Friday, November 30, 2012

Friday Prayers

Pakistan—Court Dismisses Blasphemy Case Against Teen Sources: VOM Sources, Release International Proverbs 15:29 The blasphemy case against Christian teenager Rimsha Bibi was dismissed last week by the High Court in Islamabad. Rimsha, a 14-year-old with an apparent learning disability, had been accused of burning pages of the Quran. After her arrest, however, a Muslim cleric from her neighborhood was accused of fabricating evidence against her in an attempt to drive Christians out of the area. The cleric himself was then charged with blasphemy. In dismissing the case against Rimsha, Chief Justice Iqbal Hameed-ur Rehman cited a lack of witnesses and warned against making blasphemy accusations lightly. Although the charges against Rimsha have been dismissed, there are still concerns for her safety. Other Pakistani Christians have been murdered after their release from prison, and Rimsha and her family are now living in an undisclosed location. Pray for the protection and restoration of Rimsha and her family. Pray that this case will help bring about positive change in Pakistan’s blasphemy laws, which are often misused against Christians. Sudan—Christians Threatened by Islamist Attacks and Famine Sources: Australian Evangelical Alliance Religious Liberty Commission, VOM Sources Psalm 10:12 Thousands of Sudanese Christian refugees face a severe food shortage in the disputed border area of Abyei as Sudan and South Sudan debate its status. In addition, the Islamist regime in Khartoum continues its attacks against the non-Muslim and non-Arab residents in southern Sudan, which includes Abyei, South Kordofan and Blue Nile. The Sudanese government wants the region’s oil and water resources but not the “infidels” and “blacks” who live there. In recent weeks, the government has increased its aerial bombardment of Christian towns in southern Sudan, and famine is spreading. Pray for Christians in southern Sudan. Nigeria—Eleven Killed in Church Bombing Source: Release International, VOM Sources 1 Peter 3:12 At least 11 people were killed on Sunday, Nov. 25, when suicide bombers attacked a church inside the Jaji Military Cantonment in the northern state of Kaduna. Suspected Islamists drove a bus packed with explosives into the St. Andrew’s Military Church during a service, causing a large explosion. Although the initial explosion apparently caused no casualties, a second car bomb was detonated just outside the building about 10 minutes later, after church members had gathered around the site of the first explosion. In addition to the 11 killed, 30 people were injured, many of them seriously. No group has claimed responsibility for the bombing, but the Islamic extremist group Boko Haram is suspected in the attack. On Nov. 24, Nigeria’s army offered 290 million naira ($1.8 million) for information leading to the capture of 19 leaders of Boko Haram. The group, which is intent on overthrowing the government and enforcing Sharia, or Islamic law, throughout Nigeria, frequently targets Christians. Continue to pray for Nigerian Christians. Pray that their faith will remain strong and that they will respond in a Godly way to the continual violence. Laos—VOM Project Pray for the pastors and evangelists who received VOM-provided motorbikes and bicycles. Pray that they will be able to expand their ministries and reach out to villages where there is no pastor.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Friday Prayers

Thought I would share the prayers from VOM.

