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Tuesday, August 30, 2005Prayers for August 30, 2005
"I am the LORD, I have called you in righteousness,
I will also hold you by the hand and watch over you,
And I will appoint you as a covenant to the people,
As a light to the nations" (Isaiah 42:6).
The Voice of the Martyrs Visit: Persecution.com
Pray for IRAQ
IRAQ (Christian Freedom International)
The radical "Iraqi Resistance" group is accusing Christian Freedom International and others of attempting to "Christianize" Iraq. Muhammad Abu Nasr of the "Free Arab Voice" wrote in the August issue of the "Iraqi Resistance Report" that "missionaries push Christianization under protection of U.S. occupation." According to Nasr, "Under the protection of the U.S. military occupation of Baghdad, American Christian missionaries have been pushing efforts at Christianization in Iraq (and that a) Christian Bible Society has set up a Bible society in the middle of occupied Baghdad." Christian Freedom International has been sending much needed humanitarian supplies to Iraq that is in turn distributed through local churches in Baghdad. "The aid," said CFI president Jim Jacobson, "is sent to local churches in Baghdad and freely distributed to all Iraqis regardless of their religion." "It is true," said Jacobson, "we do send Arabic language Bibles, but this is because the Bibles are in great demand and requested by Iraqi Christians."
Give thanks to God that Christian witness in Iraq is strong enough to warrant strong criticism from radical Muslims. Pray for the protection of all Christians who are distributing the Word of God to many who do not know Him. Pray many Muslims will see the love of Jesus in these caring people and will want to know the source of their extraordinary compassion.
Pray for PAKISTAN
PAKISTAN (Missions Insider)
A Muslim backlash against Christians, who are seen by many Pakistanis as tied to often reviled America, continued with two attacks on native missionaries. Several weeks ago a missionary was visited by three Muslim men late at night. The men held him at gunpoint and locked him and his family in a back room while they searched his house for two hours. They stole Bibles and Christian literature as well as blankets intended for orphaned children, and destroyed what they could not steal, including a computer and motorbike. Their parting words were a death threat. A few days later, a team of five young gospel workers witnessing in a North Pakistan village were surrounded by 300 Muslim extremists who beat them. The men were dragged to a local police station where policemen refused to let reporters photograph the victims. Thankfully, all the missionaries have been released.
Pray God will strengthen these faithful servants in Pakistan to continue to speak boldly about their Savior. Pray the attackers will be dumbfounded by the forgiving spirit of the believers. Pray all Muslims in Pakistan will see Christianity is not an American religion, but a relationship with the almighty, all-loving God.
Pray for LAOS
LAOS (BosNewsLife News)
Across the country village chiefs and other workers have been pressured by communist authorities to give up their Christian faith. Human rights workers say the government regards church activities as questioning the communist system and threatens the government's power. In recent months communist-backed local authorities and police have raided several villages where possibly dozens of believers were tortured and detained on false charges ranging from owning "illegal weapons" to holding "illegal gatherings." An underground evangelical church leader says: "We know of several incidents near the Vietnam border where Laos police raided villages and forced locals to stand for three days with their hands in the air till they renounced their faith in Christ. Nobody is able to keep up with that kind of torture for so long ." Those who refused to obey were allegedly put in jail. He knows of six Christians in jail, including two brothers who were imprisoned about six years ago while another man sentenced with them died in recent years. (www.bosnewslife.com)
Pray God will give Christians supernatural endurance to withstand torture. Pray those who denied Christ will know Christ's forgiveness and compassion. Pray God will cause the Christian faith to continue to grow in Laos and bring peace to that suffering nation.
Pray for SAUDI ARABIA
SAUDI ARABIA (ASSIST News Service)
AsiaNews has reported that, with the death of King Fahd and the arrival of King Abdullah, the persecution by the Saudi Kingdom of believers of religions other than Islam, especially Christians, is on the rise. AsiaNews sources in the Saudi capital have confirmed the religious police, called the Muttawa, has raided the homes of foreigners, especially suspect homes (i.e. those where Christians live). This has forced many groups who used to meet in the privacy of their homes for prayer to stop. Furthermore, people have stopped meeting out of fear the police might link them to one another. Indians are particularly targeted. In the last few months, nine Indians were arrested for illegal religious activities. The story goes on to say: "The Saudi government has banned any religious practice other than Wahhabi fundamentalist Islam. Any missionary activity or public expression of faith (having Bibles, wearing a crucifix, holding a rosary, praying in public) is outlawed. The religious police, well-known for its violence and torture, make sure that the ban is enforced." (Click here)
Pray God will give Christians in Saudi Arabia a fearless trust in His direction for their lives. Pray their faithfulness will lead many Muslims to Christ. Pray international pressure will expose these restrictive laws and the brutality of the religious police.
Pray for TURKMENISTAN
On August 15th, police from the anti-terrorist branch in the northeastern Turkmenistan town of Dashoguz (Dashhowuz) summoned church leaders from the city's registered Baptist church for interrogation following the raid of an open-air service the previous day. According to Forum 18, the believers had just finished their worship service in the countryside outside the town and were gathering to enjoy a lunch together when police officers appeared and started questioning what they were doing. The officers then confiscated their Bibles and hymnals. When church leaders met with the police the following day, the officers claimed the church's national registration was not valid in northern Turkmenistan. "Individuals can only believe alone on their own at home," police told them. The church leaders were then pressured to write statements on how they became Christians and why they had Bibles. They were also pressured to sign declarations that they would not meet until the church obtained state registration. The leaders told the police, "We will continue to meet in the future, as our faith does not depend on registration."
Pray for the believers' continued boldness and determination to worship God despite the opposition of authorities. Pray God will give wisdom and discretion to each of the church leaders. Pray this witness of faith and courage will lead many to Christ.
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