Seventeen Liberian believers are facing persecution from their families after their conversion from Islam to Christianity. They have been threatened, beaten and ordered to stop attending church and listening to Christian music, and many have fled to nearby villages for safety.
The young believers placed their faith in Christ after hearing the Gospel from visiting Christian pastors, who also gave each of them a pocket-sized Bible. Although they were initially afraid to listen to the pastors for fear of persecution, they continued visiting with them and other believers at night. Eventually, the new Christians’ relatives noticed they had stopped attending the mosque and learned of their conversion to Christianity.
Source: The Voice of the Martyrs USA
- Please pray that these new believers will continue seeking Jesus and will grow stronger in their faith. Pray they may encourage one another and be given the strength to stand firm.
- Pray these believers will have opportunity for effective discipleship.
- Pray the Lord will use these new believers to reveal Himself to many in the community, including those who currently wish them harm.
On Thursday 31 March, two Christian churches in Chile, one Catholic and one evangelical, were set ablaze by supporters of the Mapuche cause, a movement of indigenous Chileans which seeks to rid the area of religions contrary to their indigenous beliefs. These were the most recent arsons out of a total of five perpetrated in 24 hours.
The first attack ensued at the commune of Padre Las Casas, where the Catholic church of Santa Joaquina was burned. At the site, a pamphlet was discovered which alluded to the Mapuche, warning that their “grandparents and ancestors have also been burned to death,” a reference to the violence committed against their ancestors by Spanish colonialists.
Just hours later, an evangelical church, the Christian Union in Antinao, Chile, was also set on fire. Again, a pamphlet was found which read, “We are going to burn all churches.” This pamphlet also requested the liberation of Mapuche political prisoners.
According to Pastor Jose Dario Pineda, “We never imagined that these attacks would occur in our community. There is no conflict in our community. We are all Christians and live in peace.” The damages to the churches are estimated to be around $10 million.
This provoked governmental authorities to meet with leaders of the Mapuche in an effort to resolve this situation. The next morning, the Public Ministry named a special prosecutor to investigate the crimes in La Araucania, Chile. Eleven individuals had been arrested and charged in connection with this case.
Source: International Christian Concern
- Thank the Lord there were no reported injuries as a result of the fires. Thank the Lord the authorities have taken steps to protect the Christian community from further harm.
- Pray these crimes will in no way discourage the Christians in the area and throughout the nation, but instead encourage an effective witness for the Gospel through the outpouring of love and forgiveness and a promotion of church unity.
- Pray for members of the Mapuche group; ask the Lord to have mercy on them and bring many to repentance.
Korean-Canadian Pastor Lim Hyeon-soo has been in detention since February 2015 for entering the country to evangelise to the people of the hermit kingdom. The official charge has been committing “state subversive plots and activities” and, as a result of the charge, Mr Hyeon-soo has been sentenced to life in prison at hard labour.
He is but the most recent missionary/pastor to be detained and imprisoned by North Korea, a country which worships the regime’s founder Kim Il Sung as a deity.
In similar cases, the detained are forced into confessing whatever trumped up charges they are given. Occasionally, they are granted freedom for confession, but in Mr Lim’s case he will face life in prison.
Sources: Wall Street Journal, International Christian Concern
- Pray that God will intervene and provide a way for the quick and safe release of Pastor Lim. Ask the Lord to use Pastor Lim as a witness while he is in prison.
- Pray for God’s protection over Pastor Lim as he is detained and will most likely be harassed and threatened by the North Korean government for his faith.
- Remember to uphold to the Lord Pastor Lim’s family during this difficult time.
Write a letter of encouragement to Christians in prison