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Tuesday, March 22, 2005Prayers for March 22, 2005
"Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit" (Romans 15:13).
"Do not fail to remember in prayer those who are imprisoned and treated as lambs for slaughter because they claim the name of Christ."
This plea for prayer from a pastor in India is the echo of many Christians in restricted nations. Thank you for being willing to respond to the heart-cry of our brothers and sisters.
VOM Web Team
Prayers for March 22, 2005
From The Voice of the Martyrs
The Voice of the Martyrs Visit: Persecution.com
BELARUS (ASSIST News service)
On March 4th, authorities cut off the electricity supply to the building in Minsk where the New Life congregation has been meeting. After New Life bought the disused cowshed in 2002, all official agencies approved requests to change the designated land usage to that of a church except for the religious affairs department of Minsk city administration. Without this approval, the 600-strong congregation was refused re-registration. The church is holding services with a borrowed diesel generator, and the church administrator vows they won't leave the property. A hearing at Minsk's Moscow district court, at which Pastor Goncharenko was accused of organizing an illegal religious service, was unexpectedly adjourned by the judge for further investigation.
Pray God will give this congregation a large measure of grace to deal with the authorities in a Christ-like manner. Thank the Lord the court hearing was postponed. Pray for a miracle of God's mercy that will allow this church to have official registration and be able to meet in the building they renovated. As they wait, pray God will give them creative ways to gather for worship and teaching from the Word.
Pray for INDIA
INDIA (Compass Direct)
On May 9th, Christians from a small Indian village will have their day in court. Members of a radical Hindu group broke up a prayer meeting on February 23rd, leaving several believers severely injured, while the police who were assigned to guard the Christians failed to protect them. In another trial in Orissa state on March 14th, the case of Kiran Kumar was brought before the High Court. On February 27th, Kumar was assaulted by nine Hindu extremists while he was on his way to visit a Hindu man who had invited him for prayers. Police arrested Kumar, and once inside the police station, they started beating him mercilessly with a bamboo stick, asking him to call on Jesus to save him.
Pray the radical Hindus who attacked the Christians will be brought to repentance through Christ Jesus. Pray God will strengthen and embolden Jesus' followers in India to be His light in the spiritual darkness around them. Pray the Holy Spirit will move in power to free Hindus who have lived in fear of the myriad of Hindu gods.
Pray for NIGERIA
NIGERIA (Compass Direct)
Tensions have escalated between the Christian community of Numan town and government security forces deployed to keep peace between Muslims and Christians. On February 7th, when a group opposed the arrest of a local Christian woman, the police killed two youth and arrested 30 Christians, including a Lutheran pastor, who are now standing trial in the capital of Adamawa state. Leaders of the Christian community in Numan have sent a letter to President Obasanjo, calling for immediate withdrawal of the extra soldiers and policemen and "asking him to carry out a full-scale investigation and independent inquiry" into the violence. (Click here)
Pray the Christians who were arrested will conduct themselves in such a righteous way, full of integrity. Pray all Christians in Nigeria will walk in steadfast faith, confident that the Lord they serve will give them strength to persevere and grace to love those who persecuted them. Pray God will give Christian President Obasanjo wisdom to know how to effectively bring a peaceful solution to the tension between Christians and Muslims in his nation.
Pray for TURKEY
TURKEY TURKEY (ASSIST News Service)
A former pastor recently announced on national TV that he converted back to Islam. (He had been a Christian since 1987.) Since then, he's been on a number of TV stations, as well as having articles in a few newspapers, instilling fear in Turks by essentially saying that the ultimate aim of foreign Christian workers is to assist the U.S. government in undermining the Turkish government. One Christian expressed fear that these messages will trigger some radicals to harm brothers and sisters in Christ.
Pray our loving Lord will move to silence this former pastor's message. Pray God will stop the ears and eyes of those who hear or read his lies. Pray God will protect Turkish Christians and strengthen them to remain steadfast in their faith. Ask God to use this situation to deepen Christians' commitment to and relationship with Christ.
Pray for UNITED KINGDOM
UNITED KINGDOM (Barnabas Fund)
Some 3,000 Christians in the U.K. are in danger because they have chosen to convert from Islam. Some are being actively harassed and persecuted, but many church leaders seem more interested in defending their attackers than standing up for the converts. Nissar Hussain and his wife, Christians in Bradford, have had their car torched and rammed, bricks have been thrown through their window on many occasions, and there have been threats to burn their house down. These attacks and threats, made by local Muslims, have come as a result of Hussain and his wife converting from Islam to Christianity. Having been rejected by their own community, Christian coverts from Islam find that the Christian community fails to take their situation seriously. Three years ago, when Mr. Hussain was first attacked, most church leaders who heard of his situation did nothing. As further attacks occurred, they still seemed barely interested. Now that the plight of the Hussain family has hit the national press, church leaders seem to be chiefly concerned to absolve from blame the perpetrators of these crimes. Even some in Bradford itself have sought to deny the link with Islam and have attributed this sustained and vicious campaign to the pranks of youngsters. (Click here)
Pray God will strengthen the faith of Hussain and his wife. Pray Christian converts from Islam all over the world will draw near to God and He will draw near to them. Pray Christians will display the forgiving spirit of Christ drawing Muslims to the Lord who loves them. Ask God to convict the hearts of church leaders in the U.K. to speak and act on behalf of their fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.
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