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LAOS: Next Door to the Enemy

LAOS: Next Door to the Enemy

Tensions have deepened in a Khmu village where two families have come to Christ and one lives next door to a high-ranking solider, who despises Christians.

Recently, a Christian from another village came to speak with the two families, who had asked him to show them how to accept Christ. When the Christian leader arrived, the neighbour interrupted them, asking the Christian leader why he was there. The Christian calmly explained he had been invited to show the families how to accept Christ. When the neighbour protested that it was against the law to convert, the Christian leader corrected him, telling him it was legal to convert to Christianity in Laos. The neighbour made no reply and he left, and the Christian leader led the families to Christ that day.

Since that time, the neighbour continues to harass and threaten the Christians, but the Christian leader encourages them to stand firm. “Pray for these Christians,” a VOM partner wrote, “as many of the Christian communities face similar threats.”

Source: The Voice of the Martyrs USA

  • Praise God for the way He is working throughout Laos – building His church.
  • Ask the Lord to strengthen and protect those who face opposition early in their Christian walk.
  • Pray for those who currently oppose the Lord and His church. Ask God to reveal Himself to the neighbour and give him a desire to come to know the path to salvation, through Jesus.

Post your prayer in the comments below.

PAKISTAN: Displaced Christian Families Return Home Under Police Protection

PAKISTAN: Displaced Christian Families Return Home Under Police Protection

Hundreds of Christian families have returned to their homes in Pakistan after threats of mob violence forced them to flee last month.

On 27 December, hundreds of Christian families fled the Charar neighbourhood of Lahore after a local pastor’s faith-based social media post was deemed offensive by Muslims.

“Pastor Raja Waris published a faith-based post on Facebook on 22 December which Muslims claimed hurt their religious sentiments,” Saleem Khokhar, a Christian from Charar said.

“The pastor apologised for the post and the issue was resolved the next day.”

Even though the issue was resolved, a mob of hundreds of Muslims began protesting against the Christians of Charar. According to locals, the mob demanded that Pastor Waris be beheaded for publishing the offending post.

“The situation turned dangerous when someone found out the Muslims were planning to set fire to the houses of Christians,” Khokhar reported. “This forced the Christians to flee the neighbourhood.”

On 28 December, Pastor Waris was handed over to police custody, where he remains.

Police have been deployed to Charar to keep any protest from turning violent. The police presence so far has been able to keep the peace and many of the Christian families that fled have returned to their homes. Rumours of mob violence remain, but police authorities have assured local Christians that they will protect the community.

Sources: International Christian Concern, Christian Post

  • Pray for the protection of Pastor Waris, his family and the community.
  • Ask the Lord to strengthen and uphold Pastor Waris as he endures this difficult and uncertain time.
  • Pray that the apology will be sufficient. Ask for Pastor Waris’s release.

Post your prayer in the comments below.

LAOS: Permission to Follow Christ Denied

LAOS: Permission to Follow Christ Denied

When Wat and his wife wanted to accept Christ, the front line worker who shared the Gospel with them was afraid. He knew their village head was a tough man. So he advised them to ask for permission first.

The couple asked for permission, but the village head did not give it. They accepted Christ anyway.

When the village head found out, he called the couple to a meeting, where he told them, “If you do not listen, I will put cuffs on both of you and throw you in prison!” The couple answered, “How can we stop? We promised the Lord that we will not throw our faith away. Whatever circumstances come; we will not stop.”

So far, the village head has not followed through on his threat. “There are many in the village who want to become Christians, but they are afraid of the village head,” a VOM partner wrote. “Do keep them in your prayers.”

Source: The Voice of the Martyrs USA

  • Praise God for the remarkable faithfulness of these new believers. Ask Him to use their example to encourage others in the faith.
  • Thank the Lord that the threat has come to nothing. Pray the couple will continue to be bold. Ask for their protection.
  • Pray for the village leader, that he will discover the Lord for himself.

Post your prayer in the comments below.

SRI LANKA: Pastor Forced to Close Ministry Following Threats and Intimidation

SRI LANKA: Pastor Forced to Close Ministry Following Threats and Intimidation

A pastor in Sri Lanka has been forced to close his ministry after being detained by police and threatened by Buddhist monks.

On Sunday 18 October, police arrived at the pastor’s house in Bakamuna, located in the Polonnaruwa district of Sri Lanka. Police ordered the pastor, whose identity has been withheld, to immediately report to the local police station.

At the station, he was taken into an office crowded with Buddhist monks. With the pastor’s church attendance list in their possession, the monks went on to issue a series of threats against the pastor and demanded his ministry be closed.

The pastor’s church has endured similar threats in the past five years. However, in light of these most recent threats, the pastor has decided to close down his ministry.

Christians make up 8% of Sri Lanka’s total population. They face frequent persecution and local opposition, often led by Buddhist monks.

Sources: Barnabas Fund, International Christian Concern

  • Ask the Lord to provide the pastor with wisdom, protection and courage. Pray too for the church members, that they will be encouraged in the faith.
  • Pray this incident will in no way stifle the growth of the church in Sri Lanka but that the Lord will use it somehow for good and for His glory.
  • Ask God to work in the hearts and minds of those who oppose Him and the Gospel in Sri Lanka. Pray for a harvest.

Post your prayer in the comments below.

COLOMBIA: Paramilitary Groups Close at Least 60 Churches

COLOMBIA: Paramilitary Groups Close at Least 60 Churches

In the last few weeks, field workers in Colombia have been inundated with reports of paramilitary groups closing churches throughout northern Colombia in the states of Antioquia, Bolívar, Chocó and Córdova. They began compiling a list, which has grown to 60 churches.

Many of these churches and the homes of pastors were tagged with the initials of the Gaitanista Self-Defence Forces of Colombia (AGC) paramilitary group, which is Colombia’s largest drug-trafficking organisation. Many of the congregations also received official letters from the AGC threatening them and directing them to close. Other pastors were kept from holding church services or from visiting the homes of parishioners.

According to a field worker in Colombia, “It appears that the graffiti marks on churches or pastoral homes is about the AGC marking their territory. There are several armed groups fighting for control in the region, including FARC dissidents and a Mexican drug cartel.”

Source: The Voice of the Martyrs USA

  • Pray for the believers living under intense stress in this region. May they know the strengthening presence of God.
  • Ask God for wisdom for pastors and church leaders as they make plans and decisions. Pray for their protection.
  • Pray there will be opportunities for Christians to continue to meet. Pray they will encourage one another and intercede for the members of paramilitary groups.

Post your prayer in the comments below.