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Tuesday, February 14, 2006Prayers for February 14, 2006
"Out of the depths I have cried to You, O Lord;
Lord, hear my voice!
Let Your ears be attentive
To the voice of my supplications.
If You, Lord, should mark iniquities,
O Lord, who could stand?
But there is forgiveness with You,
That You may be feared.
I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
And in His word I do hope.
My soul waits for the Lord
More than those who watch for the morning-
Yes, more than those who watch for the morning.
O Israel, hope in the Lord;
For with the Lord there is mercy,
And with Him is abundant redemption.
And He shall redeem Israel
From all his iniquities." (Psalm 130).
We apologize if you did not receive your prayer update for February 8th. We were experiencing technical difficulties. We appreciate your faithful prayers. May the Lord bless you over the following week.
VOM Web Team
From The Voice of the Martyrs
ERITREA (Compass Direct)
On February 1st, Eritrean military authorities jailed 75 Protestant Christians at the Sawa Military Training Camp for "reading Bibles and praying during their free time," local sources in the small East Africa nation confirmed. Most of the newly arrested evangelicals, 37 of them women, are student youths doing their compulsory national military service at Sawa, a remote center near Eritrea's mountainous western border with Sudan. The 75 young draftees put under "military detention and punishment" had not attempted to conduct any Christian meeting at Sawa or committed any other transgression of military law. "In Sawa, to possess your own Bible and keep your personal devotion and loyalty to Christ is not allowed," an Eritrean Christian told Compass. "This is considered an act of Christian extremism."
Pray the imprisoned Christians will astound their captors with their strong, uncompromising faith. Pray God will protect them and bless them with an encouraging sense of His presence. Pray the Lord will bring about a change in the government of Eritrea that will allow Christian draftees to have Bibles.
INDIA (Compass Direct)
Extremists encouraged Hindu residents of a village in Malkangiri district, Orissa state, to attack Christian residents on January 24th, leaving at least 10 Christians injured with two requiring hospitalization. Four missionaries from the Indian Evangelical Team and 14 Christian families were at a believer's house in Koikonda village when members of the Hindu extremist group Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh apparently gathered a group of about 50 people. They surrounded the home and demanded the missionaries come out. As soon as the missionaries complied, the mob started beating them and attacked other Christians in the house. One of the missionaries, Vijay Kumar, fell unconscious and did not regain consciousness until three days later. He and missionary Baldas Gopal were hospitalized with serious internal injuries.
Pray God will comfort the injured believers and heal them quickly. Pray they will remain grounded and steadfast in their faith. Pray the Holy Spirit will move in great power throughout India to break the spiritual bondage of Hinduism.
IRAN (ASSIST News Service)
According to Open Doors, Muslim background believers (MBBs) are outlawed for the first time in years. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's regime is dealing a severe blow to Christian revival in the country. "The last 10 years were relatively calm," said Open Doors staff worker Stefan van Velde. "Between 1990 and 2004, Christian life wasn't easy, but we counted fewer arrests and fewer incidents of torture than in the period before 1990. But, in September 2004, almost 90 church leaders were arrested. Hamid Pourmand, one of the leaders, is still in prison. He was sentenced to three years imprisonment and miraculously escaped the death penalty." Police and secret services also contribute to this persecution. Since the summer of 2005, more Christians have been temporarily arrested and beaten. Ghorban Dordi Tourani, a house-church leader, was assassinated in November 2005. Ethnic Christians are still allowed to express their faith within their own church walls, but Muslim background believers face tremendous risk. The government wants them to return to Islam. Churches are forbidden to support these MBBs. As a result, ethnic churches are removing their support from their brothers and sisters of Muslim origin. The MBBs now form little cell groups which only meet in secret. Van Velde said, "They aren't intimidated by the government and continue to spread the gospel. Muslims who came to the Lord in the past few years fear nothing and nobody."
Pray the Muslim background believers will remain loving and bold in their faith. Pray Hamid Pourmand will know Jesus' presence with him and have opportunities to share his faith. Pray the Holy Spirit will move in revival power among the ethnic Christian community, giving them a fearless love for their MBB brethren.
PAKISTAN (ASSIST News Service/Religion Today)
Muslim men and women attacked yet another church in Pakistan in Kanwanlit, a village some 3 kilometers from Daska, a sub-district of Sailkot, at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, February 3rd. Some of the attackers smashed doors, windows and the altar of the church. The mob reportedly spat on the Bible and hymn books after trampling them under their feet. The Muslim women inflicted torture on the Christian women. Verro and Salima, two Christian women, sustained critical injuries. Both of Verro's legs were broken by the Muslim women. The village falls under the control of the Daska Saddar Police Station, but the police only appeared at the scene of the incident after Muslim residents of the village were done with the job of ransacking, and desecrating the church. According to Religion Today, the roots of the attack go back to November 2005, when landowner named Iqbal bought a piece of property adjacent to the church. He than began a process of "encroachment," using more and more of the church's land to park his vehicles and tie up his animals. After failed attempts to buy the property from Iqbal, the Christians opened a court case against the landowner on January 12th, leading to Iqbal's arrest. Released on bail on January 26rh, Iqbal threatened the Christian community with retribution for opening the case against him. The February 3rd attack was triggered when Verro Masih and Saleema Masih challenged Iqbal's relatives for tying up livestock on the church property. After the Muslims left, the women were immediately admitted to a government hospital three miles away.
Pray God will work a miracle of His grace, giving these Christians His forgiving heart toward their attackers. Pray justice will be done in the courts to allow the church to use their property without interference. Pray the women's rapid healing and recovery will be a witness of Jesus' love and healing power.
VENEZUELA (Compass Direct)
Complying with President Hugo Chavez's order to leave Venezuela's indigenous lands by today, the last two New Tribes Mission (NTM) workers left the area late last week. They joined other NTM staff members at Puerto Ordaz, even as Venezuela's courts considered New Tribes' appeal of the expulsion order. Chavez' edict, published in the Official Gazette last November 14th, expelled NTM from indigenous landsnot from Venezuela. The tiny churches among Venezuela's indigenous peoples will be immediately affected. "What we need to pray about is for these people who will take the leadership of their own people," said Samuel Olson, head of the Evangelical Council of Venezuela. "They have to run their own ship."
Pray God will work in mighty power to soften the heart of President Chavez. Pray the Lord will guide the missionaries expelled from indigenous lands to find what He has planned for their continued ministry. Pray that as the indigenous people are left without human leadership, they will rely on God to teach them His ways and the outcome of this evil act will work to God's glory.
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