31 January 2012

Prayer for the Persecuted Church (1/31/2012)

1/22/2012 Indonesia (The Jakarta Post) GKI Yasmin Services Disrupted Again-
A crowd of Muslim hard-liners disrupted about 100 members of the GKI Yasmin congregation as they held divine services at a member's home in Bogor, West Java on Sunday.

"We were conducting our worship at one member's home before people from Forkami and Garis came to our place," GKI Yasmin spokeswoman Dwiati Novita Rini told The Jakarta Post over the telephone on Sunday.

The congregation resisted efforts by about 50 Public Order Agency (Satpol PP) officers to stop their service, Dwiati said.

"The Satpol PP came around 9 a.m. and were trying to stop our activity because they didn't want any clashes to happen. [House of Representatives member] Lily Wahid was negotiating with one of the Satpol PP officers and the congregation could continue worship," she said.

The congregation completed their service peacefully around 10 a.m. and the demonstrators from Forkami and Garis left the congregation member's home around 11 a.m, Dwiati added.

The Bogor City administration, citing permit application problems, has barred the congregation from from conducting religious services for more than two years, defying a 2010 Supreme Court ruling guaranteeing the congregation's right to hold services at its church building.

Pray that God will place a hedge of protection around the saints in Indonesia and that the evil plans of the Islamic radicals will be blocked.
Pray that the Bogor City administration will have a radical change in heart and policy so that it will uphold a 2010 Supreme Court ruling guaranteeing the congregation's right to hold services at its church building.
Pray that the believers will know the presence and peace of Jesus along with the daily guiding wisdom of the Holy Spirit.
Pray for the Gospel of Salvation to be proclaimed with the anticipation of Muslims receiving Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior.
1/23/2012 Iran (MNN) Raido is Helping Iranian Believers-
Iran ranks #5 on the Open Doors World Watch List 2012 -- a listing of the worst 50 countries known for their persecution of Christians. In spite of the overt hostility against believers, a change has been felt. With the Arab Spring and the recent revolution, it is clear that younger Iranians are actively seeking alternatives to Islam. Muslims in Iran are more open to the Gospel than ever before. New believers face persecution, arrest, and execution because of their faith in the Lord.

Christians know any effort to express their faith can heighten the risk that Islamic authorities might learn of their Christian activities. Words of Hope shares a recent story of "R" and his wife "S," regular listeners to their Farsi Gospel broadcasts.

When authorities learned of their house church activities, "R" and "S" were arrested. After weeks of interrogation, they were released on bail. In a letter to the Words of Hope Iranian team leader, "R" and "S" testified that their understanding of God's Word had been crucial to their perseverance: "We want to praise God for your prayers. While we were in jail, we often thought about you and felt assured that in every situation God is using us. We believe that if we Iranians hear the true teaching of Jesus Christ, by the grace of God we will be able to stand firm in our faith no matter what trials and tribulations come. Jesus is building His Church in Iran."

Encouraged and emboldened by the responses they're getting, the team continues to advance the Gospel in Iran despite the severe restrictions imposed by the Islamic authorities.

One listener wrote, "What the Lord is doing in Iran today is nothing short of a spiritual awakening." Pray for the church in Iran.

Praise that the Christians are encouraged and emboldened to continue to advance the Gospel in Iran despite the severe restrictions imposed by the Islamic authorities.
Praise that the Muslims in Iran are more open to the Gospel than ever before.
Pray that the new believers will stay unwavering in their Christian faith as they face persecution, arrest, and execution because of their faith.
1/24/2012 Saudi Arabia (ICC) Saudi Arabian Officals Assault, Strip Search Christian Prisoners-
International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that Saudi Arabian officials strip searched 29 Christian women and assaulted six Christian men after arresting them for holding a prayer meeting at a private home in Jeddah. The prisoners are currently being held at Briman prison in Jeddah.

"We feel humiliated because the security officials stripped searched us. They used the same glove to search several of us at the same time. Some of my friends are suffering from physical pain to their private parts due to the unsanitary condition of the strip search. We haven't committed any crime. We are imprisoned for worshipping the God of heaven and earth," said one of the female prisoners during an interview with ICC.

