A 24-year-old Pakistani Christian woman was abducted on 12 May while walking with her 11-year-old brother. Marriam Mushtaq was suddenly snatched by four unidentified suspects in Bahar Colony, Lahore. For the past year, she had been studying adult education at Excel Educational Institution, and was on her way there with her brother Youhan at around 2pm when a white car pulled up next to them. A man with his face covered got out and dragged Marriam inside the car before it sped off.
Marriam tried to escape from the abductors, but then one of them placed a piece of cloth over her mouth and she became unconscious. The alarmed young brother began calling out for help. A few people gathered and boys on motorbikes started following the car; however, as it was speeding so fast, the perpetrators’ vehicle hit a young girl who was crossing the road. The victim suffered serious leg injuries. The local boys followed the car on their motorbikes until it vanished out of sight.
Marriam’s family visited the local police station to register a complaint, but the police initially did not respond. Only after the family and local Christians staged a protest, blocking the road for two hours, did the police agree to register a First Information Report against the unknown abductors.
Two days after Marriam’s mother filed a complaint with the police, she received a phone call from officers who stated that her daughter had not been kidnapped, but was married. A 32-year-old man named Muhammed Ali, who Marriam’s family claim is her kidnapper, attended the police station and presented a marriage certificate.
Members of the young woman’s family believe she would never voluntarily marry a militant Muslim, stressing their concerns that she has been forced into marriage and is now being held against her will.
Sources: Release International; Centre for Legal Aid, Assistance and Settlement (CLAAS)
- Please pray that Marriam will be safety reunited with her family. In the meantime, may God provide each one of them needed comfort and strength during this time of unwarranted separation.
- Pray this case will be taken seriously by the police and that they will do all the can for Marriam and her family. May the convicting power of the Holy Spirit come upon the abductors.
- Pray for the young girl who was seriously injured by the getaway car, praying that she will know the Lord’s presence, peace and healing.
PAKISTAN: Christian Boy Dies After Being Set on Fire
PAKISTAN: Illiterate Christians Sentenced to Death
PAKISTAN: Christian Girl Killed by Muslim Men
A Baptist pastor in eastern Uganda was poisoned to death after an intense theological dialogue with a Muslim villager.
Micah Byamukama, pastor of Kasecha Baptist Church in Kasecha village, died at Kabweri Health Centre on 15 May after consuming an insecticide laced into his food. He was 61.
Ahmed Mupere, the alleged assailant, was said to be upset with Pastor Micah, a fervent evangelist, after public discussions in which the pastor challenged his theology.
Less than a week before the poisoning, Pastor Micah survived a knife attack by unidentified persons, who may have been hired by Mupere. The pastor was wounded, but neighbours responded to his cries for help and rescued him.
A widower with no children, Pastor Micah was alone when Mupere visited on 15 May, five days after the knife attack. Feigning reconciliation as he dined with the pastor from a shared dish, Mupere allegedly put poison on the food and stopped eating as Pastor Micah continued to eat.
Before he died, the pastor told his neighbour, “Ahmed took a little food with me and then stopped. When I asked him why not continue with the food, he said he had eaten at his home, and that he wanted go back home because it was getting late.”
Shortly after Mupere left, the pastor began to experience stomach pains. He was rushed to the health centre, where the pain and other symptoms intensified, before he passed away.
Police are investigating, and Mupere has fled the village.
Sources: Assist New Service, Morning Star News
- Pray for justice in this case; may the authorities do all they can to find the perpetrator. Pray he may have the opportunity to understand the Gospel and seek forgiveness from the one true God.
- Pray for Pastor Micah’s loved ones and his congregation; may the Lord comfort them in their grief and may they be encouraged by Pastor Micah’s bold witness.
- Pray for the church in Uganda, that in spite of the increasing opposition, the church may be strong, holy, unified and loving ─ even toward those who oppose them.
UGANDA: Woman Beaten for Accusing Imam
UGANDA: Two Communities Grieve over Attacks
UGANDA: Young Woman Beaten and Disowned
Christians rejoice at the news of the release of one Christian leader from prison in Khartoum, while another pastor who was arrested one week later remains in custody.
Sudanese authorities released Telahoon ‘Telal’ Nogossi Kassa Rata on 10 May, according to sources close to the case. Rata never faced charges and remained in solitary confinement for nearly five months, having been granted only two brief visits with family during that time.
Rata heads the Fellowship of University Christian Students (FOUCS), a student discipleship movement, and ministers with the Khartoum Bahri Evangelical Church, which Sudanese authorities regularly harass with arbitrary arrests, beatings, and building demolitions.
Officers from the National Intelligence Security Service (NISS), Sudan’s notoriously hard-line Islamist intelligence unit, arrested Rata on 13 December 2015 after calling him in for questioning, and held him at Kober Prison in Khartoum. Rata’s imprisonment represents part of a larger crackdown on Christian church leaders in Sudan that began in December 2015.
Sudan continues to hold Rev Hassan Abduraheem Taour without charge after his arrest on 21 December 2015. Taour suffers from a stomach ulcer and has been transferred to custody of the Attorney General, who is preparing to bring him up on serious criminal charges. Authorities have blocked Taour’s access to family and legal counsel.
Source: International Christian Concern
- Join with family and church members in Sudan who are giving praise to the Lord for the release of this brother.
- Ask God to heal, strengthen and restore Rata after his terrible ordeal. Pray the Lord will use his testimony to strengthen the faith of other believers.
- Ask the Lord to intervene in Taour’s case; pray for justice.
SUDAN: Three Church Leaders Arrested
Bibles for Sudan
SUDAN: Pastors Finally Return Home