January 21, 2019

VOM Prayer Update: Week of 5/13/11

Hey everyone! Sorry I’m late getting the VOM update up. Please pray for these Christiains!

  • Iran–Three Believers Released; Pastor Still Incarcerated
    Three Iranian believers were set free on Saturday, April 30, 2011 after 238 days in prison. A fourth believer who was arrested at the same time remains in custody. Arash Kermanjani and his wife, Arezou Teimouri, were at the home of Pastor Vahik Abrahamian and his wife, Sonia, when they were arrested together on Sept. 4, 2010. The four were taken before a judge on April 28, and they and their lawyers were asked to present their cases. Two days after the hearing, the judge unexpectedly ordered the release of Arash Kermanjani, Arezou Teimouri and Sonia Keshish-Avanesian, the wife of Pastor Vahik. Sonia does not know why her husband was not freed at the same time, and she is extremely worried about him. Though free, they may be called before a judge and re-imprisoned at any time. Please pray for Pastor Vahik, who remains in prison, and his wife, Sonia. Pray he will be released soon, and that all four will make wise decisions about their future. Pray for their church body in Iran.
  • Laos–Christians Brutalized and Killed
    Several Christians were recently attacked and killed in Xiengkhouang province, Laos. On April 15, troops from the Lao People’s Army encountered a group of Hmong Christians. All of the believers’ Bibles were confiscated, before the troops repeatedly raped four of the women, then shot and killed them. Their husbands and children were beaten, tied up and forced to witness the gruesome killings. At last report, the whereabouts of the surviving believers were unknown. 

    This incident and other recent reports indicate a disturbing increase of repression against Christians in the country. Pray for comfort for all those mourning the loss of the four Christian women. Pray for the peace and strength of Christ to reign in the hearts and minds of Laotian Christians under pressure for their faith.

  • India–Christians in India Facing Widespread Persecution
    There have been several accounts of recent persecution of Christians in India. On April 17, Hindu extremists burned down Grace Good News Vision Church. The church’s pastor was reportedly forced by police on March 24 to give a statement that he would no longer hold church services, to which he did not adhere. On April 6, Hindu extremists burned Pastor Prakash Siddi’s farm after he refused to stop leading worship meetings. Allegedly, the pastor was told by police not to file a complaint or he would likely risk retaliation by the extremists. On April 22, fifteen extremists stormed a Good Friday service at Calvary Bethel Church in Nandi Tavere village. The attackers tore up the worshippers’ Bibles and chased them from the building. The church’s pastor, Pastor Nayak, was arrested and later signed a statement agreeing to refrain from leading church services. Pray that pastors of small congregations like these would remain faithful to God and set good examples for others in the midst of trying circumstances.

VOM Prayer Update

Hi Everyone! Sorry for taking so long to get this weeks pray updates up. Had a busy week, so here you go! Please keep

  • Afghanistan–Imprisoned Afghan Believers Released
    Two Afghan Christians were released from prison recently. Shoaib Assadullah, who was arrested in October 2010 for giving a Bible to a friend, was released on March 31. While imprisoned in the city of Mazar-e-Sharif, Shoaib was physically abused and threatened by fellow prisoners. He refused to recant his faith in exchange for his freedom. Another imprisoned Afghan Christian, Said Musa, was released from prison in February after serving nine months on apostasy charges. He was granted asylum in Europe. Thank the Lord for the release of Shoaib and Said! Pray that believers in Afghanistan will stand strong in their faith and reach out to their neighbors, despite their small numbers.
  • Vietnam–U.S. Evangelist Gives Historic Sermon at Christian Festival
    Evangelist Luis Palau made history on April 9 when he preached at the Protestant centennial celebration in Vietnam. Palau, who preached on two consecutive nights in Ho Chi Minh City, became the first U.S.-based evangelist to preach at a major event in Vietnam since the 1975 communist takeover. About 5,500 people came forward to receive Christ over the course of two nights, even though authorities forced event organizers to relocate from an open field to an enclosed stadium at the last minute. The Palau team had hoped to hold a similar event the following weekend in Hanoi, but organizers were unable to get permission to use their chosen venue. Meanwhile, the Vietnamese government has increased its oppression of minority Christians living in the central highlands — forcing hundreds to renounce their faith. Thank God for this evangelistic opportunity in Vietnam, and pray for the new believers. Pray that Christians in rural areas will face persecution bravely.
  • Somalia–Al-Shabab Murders Christian Convert
    Members of the militant Muslim group al-Shabab murdered a 21-year-old Christian in the Lower Shabele region on Monday, April 18, as part of its campaign to rid the country of Christianity. Two al-Shabab militants reportedly entered the home of Hassan Adawe Adan at 7:30 p.m. and dragged him outside. A source told Compass Direct that the militants then shot Adan and shouted, “Allahu Akbar” (God is great). Adan, who was single, lived with his Muslim family. He secretly converted to Christianity several months ago, and area Christians said they think someone informed al-Shabab of Adan’s new faith. “This incident is making other converts live in extreme fear, as the militants always keep an open eye to anyone professing the Christian faith,” a Compass Direct source said. Pray that this news will not discourage other secret believers in Somalia, but will instead reaffirm their commitment to Christ. Pray that the Lord will fight their battles for them even if they keep silent about their faith.



