Persecution and Prayer Alert

"Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise Him,
my Saviour and my God."

~ Psalm 42:11 NIV

VIETNAM: Pastors Violently Attacked in Broad Daylight

Source: VOM Australia

Pastor Quang in the hospital after the attack. 

Two pastors were brutally attacked by five men near their Bible college on the afternoon of January 18th. Pastor Nguyen Hong Quang and his associate pastor were assaulted with bricks and rocks and, after collapsing to the ground, were kicked relentlessly. Both men were taken to the emergency department of the hospital. Pastor Quang sustained broken ribs, as well as facial wounds, including a broken nose and injuries to his teeth and jaw. He was later transferred to a local hospital for further treatment and observation. Thankfully, VOM Australia has provided the necessary funds to cover his treatment costs. At last report, no arrests have yet been made.

Pastor Quang and his Bible college have been targeted multiple times within recent years. In an attack that took place just this past November, nearly 300 assailants threw stones and other objects at the school building. (For more information on that previous attack, visit our website.)

Please pray that the Lord will completely heal and restore both of these pastors. In particular, pray that the symptoms of Pastor Quang's more serious injuries will quickly abate. As these men recover, ask God to strengthen their resolve to fully commit themselves to their ministry work, granting them and all those affiliated with the Bible college divine protection from any potential further attack. Let us also remember the perpetrators of this crime, asking the Lord to extend His mercy and bring them to sincere repentance.

To learn more about the difficulties that our Christian brothers and sisters are enduring in Vietnam, go to the Vietnam Country Report.

INDIA: Christians Arrested for Allegedly 'Forcing' Conversions

Sources: VOM USA, Morning Star News

Christians in India are often accused and
jailed for allegedly "forcing" conversions.
Vani was jailed for several weeks after sharing
her Christian faith with a young runaway.

On December 28th, ten Christian workers and three young girls (under the age of six) were arrested in the central region of India and charged with "deliberate and malicious acts intended to hurt religious feelings." Hindu nationalists, who pressured police to arrest the Christians after a healing celebration, accused them of forcing conversions and insulting the gods and goddesses of the village. However, police have stated that they have no evidence of forced conversions. At last report, three of the Christians remain in prison while the others have been released on bail.

Meanwhile, the Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Venkaiah Naidu, recently proposed a ban on all religious conversions -- not just "forced" or "fraudulent" ones. Throughout last year's Advent season, religious minority groups -- including Christians and Muslims -- were targeted in a reconversion campaign led by several Hindu nationalist groups. These reconversion drives caused political and religious tempers to rise and produced much heated debate.

While thanking God for the Christians who have been freed from imprisonment, let us also pray that the remaining three believers will soon be released as well. May their unjust detention fail to hinder their efforts to share God's love, but instead spur them on to advance His Kingdom purposes throughout India. Please also pray that the Lord will strengthen the precious faith of the three young girls, encouraging their spiritual growth so they may be used mightily for His glory. Also remember to intercede for the Hindu nationalists who are striving to suppress religious freedom. May they, in response to God's holy conviction, also come to faith in His Son Jesus.

For more information on India's persecuted church, please visit our website.

PAKISTAN: Sharp Rise in Attacks on Christian Girls and Women

Source: Release International

Pray for the safety of women in Pakistan.
Wikimedia Commons / Sonia Sevilla

There has been a dramatic increase in the number of Christian girls and women facing brutal assaults in Pakistan during recent months.

On November 28th, two Christian sisters (ages 14 and 16) were attacked in a village located within the Jaranwala district after they went out into the field to use the washroom. The girls' family alleges that three males assaulted the sisters repeatedly overnight, and that they have since been threatened by the perpetrators with warnings not to press charges. They also claim that the police have obstructed attempts to gather medical evidence. Ministry partners of VOMC's sister mission in the United Kingdom are ensuring the girls receive the medical care and legal assistance they need.

Elsewhere in Punjab, a 14-year-old girl was abducted on November 26th in Thatha Gondal. It is believed that she has been forcibly converted to Islam and married to her kidnapper. Local Christians and Muslims have been involved in negotiations to return the girl to her family.

Meanwhile, a pregnant mother of four from Rana Town was reportedly attacked after resisting a ruthless woman's attempts to make her convert to Islam. The Christian mother was then brutally attacked by the instigator's brothers. After stripping the pregnant mother of her clothing and disgracefully parading her in public, the men then robbed and finally beat the victimized believer to the point of unconsciousness. Local police initially refused to register a case, having only done so after our ministry partners intervened.

Please lift up in prayer all of these dear sisters in Christ, asking the Lord to surround each one with His sustaining love and grace. May He not only grant needed physical and emotional healing to the young girls who were assaulted, but also ensure they receive the support and encouragement of the members of their family and the wider community during this difficult time. Intercede on behalf of the young teen who still remains held captive by her kidnapper. May this girl soon be freed so she can return home to her loved ones. In addition, ask God to be especially near to the expectant mother who was so callously humiliated and beaten, praying that both she and her unborn child will be granted restored health and strength.

To post a prayer of encouragement for our persecuted sisters in Pakistan, visit VOMC's Persecuted Church Prayer Wall.

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