In a message for Christians around the world, the prisoner said, "We want you to help us to get out of prison in every way you can, including prayer. Please tell your governments about our plight, contact human rights organizations and others and inform them about us."
Please sign the petition on our asking the Saudi Arabian government to release the Christian prisoners. Call the Saudi Arabian Embassy in your country and ask them to release the prisoners.

United States:             (+1) 202 342 3800      
Canada:             (+1) 613 237 4100      
United Kingdom:             (+44) 207 9173-000      
Australia:             (+61) 2 6250 7000      
Germany:             (+49) 30 88 92 50      
France:             (+33) 1 56 79 4000      

Pray that the Saudi officials will release the prisoners and respect their religious freedoms.
Pray that the Christian believers will unwaveringly continue to worship and serve the Lord.
Pray that all the officials and Muslims that are involved with the ongoing heinous persecution will learn about Jesus' love and choose to follow Him as their personal Savior.
Pray that the international community, including Congress and the State Department, will rally and cry out for the persecution of believers to immediately cease.
1/24/2012 Nigeria (CDN) Seven Christians Killed in Bauchi State, Nigeria-Many Injured, Church Building Destroyed-
 Early morning attacks in Tafawa Balewa, Bauchi state on Sunday (Jan. 22) left at least seven Christians dead and a church building destroyed.

The attack on the Evangelical Church Winning All Church 2, residents of Tafawa Balewa said, was carried out by area Islamic extremists alongside members of the Boko Haram sect, with the church building and surrounding houses bombed. Yunnana Yusufu, a pastor with the Church of Christ in Nigeria in Tafawa Balewa, told Compass that the assailants arrived in the early morning hours and began shooting at Christians in the town. Yusufu said that many other Christians were injured.

Bauchi Police Commissioner Ikechukwu Aduba reportedly confirmed the attack on Tafawa Balewa, saying two soldiers and a policeman, as well as eight civilians were later killed in a gunfight. He added that six suspects had been arrested.

Bukata Zhadi, secretary of the Christian Elders Council in Tafawa Balewa, said attacks on Christian communities in the area have been incessant, with Sunday's attack bringing to 10 the number of Christians killed in the past two weeks in Tafawa Balewa.
Pray that those who have lost loved ones via the brutally inflicted murders by Islamic extremists will receive the nurture and love of Christ and that they will also not become embittered.
Pray that the Nigerian Muslims will realize the deception in the Quran and will personally receive salvation from their sins through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Pray that the Lord will thwart all hostile plans by the Islamic radicals against Christians.
1/25/2012 Sudan (CDN) Two Catholic Priests Kidnapped in Sudan-

South Sudanese militia loyal to Sudan's Islamic government have kidnapped two Catholic priests in Rabak, Christian sources said.

A large truck smashed through the gates of the St. Josephine Bakhita's Catholic Church compound in Rabak and the Rev. Joseph Makwey and the Rev. Sylvester Mogga were kidnapped at gunpoint by the assailants.

Four days later, on Jan. 19, the kidnappers forced the two priests to call their bishop with a ransom. Auxiliary Bishop Daniel Adwok told Compass by phone that there was no direct communication between the bishop and the kidnappers, though the priests managed to convey that they were being mistreated. The kidnappers have attempted no communication with church leaders since then, Adwok said.

Eyewitnesses told Compass that they saw the assailants severely beating the priests while abducting them. The kidnappers also looted the priests' living quarters, stealing two vehicles, two laptops and a safe.

The incident caused panic and terror among Christians in Rabak, with church leaders saying they fear for their lives as they become targets of the Islamic government and its allied militias.

Sudan has seen a steep increase in persecution against Christians, according to an annual ranking by Christian support organization Open Doors. Sudan-where northern Christians experienced greater vulnerability after southern Sudan seceded in a July referendum, and where Christians were targeted amid isolated military conflicts - jumped 19 places last year from its 2010 ranking, from 35th to 16th, according to Open Doors' 2012 World Watch List.

