Wednesday, April 23, 2008
The Persecuted Church
Because Christians in America are free to gather as God's people for worship and Bible study without fear of persecution, we tend to forget that in other parts of the world the church is severely persecuted. Every week I receive a news and prayer update from The Voice of the Martyrs. I subscribe to this because I don't want to ever forget our brothers and sisters in Christ who are suffering and dying for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Below is the update I received this week. If you would like to subscribe to the weekly news and prayer update click on the link above.
Prayers for April 22, 2008 From The Voice of the Martyrs
CHINA Forty-six Christians Arrested, Two Remain in Detention
China Aid Association (CAA) reports that the Chinese Communist government recently launched a strategic campaign against house churches in Xinjiang Autonomous Region. As a result of this campaign, on April 13, 46 Christians were arrested by Public Security Bureau (PSB) officials during a Bible class and worship service in Kashi City, Xinjiang Province. CAA reported, "Forty-six house church Christians were holding Bible class and worship in the home of Mr. Ding Zhichun when PSB officials intruded into Ding's home and arrested all of them. Forty-four Christians were released after the trial day, following a 50 Yuan deposit to the PSB, by the family members." CAA added, "The Christians were mandated to confess their illegal Sunday worship activities and study the government's handbook on Religious Policy. They were also required to return and recite the policy to officials within one week." The Voice of the Martyrs supports and stands with Christians in China and encourages you to pray for believers who are living under immense pressure. Ask God to encourage and minister to the two Christians still being held by the police. Pray their testimony will draw nonbelievers into fellowship with Christ.
SOMALIA Four Christian Teachers Murdered - VOM Sources
On April 13, four Christian teachers, two of them converts from Islam, were murdered by Islamic militants in Beledweyne in south-central Somalia. The four teachers, two British citizens of Somali origin-Mr. Daud Hassan Ali (64) and Ms. Rehana Ahmed (32)-and two unidentified Kenyans, were shot and killed by Islamist insurgents during a midnight raid on the Hakab Private English School. The Islamic extremist group responsible for the violence, alleged that they fired indiscriminately and that the teachers were killed in crossfire. Local people, however, believe the teachers were singled out for their suspected evangelistic work. The wife of Daud Hassan Ali alleged that her husband was targeted because he was a Muslim-born convert to Christianity. Pray the families of those killed will rest in the knowledge that those who die in the Lord will be raised with Him. Pray the perpetrators of this attack will come to repentance and salvation. Pray for wisdom and protection for those serving Christ in Somalia.
UZBEKISTAN Pastor Beaten and Jailed in Samarkand - Forum 18 News
On April 3, Pastor Bobur Aslamov was beaten and jailed in the city of Samarkand, Uzbekistan, following a police raid on a house church meeting. According to Forum 18 News, "Other members of the house church were also beaten during the raid. The pastor remains in detention in an unknown location." At last report, no formal charges had been filed against him. Pray for the release of Pastor Aslamov from prison. Pray Uzbek Christians will continue to share Christ fearlessly despite the ongoing pressure.