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IRAN: Concerns Over Christian Convert Missing Since his Arrest

IRAN: Concerns Over Christian Convert Missing Since his Arrest

Friends and family of Mohammad Salehi, a Christian convert in his early 30s, are very concerned as they have heard no news of him since his arrest in August.

Mohammad was arrested at his home in Karaj on 25 August by agents of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard. It is very unusual that someone is detained for so long without the family being informed. It is not known where or why he is being held.

Friends of Mohammad request prayer both for him and his family who are deeply concerned for his well-being.

Source: Middle East Concern

  • Pray Mohammad’s whereabouts will become clear soon. Pray for his release.
  • Ask God to encourage and strengthen Mohammad and his family during this very difficult time.
  • Pray for his fellow prisoners and guards, may they be moved by Mohammad’s witness for Christ.

Post your prayer in the comments below.

CHINA: Human Rights Lawyer Still Missing After Two Years

CHINA: Human Rights Lawyer Still Missing After Two Years

Gao Zhisheng, a prominent human rights lawyer, has experienced persecution for many years. Since 2006, he has been released and re-arrested numerous times, often disappearing to undisclosed locations at the hands of the authorities.

When Gao had gone missing on 13 August 2017, family and friends had assumed he had been apprehended by the authorities again. Yet, in reality, two of his supporters had smuggled him out of the province in an attempt to free him from house arrest and keep him safe. After three weeks of intensive searching the authorities managed to locate him, and Gao has not been seen nor heard from since. There have been rumours of his location, but no one has been able to verify them.

Chinese law dictates that it is illegal to detain a prisoner for more than six months without charge. Yet, over the past two years, Gao has been unable to consult with lawyers, and his loved ones still do not know where he is being held.

In the time leading up to his latest disappearance, Gao secretly penned a book describing his suffering. In the book Unwavering Convictions, the human rights lawyer reveals how he came to faith while being imprisoned for defending Pastor Cai Zhuohua in 2004 and 2005.

Sources: ChinaAid, Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin

  • May God’s Spirit continue to wonderfully minister to Gao, wherever he may be located.
  • Lift up in prayer Gao’s family and friends as they struggle with the resulting uncertainty of his current situation.
  • Pray that God will mightily intervene not only on behalf of Gao but for all of China’s other persecuted and incarcerated Christians.

Post your prayer in the comments below.

MYANMAR: Crackdown on Christians in Ethnic Wa Region

MYANMAR: Crackdown on Christians in Ethnic Wa Region

As many as 92 pastors, evangelists and church members in the ethnic Wa region of Myanmar’s Shan state were arrested recently, while others are missing.

The United Wa State Army (UWSA), the military arm of the de facto ruling party in the region, is systematically closing churches and removing crosses from the buildings and Christians have been warned not to meet.

Issuing a statement on Facebook, the UWSA declared that all existing churches, missionaries, school teachers and clergymen were to be investigated, with foreign church workers banned and those found to support missionary activities punished.

It also said that all churches built after 1989 (when the Communist Party collapsed) must be destroyed, with the exception of one built with the government’s permission, and that no new churches will be allowed.

Wa is a self-declared autonomous state in Shan, bordering China and Thailand, which is not recognised by the Myanmar government. UWSA is Myanmar’s largest non-state army and is believed to be backed by China.

In one encouraging incident, the Christian daughter of a high ranking official volunteered to take the place of 14 evangelists who had been arrested by the Wa Army. The evangelists were released after having their heads shaved so people could identify them. “We’re praying and trying to fight against fear” a VOM contact said. “But it’s very difficult to do”.

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

  • Ask the Lord to give the believers in Myanmar His strength to endure and overcome this latest wave of opposition. Ask the Lord to provide His protection.
  • Commit to the Lord those who have been arrested and those who are missing – pray for news, pray for justice, pray that families will be reunited.
  • Pray these recent incidents may be somehow used by the Lord for His glory and for the spiritual good of the church in Myanmar.
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NIGERIA: Christians Drown in River Attempting to Escape Fulani Attackers

NIGERIA: Christians Drown in River Attempting to Escape Fulani Attackers

A pastor was one of at least 27 people who lost their lives following fresh attacks carried out by Fulani militants on five predominantly Christian communities in north-east Nigeria. Many of them drowned as they attempted to escape via the local river.

Various sources confirmed that the attacks took place between 13 to 16 September, and affected the villages of Gon, Bolki, Ndumusu, Yotti and Yanga, in Numan local government area (LGA), Adamawa state.

This is the same area where 3,000 homes were destroyed in December 2017, after fighter jets sent by the Nigerian Air Force were alleged to have fired rockets at villages where Fulani herdsmen were attacking Christian residents, according to a February report by Amnesty International.

A local pastor, who wanted to remain anonymous for security reasons, said 27 people had been buried following the latest attacks, which targeted communities along the Benue River. He added that, on hearing sounds of guns, many were scared and fled into the bush, or drowned attempting to escape via the river as they could not swim. He said that ten people are still missing, four from Yanga and six from Bolki.

Source: World Watch Monitor

  • Pray for the community as they come to terms with this great loss. Pray they will not give in to despair but look to the Lord as their comfort and strength.
  • Ask the Lord to restore those who are missing and heal those suffering from injury.
  • Pray for the perpetrators of violence. Ask God to have mercy on them; remove the hatred from their hearts and place a new Spirit in them (Ezekiel 36:26).
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EGYPT: Three Christian Women ‘Kidnapped’ in Cairo Suburb

EGYPT: Three Christian Women ‘Kidnapped’ in Cairo Suburb

Suzan went missing last week, as she walked to the church where she works in Egypt. Local Christians fear the 22-year-old has been kidnapped – just like two other young women who vanished from the same Cairo suburb just days before.

Women in Al Khosous, a mainly Christian town just outside Cairo, are said to be too frightened to leave their houses: a women’s meeting at Suzan’s church, which she attended, has been cancelled.

The suspected abductions follow an incident in which a Muslim was accidentally shot and killed during a dispute over money. A Christian man was taken into police custody and is expected to be charged with manslaughter.

Since then, there has been a sharp increase in attacks on Christians, especially women, in Al Khosous. But this persecution is nothing new: several local women have had acid thrown in their face, for not wearing veils.

Christians across Egypt remain under intense pressure. Extremists shot dead at least 29 Christians whom they pulled off a bus in Minya Province on 26 May. Church bombings in Tanta and Alexandria in April, and in Cairo in December, killed at least 68 people.

Sources: Release International, Morning Star News

  • Pray for the safe return of Suzan Ashraf Rawy and the two other missing women. Pray that they would know God’s protection and that his peace will fill them and their families and guard their hearts and minds (Philippians 4:7).
  • Pray for our Christian family across Egypt, that they will stand firm in their faith and put their complete trust in Almighty God.
  • Pray for wisdom, boldness and firm resolve for the Egyptian Government in resisting the spread of Islamist extremism in their nation and protecting the Christian community.