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INDIA: Church Set on Fire by Suspected Radical Hindu Nationalist

INDIA: Church Set on Fire by Suspected Radical Hindu Nationalist

On Friday night, unknown aggressors set fire to an independent church in the state of Tamil Nadu, southern India.

The fire brought down the entire roof, affected the building structure, furniture, speaker boxes, and amplifier, causing damages estimated around $4,000.

While the reason for the attack is not yet apparent, members of the church suspect radical Hindu nationalists, who have been egregious in that region in the last few years.

According to local sources, on the morning of 13 June, Pastor Ramesh saw the flames and thick smoke coming from the church. By that time, the roof, made of coconut leaves and bamboo, was completely burnt.

“I was shocked for a moment looking at the church engulfed with flames and smoke. I was broken, and it was so painful, there was absolutely no way to save anything from inside the church. The church structure, instruments, and furniture inside the church are ten years of hard labour,” Pastor Ramesh said.

For the last ten years, Pastor Ramesh has led the Real Peach church in Vaylur, Changalpattu district. There are currently 100 members. He believes that this incident was an act of Christian persecution. He has been threatened to stop practising Christianity.

“After I recovered from the shock,” Ramesh said, “I filed a formal complaint with the police, and the police promised that they will carry on the investigation.”

In 2017, in the same district, a pastor was murdered only 8km from where Pastor Ramesh leads the church in Vaylur. “This place has been a difficult place for Christians,” Ramesh said, “and there are numerous instances where the Christians have been facing increased intimidations.”

The state of Tamil Nadu is known for its sizable Christian population despite being ranked two in the national tally of the most hostile states for Christians to live.

Source: International Christian Concern

  • Pray for Pastor Ramesh and the church members as they come to terms with the loss. Pray their willingness to continue to worship will be a witness for the Gospel.
  • Commit to the Lord the investigation and pray for the protection of the Christians in the community.
  • Pray for the perpetrators and all those in the area who oppose the Lord and His people.

Post your prayer in the comments below.

UGANDA: Christian Woman Loses Business and Home to Fire

UGANDA: Christian Woman Loses Business and Home to Fire

Radical Islam’s influence in Uganda has grown by more than 7% in the last three years, and many Christians within the majority Muslim border regions are facing severe persecution, especially those who convert from Islam.

When the restaurant she owned and operated was burned six months after she became a believer, Faridah assumed it had been an accident. But earlier this year, the two rooms she rented in a home were also burned, and neighbours mentioned smelling petrol.

Faridah lost everything she owned and now suspects her relatives were responsible for the fires.

After being abandoned by her husband, Faridah’s relatives had been helping raise her six children. But when she became a Christian, they cursed her and told her she would never have peace as long as she was a Christian. Her landlord is also demanding reimbursement for his loss.

Source: The Voice of the Martyrs USA

  • Pray that God will meet the needs of Faridah and her children.
  • Pray that in spite of the suffering she has endured she will remain strong in her faith and even learn to rely more on the Lord.
  • Ask the Lord to have mercy on Faridah’s relatives and pray they will come to a knowledge of the Gospel.

Post your prayer in the comments below.

NIGERIA: Militants Murder Christian Children

NIGERIA: Militants Murder Christian Children

Fulani herdsmen, a tribe known for its strict adherence to Islam, have attacked Christian villages for many years, and in the last two years they have committed more acts of extreme violence against Christians than any other group globally.

In the latest attack on 14 April, armed Fulani militants shouting, “Allahu akbar” [Allah is greater] surrounded a village close to the state capital, Jos. Firing their guns, they drove the villagers out and killed them as they fled – including three small children.

“The attackers appeared from different directions in large numbers and set many houses ablaze,” said one witness.

One heavily pregnant villager, Victoria John, fled with another pregnant woman, who was trying to escape with her five-year-old child.

“The child was screaming,” she continued. “She slipped and fell and they killed her.”

They burned down 21 houses and killed nine villagers including a 50-year-old grandfather, Sunday, his five-year-old grandson, Luka and Talatu, who was pregnant, along with her three-year-old child. They were buried on 15 April.

