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SUDAN: Church Members Convicted of Obstructing Police

SUDAN: Church Members Convicted of Obstructing Police

Fourteen members and leaders of the Khartoum Bahri Evangelical Church were detained on 7 July for demonstrating against the seizure of the church’s training school.

The property had been sold by a “committee” that was appointed by the government but which the church does not recognise and which has been ruled illegal by the Administrative Court.

Police first arrested 11 people, who were released after intervention from the church’s lawyer. When they returned to the church compound and continued to object to the takeover of the building, the police returned and detained 17 people, three of whom were released shortly afterwards (members of the government-appointed “committee”). Even after the prosecutor had ordered the release (pending trial) of the remaining 14 detainees, the police refused to release them.

On 10 July, all 14 were charged before the Bahri Criminal Court. The court sentenced 13 of them to a fine of 300 Sudanese Pounds ($65) for obstructing the police, and the other one to a fine of 500 Sudanese Pounds ($110) for obstructing the police and disturbing the peace. They were all released after paying the fines.

Five of them were released pending trial, as they will be charged for a breach of a signed commitment. They were detained in the first round of arrests on 7 July and then released after signing a statement saying they would not “disturb the peace” again. They were then re-arrested in the second round of arrests and accused of violating the conditions of their earlier release. No date has been set for their trial.

Sources: Middle East Concern, Christian Solidarity Worldwide

Prayer Points

• Pray those who have been charged will be treated justly; ask the Lord to grant them wisdom when dealing with the authorities.
• Pray those involved will trust in the Lord and will not be fearful for the future; pray the Lord will grant them strength.
• Pray this case may be used by the Lord as a witness for the Gospel.

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CHINA: ‘State-run Centre’ Targets Christians

CHINA: ‘State-run Centre’ Targets Christians

A leaked secret document has revealed the existence of a government body dedicated to church persecution in south-west China.

The document reportedly exposes a ‘state-run command-and-control centre’ operating at provincial level in Guizhou – or possibly at a higher level.

One of the churches in Guizhou that has suffered persecution is Huoshi Church in Guiyang city.

Three Huoshi members – Pastor Yang Hua, Wang Yao and Zhang Xiuhong – are in custody: Pastor Su Tianfu has been released on bail, awaiting trial; his family are under intense surveillance, as is Pastor Yang’s wife, Wang Hongwu. Pastor Yang has reportedly been tortured.

Huoshi (Living Stone), the largest house church in the city, has been banned from meeting as a body so has been forced to divide into small groups. Officials have been systematic in their efforts to identify church members; small groups have been evicted routinely from their premises.

Source: China Aid, Release International

Prayer Points

  • Pray for the release of all detained members of Huoshi Church; pray that all charges against them will be dropped.
  • Praise God that His church is growing in China, in spite of man’s efforts to stop the spread of the Gospel.
  • Ask God to raise up people to disciple new Christians in China and to strengthen the church.

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CHINA: Wife of Church Leader Buried Alive

CHINA: Wife of Church Leader Buried Alive

The wife of a church leader in the central Chinese province of Henan was buried alive with her husband underneath the rubble of their freshly demolished church, where she suffocated and died.

On 14 April, a demolition team was instructed to begin the demolition of the Beitou Church in Zhumadian, Henan Province to pave the way for new developers to take ownership of the lucrative property. The church leader, Li Jiangong and wife Ding Cuimei, stood in front of the bulldozers in an attempt to stop the destruction of their church. As a result, Ding Cuimei, was buried beneath the dirt by the demolition team.

The two government workers buried both of them underground, resulting in Cuimei’s suffocating to death. Li Jiangong dug his way up to the surface but unfortunately was unable to save his wife.

“Bury them alive, I will be responsible for their lives,” a member of the demolition team was heard to have said. The two responsible individuals were later on criminally detained by the local authorities because of pressure from the media.

Sources: China Aid, International Christian Concern

Prayer Points

  • Pray the Lord may bring an overwhelming sense of peace and strength to Li Jiangong and his family as they come to terms with their great loss.
  • Pray that God will be with the believers of Beitou Church; pray that they will find comfort in God’s love during this difficult time.
  • Pray this tragedy will be used by the Lord to bring attention to the plight of the suffering church in China in addition to furthering His kingdom.

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Sri Lanka: You Need the Power of God

Sri Lanka: You Need the Power of God

Those who come to Christ in Sri Lanka face challenges and trials from Buddhist or Hindu family members or village leaders. Sometimes the challenges are extreme: church buildings torn down, Christians beaten and even martyred for their faith. Yet God is at work: even with persecution the church in Sri Lanka is growing. Rev Godfrey Yogarajah, the leader of the National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka, tells about both the exciting growth in the Sri Lankan church and the persecution that our brothers and sisters there are facing, and how they prepare to stand strong even in the midst of persecution.

Listen to the full interview on VOM Radio here

CHINA: More Crosses Forcibly Removed in Zhejiang

CHINA: More Crosses Forcibly Removed in Zhejiang

Forty-nine crosses have been removed in Zhejiang province since the beginning of 2016 as the Chinese government continues to attempt to eliminate the power of Christianity.

Churches which have fought against the removals have had their water and electricity cut off, forcing them to have services elsewhere as the buildings are deemed unusable.

Christians stand in defiance in front of buildings, attempting to stop the advance of demolition crews. Government notices and orders are plastered on the doors of churches with church leaders being taken into custody, some never to be heard from.

Sources: China Aid, International Christian Concern

Prayer Points

  • Pray that Christians in Zhejiang would be encouraged in knowing that the government can remove the cross but they cannot destroy the body of Christ.
  • Pray for believers in China as the country continues to experience huge rates of growth and revival.
  • Pray the bold witness of these Christians will have an effect on the hearts and minds of the authorities responsible for targeting the church.

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