PRAY FOR THOSE BEING
AROUND THE WORLD TODAY
Around the world today
Christians are being persecuted for their faith. More than 70 million Christians
have been martyred for their faith since 33 AD.
This year an estimated
160,000 believers will die at the hands of their oppressors and over 200 million
will be persecuted, arrested, tortured, beaten or jailed.
In many nations it is
illegal to own a Bible, share your faith, change your faith or allow children
under 18 to attend a religious service.
WHERE CHRISTIANS ARE FREQUENTLY PERSECUTED INCLUDE:
(click on the link to see more details)
THREE EVANGELICALS MURDERED
Apr 19, 07. Three
evangelical Christians were brutally murdered in Turkey, April 18.
Necati Aydin (35), Ugur
Yksel (32) - both Turks - and the German Tilmann Geske (46) were found tied up
and their throats slit in the small Zirve Publishing House in Malatya, Central
Turkey. A fourth person escaped by jumping out of a window and was seriously
hurt. Turkish police have arrested five 19 and 20-year-old suspects.
According to press reports
the Muslims have admitted the crime. The paper Hurriyet quoted one of the
suspects with the words: "May this be a lesson to the enemies of the faith."
Zirve Publishing House
specializes in Turkish Christian literature and distributes the “Jesus”
Film. Geske, who was married and father of three children worked as an
interpreter for Zirve.
Aydin, married and father of
two children, was one of the directors of the Publishing House and also in
charge of a small evangelical church in Malatya. Recently Aydin held lectures in
Germany and urged Christians to relate the Gospel to Muslims "in a loving way."
The Turkish Islamic Union in
Germany has denounced the murders as an "abominable act."
The German public has
reacted with sorrow and outrage to the news of the multiple murder. German
politicians have also denounced the murders. Some are questioning the efforts to
integrate Turkey into the European Union, as long as religious freedom seems to
The EU Commission also
denounced the assassination but said it was too early to speculate about
possible repercussions for the negotiations with Turkey. - ASSIST News Service
Pastor Dmitri (David) Shestakov has been found guilty of
"incitement to religious hatred" and has been sentenced to four years'
deportation to a prison colony. Pray that the Lord will intervene in the
situation and that this faithful and courageous Christian will be allowed to go
Pray that the current wave of persecution against Christians in
Uzbekistan will cease and that they will be allowed to worship together and
share their faith without harassment or punishment from the authorities. As in
so many countries where Christians are persecuted, many different kinds of
charges are made against Christians in Uzbekistan, when clearly all that they
are doing is to live as Christians and follow the teachings of the Lord Jesus
CHRISTIANS FLEE FORCED CONVERSIONS
On April 14, several Iraqi
Christians fled from their homes in the Dora district of Baghdad in response to
a fatwa issued by an amir (independent Muslim prince or ruler). According to an
April 18 report from Compass Direct, the fatwa was enforced by militants
who told the believers they would be killed if they did not convert to Islam
within twenty-four hours. The fleeing Christians were prevented from taking any
personal belongings with them.
Six of the displaced
Christian families have since relocated to a church in another area of the city.
Several families have also relocated to the northern Kurdish region of Iraq. The
cross on the top of St. John the Baptist Chaldean church in Dora has reportedly
been removed by militants.
Ask God to protect and
provide for the displaced Christians.
Pray Iraqi Christians will not give in to fear but stand firm in the faith
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, (cowardice and timidity), but
of power and love and of a sound mind - (discipline and wise
Pray for peace and security
in Iraq and the establishment of a government able and willing to protect the
religious freedoms of all Iraqis.
For more information on the
persecution facing Christians in Iraq, go to
RAPED BY MUSLIMS
A 12-year-old Christian
girl, Shaheena Masih, was kidnapped and raped by four Muslim men on Easter Day
in the city of Lahore, Punjab province, Pakistan, according to an April 23
report from the All Pakistan Minorities Alliance.
