05 January 2010

Weekly prayers for the persecuted church

12/22/09 Israel (ReligionNewsService) Israel's Messianic Jews Wary of Stepped-Up Persecution- Last year, a teenage boy was nearly killed when an Orthodox Jew placed a bomb disguised as a holiday gift basket in the stairwell of a Messianic Jewish family in Israel. The attack left then 15-year-old Ami with shrapnel wounds and burns over most of his body. Teitel, the attacker, confessed to leaving the package there because he knew the family believed in Jesus as the Messiah. Now, members of the community are concerned that this kind of persecution may continue to intensify as it has in recent years due to the growing activity and confidence of anti-missionary groups who routinely hold protests outside of Messianic places of worship. Full Story.

Pray that Ami and his family would find justice as well as mercy for their attacker.
Pray that the number of Messianic believers in Israel would continue to grow in spite of persecution and draw Israel to the truth of their Messiah.

For more general information, please go to ICC's website.

12/23/09 Indonesia (ICC) Indonesian Churches Demolished by Mob- International Christian Concern has learned that two church buildings were destroyed by Muslim mobs in December. The first church was attacked on December 17th by a mob of over 1000 Muslim men, women and children who threw rocks at the church and then proceeded to ignite the church building using kerosene. Previously, on December 6th, an Indonesian news source reported that a crowd "destroyed tiles, removed the windows, and then burned the church." Fortunately, no one was injured in either of the attacks. Full Story.

Pray for the body of believers in Indonesia to take a stand for Jesus in the midst of rising persecution.
Pray that the Father would begin to draw Muslims in the region to Himself.

For more general information, please go to ICC's website on Indonesia.

12/23/09 Egypt (AINA) Forced Islamization of Christian Girls Supported by Egyptian State- A Christian TV channel that broadcasts intro Egypt has helped to expose the "phenomenon of abduction, rape and forced Islamization of Christian girls in Egypt." Many women who have been victims of these crimes shared their testimonies when the program aired in November. One of the testimonies shared was that of a 16-year-old girl who was abducted at the age of 12 on her way to school. She reported being taken into a room a raped by five men on the first night of her abduction. Over the next month, she said that over 50 men had raped her. When she was finally found by her father and brought back home to report the crime, she was beaten by security officers and ordered to claim that she ran away from home. The girl sobbed during her testimony, saying, "Until today they have done nothing about it and will not do anything because I am a Christian." Full Story.

Pray that the Father would continue to bring comfort and complete healing to the victims of these crimes.

Pray that the Father would see that justice is achieved in each of these cases.

For more general information, please go to ICC's website on Egypt.

12/27/09 Iran (FCNN) The Arrest and Unknown Condition of a Christian Iranian in Mashhad- A Farsi News Network has reported that Iranian security officials broke into the home of a Christian woman in Mashhad on the morning of December 18th. The officials arrested the woman, Hamideh Najafi, after having thoroughly searched her home. Her location remains unknown. Security officers claim that officials seized some of Hamideh's belongings, including books, CDs, and hand painted portraits of Jesus Christ. The officers said that the existence of the painting could be enough to convict her in court.
Full Story.

Pray for Hamideh's safety and her witness for Christ.
Pray that Hamideh's husband would have success in locating his wife.

For more general information, please go to ICC's website on Iran.

12/27/09 Palestinian Territory (Examiner) Persecution of Christians in Palestinian Authority- Persecution of Christians continues in Gaza. One Christian man, Yusuf Khoury, was forced to flee Gaza after Hamas men attempted to capture him twice. After Hamas took over Gaza, the owner of the only Christian bookstore in the region was abducted and murdered. Christian stores and schools were firebombed. Unfortunately, the Western media largely ignores the plight of Christians in the Palestinian territory. Full Story.

Pray for the Father to grant strength and courage to the Christians living in Palestinian territories.
Pray that the church would be stirred to pray and act for this often forgotten body of believers.

For more general information, please go to ICC’s website on Palestine.

12/28/09 Nigeria (CNSNews.com) Bombing Attempt Puts Nigeria in Spotlight- The growth of radical Islam in Nigeria is responsible for producing extremists like Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab, the suspect in the recent bombing attempt on a flight bound for America. Islamic extremism in Nigeria has also resulted in violence against Christians in northern Nigeria. Hundreds were killed in July when security forces clashed with members of the radical Islamic group Boko Haram. The Christian Association of Nigeria has said that "the incessant call for jihad in this country ... is becoming louder with the passing of each day." Full Story.

Pray that the Father would thwart and frustrate every effort of the Islamic extremist group Boko Haram to advance and exterminate the Church in Nigeria.

Pray that the Christians in Nigeria would be bold in their witness for the gospel in the face of persecution.

For more general information, please go to ICC’s website on Nigeria.

12/30/09 UN (ANS) Progress Made After UN Vote- Though the United Nations did pass the Defamation of Religion Resolution for the fifth year in a row on Friday, December 18, support for the resolution has eroded significantly. Western countries are continuing to recognize that the resolution threatens freedom of speech, especially for Christians in Muslim majority nations. The resolution would criminalize actions or even words that offend a particular religion. The only religion specifically mentioned in the resolution, though its assumed to apply to any religion, is Islam. The Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) is the driving forced behind the Defamation of Religions Resolution and is already being used to silence minority religions. Full Story.

Pray that support would continue to erode for the resolution as the tragic realities of its use are exposed.

Pray that efforts to utilize this resolution for evil would fail.

For more general information, please go to ICC’s website.

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