Many thousands have been driven from their homes by the heavily armed Fulani, whose attacks are provoking an exodus of Christians from the north and Middle Belt of the country. Despite the on-going attacks, the Nigerian government has done little to protect its Christian villagers.

Sources: Release International, Voice of the Martyrs USA

  • Pray for those suffering grief and loss and those who are fearful. Pray the Lord of comfort may bring His peace to those who are suffering.
  • Ask God to bring protection to vulnerable communities and pray He will provide the authorities with wisdom and motivation to bring an end to the unrest.
  • Ask the Holy Spirit to bring great conviction and repentance to members of Fulani communities.

Post your prayer in the comments below.

UGANDA: Relatives of Christian Convert Burned to Death

UGANDA: Relatives of Christian Convert Burned to Death

A Christian convert in Uganda is suffering tremendous grief after four members of his family – including his two children – were killed when suspected Muslim extremists set their home on fire.

Ali Nakabale, 36, lost his son, daughter, mother and stepfather when they were burned alive inside the family’s home on 20 August.

Nakabale lives near Uganda’s capital of Kampala in the Nakaseke district. Nakabale’s wife and other Muslims in the area were angered over the fact that Nakabale and his 56-year-old mother had accepted faith in Christ at an evangelism event in August 2018.

Nakabale was not home at the time his house was set on fire because he was visiting his aunt. “Upon arriving home, I found the house destroyed by fire that burned my four family members, including my two children,” he said. “On reaching the mortuary, I found their bodies burned beyond recognition.”

A neighbour who remained anonymous said that he became aware of the blaze around 1am. “We saw fire emanating from the house … with loud chants from Muslims shouting, ‘Allah Akbar’ [God is greater].”

According to Nakabale, his wife and relatives discovered his new faith in May after his young son innocently told his mother about his experience at an evening worship service he attended with Nakabale.

“When my wife began beating my son, condemning his action of going to church, then I knew our visit to the evening prayers had leaked,” Nakabale revealed. “The same day my wife walked out of the marriage and left the home. We got scared because we knew that our lives were in danger. For three months, no Muslims visited our home.”

Nakabale said that Muslim extremists were “monitoring” the family’s movements.

“Nakabale is depressed and is questioning God on the brutal deaths of his two little children,” an unnamed source said. “He needs counselling and prayers at this difficult moment.”

Although Christians make up the majority of Uganda’s population, there’s been a history of attacks against Muslim converts to Christianity by the Muslim community. Muslims make up about 12% of the country’s population.

Sources: Morning Star News, Christian Post

  • Ask the Lord to walk with Ali Nakabale during this time of great suffering. Pray he will receive much love and care from his fellow believers.
  • Pray the Lord will impress upon Ali the hope of being reunited with his loved ones.
  • Ask the Lord to strengthen the church in Uganda and protect His children from violence.

Post your prayer in the comments below.

 

 

Nigeria: Discipleship Centre Severely Damaged by Fire

Nigeria: Discipleship Centre Severely Damaged by Fire

An accidental fire has severely damaged the top floor of a vital discipleship centre in Nigeria and it is in urgent need of repair.

A VOM ministry partner runs the centre which offers firsthand help and vocational training for persecuted believers. Most of the young men and women who find themselves there are Muslim background believers (MBBs), fleeing life-threatening persecution in the Islam dominated North.

While the fire was accidental and no one was hurt, it has caused considerable damage to centre facilities including the top floor roof and windows. This leaves the centre susceptible to water damage ahead of the rainy season in March.

Without repair, no new MBBs can be accommodated and current disciples are sleeping in emergency accommodation.

We have set up an emergency fund to rebuild the safe house dormitory for the disciples. A laundry block with solar water heaters is also needed to reduce fire risk.

All of the centre’s disciples have fled life-threatening persecution, including beatings and imprisonment because they have turned to Christ. There are currently 61 live-in disciples, many of whom must overcome difficult backgrounds.

Graduates of the discipleship program have gone on to further missions training, many returning to evangelise among their own people. Others have used business and vocational skills gained in the program, to start their own small businesses.

To donate to this urgent project, please visit www.vom.com.au/donate