VOM Weekly Prayer Update: Week 04/22/2011

Here is the weekly prayer updates from the Voice of the Martyrs email prayer letter. If you have never heard of Voice of the Martyrs check them out at http://www.persecution.com/. Please keep our persecuted brothers and sisters in prayer from around the world.

  • AZERBAIJAN–Unregistered Churches Banned from Worship
    Three religious communities in Gyanja, Azerbaijan, have been banned from meeting for worship. The worship bans were imposed in mid-March because the communities do not have state registration. Local sources said one of the religious communities was warned that “if they met for worship on the following Sunday or at any future date they would all be arrested.” Two buses full of police and riot police later arrived to prevent them from worshiping, but the church had already reluctantly canceled the Sunday service that day. The government, however, continues to deny its involvement in religious oppression. Babek Sadykov of the Gyanja Police said, “No one is being prevented from worshiping.” And President Ilham Aliev told a government-initiated World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue that “freedom of religion and freedom of conscience have been fully established in Azerbaijan.” Pray that believers will be encouraged to continue worshiping together despite opposition.
  • EGYPT–Copts “Terrorized” by Gang
    Since late January, Copts in Minya province have suffered repeated attacks from a large gang of thugs who target Christians. The first attack on a Coptic family occurred on Jan. 28. The family reported the assault to police but withdrew their allegations after receiving death threats from the gang. Then, on Jan. 29, the gang leader raped two Coptic women, threatening to kill their children if they took the matter to police. In another assault, gang members kidnapped a 30-year-old man and a 12-year-old boy; their families were forced to pay ransoms to secure their release. The gang has also reportedly imposed a nighttime curfew on Copts. Copts in Minya are dismayed that the police and army have not taken more decisive steps to detain gang members and their leader. Pray that authorities will take action to apprehend the gang members in Minya province.
  • CHINA–Pastor Arrested in Inner Mongolia
    VOM contacts in China report that one of their dear friends, a pastor, was arrested in Inner Mongolia Tuesday, April 12. The pastor, Jesse, was arrested along with four other leaders. His “offense” is that 1,000 university students attend his church. About 100 of the university students are also Bible school students who are taught by a VOM worker. Police have detained Jesse five times over the last year, and they had warned him and let him know they were watching him. Pastor Jesse and the four others are being held in a detention center where prisoners are usually held for at least 30 days. It’s not known whether he will be formally sentenced. A friend wrote, “We sent some clothes [to Jesse] but were not able to meet and talk to him. Please pray. The situation here is so bad.” Ask the Lord to encourage Pastor Jesse, and pray for his release. Pray that his church members will not falter in their faith but will grow stronger.

News from HeartCry Missionary Society-South America

This is an update from Hear Cry Missionary Society through their email updates about their missionaries in South America. If you have never heard of Heart Cry and would like to know more check out their website at http://www.heartcrymissionary.com/. Please keep those in prayer who are serving to bring the gospel to people around the world.

