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Tuesday, April 11, 2006Prayers for April 11, 2006
"11 The LORD will give strength to His people;
The LORD will bless His people with peace."
From The Voice of the Martyrs
CHINA (Compass Direct)
A major Chinese house-church leader was scheduled for a potentially decisive court hearing April 6th, after more than 16 months in police custody. Zhang Rongliang was arrested by Henan police without charges on December 1, 2004. Only months later was he charged with "attaining a passport through cheating" and with "illegal border crossing." Chinese authorities often deny passports to well-known house-church leaders. Health problems such as diabetes and high blood pressure have grown worse while he has been in custody. Previously, Zhang had been detained five times and spent a total of 12 years in prison for his religious activities. "This will be his third hearing," said a co-worker who asked to remain anonymous. "This time I hope the court can make an independent decision based on truth and justice." Although VOM has no further news of the outcome of this trial, we are concerned for Zhang's welfare.
Pray God will soften the hearts of the authorities to release this innocent man with serious health problems. Pray Zhang's faith will continue to inspire the millions of members of the house churches he led. Pray those who attend the trial will seek the One who has given Zhang so much peace in the midst of suffering.
EGYPT (Compass Direct)
Following a three-month search, an Egyptian Christian has discovered his missing sister living with a Muslim family near her home town and now professing faith in Islam. Spurred by a brief telephone message from Theresa Ghattass Kamal saying she was being held against her will and forced to convert to Islam, Sa'eed Ghattass Kamal recently tracked his sister. He found her in the Bedouin desert area of El-Ga'ar, near his home in Wadi El-Natroun, 50 miles northwest of Cairo. Flanked by her suspected captors and with only her eyes showing through her veil, Theresa Kamal sat with her brother for 90 minutes but only spoke once. "I have converted to Islam. I have found the right path," she reportedly said in a trembling voice.
Pray Jesus will draw near to Theresa Kamal, giving her His comfort and the strength to endure. Pray God will show Himself powerful on her behalf, allowing her to get away. Pray Jesus will appear to her captors through powerful dreams and visions.
NEPAL (ASSIST News Service)
Nepali evangelist Kumar was making plans to travel from his village to the capital city of Katmandu for a worship conference in early March, when three Mao insurgents paid him a visit. They approached Kumar, and demanded a 5,000 rupee "donation," (about $70 U.S.) to support their cause. When Kumar couldn't pay, they kidnapped him. They told Kumar he should stop following the foreign religion of Christianity and join them. They also said whatever money he was getting to do gospel work, he must give to them instead. Although he was afraid, Kumar insisted he must continue doing the work of the gospel. Hearing this, the rebels took Kumar and forced him to work as their porter, carrying weapons. Kumar followed the Maoists for 15 days against his will, on their military missions, carrying rifles and pressure-cooker bombs. He had little to eat and had to watch helplessly while the Maoists threatened other villagers like himself to get food and money to support their army. Eventually, Kumar was able to borrow money to give to the Maoists so they would let him go. He was released on March 15th. Kumar returned to his wife and five young children. Kumar's experience is not an unusual one. In the past 10 years of the ongoing Nepalese civil war, the Maoist guerrilla-based insurgency, who claims to be fighting for a democratic new Nepal, has often used force and scare tactics to elicit support. For gospel workers like Kumar, pressure comes from both the Mao rebels and the Royal Nepal Army police who are loyal to the king. Any kind of gathering is looked upon with suspicion by the police, ever on the look-out for guerrillas. Mao rebels see every able-bodied man as a potential recruit or supporter of their cause. Christians are often caught in the middle.
Pray God will give Nepali Christians His peace that comes from forgiving their enemies. Pray Jesus will grow His Body of believers in spite of opposition and danger. Pray the true Lord of Nepal will bring peace to this troubled land.
NIGERIA (Compass Direct)
"If you are forcing me to marry a man who is a Muslim simply because of my decision to become a Christian, then I will rather have you kill me than accept to marry this man." These were the bitter words of Jamila Noma, now 16, to her father, Malam Noma, in an Islamic court two years ago in Jimeri village, Bauchi state of Northern Nigeria. The girl had been arrested by police and brought before an Islamic court on the orders of her father when she became a Christian and rejected his decision to marry her off to a Muslim man. These two years have left her in an uncertain situation. The court has not decided the case; she has been disowned by her father and has been forced out of the family home. Jamila is staying with her lawyer, Suleiman Wurno, who is trying legal means to stop her from being prosecuted. He also has enrolled her in vocational training to become a tailor.
Pray God will protect Jamila from harm and cause her case to be dismissed. Pray she will find employment as a tailor and the Lord will provide a Christian husband for her. Pray God will soften the heart of Jamila's father to accept his daughter and allow her to visit her family safely.
VIETNAM (Compass Direct)
Less than a year after believers in Vietnam's central Quang Ngai province saw some of their dwellings destroyed, a mob burned down five homes of other Hre minority Christians in the legally recognized Evangelical Church of Vietnam (South). Church leaders believe local authorities either allowed or instigated the burning of the five homes owned by Hre Christians in Son Tinh Commune, Son Tay district of Quang Ngai province, on the morning of March 7th. In addition, two believers who had rebuilt area homes destroyed in July 2005 had their outbuildings for storing paddy rice burned on March 4th. One of the Christians, Dinh Van Heo, lost 55 sacks of rice and recently faced severe pressure to recant his faith.
Pray God will move in the hearts of the Quang Ngai authorities to enforce justice in this province. Pray the Christians' witness of love and forgiveness will lead many to Christ. Pray these acts of violence against the property of Christians will cause people to seek the Prince of Peace.
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