Shaheena stayed home from an
Easter prayer service at a local church, Kings Revival Church, in order to take
care of her ailing father. At approximately 10: 00 a.m., her father asked her to
go out and get him some juice. On her way to a shop, she was kidnapped by four
armed men who placed a handkerchief on her mouth until she was unconscious and
flung her into a car. The men took her to a factory and locked her in a room,
where she was repeatedly raped by the four men over the span of two days. During
one of the attacks, one of the perpetuators reportedly said to the others,
"Don't hesitate to rape a Christian girl. Even if she will die, no one will get
us. Her poor parents cannot pursue us." They eventually left Shaheena at a
brothel run by a Muslim lady, who later dropped her off on a street near her
One of the attackers,
Mohammed Safdar, was caught by police after they raided the factory. Under
interrogation, he implicated the others. Only after pressure did the police
register a case against the attackers. They are now being pressured to drop the
charges and Shaheena's family has been threatened if the case proceeds.
Ask God to give Shaheena
healing from the emotional and physical scars of the assault. Pray that
authorities will prosecute the offenders to the full extent of the law. Pray for
Shaheena and her family as they will struggle with the ability to exhibit God's
love to their persecutors.
CHARGED WITH BLASPHEMY
According to an April 23
release by All Pakistan Minorities Alliance, on April 13 Sattar Masih was
preparing for his wedding the next day when some Muslim men came to his home in
Kotri, Pakistan with a piece of paper containing his picture and a hand-written
note containing comments that criticized Mohammad. Sattar denied that he had
written the note. When copies of the note were found posted outside a local
mosque, Muslims demanded that he be arrested.
Police took him into custody
and tortured him in an effort to gain a confession. The next day he was charged
with blasphemy under Section 295A and C. His uncle, Mushtaq Masih, was also
arrested even though he clearly could not have written the note since he is
illiterate. Local Christians believe the pamphlet was part of a conspiracy to
Pray that the truth will be revealed and that Sattar and Mushtaq will be freed.
Pray for emotional strength for Sattar and his fiancée during this trying time.
For more information on the persecution of Christians in Pakistan, go to
TARGET CHRISTIAN STATE OFFICIAL
anti-Christian incident a day is reported in Andhra Pradesh.
Hindu extremists in the
southern state of Andhra Pradesh have brought the incidence of Christian
persecution to an unprecedented high, including a slander campaign against the
state’s chief minister, Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, a Christian.
Sam Paul, public affairs
secretary of the All India Christian Council, said at least one anti-Christian
incident occurs per day. Paul believes that the rising number of attacks on
Christians is linked to a campaign against Chief Minister Reddy by Hindu
“Hindu extremists are
accusing the chief minister and the state government ruled by the Congress Party
of having a ‘Christian’ agenda,” Paul said. They are trying to ensure that “the
chief minister is branded as a supporter of Christian missionaries trying to
convert Hindus by the use of force and allurement.”
ARRESTED FOR PRAYING
Police in Andhra Pradesh
state arrested five Christians for praying for the sick and distributing
Christian literature in Gandhi Hospital in Hyderabad, the state capital, on
April 14. The Hyderabad police arrested the five, four of who were identified
only as Charan, Rajeswari, Sunita and Mary, after some junior doctors objected
to their visit and complained to the police.
The Christians were from
Tarnaka area of Hyderabad. The police took the Christians into custody and later
released them. The All India Christian Council (AICC) condemned the arrest of
the Christian visitors, calling it against the India Constitution, which gives
religious freedom to people of all religions.
BILL IN H.P.
In December 2006 the government of Himachal Pradesh passed an
anti-conversion bill to stop missionaries, their activities and evangelism
within the state. Anti-gospel activists are becoming stronger. Please pray
that this situation will change and that God's servants may stand firm in His
CONVERT SHOT DEAD
Pray for the family of Mr. Basheer Tantray, a Muslim convert who
has been shot dead for accepting Christ, in Jammu in the Kashmir area.
Pray for Pastor
Hatey Singh Gundiya and Pastor Gokul Gundiya who were both severely beaten while
waiting to board a bus in Jhabua.
Apr17. Four pastors were
arrested by the local police in the Cuttack district of Orissa state after local
Hindu militants saw them distributing Christian literature and accused them of
forcibly converting Hindus. The four pastors -- Pran Ranjan Mali, Santosh Kumar
Majhi, Jason Badra and Roshan Lima -- were released on bail the following day.
