The View from the Firehouse

The one thing that is universal in fire stations the world round, is usually late at night there is a deck of cards, a pot of coffee and two or three fire fighters sitting around solving the worlds problems. It’s just a shame that no one listens to us.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

VOM News and Prayer Update: August 8

"Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows."(Luke 12:6-7)

(VOM sources)
On the morning of April 14th, four drivers of four different buses were hired by a militant Muslim group to crash into the SUV of our VOM contact, Andrew. On his way to visit 17 Muslim convert families, Andrew was rammed by a bus while in the front passenger seat of his moving vehicle. Immediately after the collision, the bus driver ran from the scene and reported to the leader of the hiring Islamic group that he killed the targeted Christian preacher in the red SUV. Andrew's left elbow was broken from the impact, and his right forearm was embedded with glass and severely lacerated in five places. Wasting no time, two men from the Islamic group went to the accident site to confirm the bus driver's account, but they were too late. Andrew's driver had already driven the smashed SUV away from the scene to the nearest city, where Andrew, unconscious, was later admitted to a government hospital. The Voice of the Martyrs is providing continuing medical treatment for Andrew, who was attacked for his Christian witness.

Pray the Lord will heal Andrew quickly and completely. Pray Andrew will continue bold and courageous in his faith. Pray our omnipotent Father will astound the bus driver with the reality of His presence and the loving forgiveness of Jesus.

(International Christian Concern)
Two Christians, who had been imprisoned in Bhutan on charges of proselytism, have been released. The Washington-DC based human rights group, International Christian Concern (ICC) was told by Christians inside the country that on Saturday, July 29th, the two men had been released and reunited with their families. "Benjamin" (Budhu Mani Dungana) and "John" (Purna Bahadhur Tamang) were arrested on January 7, 2006, in the small town of Paro after sharing the gospel with a non-Christian family. Jeremy Sewall, ICC's Regional Policy Analyst for South Asia, stated, "We wish to thank everyone who prayed for these men and contacted government officials to ask for their release. This is incredibly good news."

Pray the Lord will strengthen and protect Benjamin and John as they rejoice in their freedom and rebuild their lives. Pray God will help government officials allow more freedom to the people and not be overly concerned with the need to keep their "identity." Pray Christians will be the light of Christ in a dark place.

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.

(China Aid Association)
  • Fifty house-church leaders and Christians are still being detained after their church building was destroyed by the Chinese government on July 29, 2006. Meanwhile, the Chinese House Church Alliance issued an urgent statement calling for an independent international investigation regarding the forced destruction of the church and arbitrary arrests of these Christians. Among the 50 detained, four are still missing. On July 29, 2006, the local government sent several hundred trucks, four excavators, and thousands of military policemen to the building site to destroy the church. There were several thousand Christians there. When the police violently dispersed them, some Christians were injured, and over 50 were arrested. Since the Chinese central government official still denies the existence of those arrested, their church family members are greatly concerned. The church has not received any information about the conditions of their brothers and sisters in prison.
  • On the morning of July 27th, a Sunday school teacher's training class in Wangxi Production Group, Gengwang Zhuang, Tong Xu Village; Huainan City, Anhui Province was attacked by the local national security guard squad. Based on eyewitness information, some Christians, including 90 children (age 9-16), and 40 adults, were attending a summer Bible teacher's training class in the home of Li Lizhong, a villager in Anhui Province, when the local police suddenly attacked them. The party branch secretary of the village, went to Li Lizhong's house with another village cadre member. They scouted the training class on the pretext of examining "family planning," and left. A half hour later, more than 40 village cadre members and a squad of the National Security Guarder stormed into the village and surrounded Li's house. Under the pretext that the training class was disturbing the peace, the police swarmed the house. Some church equipment was carried away. In the whole process, the police did not show a search warrant or any legal certificate. All the children were released after registering their names and other personal information. More than 40 adults were taken to the police station and all were released at 3:00 a.m. the next morning, except for two, Pastor Li Lizhong and Sister Cai Yili, who were sentenced to 15 days administrative custody.
  • Three more Christian leaders from Xiaoshan district were arrested on August 3rd, 47 are still in jail. The three leaders are Brother Ni Huiming (45), Sister Shen Zhuke (52), and Brother Shen Jian (48).The local authority is threatening to force all Christian companies to pay a heavy fine for their support of the church building which was destroyed on July 29th. One Christian lady, Sister Wang Aizhen from Kanshan town, Xiaoshgan district, was severely beaten by the anti-riot police on July 29th, and one of her chest bones was broken. She is still being hospitalized.
Pray the Christians will remain faithful to Jesus, loving in their attitude toward their enemies, and bold in their witness. Pray those in prison will be comforted by the Word they have hidden in their hearts. Pray many Chinese officials will realize they are working for a cause that does not satisfy their deepest longings.

(ASSIST News Service)
July 24th, an Iranian Christian, named Issa Motamadi, was imprisoned on account of his faith. French internet news site VoxDei reports that Issa Motamadi, a resident of the North-western town of Resht, the capital of Gilan Province, will soon stand trial before a Revolutionary Tribunal. While Issa Motamadi has been accused of apostasy, it is likely that a non-religious charge will eventually be leveled against him in order to prevent accusations of religious persecution. Article 23 of Iran's Constitution states: "The investigation of individuals' beliefs is forbidden, and no one may be molested or taken to task simply for holding a certain belief." Allegedly, Issa and his wife Parvah came to the attention of the authorities around seven months ago when they decided to give their newborn son a Biblical, Christian name. Sources explain that this is interpreted as a sign of irrevocable rupture with Islam as it demonstrates that the child is born to Christian parents. Identified as Christian from birth, he cannot be accused of apostasy. There causes great concern that President Ahmadinejad may escalate persecution of Christians.

Pray Issa and Parvah will be strong as they stand up for Jesus. Pray that human rights and religious liberty organizations will intercede for Issa with appeals to their Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Pray our loving and merciful Savior will make Himself known to the authorities in Iran who are in bondage to the tenets of Islam.

# Posted by Alyfireman :: 5:12 AM :: |
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