THE BLACK KETTLE

Proverbs 21:30

The Persecution & Prayer Alert

“At all times, in all circumstances, in all discouragements,
in all results…we do not give up faith. We press on through
the darkest times because, against all odds, we see in the
distance what God has promised…. We know a day is coming
when Christ will bring everything He has promised to fruition.”
~ Charles Price


UZBEKISTAN: Persevering Despite Jail Conditions and Torture

Source: Forum18

Latipzhon Mamazhanov, a Christian believer who had been arrested and jailed for 16 days in Fergana, eastern Uzbekistan, was released on March 28th. Police illegally raided Latipzhon’s home, and those of other Christians in Fergana, on March 12th while in search of religious literature.

Latipzhon was imprisoned in the region’s Kuva District Police Detention Centre where up to seven inmates were put in a cell designed for two people. No sanitary and hygiene rules were followed, and food was only provided once a day. Latipzhon, along with other prisoners who insisted they were innocent of crime, were also tortured several times during their incarceration.

“They can keep one Bible in their homes,” states Rustam Yegamberdiyev, head of Fergana City Criminal Police. “But if they keep more than one, then this means they are intending to gather others in their homes for illegal prayers and meetings.” For VOMC’s previously posted reports on Uzbekistan, including video documentaries, go to our online country report.

We must never take the freedoms we have to worship God and pray so freely in our homes and churches for granted, realizing the many challenges Christians in other parts of the world are facing for doing so. May this privilege be used wisely and fervently among the family of God in our nation as we intercede for His will to be accomplished. Thank you for joining us in praying for the protection of our brothers and sisters in Uzbekistan who are undergoing severe mistreatment by those governing over them. Ask the Lord to remind these persevering believers that, while they may be undergoing persecution from those opposing them, they are truly His beloved children. As their Heavenly Father, He is the One who governs their souls and eternal destiny…. May they have a heightened awareness of His everlasting love.


TURKEY: Government Seizure of Six Churches

Source: World Watch Monitor


Worshippers celebrate the reconsecration of the
Surp Giragos Armenian Apostolic Church in 2011.
Photo: World Watch Monitor

After ten months of urban conflict in Turkey’s war-torn southeast, the government has expropriated huge sections of property, apparently to rebuild and restore the historical centre of the region’s largest city of Diyarbakir. But to the dismay of the city’s handful of Christian congregations — including all its Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant churches — it also means the relinquishment of control. Unlike the state-funded mosques, Turkey’s ancient church buildings (some of which pre-date Islam) have been managed historically by church foundations. The new decision has effectively made the Diyarbakir churches state property of Turkey, an Islamic country consisting of 75 million people.

Perhaps the most shocking seizure involved the Virgin Mary Church in the Lalabey neighbourhood. The 1,700-year-old Syriac Orthodox church claims to contain relics that are especially meaningful to Christians such as a piece of the cross and the bones of the Apostle Thomas. The present leader of the church announced that he is currently negotiating with government representatives in hopes of having the church property returned.

Local municipal officials criticized the government for lacking legal justification for the takeover and potentially causing enormous social and cultural damage to the city. Government officials argue that the decision was even-handed as mosque properties were also expropriated in the move. However, in Turkey, mosques are already state property, since the government funds their construction, maintenance, as well as the salaries of their imams. Further information on persecution in this country is available at the Turkey Country Report.

Please uphold these Christians in Turkey who have had their churches and places of worship taken over by a government that does not represent their beliefs, values or ordinances. Ask the Lord to oversee the mediation process as church officials and government representatives endeavour to work out a solution that’s both honouring to Him and fair to all the members of the various churches involved. Throughout the process, may the believers experience a complete sense of God’s peace, knowing that all the earth is ultimately His, and everything in it. Also important is the fact that no one can ever take away their faith, nor their great love for Him.


PRAISE REPORT

MEXICO: Release of Abducted Pastor

Source: icommittopray.com


A pastor prays for members of his
congregation in the Chiapas region
of Mexico where Christians face
hostility from rebel groups.

On March 29th, Pastor Pedro Vazquez was abducted for several days from his village in Chiapas by a violent group known as Chinchulines. During Pastor Pedro’s confinement in a nearby village, his family and members of the church congregation were very concerned for his safety.

Pastor Pedro works in an area where pastors and Christian workers have been threatened with death; and evangelical believers are often expelled from their communities, resulting in the loss of land, homes and crops. A previous report on persecution in Chiapas may be reviewed here. (Also note the informative video documentary that’s available on the top right-hand side of the same web page.)

While we can praise God for Pastor Pedro’s safe release, please intercede for him and his church, as well as others who are working in areas hostile to the Gospel. May these believers be further strengthened and encouraged to continue faithfully sharing God’s Word and demonstrating the love of Jesus. Ask the Lord to abundantly bless and multiply their efforts, resulting in a great harvest of lasting spiritual fruit in the lives of those from their communities and beyond — impacting the nation of Mexico as a whole.

To post a prayer of praise or petition on behalf of our persecuted family around the globe, please visit VOMC’s prayer wall.


The Persecution & Prayer Alert is a ministry of:
The Voice of the Martyrs Canada, P.O. Box 608, Streetsville, Ontario, L5M 2C1
Tel. 905-670-9721 Website: www.vomcanada.comSign up now to receive our free monthly publication.

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April 21, 2016 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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