15 November 2007

Voice of the Martyrs update--11/15/07

Prayers for November 15, 2007
From The Voice of the Martyrs.


Christians Acquitted of Charges of "Insulting Islam" - Compass Direct News
On November 5, Adel Fawzy Faltas, the Egyptian leader of the Middle East Christian Association, and Peter Azzat, an associate, were acquitted of charges of "insulting Islam." They were also released from prison after being held three months. According to Compass Direct News, journalists, lawyers, clergyman, family and friends gathered at Faltas' home to celebrate the acquittal and release. "Faltas, 61, and Peter Ezzat, 25, had been held on unsubstantiated charges of insulting Islam and tarnishing Egypt's reputation abroad. Charges without evidence against Faltas and Ezzat included insulting Islam, posing a threat to national security and tarnishing Egypt's reputation abroad," Compass said. Compass reported Faltas said, "I was always a free man. When you respect yourself and what you are doing, then you are free." According to the report, "Faltas recounted how 30 State Security Investigation officers and plain clothes policeman had raided his house at 2:30 p.m. on August 8. He said the most difficult part of the ordeal was spending the first 14 days in an isolation cell 1.75 meters in length and three-quarters of a meter in width with no seat." Praise God for the release of Faltas and Azzat. Pray for Christians in Egypt to remain faithful in their relationship with Jesus Christ despite being treated as second-class citizens. Psalm 91, Romans 8:31


Christian Couple Sentenced to be Whipped - Farsi Christian News Network
In July 2007, an Iranian Christian couple was sentenced by the Justice Court of Revolution to be whipped, two years after they were accused of attending a house church. According to Farsi Christian News Network (FCNN), "The couple was arrested on September 21, 2005, by government agents. They had gathered in a house, in a town northwest of Tehran (gohar dasht) for their regular prayer and devotional time." The FCNN reported, the woman was born into a Christian Assyrian-Iranian family, while the man converted to Christianity long before their marriage. Following the arrest in 2005, the couple was required to check in with authorities on a regular basis until the court decided their punishment. FCNN reported that on one occasion when the wife met with authorities, she was abused and decided not to return. According to FCNN, "After a few days, in September 2007, two female and four male agents went to this couple's house and showed them a letter from the court saying they should execute the sentence of whipping right there in their house. This couple is under high mental pressure right now." The Voice of the Martyrs is providing assistance to this couple. Pray for this couple and Christians in Iran who face great challenges because of their faith in Jesus Christ. Ask that the Holy Spirit will give them peace, health and protection during this difficult time. Psalm 23; 2 Timothy 1:7


Malatya Murder Trial Date Set - Compass Direct News
Malatya's Third Criminal Court has set November 23 to open the trial of the confessed murderers of Turkish Christians, Necati Aydin and Ugur Yuksel, and a German Christian, Tilmann Geske. The three Protestant Christians were tortured and killed by having their throats cut on April 18 of this year in the Zirve Publishing Company's office in the southern province of Malatya. Last week, all news about the pending trial in the Turkish press sensationalized justifications the killers offered for their crimes while under police interrogation, including far-fetched allegations against the victims. "It is clear from these statements of the suspects that there is some group of powerful influence behind them," spokesperson Isa Karatas of the Alliance of Protestant Churches in Turkey told Compass. "These people want to portray Turkey's Protestants as enemies of the nation." Pray for justice in this case, but most importantly that the testimonies of the martyrs will draw nonbelievers into the full knowledge of Jesus Christ. Pray for the families of the slain believers. Psalm 119:105, Isaiah 26:3

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