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Tuesday, June 07, 2005Prayers for June 7, 2005
"And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God" (Philippians 1:9-11).
Thank you for taking time to unite with us in prayer this week!
VOM Web Team
From The Voice of the Martyrs
SAUDI ARABIA (ASSIST News Service)
There have been 46 confirmed arrests of Christians in Saudi Arabia, with some sources citing in excess of 100 Christians arrested, according to International Christian Concern. During the last week of May, there were many arrests made by a joint combination of both regular and "Muttawa" religious police. It was the largest crackdown in several decades in this religiously oppressive country. Saudi authorities ransacked houses and destroyed any Bibles they found. Chittirical John Thomas, an Indian national, was dragged from work by Muttawa authorities, taken to his home, and beaten in front of his maid and 5-year-old son. Thomas' wife, who is five months pregnant, has not heard from her husband since.
Pray God will protect Thomas and all Christian prisoners, holding them safe in the palm of His hand. Pray the international community will rise up in protest against the Saudi government, and bring about the release of those imprisoned for their faith. Pray God, in His loving power, will cause the church to grow and flourish in Saudi Arabia.
INDONESIA (Compass Direct)
Two bombs exploded in a busy market in a refugee village for Christians in Tentena, Indonesia, on Saturday, killing 21 people and injuring 49. The timing of the attack was calculated to inflict the greatest possible damage. One source reported that phone communication was cut off immediately after the explosions and that only two ambulances were available to attend to the wounded. Observers believe the attack could stir up renewed fighting between Christians and Muslims in the troubled province. The bombing may be linked to an earlier raid on a Christian village in Mamasa regency on April 24th. A young man arrested in connection with that incident was carrying documents that revealed a wider terrorist plot to carry out bombings and attacks throughout Indonesia. (Click here)
Pray God will move the hearts of the Christians to have the mind of Christ toward their Muslim persecutors. Pray the power of the Holy Spirit will bring a supernatural spirit of peace to Tentena. Pray God will use this situation for His eternal glory.
ERITREA (Compass Direct)
Police raided a large wedding ceremony in the Eritrean capital of Asmara, on Saturday, May 28th, arresting at least 250 guests, including Benyam Gezae, his bride and the wedding party. Police reportedly contacted the families of all the imprisoned Christians. After detaining the wedding party overnight at the Expo police station, police released most of the prisoners who were found to be members of legally sanctioned churches. However, 70 individuals belonging to the outlawed Protestant churches still remain under arrest. The authorities have pressured these evangelical Christians to abandon their beliefs and return to one of the "legal" churches. "The word on the street in Asmara is that these arrests were direct retaliation for the protest vigil held three days earlier in front of the Eritrean Embassy in Washington, D.C.," one informed source told Compass. The vigil marked the third anniversary of a harsh government crackdown launched in May 2002, against Eritrea's evangelical Christians and other religious minorities.
Pray the imprisoned Christians will know the presence of Jesus with them. Pray they will know that thousands of believers worldwide are crying out to God on their behalf. Pray the Holy Spirit will move in power to overcome the spirit of oppression that pervades the Eritrean government.
INDIA (Compass Direct)
Former employees have accused seven staff members of the Amit Vikas Trust (AVT) in Uttar Pradesh, India, of "running a gang to convert poor Hindus." The complainants had signed up for a training program with AVT in return for employment but were laid off in November 2004. After losing their jobs, they lodged a complaint with police, claiming that the mission had asked for a 20,000 rupee ($465) security deposit. They also accused the staff of beating them and making death threats when they asked for a refund. However, Pastor Yashwant Paul of the AVT said the mission had not asked for a deposit and other villagers had signed a statement saying that no violence had occurred. The case has not yet gone to court.
Pray God will empower the staff members of AVT to be "wise as serpents and harmless as doves" (Matthew 10:16). Pray the truth of the situation will be revealed and publicized. Pray the Lord will convict the complainants of the falsehood of their accusations and lead them to repentance.
KAZAKHSTAN (ASSIST News Service)
Religious communities in Kazakhstan do not yet need state registration,a requirement imposed by a proposed new law; but a Protestant church in the Caspian Sea port of Aytrau is the latest religious community to be attacked because it does not have registration. Pastor Nurulbek Jagalsbayev is facing administrative punishment for leading a church without state registration, a restriction not required under current legislation, but which would come into effect if the new law is passed. The head of the Association of Religious Organizations told Forum 18, "Even if Jagalsbayev is let off with just a warning, we should not (accept) that a person who has not broken the law is being presented as a law-breaker." In another incident a local administration chief has "banned" a registered Protestant church apparently because its leaders failed to show him what he thought was due respect.
Pray Pastor Jagalsbayev's Christlike behavior will soften the heart of the prosecutor in Aytrau. Pray the official who demanded special respect will have a change of heart and open the legally registered church. Pray that as Christians around the world join in prayer, the administrative authorities in Kazakhstan will allow all Christians to worship freely.
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