Select Page
INDONESIA: False Kidnapping Accusation by Family of Christian Convert

INDONESIA: False Kidnapping Accusation by Family of Christian Convert

When Zulfitri Handayani, a woman from Aceh, converted from Islam to Christianity, her family announced that she had been kidnapped. Her two sons were taken into the care of her ex-husband and her own family.

In a recent video, she told the Mayor of Langsa, in Northern Sumatra, that she chose the path of Christianity and there was no kidnapping as claimed by her family. She apologised to her family but asked them not to accuse other people, slandering the man they claim to have kidnapped her.

Zulfitri also clarified in her video that she was under no pressure from anyone to convert to Christianity. She begs her sister, Amelia, to allow her to have at least one of her children with her because she can take care of them better than their father. She cries, “Is it wrong to have another religion? Is Christianity wrong? To the people of Aceh, do not believe my family.”

The family attempted to forcibly bring Zulfitri back home, but to no avail. Zulfitri remains in Medan without her children.

The province of Aceh stands alone in having formally established Shariah law in Muslim majority Indonesia. An Acehnese is presumed to be a devout Muslim.

Source: International Christian Concern

  • Ask the Lord to continue to give Zulfitri courage. Pray He will comfort her during this time of suffering and uncertainly.
  • Ask the Lord to intervene on behalf of Zulfitri and her children. Pray for the wellbeing of her two sons.
  • Pray the attention of this case will be used by God as a strong witness. Pray for the salvation on Zulfitri’s family members and others in the community.

Post our prayer in the comments below.

PAKISTAN: Pastor Arrested on Fabricated Charges

PAKISTAN: Pastor Arrested on Fabricated Charges

Sarfaraz Raja is the associate pastor of the Youngsen Memorial Church in the village of Youngsenabad, Punjab. He was preparing to deliver his Good Friday sermon on 10 April when his brother phoned, reporting that police had entered their family’s house and were harassing their mother and other family members. Accompanied by the head of the village, Pastor Sarfaraz rushed to the scene, where he found six police officers in the courtyard of the family home.

Rather than receive an answer to his enquiry about the authorities’ intrusion, Pastor Sarfaraz was forced into a police vehicle and transported to the station, along with his uncle. At the police station, distillation equipment from a storeroom was photographed with the two men and with this fabricated evidence, the pastor and his uncle were charged with illegally making and selling alcohol. Then the accused men were released on bail the next day.

Sarfaraz believes that the charges stem from complaints he had made earlier about the police wrongfully protecting criminals in the community. He says that other villagers, including the village headman, Chaudhry Ranjeet Lal, will vouch for him regarding these matters. While police deny the allegations, the sub-inspector mentioned his willingness to make a deal if the complaints against the police officers in the charge are withdrawn.

A government enquiry has been ordered by the provincial Minister of Human Rights to evaluate the actions of the local police. Cases of corruption in the country’s villages are not uncommon. Pakistani Christians are frequent targets of local authorities and often must contend with false allegations.

Source: Morning Star News

  • Pray justice will prevail for Pastor Sarfaraz and his uncle, proving their innocence so that the charges will be dropped.
  • Ask the Lord to bring conviction to the hearts of the police officers involved in such corruption and lead them to repentance.
  • Pray that the Christians of the village will demonstrate exemplary lives of honesty and grace so that others in the community would be drawn to faith in Christ.

Post your prayer in the comments below.

PAKISTAN: Tortured to Death by Police

PAKISTAN: Tortured to Death by Police

While investigating an alleged theft, police detained 28-year-old Amir Masih. Four days later, he died in hospital from wounds inflicted by police officers.

On 28 August Amir Masih was taken into custody after accusations of theft were made against him by his employer. Two days later, after not returning home, his family discovered that he was being detained. Finally, on 2 September, they were informed that Amir was going to be transferred to hospital because he was not well.

Video footage at the hospital shows police bringing Amir there on a motorcycle and then kicking him as they dragged him to the entrance. He died later that day, after telling his family of his torture.

According to his brother Sunny, Amir was mocked for his Christian faith. He was then tortured, beaten and electrocuted in the officers’ efforts to force a confession. An autopsy confirms that he had suffered extensive bruising, along with broken ribs.