Sudanese law prohibits missionaries from evangelizing, and converting from Islam to another religion is punishable by imprisonment or death in Sudan, though previously such laws were not strictly enforced.
Pray that Rev. Joseph Makwey and the Rev. Sylvester Mogga who were kidnapped at gunpoint will draw close to the Lord during this tumultuous time of abuse.
Pray for their safe release.
Pray that the Sudanese Christians will ardently worship God and proclaim the Gospel through the leading of the Holy Spirit with courage and prudence even in the midst of the tormenting Islamic fanatics.
Pray that the international community will courageously expose, condemn, and demand justice for the brutal victimization of the Sudanese Christians.
1/25/2012 Somalia (ICC) Islamists Arrest a Muslim Father After His Sons Convert to Christianity-
International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that on January 14 Somali Islamists arrested a Muslim father after two of his teenage children converted to Christianity in Kismayo, Somalia. The two sons of Mo'alim Mohamud Aw-Omar converted to Christianity late last year, and fled their homes following their conversion.

Members of the radical Islamic group, al-Shabaab, accused Aw-Omar of "failing to raise his sons as good Muslims" because "good Muslims cannot convert to Christianity."

According to sources on the ground, the Islamists have refused to release Aw-Omar until his two sons return to Kismayo, which is unlikely to happen because the teenagers will be killed if they return. According to the strict interpretation of the Islamic sharia law that Al-Shabaab follows, leaving Islam is a crime punishable by death.

Radical Islamists have killed a number of Christian converts in Somalia. This is the first confirmed case of a parent being arrested for the conversion of children.

In a statement to ICC, a Somali Christian leader said, "This tactic (of arresting parents for conversion of children) is apparently intended to discourage Muslims from converting to Christianity since their Muslim parents could be held accountable for their conversion. The Somali Islamists have previously tried other failed harsh tactics such as summary executions of converts to minimize the number of Muslims converting to Christianity. Please pray for the Somali Christians, especially those living in Islamist controlled areas in southern Somalia."

Pray that all the Christians, including the two sons of Mo'alim Mohamud Aw-Omar, will courageously stay strong in their faith.
Pray that Aw-Omar will come to saving faith in Christ as he realizes the love of Christ compared to radical Islam that is clearly manifested in the death sentence for anyone who leaves Islam.
Pray that Al-Shabaab will respect the religious freedom of all Somalis.
Pray that the believers will share the Good News of salvation that is only through Jesus Christ.
Pray that God will place a hedge of protection around the saints.
1/25/2012 India (AsiaNews) Indian Authorities Arrest a Pastor After Hindu Radical Assaulted Him-
Dozens of Hindu activists of the RSS (Rashtriya Sangh Savayansevak) attacked 20 Christians of the Fellowship of New Life in a private house.

Accusing those present of proselytism and forced conversions, the ultranationalists begun to beat Kishore Kavalekar, a faithful, and Rev. Kalappa Chandrakanth Chavant, then dragged him in front of the whole village. Finally, attackers tied him to a tree near a Hindu temple and called the Haliyal police. The police arrested Rev. Chandrakanth and Kishore, imprisoning them for 24 hours, leaving the RSS activists to roam free.

"The complicity between the government forces and the ultra-nationalist BJP- stated the president of the GCIC - is seriously endangering the survival of Christians in Karnataka. Tomorrow, India celebrates the 62nd Republic Day: It is imperative that the secular credentials of our Constitution are guaranteed to be followed in all the states in the country."

"Christians - adds Sajan George - are treated as second class citizens not only by the ultra-nationalist forces, but also the authorities. With the approach of Republic Day, it is time that the State ensures the Christian minority of its constitutional rights. "

Pray that the Christians who have been and are being viciously mistreated with beatings will be comforted and strengthened by the Lord.
Pray that the believers will ardently worship God and proclaim the Gospel through the leading of the Holy Spirit with courage and prudence even in the midst of the tormenting Hindu radicals.
Pray that the State will ensure that the Christian minority will receive their constitutional rights.
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