A local court in China’s western Xinjiang sentenced a Christian woman to three years in prison for holding a Bible study.
Ma Huichao, who was taken into police custody along with four other Christians when officials claimed their Bible study met without government approval, stood trial in mid-November for “gathering a crowd to disturb public order.”
Her lawyer, Li Dunyong was disallowed to plead innocent on her behalf, and she received a three-year prison sentence—which began on 30 December.
Ma does not plan to appeal.
Source: China Aid
- Ask the Lord to strengthen Ma physically, emotionally and spiritually through this ordeal.
- Pray she may have many opportunities to share the Gospel while in prison and bring glory to the One she is suffering for.
- Praise God for the faithful witness of Chinese Christians; pray those who belonged to Ma’s Bible study will take every opportunity to meet, to worship the Lord, learn from Scripture and pray for their friend.
Thirteen Three is committed to encourage the next generation of Australian youth to be bound with our persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ. We want to empower and inspire youth to live out the importance of Hebrews 13:3 by remembering the persecuted church.
To help your youth group achieve this, we have enclosed our new Thirteen Three Resource Kit for 2017.
Included in the resource kit you will find:
‘Gifts of Change’ money box
‘Gifts of Change’ poster
As a bonus, we have also included a USB drive which contains video resources.
These resources have been designed to equip you to run individual activities or entire programs for your youth group which focus on a deeper understanding of the cost and worth of following Christ, develop a commitment to upholding the persecuted church in prayer, and provide an opportunity for youth to make an impact through giving.
In 2002 when Rebekha Bibi first accepted Christ, her family tried to kill her. VOM helped her through this trying time and supported her desire to reach Hindus and Muslims in Pakistan. Rebekha’s love for God grew and soon she could attend a VOM-sponsored Bible college for two years.
Today, Rebekha travels from village to village sharing the Gospel. She is one of only a few females doing this kind of evangelistic work in Pakistan’s Muslim-dominated culture. Her Muslim background helps her speak more freely with Muslims and also validates the power of the Gospel.
Rebekha distributes VOM life packs, and VOM provides her with Bibles and Christian literature for her evangelism and training work.
“I have no fear from any fanatic,” she once told a VOM worker. “I am strong in faith. If God wants me in this area, nobody can stop me.”
Knowing that his church could be attacked at any time. Knowing the cost, Prasad Bandi continues to serve as its pastor.
Then, during evening services on 22 February 2015, someone on a motorcycle threw a Molotov cocktail at the church. Within minutes, flames had consumed the walls and roof, which were constructed of palm leaves and sheets of plastic. About 60 believers, many of whom had formerly worshipped Hindu deities, were suddenly without a church home. Chairs, Bibles, musical instruments and even Prasad’s motorcycle — essential to his work in and around six area villages — were destroyed.
Prasad, who shares the Gospel in a country where there is a growing movement to make all Indians Hindu, knows the cost of doing God’s work. He also knows that God will make all things new.
Prasad faithfully continues the challenging work of sharing the Gospel on the front line.
In the sixteenth century, King Philip II took a hard line against those who would try to interpret Scripture for themselves. Anyone found studying the Bible during this time was hanged, burned at the stake, drowned, torn in pieces, or buried alive. The inquisitors from the king were sent to inspect the house of the mayor of Brugge to see if any Bible studies were taking place there. In their search, they discovered a Bible. All present denied knowing anything about it. Then a young maidservant came in. When asked about the Bible, she declared, “I am reading it!”
The mayor sought to defend her saying, “Oh, no, she doesn’t know how to read.” But the maidservant did not wish to be defended by a lie. “It is true, this book is mine. I am reading from it, and it is more precious to me than anything!” She was sentenced to die by suffocation, sealed in the city wall. Just before her execution, she was asked by an official, “So young and beautiful and yet to die?” She replied, “My Saviour died for me. I will also die for him.”
When finally one single brick remained to complete the wall, she was told again, “Repent! Just say a single word of repentance!”
Instead she voiced her single desire to be with Jesus and added, “O Lord, forgive my killers!”
To some it is simply a book—a best-seller for years running at that. To others it is merely a family tradition—given at weddings, births, and funerals. Still to others, it is God’s holy and inspired Word. These believers cling to the words as if they were letters from a lover, pouring over them again and again. What do they see in the truth of God’s Word? What makes them willing to risk death to read it? Ask God for the answer. If its truths remain a mystery to you, ask God to open your eyes to see his words more clearly. Without his help, the words will remain marks on a page. But God can bring them to life.
Taken from Voice of the Martyrs book Extreme Devotion: