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.