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MEXICO: Family Rejected by Community for Following Christ

MEXICO: Family Rejected by Community for Following Christ

Sister Hermida and her husband have four children.

Her husband came to faith in Christ through listening to Christian music, and eventually his whole family trusted Christ.

Because of their Christian faith, their indigenous community opposes them. The community has refused them basic necessities such as clean water, education for their children and any form of work to provide an income for themselves.

Amid the hostility they face, they continue to share God’s love with those in their community.

Source: iCommitToPray

Please Pray

  • Pray for Sister Hermida and her family to remain firm in their faith despite these trials.
  • Pray that their faithful witness will draw others in their community to faith in Christ.
  • Pray for Christians living in indigenous communities in Southern Mexico, who are persecuted by their communities and village leaders.
NEPAL: Mother of Five Faces Persecution from Villagers

NEPAL: Mother of Five Faces Persecution from Villagers

Padamkala Kami lives in the Mugu village of north-western Nepal with her three daughters and two sons.

Five years ago, Padamkala gave her life to Christ. Since then, she has faced much persecution because of her faith, as well as her caste. Fellow villagers in Mugu often beat Padamkala, claiming that these beatings are a form of worshipping their god.

They harass her and her children, visiting their house late at night to throw things and beat them.

The villagers have stopped Padamkala’s children from attending school so that they cannot receive an education. They also prevent the family from using the shared village taps for drinking water, forcing them to drink water that is unclean.

Despite her family’s persecution at the hands of fellow villagers, Padamkala’s faith remains strong.

Source: Partner contacts in Nepal

Please Pray

  • Pray that Padamkala’s resilience in the face of persecution will point the villagers of Mugu to the love of Christ.
  • Pray for VOM partners as they seek to find the best way to help Padamkala and her children.
  • Pray that her five children will be allowed to attend school again.
NIGERIA: Dozens Slain in Recent Church Attack

NIGERIA: Dozens Slain in Recent Church Attack

On 5 June, hundreds of Christians were gathered to celebrate Pentecost Sunday at the St Francis Catholic Church in Owo, Nigeria, when the service was disrupted by gunshots and explosions.

As worshippers attempted to flee the building, gunmen shot them down, both inside and outside the building. When the bloodshed was complete, dozens lay dead – including children.

The surviving victims were rushed to the hospital with injuries. It is believed that the number of fatalities could reach as high as 100.

Those who were unable to escape the building hid in silence while gunmen searched for remaining worshippers. The attack continued for more than 20 minutes before the assailants fled in a stolen car.

The identities and motives of the attackers are unclear, as no group has claimed responsibility, though some reports have suggested that Fulani herdsmen may be to blame.

Witnesses from outside the church building claim that four men were seen entering and leaving the building around the time of the attack.

The violence was unexpected, since the town of Owo is in the southwestern state of Ondo – an area of Nigeria generally left free from the religious attacks typically experienced in other parts of the country.

Politicians in Nigeria have widely condemned the attack. The country’s vice president, Yemi Osinbajo, termed it “inconceivable wickedness”, while the state governor, Rotimi Ageredolu, described it as “vile and satanic”.

Sources: VOM Canada, BBC, Al Jazeera, Nigerian Tribune

Please Pray

  • Pray for all of the believers who have been affected by this recent attack, including families grieving the loss of their loved ones, surviving injured victims, and those who managed to escape.
  • Pray that the perpetrators responsible for this attack will be held accountable and that they will realise their need for the forgiveness and grace of Christ.
  • Pray that Nigeria’s governing authorities will actively pursue justice and peace on behalf of our Christian brothers and sisters throughout the country.
LAOS: Widow’s Land Stolen After Trusting in Christ

LAOS: Widow’s Land Stolen After Trusting in Christ

After her husband died, BounMee felt cursed. Although she was an animist who believed in ancestral spirits, BounMee turned to Christians she knew to break the curse.

After meeting a local pastor, she put her trust in Christ.

Eventually, her brother-in-law, Reang, who is also a leader of her village, learned of BounMee’s Christian faith.

He told her to choose between God or her family; BounMee chose Jesus.

Angered by her response, Reang stole a portion of BounMee’s land, claiming that her husband, before his death, had given him permission to farm it.

Villagers have stopped talking to BounMee, further isolating her following her husband’s death.

Source: iCommitToPray

Please Pray

  • Pray for BounMee to feel God’s presence and be encouraged by His Word.
  • Pray that she can find community with other believers who can help her grow in her faith.
  • Pray that the 60 unreached people groups in Laos will hear the Gospel.
INDIA: Couple Arrested After Allegations of Forcible Conversion

INDIA: Couple Arrested After Allegations of Forcible Conversion

Karnataka became the latest Indian state to officially pass anti-conversion legislation after the state’s governor signed the law into effect on 17 May.

On that same day, members of the Hindu nationalist group Bajrang Dal filed a complaint against Pastor V Kuriyachan and his wife Selenamma, alleging that they have illegally converted more than 1,000 Hindus from the Yerava tribal community by visiting the area’s coffee plantations.

The accused couple was allegedly caught attempting to persuade Paniyaravara Mutha and his family to pray with them. In a written complaint submitted to the authorities, Paniyaravara alleges that the pastor and his wife were trying to convert them, as they had apparently done to his nephew earlier.

In a video showing a group of Hindu activists entering a home to confront the Christian couple, one person can be heard demanding: “Tell us, how many people have you converted? How much money have you collected, and where are your bank accounts?”

When police arrived on the scene, they arrested Pastor Kuriyachan and Selenamma and sentenced them to judicial custody for 14 days. The complainants have demanded that they be tried under the new anti-conversion legislation.

Such opposition against Christian activities in Karnataka is not new. One pastor, recounting the attacks he and his church encountered before the legislation was implemented, stated: Now that it is passed, this law gives [Hindu nationalists] a reason to beat us and attack us. The Christians in our state are scared. We see the trend and the worst is yet to come.”

Sources: Church in Chains, Release International, The Telegraph India, The Indian Express

Please Pray

  • Ask God to grant peace, wisdom and guidance to Pastor Kuriyachan and Selenamma who now must deal with these allegations.
  • Pray that the hearts of those who have heard the couple share the Good News will be softened.
  • Pray that the Lord will encourage, lead and strengthen other believers throughout India as they seek to share their faith in an increasingly hostile society.