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.

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