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PAKISTAN: Man Charged with Blasphemy

PAKISTAN: Man Charged with Blasphemy

A Christian man was beaten and charged with blasphemy on 5 August, following comments made on his Facebook account about the Islamic celebration of Lailat al Miraj.

The celebration involves eating sacrificial meat. In response, Sohail Masih allegedly posted: “It is not possible that the blood of goats and bulls can wash away sins. The incident of Miraj is based on a lie.” The post came to the attention of a mosque leader, who claimed that “Muslims were extremely hurt” by the comment.

As news of the post spread, a group gathered and began to beat Sohail. Police intervened, taking him to the police station. When the crowds heard that charges had not yet been laid against him, they began to attack the station until the accused was charged with blasphemy.

With the help of police, Sohail’s wife Shunila, and their two young daughters, escaped to another city where they are being protected, since mobs threatened to burn down their house.

Investigations into the incident raise disturbing questions. Those who know Sohail, a salesman at a small shop, say that he cannot write and does not know how to share a post on his phone. It is believed someone may have maliciously shared the picture using his account while he was helping a customer. His wife acknowledges that he has seen the post but has not shared it, nor would he do such a thing.

Pakistan’s infamous blasphemy laws have been frequently abused, often to attack Christians and sometimes to obtain personal gain in business disputes.

Sources: CLAAS, Pakistan Christian Post, UCA News

  • Please remember Sohail in your prayers, along with his wife, young daughters, parents and others who are facing backlash because of this incident.
  • Pray that the truth will be revealed and justice will ultimately prevail.
  • Intercede for Pakistan’s governmental and judicial leaders, that they will be willing to make changes to these laws to prevent abuse.

Post your prayer in the comments below.

EGYPT: “The Lord Jesus Has Chosen You…”

EGYPT: “The Lord Jesus Has Chosen You…”

A young man was beaten, held captive and later disinherited after becoming interested in Christianity.

Ahmed was 16 when he found a scrap of paper on his bus seat that said, “The Lord Jesus has chosen you for Him.” This piqued his curiosity and set him on a journey of seeking Jesus.

When his family found Christian books in his room, they beat him and brought in an imam to try to change his mind. Later, they decided to send him to Saudi Arabia, where his father owned a factory. There he was imprisoned in a small room for seven years before his family allowed him to return to Egypt and then married him to a cousin.

In Egypt, Ahmed was able to access Christian media on the internet, and his faith grew. However, his family cut him off and removed his inheritance rights to his father’s business fortune.

Last year, Ahmed started a small restaurant business to support himself, but when the neighbours found out he was a Christian, they burned it down.

Source: The Voice of the Martyrs USA

  • Uphold Ahmed, pray he will continue to look to the author and perfecter of his faith. Pray he will grow in love for God and faithfulness to Him, even in times of trial.
  • Join with Ahmed in praying for his family, that they too may recognise Jesus as their God and be brought to repentance.
  • Pray for Ahmed and others who suffer at the hands of family members, that they will receive much love and care from their brothers and sisters in Christ.

Post your prayer in the comments below.

CHINA: Officials Demolish Crosses

CHINA: Officials Demolish Crosses

More than 100 security guards removed two church crosses in Wenzhou, Zhejiang, on 7 July.

At 5am, more than 100 government personnel arrived at Aodi Christian Church and Yinchang Christian Church. Christians in Wenzhou said they came with cranes, broke the church locks, and entered the churches. They also destroyed church property.

Church members at the scene tried to stop the officials, but several security guards beat them, resulting in several injuries. A man in his eighties was shoved to the ground.

When someone tried to call the police, no one answered the phone.

Crosses at both churches were removed. Some Christians prayed and sang hymns outside while the demolition went on.

After the incident, the local government pretended to not know what had gone on. Some Christians now fear Zhejiang could see a second large-scale cross demolition movement, similar to the one that occurred in 2014.

Source: ChinaAid

  • Thank the Lord for the resilience of the church in China.
  • Pray the believers will continue to stand firm on the Word of God and in spite of the increasing opposition, will continue to meet for worship.
  • Pray those directly affected may be healed, comforted and strengthened by the Lord.

Post your prayer in the comments below.

INDIA: Pastor Brutally Beaten by Hindu Radicals

INDIA: Pastor Brutally Beaten by Hindu Radicals

On Thursday 28 May, Pastor Dinesh Kumar was brutally beaten by radical Hindu nationalists in the Mau district of Uttar Pradesh, India. Pastor Kumar was returning from a prayer meeting when he was attacked and remains unconscious in the hospital.

According to local sources, several unidentified individuals followed Pastor Kumar on motorcycle as he was returning home from the prayer meeting. They brutally attacked him with sticks and hit him on the head. These blows rendered Pastor Kumar unconscious.

The mob continued to attack until a local noticed the situation. The mob fled the scene and the local person then helped Pastor Kumar to his house.

“I was screaming out loud when I saw my husband,” Mamta, Pastor Kumar’s wife said. “My mind went blank and I had no words. I thought something fatal took place looking at him with no movement.”

“I remembered he used to tell me, ‘I am in the ministry and committed to taking the Gospel to the people. I know the cost and some time it may be my life,’” Mamta explained.

Pastor Kumar was taken to the hospital where he received 16 stitches and remains unconscious. This was to contain the bleeding on his head and several other injuries. Pastor Kumar and his family serve as church planters in the Mau district of Uttar Pradesh. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown, several incidents of persecution have been reported from this area.

The police are waiting for Pastor Kumar to regain consciousness to proceed with taking a statement and then an investigation into the attack. The assailants ran from the scene before they could be identified.

Source: International Christian Concern

  • Pray the Lord’s ministering presence will bring complete healing to Pastor Kumar.
  • Ask the Lord to bring justice on behalf of Pastor Kumar and his family.
  • Pray the local believers will not be fearful but will continue to love the Lord, one another and those who oppose the Gospel.

Post your prayer in the comments below.

UGANDA: Christian Woman Seriously Beaten

UGANDA: Christian Woman Seriously Beaten

A young Christian woman from the village of Luwooko in eastern Uganda was ambushed and beaten last month for sharing her faith.

Lydia Nabirye, 23, is the daughter of an area evangelist. In early March, she shared her faith with a young Muslim woman who later came to salvation in Christ. After the new convert was threatened by family members, Lydia’s family gave her refuge, along with six other converts from Islam.

On 7 April, Lydia travelled to another village to visit a bereaved mother. As she returned, she was attacked by a mob, three of whom she could identify. The group said they intended to kill her because she was converting Muslims to Christianity. When nearby witnesses heard her cries, police were called and the assailants fled.

Lydia, her father Paul, and the rest of the family remain vigilant, knowing that Muslim villagers have sworn to harm them. This ministering family has particularly requested prayer for Muslim background believers in the area.

Sources: Morning Star News, Uganda Christian News

  • Praise God for the ongoing ministry of Lydia and her family in reaching out with the message of His salvation.
  • Pray for the protection of this ministering family and other Christians in Uganda who are sharing their faith.
  • Ask the Lord to encourage all believers, especially those who face anger from their families for turning to Christ.

Post your prayer in the comments below.