasia. Mexico's Social Democratic Party members say they will file suit if the church does not keep quiet.

Dr. Gary Cass of the
Christian Anti-Defamation Commission says the socialists are practicing humanist religion. "So it's just basically an example of one religion trying to lord over another religion, and it's a violation of any sense of equity and fairness," he explains. Cass adds that the church cannot afford to be intimidated into submission. "The church has a responsibility to God to speak to all issues as it pertains to our values: our family values, our corporate values, the activities of the church," he notes. He says a good example is John the Baptist "who spoke out against Herod because of living in open adultery." "It cost John the Baptist his head," Cass points out.

Free Shuang Shuying - China Aid (Direct Post)

Free Shuang Shuying

Shuang Shuying, a 79-year-old Christian grandmother, has been imprisoned by the Chinese government for almost two years, because of her family's work helping the poor and oppressed. Read more.

She has become extremely thin and fragile and her health is deteriorating from the harsh conditions, almost to the point of death during the past two years in prison. However, the greatest injustice is that her husband Hua Zaichen, 90, is dying and authorities have denied her a last visit with him even though her prison sentence ends February 8.

Government officials mock Shuang Shuying’s desperate longing to see her husband. They have told her that if he dies, they will escort her in prison uniform, handcuffed and shackled, to see his body for 10 minutes.

You can bring aid to this family as Shuang Shuying’s husband struggles daily to stay alive in the hope he might see his wife before he dies. Will you let your voice be heard on behalf of this elderly couple who have laid down their lives to serve others?

» Two ways you can act now to bring justice.