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PAKISTAN: Victim’s Family Goes into Hiding

PAKISTAN: Victim’s Family Goes into Hiding

Marilyn Asif, along with her four young children, has had to flee for safety after her husband Asif Pervaiz was sentenced to death for blasphemy.

Asif, 37, has already spent seven years in jail after a blasphemy case was filed against him in 2013. He was given the death penalty on 8 September.

The case against Asif was brought after the Christian refused to take part in Muslim prayers at his factory or convert to Islam.

Asif lost his phone, which was later used to send a so-called blasphemous text message to his supervisor at work. Asif believes the text was actually sent by his accuser to incriminate him.

Asif’s wife is fearful for the safety of her children.

The case has echoes of that of Asia Bibi, who languished in jail for eight years awaiting the death penalty before her lawyer had the case thrown out by the Supreme Court. A price was put on Asia Bibi’s head and her family were driven into hiding.

After the Supreme Court overturned the verdict, mobs brought cities to a standstill, calling for the army to mutiny and overthrow the government. After Asia was released, she and her family had to leave the country.

Asif has the same lawyer as Asia, Saif ul Malook, a Muslim who risks his life to defend Christians.

VOM’s ministry partner Release International is helping Asif and his family.

Source: Release International

  • Pray the Lord’s protection will be upon Asif, Marylin and their children. Pray they will see the Lord’s merciful hand at work in their daily lives so that they will not despair but continue to trust in Him during this trying time.
  • Praise God for the courage and kindness of Saif ul Malook. Ask the Lord to provide him with immeasurable spiritual blessing. Pray too for favour and wisdom as he defends Asif.
  • Pray the nation of Pakistan will bring change to its notorious blasphemy laws and guard against injustice.

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EGYPT: Convert Couple Severely Tested

EGYPT: Convert Couple Severely Tested

Though Egypt has a small Christian population, life is not easy for Muslims who choose to convert to Christianity.

John, a committed hardliner Muslim, came to faith in 2014 after studying the Bible in order to convince Christian friends to convert to Islam. His wife, Malika, also became a Christian after observing his new character for three years.

John knew how his family felt about converts: one cousin who came to Christ was thrown from a fourth-floor building, and another was imprisoned in a psychiatric hospital. When his family realised John had become a Christian, they imprisoned and tortured him for four months before John escaped.

Each time that John has found a job for the past three years, his family has followed him and had him fired. About a year ago, his wife and daughters were home alone when family members burst through the door, beat Malika and abducted their two girls. They intended to kill both husband and wife. Christian friends intervened, however, and the family is now safely living with other believers, though they still suffer trauma from the attack.

Source: The Voice of the Martyrs USA

  • Ask the Lord to shield this family from opposition or attack. Ask Him to surround them with His angels to minister to them and protect them.
  • Praise God for the strength of faith this family has displayed. Pray their courage may be used by God as a witness to Him.
  • Pray for Muslim background believers all over Egypt who endure hostility or are rejected by loved ones.

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LAOS: Villagers Threaten to Kill Christians`

LAOS: Villagers Threaten to Kill Christians`

A community in Laos blatantly told the four Christian families living among them that the only way to get rid of Christians is to kill them.

In an effort to persuade the Christians to leave, villagers have illegally logged all the trees on the property of one of the Christians. When the village faced drought and famine in 2019, village leaders purposely did not include the names of the Christian families on the list of those who would receive government assistance. When one of the Christians complained, village leaders told him the Christians were being stubborn by not leaving the village even though most of the village doesn’t believe their “foreign religion”. They added, “Right now, the only way to get all of you to leave is to threaten to kill you. Letting you Christians in this village is a waste of land here.”

The Christians do not want to leave their homes.

Source: The Voice of the Martyrs USA

  • Pray the presence and faithful witness of these believers may be used by God to bring many in the village to Christ.
  • Pray the threats against these Christians will come to nothing. Ask God to protect them.
  • Ask God to help these Christians remain focused on Him and stay bold in spite of the opposition.

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CHINA: Low Income Families Ordered to Abandon their Faith or Lose Financial Aid

CHINA: Low Income Families Ordered to Abandon their Faith or Lose Financial Aid

In the Chinese government’s continuing persecution of Christians, poor families are now being told to renounce their faith or lose welfare benefits.

The Chinese economy has been deeply affected by the coronavirus pandemic, especially low-income households struggling to make ends meet.  Now government officials are ordering Christians who receive welfare payments to replace crosses, religious symbols, and images inside their homes with portraits of China’s communist leaders. “All impoverished households in the town were told to display Mao Zedong images,” a local pastor said. “The government is trying to eliminate our belief and wants to become God instead of Jesus.”

A church member in one of the villages recalled how authorities entered his home and destroyed a calendar with an image of Jesus on it, then replaced it with a portrait of Mao instead. “Impoverished religious households can’t receive money from the state for nothing, they must obey the Communist Party for the money they receive,” he explained.

Enforcing the new regulation started several months ago across China. In April, the government of Xinyu City in the south-eastern province of Jiangxi withheld a disabled Christian’s funds (about $20) because the believer continued to attend worship services. And in Jiangxi’s Poyang county, an elderly Christian woman was taken off the government’s aid list because she said “Thank God” after receiving her monthly cheque (about $40).

In May, a government official in the eastern province of Shandong barged into the home of a Christian and posted portraits of Mao and President Xi Jinping, then said, “These are the greatest gods. If you want to worship somebody, they are the ones.”

Another elderly woman from Henan’s Shangqiu city lost her welfare benefits in April after officials found a cross displayed on her house door. “They tore it down immediately,” the Christian said. “Afterward, both my minimum living allowance and poverty alleviation subsidy were cancelled. I am being driven to a dead end. I have diabetes and need injections regularly.”

Earlier this year, the communist regime resumed removing crosses from churches throughout China, in addition, portraits of Mao and Xi have replaced images of the Holy Spirit.

Sources: CBN News, Bitter Winter, Australian Prayer Network

  • Pray to the Lord, our provider, on behalf of these brothers and sisters and ask Him to supply their needs.
  • Pray the people of China will be in no way deceived about their leaders – that they are entitled to be worshipped. Pray people will come to know and love the One true God.
  • Thank the Lord the church in China continues to grow. Pray the believers will be courageous as they face escalating opposition.

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UGANDA: Two Muslim Friends Become Brothers in Christ

UGANDA: Two Muslim Friends Become Brothers in Christ

Syamusudini began sharing the Gospel with friends at school after being rejected by his Muslim family and moving in with a local pastor.

One of his friends, Muhindo, listened carefully and soon decided that he, too, would follow Christ. Since he didn’t speak Arabic, Muhindo had never understood the Muslim prayer services, but he understood the words of Jesus.

Like his friend, Muhindo was rejected by his family. When his father learned of his Christian faith, he came after Muhindo with a machete. Muhindo then fled to his friend, where he was welcomed as part of the family. “I am a new creation, and I understand the one I pray to,” he said.

Source: The Voice of the Martyrs USA

  • Praise God for the faithfulness of these two young men. Pray their witness may be powerfully used by God.
  • Thank Him for the love and care they have received since being rejected by their families.
  • Ask the Lord to reveal Himself to Muhindo and Syamusudini’s family members.

Post your prayer in the comments below.