On April 20, church members
in Velakkudi village, Tamil Nadu dismantled their make-shift church building
when a group of villagers, incited by a militant group, threatened them at
knifepoint. Pastor Durai Peter and his congregation have been previously
targeted by militant groups who claim that the church services are a
disturbance. They also claim that the church's presence has rendered a "god" in
their local temple inactive. The Christians now meet on an open plot of land.
On April 22, two pastors
were beaten and jailed after twenty to twenty-five members of the Sangh Parivar
Hindu militant group disrupted a prayer meeting the pastors were leading in a
local believer's home in Rajanukunte village, Bangalore. At approximately 8:00
p.m. the militants surrounded the house where twenty Christians were meeting and
verbally abused Pastor Jayaseelan and Pastor Daniel. When the police arrived,
the pastors were ordered to accompany them to the local police station. On the
way, the militants attacked again, beating and verbally harassing the pastors
and four Christians who were accompanying them. The militants accused Pastor
Jayaseelan and Pastor Daniel of forced conversions. At 3:00 a.m., a magistrate
sent them to the central prison.
Ask God to heal those
injured in these attacks. Pray that Christians in India will trust God to enable
them to proclaim the Gospel even while suffering.
“At my first defence no one supported me, but all deserted me; may it not be
counted against them. But the Master stood with me and strengthened me, so that
through me the message might be fully proclaimed, and that all the Gentiles
might hear. And I was rescued from the lion’s mouth. The Master will deliver me
from every evil attack, and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom. To Him
be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” (2
For more information on
persecution in India, go to
MASS ARRESTS OF
Ap 07. Roughly 30 major
house church leaders were arrested when they met with four American Christians
in Xinjiang Province in western China. Eight of the Chinese have been released.
Six of them have been given criminal detention for 30 days. The four Americans,
at last report, are being held at a hotel. They may be put on a plane for home
and told not to return.
This crackdown pattern may
continue in the run up to the Beijing Olympics.
Pray for courage and
encouragement. When you see a church leader get arrested, when you think about
the possibility of three years in very difficult conditions in a labor camp, I
think it would be easy to get discouraged. - China Aid Association & VOM report
BEATEN & IMPRISONED
On the morning of February 7th police raided a Christian house in
Shanghuang, Jiangsu Province. The Christian couple who live there, Tan Jianwei
and his wife Qin Qing, were holding a prayer meeting. The police, who were
accompanied by officials from the Suyang Religious Bureau and the National
Security Protection Squad, entered the house. They proceeded to take photographs
of all the Christians present and asked them to write down their names. Those
who refused to comply were beaten. The police then searched through Tan
Jianwei's house and confiscated his Christian books, without leaving a record of
what had been taken. Pray for these Christians who long to meet together to
pray and worship the Lord without fear of violence or interference from the
Pray for Hua Huiqi and his 77 year old mother, Shuang Shuying,
imprisoned for their faith, that they will know God's strength and that God
would pave the way for an early release.
Praise the Lord and give thanks for the release of Liu Fenggang
after his prison ordeal and pray for his improved heath as he has a heart
condition and diabetes.
Praise the Lord. In what is believed to be the first case of its
kind, three Christians in China won an appeal against their 10-day prison
sentences. They argued that the punishment was illegal and this was upheld by
the Wendeng Intermediate People's Court. Thank the Lord for this and pray that
it may set a precedent for other cases where Christians are punished for
practicing their faith.
FAMILIES FORCE TO LEAVE THEIR HOMES
Constant threats and
pressure from authorities have forced five families to leave Nam Heang village.
These families are in addition to four that left in February. According to VOM
sources, the families recently accepted Christ and are being forced to leave
their homes and belongings because of their faith. Their greatest needs are rice
and materials to build housing.
Pray God will encourage
them, protect them, and provide for their needs.
“He has made His wonders to be remembered;
YHWH is gracious and compassionate. He has given food to those who fear Him; He
remembers His covenant forever.”
Pastor Van Thong and 11 other local pastors were arrested on
November 26, 2006, for attending meetings organized by Christian leaders from
the West. Van Thong is the head of Lao Evangelical Church in his province. He
has been denied visitors and is being held indefinitely.