At last report, six police officers, including a sub-inspector, have been criminally charged. Various political officials have intervened to ensure justice will be done. One of the officials, Shunila Ruth, believes it is very possible that Amir was tortured because of his Christian faith. “Unfortunately, there are segments in our society who continue to be prejudicial towards members of marginalised communities,” she states.

Sources: Morning Star News, Daily Times, Pakistan Today, The News International

  • Uphold Amir’s wife and two young sons, along with his other family members and friends. Pray the Lord will comfort them during this time of considerable shock and grief.
  • Pray that true justice will be done, and that action is taken to prevent similar incidents in the future.
  • Remember the many Christians throughout Pakistan who face opposition from authorities and fellow citizens because of their faith.

Post your prayer in the comments below.

PAKISTAN: Series of Sexual Assaults

PAKISTAN: Series of Sexual Assaults

Five young Christian girls have been sexually assaulted in different parts of the province of Punjab in just the last two months.

Christian women and girls are among Pakistan’s most vulnerable members of society. In many cases, they are considered soft targets for abuse and assault because they are a double minority. To the assailants, these victims follow the wrong religion and are members of the weaker gender.

On 2 July, Saira Shoukat, age 15, was sexually assaulted by Muhammad Jafar and Ateequllah in Muzaffarghar. After several attempts by Shoukat’s family, local police finally registered a First Information Report against Jafar and Ateequllah. This simple process, which initiates a police investigation, took almost a month for the local police to complete. However, the victim’s family is still facing significant problems as they are being pressured into withdrawing the case.

Days later, on 8 July, Suneha Sajid, a 14-year-old Christian girl, was falsely accused of stealing gold worth approximately 1,500,000 PKR ($14,200) by her Muslim employer in Shahdara, located near Lahore, in order to cover up a sexual assault. According to local reports, Sajid resisted the assault and threatened to file a complaint. For this, she was locked in a room and beaten several times. Finally, to cover up the incident, Sajid was accused of stealing gold.

In August, Yasmeen Ashraf, age 15, and Muqadas Tufail, age 14, were kidnapped and raped by three men in Kasur. The pair of Christian girls were taken when they were on their way to work as domestic workers.

Also in August, another young Christian girl, named Kanwal, was kidnapped, raped, and forcefully converted to Islam by a group of Muslim men and a cleric in Lala Musa, located in the Gujart District. After reuniting with her family, Kanwal shared that she had been beaten, sexually assaulted, and threatened with the deaths of her brothers if she refused to convert to Islam. As with Shoukat’s family, Kanwal’s family is also facing ongoing threats from the assailants.

Following Pakistan’s third Universal Periodic Review by the United Nations, in which violence against women and religious minorities were highlighted, Pakistan promised to combat all forms of discrimination and violence. The country promised to reinforce the relevant legal framework, run awareness campaigns, and ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice.

Source: International Christian Concern

  • Intercede for the victims. Ask the Lord to comfort them and their families. Pray He will heal them of their physical and emotional trauma.
  • Pray against the stigma often associated with these kinds of attacks. May these victims instead be treated with compassion and justice.
  • Pray those in authority will do all they are able to ensure justice and protection of vulnerable minorities.

Post your prayer in the comments below.

NEPAL: Christians Blamed for Villagers’ Deaths

NEPAL: Christians Blamed for Villagers’ Deaths

When five people died within a week in a small Nepalese village in January, the only Christian family in the Hindu village was blamed for the deaths.

Gianprakash and his family were asked to leave the village because they were following a foreign God.

One night, six young men came to Gianprakash’s home, shouting and trying to break down the door. When Gianprakash asked them why they were disturbing his family, one of the young men said, “We know the death spirit is here, and that’s why five people are dead!” Before leaving, they broke the home’s water cistern.

Gianprakash and his family have temporarily moved to another city.

Source: The Voice of the Martyrs USA

  • Ask our Lord, the great encourager and provider to minister to this family.
  • Pray the Lord will surround the family with love and support of fellow believers.
  • Pray for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the village. May many of the villagers come to know the living Christ and put their hope in Him.

Post your prayer for Gianprakash and his family in the comments below.