Peru and South America
The awakening that we are experiencing during this time in our part of the world, is the answer to the fervent prayers of brothers who went before us and who longed to see what our eyes are seeing. It is a blessed grace to be in the midst of such a move of God. Who could have imagined that we would be witnesses of the wonderful power of God working in a way in which only He is honored and glorified by all that happens?

God is producing a zeal for His name, His church is loving the Gospel of the glory of Christ, and in many places children, young people, and adults are spending time in prayer, meditating on the Scriptures, and inquiring into the counsel of God in order to follow faithfully in the footsteps of Jesus.
[Read more…]

VOM Weekly Prayer Updates Update: 04/15/2011

Here is the weekly prayer updates from the Voice of the Martyrs email prayer letter. If you have never heard of Voice of the Martyrs check them out at http://www.persecution.com/. Please keep our persecuted brothers and sisters in prayer from around the world.

  • China–Police Break Up Outdoor Worship in Beijing
    Police detained and fingerprinted more than 100 members of an unregistered Beijing church on April 10 after the church gathered for worship at an outdoor location near the city’s university neighborhood. The Shouwang Church, which has a congregation of about 1,000, was forced to meet outdoors after being repeatedly denied access to rented space. The church has faced difficulties with three separate spaces it has tried to use for worship since 2009. During that time, local authorities pressured the management of two hotels and one building developer to deny the Shouwang Church worship space, leaving them nowhere to meet. In March, the church made the difficult decision to meet outdoors. They understood that because of the public nature of their protest, they would likely suffer as a congregation and as individuals. Please pray for the Shouwang Church as they stand before man and God with clear consciences. “Pray for us in a loud voice, and raise up hands and pray vigilantly!”
  • Israel–Pressure Increasing on Messianic Jews
    VOM sources say Messianic Jews in Israel are facing increased pressure from groups opposed to freedom of religion. One of these groups, Yad L’Achim, staged a demonstration against a Messianic congregation of 150 in Ashdod. “The speech against the believers was slanderous and vicious,” said a VOM source. An Israeli television station that recently profiled Yad L’Achim described the organization as a militia that goes outside the law to carry out its agenda. Many Messianic Jews have had residency visas and even their citizenship revoked once their faith in Jesus was discovered. Others face constant harassment at their homes and businesses. “It is very important for you who pray for the Messianic body in Israel to … understand the depth of the paranoia and the hatred for the name of the true Messiah of Israel,” the VOM source said. Pray that Jesus will reveal himself to all those in Israel.
  • India–Eighteen Indian Christians Arrested
    Eighteen Christians in Odisha state (formerly called Orissa), including two pastors, were arrested on March 28 for converting to Christianity without an official permit. The two pastors and 16 newly converted Christians were arrested after a police complaint was filed against them in Mayurbhanj district. The Christians were brought before the sub-divisional judicial magistrate at Baripada and charged under the “Orissa Freedom of Religion Act,” which bans any conversion lacking a permit issued by authorities. All of the Christians were released on bail within three days. Pray that all charges against them will be dropped. Ask the Lord to minister to the new converts and deepen their faith through this persecution.

VOM Weekly Prayer Updates: 04/08/2011

The Voice of the Martyr’s weekly email prayer update on persecuted Christians around the world. Please pray for them and if you haven’t ever checked out VOM’s website take a minute and check it out here: http://www.persecution.com/.

