October 21, 2019

VOM Weekly Prayer Update-05/27/2011

China–Government Imposes New Regulations on “Illegal” House Churches

The pastors of some of China’s house churches are facing new restrictions, according to VOM workers. The pastors must provide police with weekly reports detailing their whereabouts and how many people attend their meetings. If pastors travel outside their city, they must report their plans, and they are restricted to short trips. If the pastors fail to report and police are unable to contact them, they are arrested. VOM workers say these regulations primarily target large house churches that organize under a specific name, advertise and meet publicly. House churches, which operate outside the official state church, are illegal under Chinese law. But because of the house church movement’s rapid growth in recent years, the government is struggling to deal with these churches. [Read more…]

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.