11 October 2007

Voice of the Martyrs update--10/9/07

Prayers for October 9, 2007
From The Voice of the Martyrs.


UPDATE: Imprisoned Baptist Pastor's Appeal Rejected - Forum 18 News
On October 3, the Sheki Appeal Court in Azerbaijan rejected Pastor Zaur Baleav's appeal to have his two-year prison sentence overturned. According to Forum 18 News Service, the head of the Baptist Union, Ilya Zenchenko, said, "We are stunned at the result the court handed down. We don't know what to do. It is a tragedy for his wife and children. It was all over in two minutes. Zaur's son is distressed, complaining that there is no hope and no law in Azerbaijan. He is very young, but his emotional reaction is understandable." Pray the Holy Spirit encourages Pastor Balaev, his family and believers in Azerbaijan. Ask God to use his testimony to draw non-believers into fellowship with Him. Hebrews 13:5,6; Isaiah 54:17


Christians in Northern Nigeria Threatened and Forced Underground - Compass Direct News
Death threats and other dangers have driven most of the Muslim-background members of a church in Northern Nigeria underground. However, three members have remained. According to Compass Direct News, "Of the 25 converts who formed a church in the northeastern state of Borno two years ago, only three remain. Still while worshipping separately in towns where they reside, once a month the converts brave the threats of Islamic extremists and family members to return to Maiduguri to secretly pray and praise together." Rev. Titus Doma Pona, the founder and pastor of an underground fellowship in Northern Nigeria, told Compass, "The venue and time is agreed among themselves, and the venue is also changed every meeting, so that they are not attacked.". These recent reports of persecution in Northern Nigeria reflect the trials believers endure. Churches have been burned and the abduction and forcible conversion of teenagers by Muslims has become common. Pray for Nigerian Christians who face death, destruction and hatred for their faith in Jesus Christ. Psalm 91; 2 Timothy 1:7


Alleged Instigators Named in Malatya Murder; Christians Called to Pray - Compass Direct News
The Turkish media recently discovered an e-mail message sent to Turkish Christian leaders in June, revealing the names of Malatya officials who allegedly plotted to murder three Christians in April. The leaders have submitted the letter to the Malatya prosecutor's office. According to Compass Direct News, "The Firat News Agency (ANF) reported on September 18 that an anonymous e-mail message signed รข€˜A.A.' had named a colonel in the Malatya gendarmerie along with an Islamic faculty member, as the instigators of the plot to kill three Christians. The ANF article identified the officer as Mehmet Ulger, but gave only the initials of several others. A September 19 article in Birgun newspaper, however, listed the name of the faulty member as Ruhi Babat. It also identified a member of parliament from Malatya, one military commander and another suspect, claiming that the murder conspiracy had been planned for four or five months in advance." Meanwhile, Christian leaders in Turkey have called on Christian congregations to designate each Thursday for prayer and fasting, praying for the upcoming trial and for other cases in Turkish courts dealing with the rights and freedoms of Christians. Pray God gives Christians in Turkey boldness to stand for Him, and for the Holy Spirit to touch the lives of all those who were involved in the martyrdom of these believers and the persecution of Christians. Isaiah 26:3, Psalm 27:1


Two House Church Leaders under House Arrest - China Aid Association
On October 1, the Chinese government placed two house church leaders, Hua Huiqi and Liu Fenggang, under house arrest. According to China Aid Association (CAA), "Each of their houses has been surrounded by two dozen police. Some Public Security Bureau (PSB) officers were even staged on top of Pastor Hua's roof in order to prevent anyone from coming in or going out. On October 3, eight PSB officers broke Hua and his wife's bedroom windows, and then cut off the electricity to their house." Hua Huiqi was released from prison in July after serving six months, while Liu Fenggang was released in February after three years in prison. Meanwhile, Hua Huiqi's 77-year-old mother, Shuang Shuying, is serving a two-year sentence. According to CAA, Shuang Shuying was recently beaten severely, received no medical care; she is now dying in her prison cell. Pray for Christians in China who face increased persecution ahead of the 2008 Olympics. Pray God encourages and heals Shuang Shuying in prison. Romans 8:11, Exodus 15:26

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