VIETNAM: New Believer Tortured for Faith

VIETNAM: New Believer Tortured for Faith

Village leaders tortured a Hmong Christian recently in an attempt to force him and his wife to renounce their new Christian faith.

After the couple refused to abandon their faith in Christ, the villagers hung the man upside down over a fire of spicy chillies. The acrid smoke burned his skin, throat and eyes, until he eventually agreed to renounce his faith.

The couple has since fled to another village where they are able to openly follow Christ.

Source: The Voice of the Martyrs USA

  • Pray the Lord may help this couple overcome the trial they have suffered. May they experience great love and support from their Christian family.
  • Thank the Lord the couple now have an opportunity to openly live out their faith. Pray He will use them as a strong witness for the Gospel.
  • Ask God to continue overseeing the growth of His church in Vietnam, calling even those who oppose the Gospel.

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NEPAL: Christian-Run School Burglarised

NEPAL: Christian-Run School Burglarised

Buddhist fundamentalists broke into a school run by Christians recently, searching for proof that the Christians were indoctrinating local Buddhist children.

The Buddhists broke into the school during the night, rifling through offices and destroying furniture, but they didn’t find the evidence they were seeking. The Christian who manages the school was born into a traditional Buddhist family that came to Christ after his mother was healed from an illness. Because there was no school in the village, he decided to start one.

Several Buddhist students have come to faith in Jesus Christ since starting to attend the school, prompting accusations from Buddhist fundamentalists that the Christians are proselytising.

Source: The Voice of the Martyrs USA

  • Thank the Lord for the way He is working in and through the manager and students.
  • Pray for the protection and security of the school and its staff.
  • Pray the perpetrators may too have an opportunity to hear the Gospel and come to salvation in Christ.

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INDIA: Government to Introduce Anti-Conversion Bill to Parliament

INDIA: Government to Introduce Anti-Conversion Bill to Parliament

The BJP-led government is preparing to introduce a nationwide anti-conversion bill in the next session of parliament.

Many religious minorities in India, including Christians, fear the enactment of such a law because of the widespread abuse of similar state-level anti-conversion laws.

The government has already started drafting a bill that will prevent any kind of religious conversion. This comes shortly after the BJP-led government passed a controversial bill that stripped Jammu and Kashmir, India’s only Muslim-majority state, of its statehood and special autonomous status.

Radical Hindu nationalists often use the spectre of mass religious conversions to pass laws and regulations that limit religious freedom. Indian Christians are falsely accused of conspiracies where poor Hindus are fraudulently converted to Christianity.

However, according to India’s own population data, the conspiracy of mass conversions to Christianity does not hold up. In 1951, the first census after independence, Christians made up only 2.3% of India’s overall population. According to the 2011 census, the most recent census data available, Christians still only make up 2.3% of the population.

In states where anti-conversion laws are currently enacted, including Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, and Uttrakhand, they are widely abused. Radical nationalists falsely accuse Christian leaders and evangelists of forcefully converting individuals to Christianity to justify harassment and assault. Local police often overlook this harassment due to the false accusation of forced conversions.

To date, no individual has been convicted of forced conversions in India. This is in spite of the fact that some of the state-level anti-conversion laws have been on the books since 1967. 

Sources: International Christian Concern, Zee News

  • Ask the Lord to embolden Indian believers so that they may not be fearful of the government’s opposition but may be determined to love and follow Him.
  • Pray these believers will rest in the knowledge that the Lord is with them and that He oversees all things including the country’s leaders.
  • Pray this current threat will serve to grow the church in faithfulness and in number.

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ALGERIA: Another Officially Mandated Church Closure

ALGERIA: Another Officially Mandated Church Closure

On 6 August, a church in Bouidjima was officially closed by the National Gendarmerie for failing to have a permit. A government mandate, requiring permits for all churches, was issued in 2006. Yet, even though applications have been properly submitted, the requested permits were not issued. One Algerian church leader refers to the officials’ implementation of such authorisation as only a pretext, further surmising that “their goal is to end the church in Algeria”.

The church’s pastor, Messaoud Takilt, received notification of the closure only three days prior, giving the members limited time to vacate the building. On the closing day, they gathered for worship. When police arrived, the pastor convinced the officers to leave until after the completion of the service, at which time the building was officially sealed.

 Sources: VOM Canada, Liberté, Votre News

  • Uphold the leaders and members of this congregation and those of other Algerian churches facing similar uncertainty.
  • Ask God to imbue these Christians with strength and wisdom so they can continue reaching out with His love and grace.
  • Pray the church will continue to grow in spite of the opposition.

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INDIA: Christians Fear Increased Persecution Under BJP’s Second Term

INDIA: Christians Fear Increased Persecution Under BJP’s Second Term

Christians across India fear that persecution will continue to increase now that the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has secured a second term in power.

According to local monitors, a new wave of threats and intimidation have been reported since the BJP recorded a landslide victory in India’s national elections in May.

“A second term for the BJP has boosted the moral of Hindu groups, who keep threatening and intimidating minorities for being non-Hindus in India,” A C Michael, an official of the Alliance Defending Freedom, recently said. “These groups think that India belongs to Hindus only.”

In just two weeks following Prime Minister Modi being sworn into office for a second term as prime minister, violence against Christians was reported in Karnataka, Jharkahnd, Haryana, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry, and Uttar Pradesh.

Since taking power in 2014, the BJP-led government has overseen a dramatic rise in Christian persecution in India. In 2014, the year the BJP took power, the Evangelical Fellowship of India (EFI) documented 147 violent attacks on Christians in India. In 2018, that number more than doubled with EFI documenting 325 violent attacks on Christians.

With the BJP securing a second five-year term in power, many Christians in India fear that the number of attacks will continue to rise.

“These are not isolated incidents but [are] part of a great game by extremist Hindu groups to terrify minorities, particularly Christians, and render them as second-class citizens,” according to Peter Sony, a social activist based in New Delhi. “They believe Christians and Muslims aren’t Indian but foreign settlers who should be shown their real place.”

Sources: International Christian Concern, UCAN

  • Ask the Lord to minister to local believers who have suffered threats, harassment, attacks and arrests. Pray for healing and strength.
  • Ask God to enable Indian Christians to encourage one another and trust Him during this time of trial and uncertainty.
  • Pray for Prime Minister Modi, those in authority in India and those who currently oppose the Gospel.

Post your prayer in the comments below.