  • SAUDI ARABIA–Eritrean Believer Faces Possible Death Sentence
    An Eritrean Christian faces a possible death sentence after being accused of preaching to Muslims outside a mosque in Saudi Arabia. Mussie Eyob, who converted to Christianity two years ago, was arrested at a mosque in the Haya Roda area on Feb. 12 and is being held at a high-security prison in Jeddah. Officials initially thought Mussie was mentally ill, but a medical examination found him to be in good mental health. Mussie’s family visited him on March 20 and found that although he had lost weight, he was being treated well and was in good spirits. Mussie began preaching at the Eritrean Embassy on Feb. 9 before moving on to the local mosque days later. Pray that God will soften the hearts of Saudi officials toward Mussie and that he will not be sentenced to death. Praise God for Mussie’s boldness.
  • EGYPT–Christian Convert Escapes Egypt An Egyptian man who has been in hiding for two-and-a-half years fled the country recently with his daughter. Maher El-Gohary, 58, had been in hiding since August 2008, when he filed a suit requesting to change the religious status on his ID card from Muslim to Christian. He and his daughter, Dina Mo’otahssem, 17, flew from Cairo to Syria in February. Maher had hoped to obtain a visa to the United States, where his wife lives, but he tried for one week and was unsuccessful. He then sought assistance at a U.N. office in Syria and was granted an appointment for late April. Although Maher and Dina are safer in Syria than they were in Egypt, they still spend much of their time in their apartment because converts from Islam to Christianity are persecuted in Syria. Maher has no income, so he and his daughter have difficulty obtaining basic necessities. During this time of struggle, Maher continues to acknowledge God’s enduring care. “Without God’s love, we would have been dead by now,” he said. Thank the Lord for the ways in which he has provided for Maher and Dina. Pray that they will continue to rely on his strength and not on their own.
  • BELARUS–Pastor Charged After Church Raid
    On Feb. 13, police raided a Baptist church in Gomel, Belarus, and charged the pastor with “holding an unauthorized religious service.” The pastor, Nikolai Varushin, faces a fine of up to $345 if found guilty. The police major in charge of the raid said police had received repeated complaints about the church from nearby residents. Police officers filmed the worship service and confiscated CDs, audio cassettes of sermons and religious literature. In January 2008, Pastor Varushin was fined for leading an unregistered religious organization. Pray that the congregation will remain steadfast in faith as they undergo this trial.

VOM Weekly prayer update

For those of you who don’t know, VOM is the Voice of the Martyrs ministries. They are an organization that is dedicated to helping the persecuted church around the world. You can view their website at: http://www.persecution.com/. Every week they send out an email to their subscribers with prayer updates from around the world. Please keep our persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ in prayer from around the world.

  • NORTH KOREA–Gospel Balloon Launches Threatened–VOM Sources, AFP In February, North Korea warned the South Korean government to stop allowing the launch of balloons that drop “propaganda” leaflets into its country. North Korea even threatened to open fire on locations in South Korea from which the balloons are launched. Some activists use balloon launches to drop political leaflets in North Korea, but VOM uses similar methods to send the gospel into North Korea. Because of North Korea’s threats, some South Koreans are now refusing to allow VOM partners to launch balloons from their neighborhoods. “We’ve decided to prevent the leaflet launch as it would make our hard life harder,” one of the district chiefs told AFP news agency. The balloon team asks for prayer that they will reflect Christ well as they continue to seek ways to send Christ’s message of hope into North Korea.
  • PAKISTAN–Cause of Christian Prisoner’s Death Questioned–VOM Canada, VOM sources A Christian serving a life sentence on blasphemy charges has died under suspicious circumstances in Lahore. Qamar David, who was imprisoned in June 2006 after a business rival accused him of insulting the Prophet Muhammad, died on March 14, 2011. Initial autopsy reports seemed to confirm prison authorities’ claims that he died of a heart attack, but Qamar’s family believes he was killed. He was reportedly threatened and beaten regularly by prison guards and inmates during his almost five years in prison. Qamar’s son told VOM contacts that the family was too scared to attend the hearing at which the medical reports were announced. Also in Lahore, 40-year-old Shaheen Bibi, a Christian mother of seven, was recently freed from her Muslim captors after being kidnapped last August. Shaheen had been drugged, raped, sold into marriage, and threatened with death if she did not convert to Islam. On March 6, a team managed to rescue Shaheen from her captors. She reported that at least 10 other women were in captivity with her. Thank God for her release. Pray that God will equip Pakistani Christians to be bold and gracious witnesses in an environment of severe opposition. Also pray for the repeal of Pakistan’s blasphemy law, which is often used against Christians. 

