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Tuesday, February 01, 2005VOM prayers Feb 1
"Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word" (Psalm 119:105,114, KJV).
Many Christians in hostile countries are starved for the Word of God. In the book, Hearts of Fire, a young Pakistani girl's hunger for the Truth caused her to risk everything just so she could read God's Word.
"Gradually the words drew her in, soothing her anxiety and encouraging
her with God's love. She became so absorbed in her Scripture reading that
she lost track of time and failed to notice that her father had stepped into
The wife of VOM's founder, Sabina Wurmbrand, a prisoner for Christ in Romania for three years, shared in her book, The Pastor's Wife, how she and her fellow prisoners hungered for the Word more than physical bread.
"We had no Bible. We...hungered for it more than bread. How I wished I'd learned more of it by heart. But we repeated daily those passages we knew.... We learned what newcomers brought and taught them what we knew. So an unwritten Bible circulated through all Romania's prisons."
Though Christians face death or imprisonment for being caught with a Bible, many still seek Him and the blessing of His Word. May we be found to be so faithful!
Thank you for upholding the persecuted church in your prayers!
VOM Web Team
Prayers for February 1, 2005
From The Voice of the Martyrs
The Voice of the Martyrs Visit: Persecution.com
BURMA (ASSIST News Service)
On January 24th, more than 400 exiled Chins from Burma gathered near the Burmese Embassy in New Delhi, India, to condemn the Burmese military junta's systematic practice of religious persecution against Chin Christians in their homeland. According to Chinland Guardian, community leaders and Chin Christian pastors from several denominations led the large group, speaking boldly on behalf of the persecuted believers and demonstrating their solidarity with persecuted Chin Christians in Burma. The demonstration came in response to the Burmese military junta's recent destruction of the last remaining Christian cross planted by an inter-denominational group in Matupi, a town in the southern Chin state. The Burmese army has restricted all kinds of Christian activities, not even allowing Bibles to be printed in the country.
Pray the Chin Christians will be bold in their faith and a shining light of love in the darkness around them. Pray God will work a miracle of His grace to bring many soldiers to Christ and stop the violent persecution of Christians in Burma. Pray Chin believers around the world will be able to return to their homeland and encourage the Christians there.
Pray for IRAN
IRAN (Open Doors)
On September 9th, police invaded the annual general conference of Iran's Assemblies of God Church, arresting 85 church leaders. Every person present was put under arrest, blindfolded and taken in for interrogation. That evening all the arrested Christians except for 10 pastors and elders were released with a warning not to attend church services. On September 12th, nine pastors and elders were released quite late in the night; but due to police surveillance monitoring their movements and telephone conversations, they were not able to make direct contact with other believers after their release. Only the lay pastor, Hamid Pourmand, remained in detention incommunicado. In November, he was moved to a military prison where he has not been allowed any contact with his family. He has not been formally charged, but if he is accused of apostasy, it is a capital offense.
Pray our gracious Savior will surround Pastor Pourmand with His comforting presence and peace. Pray He will also strengthen Pourmand's family, giving them a firm trust that he is in His loving care. Pray he will be released soon. Pray God will turn the hearts of many Muslim officials to Jesus.
Pray for KAZAKHSTAN
A controversial new law on "extremism" is leading religious believers to expect mounting restrictions on their rights. The bill includes a provision to "forbid the activity of religious associations which have broken the Republic of Kazakhstan's laws on countering extremist activity." The draft law, including amendments to ban religious organizations before a court decision, is now with the lower house of the Kazakh parliament. The recent closing of a Christian children's home and criminal cases against local Baptists for holding unregistered worship services are the latest moves in a series of events that have led believers to expect mounting restrictions on worshipping freely.
Pray our omnipotent Father will halt the passage of this bill. Pray Christians will be faithful followers of their Shepherd Jesus as He protects them from the wolves in their society. Pray the Lord will lead many people in Kazakhstan to faith in Christ.
Pray for PAKISTAN
PAKISTAN (Compass Direct)
The arm of Shahbaz Masih, a young Christian shopkeeper in Punjab province, was chopped off when he refused to rent a television set to a Muslim butcher, Ahmed Ali. Ali became furious and returned shortly afterwards with a butcher's ax and chopped off Masih's left arm near the elbow. As he left, he threatened the victim and his widowed mother with even more "dire consequences" for the alleged insult he had endured. Discharged from the hospital four days later, Masih was forced to close his shop and leave the village with his mother and go into hiding. Although Ali was arrested after pressure from local church officials, the police are under heavy pressure to establish his innocence. (Click here)
Pray Masih and his mother will find refuge among Christians who will protect and support them. Pray he will find suitable employment and grow in faith as the Lord provides his needs. Pray God will see that justice is done and Ali will turn to God through faith in His Son Jesus.
(ASSIST News Service)
On January 10th, a 58-year-old Christian, Hanifan Bibi, and her family were abducted and tortured for two days. According to a report from the Centre for Legal Aid and Assistance and Settlement (CLAAS), her Muslim employer, Saeedan Batni, along with two other men, broke into her home and abducted her, as well as her husband, son and nephew. They stripped Hanifan, hung her upside down and beat her with a hot iron pipe. They also beat and kicked her husband and son. After holding them for two days without food and water, they were taken to the police station where Hanifan was accused of stealing from her employer. CLAAS is endeavoring to pressure Pakistani authorities to take this incident seriously. From all indications, Hanifan's "crime" was her faith in Christ.
Pray Hanifan and her family will know the loving, healing presence of Jesus in a very special way. Pray the authorities will take action against Batni and the others involved in this incident. Pray God will work a miracle of His grace to soften the hearts of Pakistani Muslims, giving them grateful hearts for these faithful Christian servants and bringing them to salvation through Christ.
Anwer Masih, who was arrested in November 2003, has been acquitted of blasphemy, making him the first Pakistani Christian ever acquitted of such charges. Although cleared of blasphemy charges, Masih remains in hiding, unable to be reunited with his wife and four children, as extremists from the Islamic Religious Army have vowed to kill him. He joins more than a dozen other Pakistani Christians who, despite their innocence, have been forced to apply for asylum abroad to live under new identities.
Give thanks and praise to God for Anwer Masih's release. Pray the Lord will put a shield of protection around him and his family and let them be reunited in a safe place. Pray Muslim authorities in Pakistan will come to know our loving and merciful Savior.
Pray for SUDAN
SUDAN (ASSIST News Service)
Adventist Development and Relief Agency International (ADRA) has appealed for the release of three of its workers who were abducted at gunpoint, along with their project vehicles, on December 16, 2004, while traveling through a then rebel-controlled area. ADRA's convoy had official permission to deliver equipment and supplies to rehabilitate 65 damaged and abandoned wells and construct 45 new wells. Water is urgently needed in the region, and ADRA says it is senseless to continue to hold these men and equipment. There has been no news of the whereabouts or condition of these men.
Pray the Lord will comfort the abducted workers, drawing them close to Himself. Pray Christians worldwide will learn of this outrage and raise a cry of protest. Pray these men will be found and returned to their families.
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