"Prayer is the pulse of life; by it the doctor can tell what is the condition of the heart. The sin of prayerlessness is a proof for the ordinary Christian or minister that the life of God in the soul is in deadly sickness and weakness." - Andrew Murray "praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints" - Ephesians 6:18 VOM-USA Prayer Update for November 9, 2012 On Thu. Nov 08 2012 at 03:09 PM Moderator wrote: North Africa--Seminary Classes Delayed Source: VOM Sources 1 Peter 3:14-16 The latest seminary class for a group of North African pastors has been delayed because of unrest in the region. A VOM partner reports that the students involved are very eager to continue their studies. In the meantime, they continue to study God's Word and prepare themselves for leadership in their local churches. Because of government restrictions, all churches in this region must meet in secret. "We feel confident that classes will resume in the very near future," a VOM partner said. "Please make this an urgent matter for prayer." Pray that the class will be able to resume soon and that the work of these ministers will bear much fruit in this region. Uzbekistan--Refugee Pastor Jailed While Seeking Protection Source: VOM Canada 2 Corinthians 4:1-2 Uzbekistan is seeking to extradite a refugee from Kazakhstan on charges that carry a maximum 15-year jail term. Pastor Makset Djabbarbergenov, who fled to Kazakhstan and was recognized as a refugee by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, has been charged with exercising freedom of religion or belief in his hometown of Nukus. On Oct. 15, a court in Almaty, Kazakhstan, authorized detention until Nov. 5 and claimed the Uzbek charges could be equated to terrorism-related charges under Kazakh law. The Supreme Court claims it cannot find an appeal that Makset filed in August. Please pray that Makset will not be deported. Pray that the Lord will give Makset and his wife the strength to remain faithful. Eritrea--Believers Arrested and Citizens Armed Source: VOM Sources Colossians 2:6-8 Christians in Eritrea are alarmed by an increase in Christian arrests and by the fact that the government appears to be arming citizens for unknown reasons. Authorities have continued to arrest Christians throughout Eritrea, holding them for several months before releasing them. The most recent arrests have occurred on the outskirts of the capital, Asmara. In addition, the government is arming citizens between the ages of 18 and 70 with AK-47 rifles. "The latest report I have from Asmara is that now, for a few hours every day, everyone is taking some kind of a basic training [with the weapons]," wrote a VOM contact. "There is rumored speculation [that the distribution of arms] started when the late Ethiopian prime minister was sick; there is a tense fear that the new Ethiopian political situation might trigger another conflict. [The other possible explanation is that] as usual it is a diversion that the government creates to occupy its citizens," the contact said. Pray for God's protection of Christians in Eritrea and for stability and political reform in the country. Bangladesh--VOM Project Pray for families in need of emergency funds for court fines and fees. The relief will go to persecuted families in remote house churches who have urgent needs. Pray also for the workers involved in delivering the funds.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Friday Prayers

Wanted to share the below from VOM.

"Prayer is the pulse of life; by it the doctor can tell what is the condition of the heart. The sin of prayerlessness is a proof for the ordinary Christian or minister that the life of God in the soul is in deadly sickness and weakness." - Andrew Murray "praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints" - Ephesians 6:18 VOM-USA Prayer Update for November 2, 2012 On Thu. Nov 01 2012 at 12:08 PM Moderator wrote: Indonesia--Church Ordered to Move Source: Church Ordered to Move Psalm 22:27 The Taman Yasmin Indonesian Christian Church (GKI) in Bogor, West Java, was recently ordered to relocate to a neighborhood three miles from its current location. The church, which was forced to meet outdoors for years because of Islamic pressure, believes it would face strong opposition at the new site and has firmly rejected the order. It has instead called on officials to respect a 2010 Supreme Court ruling that reinstated the church's building permit. Under pressure from local Muslims, authorities have closed nine "illegal" churches in Banda Aceh. Two weeks ago, the churches' leaders were forced to sign statements agreeing to close their church buildings. Authorities have warned that they will continue to monitor these congregations to ensure that church activities are not resumed. Please pray for GKI and other churches in Indonesia as they struggle to worship God amid severe persecution. Iran--Church Leaders Sentenced to Prison Sources: Mohabat News Luke 22:33 On Oct. 15, an Assemblies of God pastor in Ahwaz, Iran, and three of the church's ministers were each sentenced to one year in prison after being convicted of "converting to Christianity, inviting Muslims to convert, as well as propagating against the Islamic regime through promoting Evangelic Christianity." Pastor Farhad Sabokrouh; his wife, Shahnaz Jeizan; Naser Zamen Dezfuli; and Davoud Alijani received the maximum penalty for the charges, and they may appeal the ruling. Pray that God will give peace and strength to these pastors as well as other imprisoned Christians still awaiting trial. Tanzania--Christian Guards Protect Imprisoned Teen Source: VOM Contacts Numbers 6:25 A Tanzanian teenager charged with desecrating a Quran has been blessed with the protection of two Christian prison guards. A VOM contact who visited 17-year-old Eva Abdullah this month said the female Christian guards promised to care for Eva and help keep her safe. Eva converted from Islam to Christianity three years ago and was subsequently disowned by her family. When a group of radicals couldn't persuade her to deny her faith in Christ, they falsely accused her of desecrating a Quran. Although many Christian leaders were afraid to defend her, compassionate attorneys have taken her case. Pray for the continued protection of Eva and her Christian guards. Praise God for these two guards, who are a comfort to Eva as she awaits trial, and pray that Eva will continue to shine the light of Christ. Colombia--VOM Project Pray for 25 widows supported through VOM's Families of Martyrs fund. They and their families are provided food, utilities and fellowship with other believers.