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VOM News and Prayer Update: August 8
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Thursday, August 17, 2006VOM News and Prayer Update: August 15
"The LORD your God in your midst,
The Mighty One, will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing."(Zephaniah 3:17)
(China Aid Association)
A pastor in the Three-Self Church in Pinglu County, Shanxi Province was prohibited from preaching and forced to leave the church by the Religious Affairs Bureau. The Pinglu Church invited a Hong Kong-based American pastor, Dennis Balcombe (Chinese name Bao Dening), to visit the church. The evening of July 9th, the head of the Pinglu Religious Affairs Bureau, Zhang Lianjie, came to the church and tried to dismiss the Bible classes and forbid the children to listen to Bible stories. He returned the next day with more officials, forcing the elders to retract their invitation to Pastor Bao Dening. In spite of immense pressure, church activities continued. On July 24th, Zhang came again and announced that a meeting would be held the next day to "discuss" Pastor Hu Qinghua's leaving Pinlu. All the members of TSPM (Three-Self-Patriotic Movement) and CCC (Chinese Christianity Council) were to be at the meeting. The meeting began at 6 p.m. and the elders enumerated the achievements of Pastor Hu since taking charge of the church. The meeting continued till 11 p.m., but no matter how hard the elders insisted, Zhang Lianjie declared that Pastor Hu Qinghua had to leave Pinglu Church immediately. Pastor Hu Qinghua has left Pinglu, but he still tries to comfort and encourage the brothers and sisters in Linglu Church, by phone, to stand firm in the truth.
Pray God will protect and comfort Pastor Hu Qingua with His loving presence. Pray the Holy Spirit will give the church members His grace to forgive officials who don't know Jesus. Pray the believers will remain strong in their faith and be more than conquerors.
Authorities in Alexandria have detained seven Christian men without charge since a fatal knife attack on churches there last April triggered two days of violence. Alexandrian Christians plan to sue the country's Interior Ministry for the men's release, as well as for compensation for Christian-owned shops and Orthodox churches that were damaged during the unrest. Hesham Azmy Iskender was among 101 Christians and Muslims who were originally detained. Over the following month, police released most of the prisoners. However, they have continued to renew the imprisonment of Iskender and six other Christians, even after the prosecutor general issued orders for the release of all the detainees in May.
Pray God will move in His merciful power to secure the release of these seven prisoners. Pray Christians in Egypt will know the inner peace that comes from forgiving their enemies. Pray Muslim officials in Egypt will turn to the One who can save their souls.
Pray God will comfort Asya Khadim and keep her safe. Pray our omnipotent Father will put a stop to the Hudood Ordinances. Pray our God of love will remove Muslim authorities' hearts of stone and give them hearts of flesh.
On August 8th, a day after extending the bail of leaders of Emmanuel Mission International (EMI), the Rajasthan High Court today restored the registration of five of the mission's institutions and unfroze EMI bank accounts. EMI attorney Mohammad Akram told Compass that the court annulled the cancellation of registration of the EMI institutions without specifying a date and also ordered that their bank accounts be revived. Akram said the court also ordered the state Social Welfare Department to pull out its officials deployed at the EMI orphanage in Kota district. The officials were appointed at the orphanage following a June 13th high court order that dismissed five writ petitions EMI had filed challenging the revoking of registration of five of its institutions.
(Gospel for Asia)
In July, three students from a Gospel for Asia Bible College in Maharashtra were hospitalized after being attacked and severely beaten by a group of anti-Christian extremists. A month later, two pastors' wives were stripped and beaten before a village council for their faith in Christ. Both incidents are evidence of the growing oppression of Christians in central India, reports Gospel for Asia President K.P. Yohannan. The three students, along with a few Christians from a local church, were returning from sharing the gospel in a neighboring village when they were attacked. The Hindu fundamentalists beat the believers with belts and large sticks, and pummeled them with their fists. A group of local residents saw the attack and intervened to break up the beating and rescue the believers. The pastors' wives in Chhattisgarh state were "dragged before the community council, stripped naked and beaten for accepting Jesus and following Him," reported GFA regional leader M.A. Lalachan.
(Gospel for Asia)
The freedom of millions of lost men, women and children to respond to the love and grace of Jesus Christ is in danger of being trampled down in the legislatures of two Indian states. Gospel for Asia regional leader M.A. Lalachan said the states of Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh have passed anti-conversion bills aimed at keeping people from responding to the Good News of Jesus Christ. He called for prayer for the hundreds of missionaries working in the two states, for the Bible college students there and for the hundreds of churches now under threat from anti-Christian state governments.
Give thanks and praise to God that His work in Emmanuel Mission in Kota will be able to continue. Continue to pray for all of our brothers and sisters in India, asking God to defeat the spiritual forces of evil that drive the desperate measures of Hindu fanatics. Pray that despite any new restrictive legislation, millions of lost men, women and children will come to know the love and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Seven years after Issa Motamedi Mojdehi converted from Islam to Christianity, Iranian secret police have jailed him for abandoning Islam, but officially charged him with illegal drug trafficking. Authorities formally charged the 31-year-old Christian with drug trafficking when he was arrested two weeks ago. Secret police officials have told Motamedi Mojdehi that his real offense, said to be recorded in his confidential legal file, is abandoning Islam. Officials told him unless he renounces his Christian faith and returns to Islam, he will remain in jail and possibly face execution. An officer identified only as Mr. Baghani warned the arrested Christian that it might take "several executions" before Iranians understand the consequences of apostasy under Islamic law.
Pray our Omnipotent Father will protect Issa from all harm. Pray he will be kept strong by the precious Word he has hidden in his heart. Pray the mercy of God will keep Issa faithful to His Lord and Savior.
A Christian girl has gone into hiding in Pakistan to escape Muslim in-laws who beat and raped her for fleeing her forced marriage and refusing to practice Islam. Asya Khadim, 15, won a divorce from her abusive Muslim husband in February and sought shelter with a local aid organization to avoid reprisal attacks. Khadim had been married to Tanveer Qadir for almost 13 months when her mother filed the divorce case on her behalf in January 2006. "They tried to force me to read the Quran," the Christian girl told Compass. "My husband beat me every day for two months because I refused." Khadim's case highlights ongoing national debate over the controversial Hudood Ordinances that some say encourage domestic violence against women. Give thanks to the Lord that when Asya called to the Lord in her distress, He heard her and allowed her to escape her abusive in-laws. Pray God will work a miracle of His grace to take away her memories of the suffering. Pray for Muslims everywhere to hear and receive the gospel of peace, the glad tidings of good things.
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