Persecution and Prayer Alert
"Do not let your hearts be troubled.
You believe in God; believe also in Me."
~ Jesus' words to His disciples (John 14:1 NIV)
Sources: World Watch Monitor, Morning Star News
|The open practice of Christianity
is now banned in Chhattisgarh, India.
A number of villages in Chhattisgarh State have outlawed the open practice of Christianity -- a move of questionable legality that church leaders say has already led to increased anti-Christian violence. "The situation is becoming worse," explains the president of the Chhattisgarh Christian Forum. "The anti-Christian propaganda is becoming stronger."
More than 50 villages have reportedly passed such anti-Christian resolutions. One resolution stated: "To stop the forced conversion by some outsider religious campaigners, and to prevent them from using derogatory language against Hindu deities and customs, the (Village Council) bans religious activities such as prayers, meetings and propaganda of non-Hindu religions."
According to a church leader in the area, poor Christian families in some of the affected villages have been denied access to village water sources and to government rations of staples such as wheat, rice and sugar. In one village, two Christians were ordered to leave or "suffer the consequences."
Chhattisgarh already requires residents to obtain government permission before changing religions, placing the state among the handful in India with laws restricting conversion. Religious freedom advocates often argue that the anti-conversion laws, which are meant to defend individuals from being forced to convert against their will are, in reality, being used as a means to restrict minorities.
Please lift up in prayer our brothers and sisters in Christ there in Chhattisgarh State, asking our Lord to encourage and embolden them during these days of trial. When they are pressured to recant or compromise their faith, pray that the Holy Spirit will provide them needed strength and, when necessary, the right words to speak (Luke 12:11-12). Pray that God will also grant much wisdom to their church leaders as they appeal these resolutions and seek to have them overturned. May those who oppose the Gospel in this state, and throughout India, come to know Jesus Christ as their Saviour.
To learn more about the opposition our Christian family in India is facing, visit our online Country Report.
RECENT PRISONER UPDATES
Source: Middle East Concern
|Daniel and Meriam
Photo: Gabriel Wani / Facebook
Meriam Ibrahim, the 27-year-old Christian woman who was sentenced to death for apostasy this past May, has finally been permitted to leave the country along with her family. Since this time, Meriam was detained in prison where she gave birth to her second child, a daughter. She was then released from jail on June 23rd, only to be detained the following day at the airport.
Meriam and her husband Daniel were apprehended along with their young children on charges of forgery and providing false information on their travel documents. Thankfully, they were released on bail on June 26th. (For more information on the gruelling circumstances Meriam and her family have endured in recent months, please visit this story.)
We are pleased to report that Meriam and her family have since legally departed from the country following negotiations made by the Italian government, prompting Sudanese authorities to grant her release. The Christian family arrived safely in Rome on the morning of July 24th. They are expected to remain in Italy before continuing their journey to the United States where Daniel is a citizen. (To view three brief BBC video clips of Meriam with her family, visit this BBC report.)
Praise God that Meriam and her family have finally been permitted to leave the country of Sudan. Please pray that any outstanding court cases against her will be dropped, and that this family will now be free to rebuild their lives. May this Godly couple and their young children, Martin and Maya, be completely restored after their long and arduous ordeal. Ask the Lord to remain especially near to this family as they travel to the United States, and may He also continue to provide them with opportunities to share the Good News of Jesus Christ.
For more information on Sudan's persecuted church, please visit our Sudan Country Report.
Source: Iran Alive Ministries
|Photo: Mohabat News
A ministry organization working in Iran recently received an emergency prayer request from a mother whose 32-year-old son has been sentenced to death.
"Amir" has been in prison for the past two years after he was caught with a truckload of Bibles. On July 23rd, an execution date for Amir was set for the week of August 11th in punishment of his "crimes" against Islam and the government. Amir's devastated mother is urgently requesting prayers for the deliverance of her son.
Please pray for Amir and his terribly upset loved ones, asking God to miraculously deliver him from this death sentence. May the 'Prince of peace' surround each one of them with His tender loving mercies so that their hearts will be greatly comforted. Please also pray that the authorities involved in Amir's case will seek justice on his behalf and ensure that he is treated favourably. May they, along with the inmates incarcerated with Amir, come to know Jesus Christ as their Saviour and Lord. Finally, please also remember in prayer the many other innocent Christian men and women in Iran who are presently suffering tremendous persecution for their faith.
To post your own prayers for Amir and his loved ones, visit our Persecuted Church Prayer Wall.
We urge you to continue remembering in prayer the numerous displaced members of our persecuted family in Iraq, especially those who were recently forced to flee from the city of Mosul under threat of death. For a previous prayer alert report on these heartless threats, click here. To watch a recent two-minute video clip about the horrific situation presently facing them, visit our multimedia site at Persecution.TV/mosul.
VOMC is providing emergency relief and medical aid to those suffering in Iraq (through the Relief and Development fund). To join us with this project, or any of the ministry's other urgent global projects, please visit our donation page or contact our office at 1-888-298-6423.