The Xingguang Church in Xiamen city meets in a residence because they refuse to join the government-sanctioned Three-Self Patriotic Movement. On 3 May, security officers burst into the home while the church was gathered for worship. The Christian men who had been guarding the door were pinned down and worshippers were forcefully dragged out of the home.
Calling the meeting illegal, the officers demanded that church members stop recording with their mobile phones and then confiscated them.
Throughout the proceedings, no warrant was presented. At least three of the Christians were injured and one had to seek medical treatment. Six of the worshippers were detained for several hours before being released that evening. The authorities have issued an order officially banning the church gathering.
Sources: China Aid, Christian Post, International Christian Concern
- Pray that the members of the Xingguang Church will find ways to continue encouraging one another and thus grow stronger in their Christian faith.
- Pray that the members who were hurt will experience the Lord’s healing.
- Pray that the church in China would continue to grow despite the opposition to the Gospel.
Issa, a Muslim background believer, left Islam for Christianity two years ago. Filled with zeal for his new faith, he decided to inform his family about his commitment to follow Christ. Outraged by his confession, they started to beat him. In the scuffle, they noticed Issa had drawn a cross on his wrist, similar to the tattoos worn by Egyptian Coptic Orthodox Christians. Seeing this caused further anger and, as a result, one of Issa’s brothers sliced Issa’s wrist and severed his artery.
In fear, Issa fled the house and took himself to hospital. After receiving preliminary first aid, he fled to Upper Egypt, fearing his family would pursue him. Still suffering from his wound, he heard about VOM’s mobile medical clinics and went for treatment. There one of the surgeons provided him with the comprehensive care he needed and he has since recovered.
Please pray for Issa’s continued protection. Pray that he will be an effective witness for the Gospel. Pray too for his family, that they will come to know the message of salvation through Christ.
Voice of the Martyrs, together with our partners in Egypt, is funding mobile medical clinics for Christians suffering from persecution and poverty in Egypt.
Providing medical care for these believers not only assists those suffering from illness or injury but is also an opportunity to provide spiritual encouragement.
If you would like to financially support the work of Voice of the Martyrs, please go to: vom.com.au/donate
Voice of the Martyrs Australia is an endorsed deductible gift recipient (DGR) by the Australian government. This means you can claim tax deductions for all donations over $2 to Voice of the Martyrs Australia on your tax return.
A pastor and his family in north-east India had a narrow escape when Christian villagers managed to head off a violent attack by extremists.
The mob brandishing swords, bricks and rods were minutes away from reaching the family after smashing their way into their home in Bihar state and threatening to kill them.
Pastor Palathingal Johnson called for help using his mobile phone and a crowd of about 50 Christians in the area responded immediately. The mob of around ten to 15 people, realised they were outnumbered and fled. The pastor had earlier called the police but could not get through.
The attackers shouted Hindu slogans as they smashed windows and broke in through the roof. The family barricaded themselves into one room: the children hid under the bed and their parents braced themselves against the door as the mob tried to force it from the other side.
“That moment I could see death face to face,” said Pastor Palathingal. “A delay of two more minutes would have cost us our lives. We constantly kept on chanting, ‘There is victory in the blood of Christ.’”
Sources: Morning Star News, Release International
- Praise God for the way He delivered Pastor Palathingal and his family. Pray for continued care and protection.
- Pray that this family and other Christians in the village will stand firm in their faith.
- Pray that the local police will take firm action and arrest the attackers and prevent further attacks.
Post your prayer in the comments below.
As we contemplate the year’s end, which is fast approaching, let us not forget the very many children who are victims of persecution for their faith in Christ.
We have seen and met many, who through no fault of their own, find themselves having to defend their stance on being Christian. We find in persecuted nations that children are often the forgotten victims of the atrocities committed against our fellow believers.
These children are our future! Voice of the Martyrs has undertaken initiatives to equip those most vulnerable with God’s word and bring joy to them during the celebration of Christmas.
We also work in restricted nations to provide education to children of fellow believers.
These children are a beacon of light in the world in some darkened places as we have seen in Turkey, where no schooling is provided for Christian children.
One option may be an international school where no faith is practised but this is out of reach for many families because of the exorbitant costs. The alternative is an Islamic public-school system which is intolerant of non-believers.
Many Christians who have fled from Iran to Turkey cannot send their children to Turkish schools (because refugees have no rights or access to services), so their children miss out on an education.
There are cases in India where Christian children are excluded from attending school because of their faith. There are also stateless children caught up in a system in Malaysia, where because they are Christian, they cannot attend a public school without being indoctrinated with Islam.
Children of the persecuted church need our prayers and aid. This year, we have the opportunity to bless persecuted children in China, you can help by supporting our Christmas Care campaign.
The authorities in China have closed many churches since the new draconian laws became effective in February this year, children are directly affected.
We ask that you continue to pray for those children affected by persecution because of their faith, especially during this time of Christmas.
“Whoever receives one of these little children in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me, receives not Me but Him who sent Me.” Mark 9:37
If you would like to financially support the work of Voice of the Martyrs, please go to: https://vom.com.au/donate