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LAOS: Ket and Boua Arrested for Christian Activities

LAOS: Ket and Boua Arrested for Christian Activities

Two Christians in Laos were detained in early August for sharing their Christian faith. ‘Ket’ was arrested for distributing Christian materials in his village. And when authorities learned that he received the materials from ‘Boua,’ a Christian woman living in another village, they arrested her the next time she came to visit Ket in jail. Ket and Boua face an uncertain future.

As one of the few remaining communist nations, Laos is a volatile area for Christians. Officially, the constitution allows for religious freedom, and the government officially recognises four religions, including Christianity. In practice, however, Christians are harassed, evicted from their homes and forcibly relocated, denied education opportunities, arrested and forced to deny their faith.

Source: The Voice of the Martyrs USA

Prayer Points

  • Pray the Lord will minister to Ket and Boua and other Christians in prison; ask Him to strengthen and encourage them during this time of uncertainty.
  • Pray their imprisonment will not be of long duration, but they may soon be restored to their families.
  • Ask the Lord to use their love for Him as a shining light in prison and provide many opportunities for them to share the Gospel.

 

YEMEN: Christians Facing Increased Hardships

YEMEN: Christians Facing Increased Hardships

The civil war in Yemen has created a humanitarian crisis, leaving the Christian minority vulnerable to increased persecution by various militant groups.

A mission group is delivering food and water supplies to a small community of Christian families who have no source of income, and nearby Muslim families have seen the love and unity among believers.

Please pray that these believers will continue to be witnesses of Christ’s love despite the many challenges they face and that they will stand strong in the face of persecution.

Source: The Voice of the Martyrs USA

Prayer Points

  • Praise God for the way he works through the witness of His people by the powerful example of Christ’s love for others.
  • Thank the Lord for the provision of food and other necessities; pray this small community may continue to be provided for and be generous with what they have.
  • Pray the Lord may pour out His Spirit on this nation to reveal Himself to many as He comforts and delivers people caught up in the unrest.

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COLOMBIA: Pastors Threatened by Guerilla Groups

COLOMBIA: Pastors Threatened by Guerilla Groups

A violent guerrilla group summoned nine Colombian pastors to a meeting on 8 July after the pastors refused to pay “protection money” in June.

On 7 July, the National Liberation Army (ELN) sent a note ordering the pastors to attend a meeting across the border in Venezuela, where the group operates with impunity. Many feared that the ELN might execute the pastors for refusing to pay the 2 million pesos ($930).

The pastors ask for prayer as they continue to face harassment from ELN members who have placed new restrictions on their churches. The guerrillas have forbidden the construction of new church buildings, and Christians are no longer allowed to meet in individual homes for worship or study. Additionally, any new pastors must be from the local region, and no one from outside the ELN-controlled region is allowed to visit the Christians there. ELN members also expect the pastors to help them financially from time to time because they are suffering from food shortages and a transportation strike.

Source: The Voice of the Martyrs USA

Prayer Points

  • Ask the Lord to grant these pastors wisdom when dealing with ELN members; may He give them the right words to say. Pray for their protection and that of their families.
  • Pray the Gospel may continue to go forth in spite of these threats and restrictions.
  • Ask the Lord to reveal Himself to many ELN members; pray that through the witness of these pastors the members may be moved to consider Christ for themselves and start on a new path.

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EGYPT: Chance to Scrap Blasphemy Law

EGYPT: Chance to Scrap Blasphemy Law

Reformers are pushing for Egypt’s ‘blasphemy law’ to be scrapped, but government ministers are trying to block their efforts.

The law is almost always used to prosecute those who are seen to criticise Islam and is often misused to persecute minorities such as Christians.

The Ministry of Justice is strongly opposed to a repeal of Article 98F of the constitution, which it says helps stop the spread of “strife and division.”

Reformers allege that extremists are misusing the law to settle personal scores against Christians, and that judges and police are using it to persecute Christians in “show trials.”

Teacher Dimyana Abd al-Nour, 27, was sentenced to six months in prison in June 2014 for ‘blasphemy’ for comments she made in a history class. That same month, Kirollos Shawqi Attallah, 29, was given a six-year sentence for ‘liking’ a Facebook page for Christian converts.

By contrast, extremists who attack Christian communities accused of blasphemy and other religious-related offences are able to act with impunity. On 17 June, a violent mob of about 1,200 people attacked property belonging to Pastor Karas Nasr’s church in Qaryat Al Bayda village, south of Alexandria. Security forces were accused of letting the violence take place. They arrested six Christians on accusations of planning to illegally build a church.

Sources: Release International, Daily News Egypt, Morning Star News

Prayer Points

• Please pray for the repeal of Egypt’s blasphemy law, for the sake of religious tolerance and freedom.
• Pray for justice for Pastor Karas and his congregation. Pray God will protect them.
• Pray that President El Sisi and his government will uphold religious rights enshrined in the constitution.

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EGYPT: Muslim Mob Attacks Christian Homes

EGYPT: Muslim Mob Attacks Christian Homes

A Muslim mob looted and torched Christian property and homes in Al-Beida village, Egypt on 17 June, after rumours spread of a Christian-owned building being turned into a local church.

More than 80 Christian families were affected by the attack last Friday, leaving hundreds afraid and without a place to conduct their Christian worship.

Christian residents of Al-Beida do not have a local church building. In fact, they are forced to worship at the Holy Virgin and the Archangel Michael Coptic Orthodox Church, which is seven kilometres away. The presumed church construction was actually the construction of a home for a local, Naim Aziz.

The angry mob attacked the building and destroyed all of the construction materials. They then attacked Naim and his brother, Mousa, leaving both men injured. After this, the mob turned their wrath on the Christian homes adjacent to the building, hurling rocks, looting houses and setting fire to any Christian property in their wake. The damages are estimated to be around 500,000 Egyptian pounds (approximately $75,000).

When police arrived on the scene they were unable to protect the Christians from the ongoing assaults. The Muslim mob continued to set homes and cars on fire in the presence of the police, unabated. The mob terrorised residents by gathering outside of Christian doors to perform their afternoon prayers on loudspeakers aimed at the houses, all in the presence of the security forces.

In the end, police arrested six Muslim men, all of whom were released by that evening, and six Christian men, who were released on bail the following day. The police station in Amirya charged the Christian men with erecting a building without permit and holding prayers without permission.

Source: International Christian Concern

Prayer Points

  • Ask the Lord to bring justice to these people who suffered injury and loss so that those who were responsible for the strife will be held accountable. Ask the Lord to intervene in the case of the Christians who were charged.
  • Pray to the Lord, our great healer and our provider; ask Him to restore health and courage as well as homes and livelihoods.
  • Pray these Christians will not be timid about their faith but be all the more determined to meet together to encourage each other. Pray the witness of these Christians may be used by the Lord to bring many to Christ.

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