  • SUDAN–Violence Precedes South Sudan’s Secession–Assist News Service
    Violence has increased in south Sudan since the Jan. 9, 2011, Referendum on Southern Self-Determination. In February, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) clashed with forces of northern opposition figure Gen. Akhor, leaving 200 dead. Another 50 were killed in fighting between the SPLA and forces of Gabriel Tanginya, who is backed by Islamic Khartoum. In the north-south border region of Abyei, 100 Misseriya Arab militiamen and other Khartoum-backed forces massacred police and civilians. On March 2, 1,000 members of the militia attacked another Abyei village, killing 33. The violence has caused the displacement of 45,000 southern Sudanese–mostly women and children. Both the north and south are preparing for conflict. Please pray for the war-ravaged, predominantly Christian people of south Sudan.

Japan Update from Heart Cry Missionary Society

Hey everyone! No doubt you have all heard of the recent tsunami and earthquake in Japan. I thought I would share an update I received from Heart Cry’s email update this past Saturday. If you have never heard of Heart Cry, check their website out at: http://www.heartcrymissionary.com/ and also sign up for their email updates. Here is a letter from one of the missionaries in Japan.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Here in Tokyo, our family, church and friends are safe. Just after we finished a Bible study, we felt the big earthquake. Some things fell down, but we just ended up dizzy from the movement. The coasts are the most affected areas. Most probably you have watched on the news that they are estimating 20,000 dead people, and that there was some explosions in two nuclear plants in Fukushima. The reactors didn’t explode with these explosions, but the government is trying to cool down the reactors to prevent this from happening. There was a release of vapor with high levels of radiation from one of the reactors. The country is in a state of emergency. Some people were contaminated, but thousands are being evacuated 20 kms. away from the nuclear plants.

The world’s perspective of what is happening is focused on the spectacular show of houses and cars floating, on the buildings on fire, or the power of the tsunami. The most terrible sound we Christians heard these days is not the terrible sound of the earthquake or the roaring of the tsunami, but we heard in our spirits the cry and screams of thousands of souls going to hell. We do not deserve to be alive, each person who is reading these lines or breathing today–it is just because of the mercy and grace of our God. It is hard to see so much pain and devastation, but we cannot blame God. We have to praise god for blessing us with another day to live.

God decided to take away the life of thousands of people, and He decided also to keep the lives of many. We are crying for the consequences of His purposes and sovereignty. God is allowing all this devastation, death and suffering in Japan for a purpose. We believe there is a specific precious message from Him to each one of us. So it is our first prayer that we will eagerly seek to listen to His voice behind this tragedy. To spend time entertaining our interest in the images and videos will make all these events worthless. All this will make sense only if we listen to the message of our Lord.

It is disgusting to see people who call themselves Christians united in prayers with Buddhists and idol worshipers. Everybody is ‘spiritual’ now in Japan, but everybody is conveniently keeping silent about to whom they are really praying, and describing this time as an impersonal act of nature for the sake of the false atmosphere of world spiritual unity. Jesus have mercy on us.

After this tsunami in Japan, it is very sad that Japanese people continue praying to the animals, to the toilets, to buddha, to mountains, to their worthless idols, to demons and much other garbage. But it is more sad that many Christians are afraid to tell that there is only One God and there is Only One NAME under heaven by which we can be heard, and His name is Jesus Christ. God have mercy.

Please help us by praying so God has more mercy and patience with this idolatrous country. Japan is the country that rejected the most-over hundreds of years-the Gospel and the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Please pray for more mercy for Japan.

Please pray for more missionaries who are ready to suffer for the faithful preaching of the true Gospel. We need more missionaries here because the missionaries who do come, most of them return after only a very short time here.

Please pray that all Japanese people will repent from their idolatry and will run to our Lord Jesus, that they may be reconciled through repentance and faith.

Please pray that in this time of unbearable pain, the Japanese people will find through our Lord Jesus reconciliation, and real hope, comfort, love, joy and peace.

Please pray so Christians in this country will be brave enough to share the name of Jesus and to attack the idolatry.

Please pray so many Christians will talk with Japanese people about repentance and faith in Jesus, and that Christians will not use “Bible Promises for God’s children” to counsel and encourage the God-rejecting people.

Please pray for God to break our pride and break the pride of this country.

Pray so Japan will understand that their idols and thousand of gods are dead, and that they will not enslave or kill Christians like they did in the past, but this time they will melt and surrender and live on their knees worshiping the Only True God.