21 March 2011

Prayers for the Persecuted (3/21/11)

3/17/2011 Ethiopia (ICC) Ethiopian Muslim Group Says More Attacks Against Christians Are Coming-
After a string of coordinated attacks on Ethiopian Christians, Muslims announced through loudspeakers that this attack is only the beginning and should be viewed as only a warning to the Christians.

On March 18, 2011 armed Muslims entered the home of an elderly Christian leader who founded a church near the town of Asendabo. When the militants began to assault the church leader, his grandson rushed to intervene, screaming at the men to leave his grandfather. The Islamists turned their attention to the young man. He sustained three wounds to his head and one on his hand before the men proceeded to rob the home and leave the young man for dead. His family was forced to make a three-hour journey on foot to take to a hospital in a nearby city, where he is still receiving treatment.

Muslims in the area have threatened that more attacks are coming and more Christians will be killed in the future attacks. Full Story
Pray that the Christians in this area remain steadfast and strong in their faith in Christ.
Pray the Muslim community sees the love of Christ displayed among the Christians and that their hearts will be changed towards worshiping Christ through their display.
Pray for the comfort of those who have been attacked and persecuted as a result of their faith.

3/17/2011 China (ChinaAid) Letter from Underground Chinese Church After Raid-
"The officials wouldn't listen to us and continued to hit the people with their batons. Everything was turned upside down and it was a scene of chaos! The officials handcuffed many people by force, and beat anybody who talked. Right on the spot, they destroyed any evidence of their illegal law enforcement (video and audio recording). Many camcorders, cameras, and cell phones were confiscated by force and destroyed. Are we supposed to believe that these law enforcement officers of our Party and our state are called people's police? How can people's police beat the people like this?"

These are the words of the Chinese underground church who issued a letter following an attack on a group studying the laws on religious affairs in China. Nearly 100 riot police officers and 80 plainclothes people burst into the home and burst into a violent attack on the believers in the house. Full Story
Pray for China as the persecution against the Christian population still continues.
Pray for the hearts of the Chinese people, as the numbers of those coming to know Christ increase daily. Pray that the Gospel continues to spread throughout the country despite fierce opposition.
Pray for the comfort and healing of those injured in these raids.

3/17/2011 Egypt (ChristianToday) - Coptic Christians Attacked by Egyptian Military After Suspending Demonstrations-
Dozens of Christian demonstrators have been attacked by Egyptian Armed Forces despite agreeing to suspend a sit-in protest outside the state-run television building that lasted 9 days.

The Coptic protestors came under fire on Monday, as the youth cleaned up the site and families from other provinces packed up their belongings, according to the Assyrian International News Agency.

Dr. Gameel Ebeid of the Coptic hospital in Cairo treated 15 victims of the assault, 14 of which suffered from broken feet and head wounds caused by electrified batons. Full Story

Pray for Egypt as the instability of the country over the past year has taken its toll on the Christian community there.
Pray for the future Egyptian government as there is deep concern over the future tolerance of the Christian church in Egypt.
Pray for the acting government as they appear to have taken a hard stance against the Christian population.

3/17/11 Pakistan (UCA) Asia Bibi Fears She's Next, After Pakistani Minister's Slaying-
Speaking from her prison cell, Asia Bibi has voiced her "pain and concern" following the assasination of Minister Shahbaz Bhatti in Pakistan. Bibi compared Bhatti to slain Punjab governor Salman Taseer, who defended her publicly "and paid with his life," her lawyer told Fides news agency.

Posters have appeared inside the jail showing images of Taseer and Bhatti with a large question mark and the threatening phrase: "Who will be next?" Full Report.
Pray that Asia remains reassured of God's sovereignty and grace in this situation, as some hope was lost with the assasinations of those who have supported her.
Pray that Asia may be released from prison and that she will be protected from militants who are passionate about seeing her punished for allegedly blaspheming Allah.
Pray for Asia's family as they have had to endure this grueling and heartwrenching situation.

3/16/2011 North Korea (ChristianToday) Campaign to End Persecution of Christians in North Korea-
Release International has launched a new campaign calling upon North Korea to protect the human rights of Christians.

The One Day campaign is asking people to sign a petition calling for religious freedom in the reclusive communist country, where all forms of Christian meeting, literature and Bibles are forbidden.

As one of the worst persecutors of Christians in the world, believers there are frequently detained, tortured and sent to labour camps because of their faith.

Entire families have been known to have been imprisoned beacuse one member of the family was found to be a Christian or in possession of a Bible. Full Story
Pray for the desperate situation in North Korea, as both intense persecution and hunger have become the norm in the country.
Pray for the North Korean government and that God would soften their hearts towards Christians.
Pray for the church in North Korea and that it will continue to grow despite what appear to be overwhelming odds.

3/18/2011 Iran (ChristianToday) Iranian News Website Suspended After Reporting Burning of New Testaments-
Mohabat News, the only active news agency inside Iran that reported on the recent mass arrests of Christians in the country, was suddenly suspended today. It is unclear why the website has been disabled, however in the past authorities have been known to shut down websites run by human rights groups and critics of the regime under the guise of defending the nation against "cyber warfare"

In recent months, a staff member of Mohabat News was allegedly threatened via an email from the Revolutionary Guard, which stated that he and his family would be targeted, and "bad things" would happen to them as a result of Mohabat's output.

The suspension came the day after the agency reported the seizure and burning of 600 New Testaments by authorities in western Iran on February 7, 2011. Full Story
Pray that Gospel continues to spread as much as it has in Iran. Nearly 300 Christians have been arrested in 34 cities in Iran since June 2010, yet the Gospel continues to spread and the church is growing.
Pray that although the New Testaments may have been burned, that the Word of God will continue to be distributed throughout the country and that God's Word will "not return void to Him."
Pray for the Mohabat News Agency as they have been the sole voice of the persecuted church within in Iran.

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