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LAOS:  No Rice for Christians

LAOS: No Rice for Christians

Seven families from two tribal groups are nearing starvation after village authorities confiscated their farmland because of their faith in Christ.

About 50 people from the Khmu and Hmong tribes form the seven families. “Their faith is strong, and everyone is actively serving one another and the Lord,” wrote a VOM partner.

The families are experiencing severe persecution, however. Authorities have taken their land and do not allow them to farm. When the village experienced a drought earlier this year, the government distributed rice to everyone except Christians. Authorities told them that if they want help, they must renounce their faith. “

Presently, the Christian families are in a dire situation with no food to eat. They have tried to dig up yam and to hunt jungle animals to sell in order to get rice to eat,” the VOM partner wrote.

Source: The Voice of the Martyrs USA

  • Pray that the Lord will keep these families strong in their faith and give spiritual strength to each one who calls upon His name.
  • Pray the authorities in Laos come to hear and experience the love of Christ our Saviour.
  • Pray that the families receive food as well as a place for them to hold weekly worship.

Post your prayer in the comments below.

CHINA: Authorities Prevent Overseas Church Aid Against Coronavirus

CHINA: Authorities Prevent Overseas Church Aid Against Coronavirus

The Chinese government has introduced even tougher restrictions on religious freedom, requiring religious leaders to “display complete devotion to the Chinese Communist Party”.

The rules limit communications between churches and overseas organisations, including donations.

But even before the new rules took effect on 1 February 2020, there were reports that Chinese officials were confiscating aid intended to help churches fight the coronavirus.

A Chinese Christian wrote on social media on 27 January, “Some overseas Christians shipped supplies designated to serve local hospitals through local churches. Yet the supplies were confiscated and the Christian who received the shipment was invited to ‘have tea’ with the police (a common practice to intimidate and threaten citizens).”

Also, a Christian human rights lawyer has been ordered to delete his posts on the coronavirus. Police warned lawyer Sui Muqing that his posts on the situation in Wuhan were damaging to the Party and ordered him to take them down.

Despite increasing persecution, Christians in Wuhan have been handing out face masks on the street and sharing their faith with pedestrians.

Sources: Release International, International Christian Concern, China Aid

  • Thank the Lord for the faithfulness of the Chinese believers, who continue to share the Gospel so faithfully. Pray for continued boldness.
  • Praise God for the growth of the church in China and pray He may use the current situation for the spiritual benefit of the people.
  • Pray for strength and unity for the church across the nation.

Post your prayer in the comments below.


NEPAL: Living the Christian Life with Beautiful Aroma

NEPAL: Living the Christian Life with Beautiful Aroma

An extremely poor family who came to Christ has experienced intense persecution but also rapid spiritual maturity. The family is so poor that they live in a shelter on government-owned land.

One day they met a pastor who told them about Christ. Eager for the hope Jesus promised, they accepted Christ as a family. They began attending church, walking eight miles each way. Then the persecution started.

Their landlord confiscated the land they were leasing to grow crops. In addition, their neighbours prohibited them from using the village water tap. “They are alone from society,” their pastor said. However, he is impressed with their mature faith in such a short time. The family told him, “The Christian life is like a rose that blooms and spreads aroma in the midst of a thousand thorns.”

Source: Voice of the Martyrs USA

  • Father God, I thank you for the spiritual maturity of this family and pray that they will continue to grow, stand firm in their faith and have strength to face their difficult situation.
  • Protect them from the enemies of the faith, let no violence be directed towards them.
  • Pray the Lord will prosper their way and let them find favour. Let them be a shining light for Jesus Christ.

Post your prayer in the comments below.

TAJIKISTAN: Government Enforcing Ban on Religious Education

TAJIKISTAN: Government Enforcing Ban on Religious Education

Government authorities in Tajikistan appear to be enforcing an existing law that prohibits religious instruction for children.

According to Christian contacts in the country, officials from the KGB and the Committee of Religion visited several churches recently, issuing written warnings against children’s religious education. Although the law prohibiting religious education for children has existed since 2011, it has been enforced mainly on Muslims until now. These recent warnings, however, have caused concern among church leaders.

Christian converts from a Muslim background are most vulnerable to persecution in Tajikistan. Non-traditional Christian communities, like the Baptist Church, also suffer from raids, threats, arrests and fines by authorities.

Recently, 5,000 calendars with Bible verses, which were imported by the Baptist Church, were confiscated by custom officials and destroyed. The church also received a fine of about four months’ average wage for “producing, distributing, importing, or exporting religious literature and items of a religious nature which have not passed through the compulsory prior state religious censorship”.

A customs official told Radio Free Europe that inspection had shown the calendars had “elements of propaganda of an alien faith”.

Sources: The Voice of the Martyrs USA, World Watch Monitor, Forum 18

  • Pray that those currently teaching children about God’s love, will be able to continue their important work.
  • Pray also that church leaders will see the need for addressing the spiritual needs of children.
  • Commit to the Lord the churches directly targeted by the authorities; pray the Lord will grant them wisdom and boldness.

Post your prayer for the children of Tajikistan in the comments below.

UZBEKISTAN: Meeting Raided, Believers Threatened

UZBEKISTAN: Meeting Raided, Believers Threatened

Police in Pap in Uzbekistan’s eastern Namangan Region on 19 November raided a group of Protestants meeting in a home for a meal and to read the Bible.

Police searched the flat illegally without a search warrant and confiscated legally-bought literature including Bibles.

Officers arrested all eight Protestants and took them to Pap Police Station, where they were questioned until 3am the next morning. Police forced most of the Protestants to sign illegally written statements and said that they might be prosecuted for possession of the religious literature they legally bought.

Christians in Uzbekistan are thought of as extremists. They face massive fines and detention for “illegal religious gatherings”. Orthodox churches meet openly and legally but most evangelical Christians meet in unregistered groups. Uzbekistan once routinely imprisoned Christians, but the government now favours short detentions and substantial fines for economic reasons.

Source: Forum 18 News Service, The Voice of the Martyrs USA

  • Commit these believers to God and pray the threats of prosecution may come to nothing.
  • Pray these believers will not be fearful and will continue to encourage one another in the faith and worship the Lord together.
  • Pray this incident may be used by the Lord to embolden the church and add to its number.

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