Wednesday, July 02, 2008

What're You Whining About?

Just got this from Voice of the Martyrs. We need to be praying for those who are being persecuted for their faith and praying for those who do the persecuting:

Christians Abducted at Gunpoint by Muslim Extremists - VOM Sources

On June 21, 16 Christians were abducted by Muslim extremists when they gathered to pray in Academy Town, Peshawar, Pakistan. According to The Voice of the Martyrs contacts in Pakistan, "Salamat Masih and 30 of his family and close friends were gathered to pray and celebrate the birth of his daughter, when 12 Taliban [members] of the Lashka-e-Islam group broke into his house yelling and shouting. They held the believers at gunpoint. The Muslim house-owner, Haji Muhammad Saraj, was also present at the time to collect rent." VOM contacts added, "With machine and automatic guns, they forcibly separated the men from the women and children. Slapping the Christian men, they commanded all 16 men, including Pastor Zulifqar and Haji Muhammad Saraj, to get into the five waiting vehicles." The 16 Christian men were held captive for an hour. "They were beaten and abused, and had all their money and mobile phones stolen from them. During this time, the Taliban attempted to persuade Pastor Zulifqar to convert to Islam, which he unquestionably refused. After sunset the Taliban took them to another place where they were kept in a cave until their release 10 hours later," VOM contacts reported. Pray for believers in Pakistan. Pray God protects them and provides for all their needs. Also pray their courageous testimonies will draw nonbelievers into fellowship with Him.
Psalm 91:1-2

Christian Homes and Businesses Attacked - VOM Sources

On June 19, a mob of local Muslims attacked businesses and homes belonging to Coptic Christians in the village of Al Nazla, Fayoum province. According to VOM contacts, "When a convert from Christianity to Islam left that day on a three-day trip to Cairo, local Muslims concluded that she had gone missing. Rumors circulated that she had been abducted by her Christian family members. A mob of Muslims then went on a rampage in the village, beating and injuring Christians and destroying property." Ask God to strengthen those affected by the mob violence and for them to remain steadfast as they suffer. Pray that the perpetrators of this attack will come to repentance and salvation.
Revelation 2:10

Church Closed Again - VOM Sources

Recently, Muslims closed a church and blocked Christians from entering and holding services in Jatimula, Bekasi, West Java, Indonesia. According to The Voice of the Martyrs contacts in Indonesia, "Muslims blocked the alley leading to the church building. Pastor Anna and Huta Julu had to lead worship outside their church building and believers had to sit in the dirty alley to pray outside their church." VOM contacts added, "The sign outside the church building stated, ‘This church building is sealed,’ and it was written on a letterhead belonging to the Tambun Selatan district of Bekasi local government." This is the second time Muslims have closed the church in Bekasi. The church was first closed on September 10, 2005, when a mob of 100 Muslims nailed boards over doors and windows and prohibited believers from entering the building. Praise God for the unwavering faith of believers in Indonesia. Ask God to watch over Pastor Anna and Huta Julu as they continue to lead other believers in Indonesia. Pray for protection for believers as they courageously live for Christ in the midst of hardships.
John 15: 18-21

Pastor Arrested - Forum 18 News

On June 20, Pastor Hamid Shabanov was arrested after police claimed to find an illegal weapon while searching his home in Aliabad. According to Forum 18 News, "Pastor Shabanov's family and congregation insist that police planted the gun they claimed to discover. Shabanov's brother sees the arrest as a direct attack on the pastor's Baptist church and an attempt to halt Christian activity in the area. Shabanov's home was among those searched when another local pastor arrested on fabricated charges, Pastor Zaur Balaev, was detained in May 2007." Pray that the truth of this situation will be made known and that Pastor Shabanov will be released. Pray that Christians in Azerbaijan will be emboldened to follow in their Savior’s footsteps.
1 Corinthians 4:9-16"