Also pray for Rev. Nguyen Hong Quang and his church
which has been raided by police who arrested 17 people and demolished part of
the family's church/residence. Pray also for believers in tribal areas who
continue to experience strong opposition for their faith.
LAWYERS FACE TRIAL
Nguyen Van Dai, a
38-year-old member of the main Hanoi congregation of the legally-recognized
Evangelical Church of Vietnam (North), or ECVN (N), since 2000, was arrested on
March 6 for accusations relating to his defense of religious freedom, including
disseminating "alleged infractions of religious liberty [to Vietnam's enemies
Dai is one of Vietnam's few
human rights lawyers and is a member of Advocates International, an organization
which brings together Christian human rights lawyers from many countries. He
defended the "Mennonite Six" in 2004-2005.
Also arrested in early March
was Dai's colleague, Le Thi Cong Nhan, who faces similar accusations. Both are
due to be tried on May 11 for defaming the communist state of Vietnam. It is
expected that the trial will be nothing more than a charade.
Authorities have prohibited
Dai's wife, Khanh, from visiting him and she has not been provided with any
legal papers. By law she should have received a copy of the arrest order at her
husband's March 6 arrest citing the reasons for his "temporary detention." Her
home phone and cell phone services have been cut. Police have reportedly been
trying to incite neighbours against her.
MILITANTS JAILED FOR BEHEADING CHRISTIAN GIRLS
Apr 07. An Indonesian court
handed down a 20-year jail sentence to an Islamic Militant convicted of plotting
the 2005 beheadings of three Christian girls on Indonesia's volatile Sulawesi
island. Two other militants involved in the crime were sentenced to 14 years.
Judges sentenced Islamic militant Hasanuddin to 20 years in prison for
masterminding the grisly beheadings
of the three teenage
Christian schoolgirls three years ago, buying the machetes used to kill them,
and leaving a handwritten note at the scene promising more killings to come.
During his trial, Hasanuddin
admitted to planning the beheadings as revenge for the deaths of Muslims during
sectarian violence that plagued the Poso region from 1999 to 2000.
A terrorism expert and
author of several books on terrorism In Indonesia, says the jail terms for the
three Muslim militants were unlikely to appease Christians in Poso who were
hoping for the death penalty. He noted that it is unlikely Hasanuddin will serve
his full sentence. "You also have to realize when they say 20 years over here,
20 years doesn't necessarily mean 20 years. There's appeals and so forth and
sentences are cut."
According to intelligence gathered by the Indonesian government, the
International Crisis Group, and other terrorism experts, Hasanuddin was The head
of the regional terrorist group Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) for the Poso district.
Indonesia. Rita Aryanti
Kupa 43, witnessed the brutal murder of her husband, Pastor Irianto Kongkoli in
October last year. He was a prominent Christian leader. Please pray for Rita and
her three children; daughters Gemala 18, Geraldi 16 and son, Galathea 5.
BUT FORBIDDEN TO PREACH
After being held for more
than four months at the La Villa Marista Detention Center, Pastor Carlos Lamelas
was unexpectedly released when his family went for their weekly 15 minute visit.
However, he has been forbidden to preach in public on this Island nation that
many Cubans refer to as a prison with bars of water.
at a Nairobi Church were threatened with another attack on the Christian radio
station Hope FM, seven months after a raid on the station on church property
leaving one person dead.
leaders say abduction of Christian boys and girls for conversion to Islam has
become a common phenomenon in majority-Muslim Sokoto state. Beginning in
November of last year, 13-year-old Victor Udo Usen, went missing.
20, news that young Victor was spotted in a Muslim neighbour's
house jolted his family. Victor's mother, Esther Udo Usen ran to the house where
her son had been seen and met him as he was making frantic efforts to escape. "I
quickly held his hands and dragged him along with me towards our house. But
within a twinkle of an eye, I heard shouts of 'Allahu Akbar! Allahu Akbar!
Allahu Akbar [God is great]!' I was shocked as I saw a large number of Muslims
rushing towards us." She said. Please pray for this family.