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Tuesday, April 05, 2005Prayers for April 5, 2005
Dear Donald Disney,
"We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds toward each other, so that we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure, which is manifest evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you also suffer" (2 Thessalonians 1:3-5)
The simple faith and trust possessed by our persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ are amazing. We receive testimony after testimony of believers whose attitude toward persecution is that of humble gratitude-grateful that the Lord finds them worthy to be persecuted for His name's sake! As you pray this week, please don't forget to take action and tell others about the sufferings and triumphs of the persecuted church!
Many of these triumphant stories can be found in our newly redesigned online bookstore where you will find over 150 current resources, as well as discounted items. Click here to check out VOM's new bookstore!
VOM Web Team
From The Voice of the Martyrs
On March 31st, the wife of a church leader in southwest Bangladesh was brutally assaulted. (Details of the location of the assault are being withheld to protect the believers.) As a church leader and his wife were returning home, he was attacked. When his wife attempted to assist him, she was raped. Both of them were taken to the local hospital where the wife is reportedly in critical condition. VOM sources say this couple has been a key in a church-planting movement in their district.
Pray God will heal this suffering woman both physically and emotionally. Pray members of the churches they planted will continue boldly in their witness to the Good News of salvation. Pray the Holy Spirit will come in power to overcome the spirit of violence in that area.
PAKISTAN (Compass Direct)
As Christian worshippers left the Easter services at Victory Church International in a village near Lahore, four armed gunmen attacked them indiscriminately, killing one and injuring seven others. Two police guards assigned to guard the church left their post long before the shooting started. Reportedly the local Dogar caste of Muslims dominant in the area have been trying to renege on their ancestors' property allocation many decades ago, which gave the village's Christian community the land where they built their church and set up a graveyard. Although Dogar landlords had demolished some graves with a tractor, the Christian community had not retaliated.
Give thanks to God the Christians have demonstrated a spirit of forgiveness in the past. Pray God will honor their faithfulness, sending His supernatural peace to the whole village. Pray the resolution of this conflict will bring glory to God.
JORDAN (WORLD Magazine)
Last September, security police connected to the country's intelligence agency showed up unannounced at the home of Samer and Abeer. They arrested Samer, held him overnight, and turned him over to the Islamic courts. At his October hearing, Samer was asked to "alter his confession" or recant his Christian faith. Since then a court decision decreed that his identification papers must be changed from "Muslim" to "no religion," that he had forfeited any inheritance, his marriage to Abeer is now illegal, and therefore, he is not entitled to the custody of his son. He is now an apostate and cannot hold a job, cannot own property, and other Muslims can legally attack or even kill him. Two brothers have already threatened his life. Samer has made arrangements for Abeer and their 18-month-old son to leave the country. A Jordanian pastor has hired a lawyer to bring Samer's case before Jordan's Supreme Court, and international human rights advocates have sent 4,000 messages to King Abdullah.
Pray King Abdullah will have mercy on Samer. Pray Samer will remain faithful to Christ under all circumstances. Pray his witness of the Good News will bring more Muslims to faith in our Savior.
In addition to your prayers, VOM would like to encourage you to join us in taking a stand with Samer against his November 23, 2004 apostasy conviction. Please contact the Embassy of Jordan:
Embassy of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
Ambassador Karim Kawar
3504 International Drive, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
Phone: (202) 966 - 2664
Fax: (202) 966 - 3110
In February, over 100 children were detained by police after a raid on the Medhanie-Alem Orthodox Church. According to a report from Christian Solidarity Worldwide, the last of the children detained have been recently released. Compass Direct also confirms that Semere Zaid has been released on bail. Zaid, a lecturer at the University of Asmara, was arrested in early February. He was given warnings not to participate in any evangelical activities in the future. (Click here to read about the February arrests.)
Give thanks to God for all those who prayed for the release of these believers. Pray Jesus will draw near to those who are still imprisoned for their faith under miserable conditions. Pray God will move in mercy and power to melt the hearts of Eritrean officials, transforming their country to a land of peace for all people.
An evangelist recently arrested on charges of attempting to convert Hindus in Orissa State has appealed his case to the Orissa High Court. On February 27th, Kumar was on his way to visit a Hindu man who had invited him for prayers, when nine Hindu extremists assaulted the evangelist, tied him up and threatened to throw him into a lake. When the police arrived, they arrested Kumar, took him to the police station, and "started beating me mercilessly with a bamboo stick and asked me to call Jesus to save me." Elsewhere, after hundreds of thousands of believers around the world prayed, an insurgent group that had threatened to destroy Gospel for Asia in Assam has backed down from its extortion demands.
Pray the court in Orissa State will recognize the negligence of the police in Kumar's case, allowing him to be released. Pray the Lord will protect him as he continues to spread the gospel. Give thanks to God for all the faithful believers worldwide who prayed for the protection of Gospel for Asia in Assam.
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