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Tuesday, November 08, 2005VOM Prayers for November 08, 2005
"And they sang a new song, saying, 'Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth.'" (Revelation 5:9-10)
From The Voice of the Martyrs
CHINA (Religion Today)
Although China allows "belief" in a religion, the Chinese constitution does not guarantee the right to practice that religion. Adults often face severe consequences for religious actions but generally are not required to deny their faith. However, officials attempt to weaken children's faith by encouraging them to deny Jesus altogether. According to Open Doors, Public Security Bureau officers recently burst into a Sunday school room and herded 30 children into a van. Despite the scary situation, one child started singing. The van soon was filled with song. Upon arrival at the police station, the children marched bravely into the interrogation room still singing to the Lord. Threatened with having to write "I do not believe in Jesus" 100 times before they would be released, the children instead wrote: "I believe in Jesus today. I will believe in Jesus tomorrow. I will believe in Jesus forever!" Exasperated, officials called the children's parents, some of whom denied Christ. When a widowed believer came to pick up her twin sons, she refused to deny Jesus. The officers threatened her: "If you do not deny Jesus, we will not release your sons!" The widow replied, "Well, I guess you will just have to keep them, because without Jesus, there would be no way for me to take care of them!" With no avenues left open to them, the officials said, "Take your sons and go!"
Give thanks and praise to God for the faithful witness of these children. Pray the light of their faith will brighten the spiritual darkness around them. Pray God will continue to strengthen them as they face the pressures of adulthood.
GUINEA (ASSIST News Service)
A baptism ceremony in Nzerekore was attacked Wednesday, Ocober 19th, by Muslims. They complained the music from the service disturbed their prayers at a nearby mosque. Ten people were injured, two seriously, and several houses were sacked. The Muslims rioted again that Friday evening and razed a local video store. Elite soldiers had to be deployed to restore order. Several guns were confiscated, and a curfew was imposed. During the weekend some 100 people were arrested, with 56 still detained. Nzerekore is located in the Forest Region of southeastern Guinea, close to adjoining borders of Liberia, Ivory Coast and Guinea. The region is awash with bored ex-soldiers, illegal weapons and illegal immigrants. The wider region, especially neighboring Ivory Coast, is simmering with ethnic and religious tensions. Guinea is 85.4 percent Muslim, 9.7 percent African Traditional Religion (ATR), and 4.7 percent Christian. After decades of Marxist, pro-Islamic persecution of the church, there is now religious freedom in Guinea. The Guinean church has embraced missions, and in the past decade, indigenous workers have begun witnessing cross-culturally to previously unreached people groups. The Guinean church is growing. But in recent years, as Islam has radicalized worldwide, the Christian minority in Guinea has been increasingly on the painful end of a revived Islamic intolerance.
Pray God will protect, preserve and strengthen the Christians of Guinea, blessing their witness for His glory and His eternal Kingdom. Pray the Son will set people free from the spiritual shackles that have kept them in darkness. Pray the Lord will empower pastors, evangelists and all believers with His wisdom, discernment and all-encompassing love as they deal with their Muslim neighbors.
INDONESIA (ASSIST News Service)
Reuters news agency reports that Indonesian police have increased patrols in the violence-plagued Poso area of Sulawesi island. Three Christian teenage girls were beheaded by assailants dressed in black on October 29th, as they walked to school. So far no witness has been questioned and no suspect arrested, according to police. One student survived and described the attack. The three headless bodies of the girls, dressed in brown uniforms, were left at the site of the attack. The remainder of their bodies was found at separate locations two hours later by residents. Television news showed wailing and distraught relatives of the students viewing their corpses in coffins. According to Reuters, Muslim-Christian clashes in the Poso area killed 2,000 people from 1998 through 2001, when a peace agreement was reached. About 85 percent of Indonesia's 220 million people are Muslim. But in some eastern parts, Christian and Muslim populations are about equal. Most Indonesian Muslims are moderates, but there has been an increasingly active militant minority in recent years. (Click here)
Pray the gruesome horror of this attack will cause moderate Muslims to question their faith. Pray Jesus will surround the girls' grieving families and friends with His comforting presence. Pray the girl who survived the attack will recognize that God saved her for His purposes.
Sardauna Anaruwa Sashi, once a devout Muslim, became a faithful follower of Christ earlier this year. Having learned of his conversion, the police apprehended him on September 21st. According to an October 31st report by Compass Direct, during four days of detention, the 30-year-old resident of Paiko was severely tortured. He claims that at one point police beat him with their batons and almost killed him. It was only through the intervention of his pastor and a lawyer from his church that he was released. Since he has become an "infidel" in the eyes of his Muslim employer, he can no longer care for their cattle. Besides the loss of income he faces, Sashi's pastor has said that the Muslims will also never abandon their resolve to kill him. Sashi has reportedly received death threats since his release. While he fears for his life and the lives of his wife and relatives who have also turned to Christ, he testifies he will never recant. Paiko is located in Niger state, one of Nigeria's Northern states where Shariah Law has been imposed.
Pray the Lord will strengthen Sashi's faith as He provides for his needs. Pray God will help his wife and family members remain true to the Lord. Pray the love and power of the Holy Spirit will take away the resolve in the Muslims' hearts to see Sashi killed.
SOMALIA (VOM sources)
Dr. Osman Sheik Ahmed, a well-known figure in Somalia's higher education sphere, was shot and killed October 7th, in Northern Mogadishu. Witnesses have confirmed to Dr. Osman's family and members of his house church that he was assassinated by Islamic hit men from Mogadishu's radical Islamic courts. He is survived by his wife, Zahra Ali Hassan and nine children. His wife is in hiding fearing for her life. Reuters reported in 2003, that a top leader of Kulanka Culimada, the Islamic terror group that runs the Islamic courts said: "All Somali Christians must be killed according to the Islamic Law. Such people do not have a place in Somalia and we will never recognize their existence and we will slaughter them." Dr. Osman began assisting a number of Christian NGO's from 1988-1990, as a volunteer. His skills in government relations and pubic service earned him a great deal of respect from Somalis and from the international community he was assisting. It is a tough time for the Christian community in Mogadishu, where three Somali Christians were attacked on October 31st. Rev. Hirsi was shot in the stomach and is in serious condition, hospitalized in a coma. Mr. Nur sustained injury in the arm, and Mr. Mohammed was spared of physical harm.
Pray God will strengthen the suffering Christians in Somalia, making Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him. Pray the faithful witness of Somali Christians will bring many Muslims to Christ. Give thanks to God that, contrary to human logic, no amount of persecution can thwart the Christian faith and for church growth in most areas where the blood of the martyrs is shed.
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