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LAOS: New Believer Disinherited by Family

LAOS: New Believer Disinherited by Family

When Jai placed his faith in Christ in December 2019, his Hmong family was very unhappy with him. They told him he could have no share in their father’s inheritance, and they divided the property among themselves.

They accused him of taking a foreign religion and of disrespecting their tradition of ancestor worship. “I do not care for lands or houses,” Jai told them, “as long as I can keep my faith.”

In February 2020, when Jai built a new house, his family and a village leader began to threaten him. Hoping to reconcile with his family, Jai invited his pastor to the village to explain the Christian faith to them.

Jai’s family and other villagers listened to the pastor, but they told Jai that as long as he remains a Christian there will always be problems. The pastor told Jai’s family that he would return to talk with them again. “Pray for the pastor to resolve this problem in the future,” a VOM partner wrote.

Source: The Voice of the Martyrs USA

  • Thank the Lord for Jai’s faithfulness in putting the Lord first in his life. Pray nothing will come from the threats and that the Lord will protect Jai and his property.
  • Pray along with Jai for the salvation of his family members. Pray the Lord will continue to grant Jai and his pastor opportunities to speak to the family. Pray that the Lord will even now be softening their hearts to the Gospel.
  • Thank the Lord for the strong Christian witness in Laos, which continues despite opposition.

Post your prayer in the comments below.

 

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.

IRAN: Christian Prisoners Contract COVID-19

IRAN: Christian Prisoners Contract COVID-19

Concerns are rising over news that at least 12 prisoners in Ward 8 of Evin Prison in Tehran, tested positive for COVID-19.

Christian convert Yasser Mossayebzadeh is one of the 12 and is now reportedly gravely ill. Two other converts, Saheb Fadaee and Nasser Navard Gol-Tapeh, did not test positive but are beginning to show symptoms. Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani and convert Youhan Omidi are at risk.

Prisoners in Ward 8 recently staged a sit-in to protest the poor living conditions that are putting them at risk of the virus. Rooms are overcrowded with few opportunities for social distancing, and the prison does not give the prisoners quality access to hygiene. It is estimated that there are at least another 10 Christian prisoners of conscience being held in other wards with no reports of their health status.

As the pandemic reached its peak in March, Iran released around 100,000 prisoners, six of them Christian, as authorities began to fear the spread of the virus within the overcrowded prisons. Despite this, the prisons are now overcrowded once more and there are even more Christian prisoners of conscience than there were before the pandemic.

Source: International Christian Concern

  • Ask the Lord to protect these prisoners from the virus. Pray the authorities will treat them with mercy and compassion.
  • Pray the Lord will use this time of uncertainty and suffering to draw them closer to Him.
  • Pray that believers in prison will have an opportunity to witness to the certainty they have in God, to those around them who do not know Him.

Post your prayer in the comments below.

NIGERIA: Children in Crisis Care

NIGERIA: Children in Crisis Care

Nigeria is sharply divided along religious lines with a Muslim dominated north and a majority-Christian south.

Fulani herdsmen, a tribe known for its adherence to strict 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 recent months there have been brutal attacks on villages in southern Kaduna State, north-west Nigeria. The attacks are led by rogue Fulani with sophisticated weapons from further north recruiting local disgruntled young Fulani men and boys who see no hope for their future.

In recent months there have been brutal attacks on villages in southern Kaduna State, north-west Nigeria. The attacks are led by rogue Fulani with sophisticated weapons from further north recruiting local disgruntled young Fulani men and boys who see no hope for their future.

VOM Australia’s ministry partner in Nigeria has been asked to help care for and educate some of the children affected. With this recent influx they are now caring for almost 300 children.

All of the recent arrivals are displaced, homeless with their families’ property destroyed, this year’s crops gone, tools, animals, household goods gone, without access to the land from which their families gain their livelihood.

All of the children have lost one or both parents in the conflict. Four of the group have old gunshot wounds from previous attacks, with significant damage to their small, frail bodies.

Sources: Christian Faith Ministries, The Voice of the Martyrs USA

  • Pray the authorities will take further action to deal with religious violence in addition to conflicts resulting from tribalism, territorial expansion and desperate poverty.
  • Pray for the pastors trying to bring comfort to their people who have suffered and who are fearful. Pray too for those taking great risks in sharing the Gospel with the Fulani.
  • Pray for our ministry partner as they care for these severely traumatised children.

Post your prayer in the comments below.

NIGERIA: Mass Killing during Curfew

NIGERIA: Mass Killing during Curfew

Armed Fulani attacked five villages during a 24-hour curfew in a predominantly Christian area in Nigeria’s Kaduna state.

While police said Fulani gunmen killed 21 villagers, local community leaders put the death toll at as many as 33. Dozens of homes were destroyed.

The attacks took place in the Atyap Chiefdom in Zangon Kataf Local Government Area last Wednesday and Thursday. Armed men travelling in trucks killed six people and burned 20 homes in Apiashyim village and killed seven people in Kibori village.

Locals reported the attack while it was still going on in Apiashyim, but personnel arrived only after the attack was over, a survivor told local media.

The Fulani men then attacked the Atakmawei community, killing 12 people and burning down 10 homes. Later, they killed three people in Apyiako village and five in Magamiya village, burning down several houses in both locations.

A truck resembling an armoured military vehicle and military motorcycles drove into the Apyiako village square while the attack was underway, but no attempt was made to stop the destruction, according to survivors.

Fulani herders routinely attack predominantly Christian farming communities in Nigeria’s Middle Belt. While some believe the nomadic herders launch attacks as they look for grazing pastures, the radicals are known for targeting Christian villages in a similar manner as the Boko Haram terror group.

Sources: Christian Solidarity Worldwide, AFP, The Christian Post

  • Ask for God’s intervention in the midst of this turmoil and for His presence to provide comfort and provision for those who are suffering.
  • Intercede for Nigerian believers who are under the threat of these attacks. Pray against any kind of retaliation.
  • Pray for those taking great risks in sharing the Gospel with the Fulani and for others involved in peace building initiatives between the communities.

Post your prayer in the comments below.