Proverbs 21:30

The Persecution & Prayer Alert

“A church that does not remember its
persecuted brethren is no church at all.”
(Thank you for remembering them in prayer!)
~ Quoted text by Rev. Richard Wurmbrand
Founder of The Voice of the Martyrs

AZERBAIJAN: Christian Prisoner Needs Urgent Prayer

Source: Release International

It has been brought to our attention by credible ministry partners that a Christian worker, who was imprisoned last May in the neighbouring country of Georgia, is now greatly in need of prayer. They strongly believe that “Shimon” (not his real name due to security reasons) is facing false charges for possession of drugs. A trusted correspondent of Release International reports that “his health is very bad and he needs urgent help — medically, spiritually and materially.”

Shimon, an ardent Christian evangelist, insists that the charges are false and that he has been framed by those angered over the fact that he was witnessing to Muslims. If found guilty of the alleged drug charges, the accused worker could be sentenced for up to 14 years in prison.

Despite the increasing pressures faced by Christians in this former Soviet republic, the church is steadily growing. In 1990, it was estimated that there were only about 40 Azerbaijani evangelical Christians in the world, with very few within the country itself. Today, there are approximately 10,000 evangelicals throughout Azerbaijan. Other reports on this country may be reviewed here.

Please join us in upholding “Shimon” who is suffering immensely for His faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. May the God of all peace bring great comfort and ministry to this incarcerated Christian leader, heightening his awareness of the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit who is there to provide him needed strength and encouragement during this time of trial. Pray that the health challenges Shimon is experiencing will be used as a powerful demonstration of the Lord’s healing touch so that others in need of hope and salvation may come to know of His goodness in their lives too. Intercede for justice to be worked out on Shimon’s behalf — not only bringing about a favourable outcome in his case, but also greater opportunities to declare the “glory of God” and His wondrous works!

INDIA: Pastor and Pregnant Wife Attacked by Militants

Source: World Watch Monitor

Pastor Sameli’s church and home.
Photo: World Watch Monitor

On April 17th, an Indian pastor and his expectant wife were assaulted, and their church set ablaze, after refusing to offer praise to a Hindu god. Pastor Dinbanhu Sameli, 30, and his expectant wife, Meena, 26 (who was seven months pregnant during the attack), lead a church in the troubled Bastar district of the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh.

At around 7 p.m., two young men approached the pastor outside his home which is located next to the church. Initially the men asked for prayer, claiming they were from a nearby Methodist church. But they later brought out a sword which they held to the pastor’s neck, demanding that the couple shout out the phrase, “Jai Shri Ram” (meaning “Victory to the god Ram”).

“Where is your Jesus?” the two assailants insultingly demanded. To this, Pastor Dinbanhu replied, “We believe that He is with us.” When asked, “Why don’t you believe in Ram?” the husband and wife remained silent. After the couple refused to comply with demands to praise Ram and stomp on a Bible, the two men took a litre of petrol and set fire to the church building, also destroying the congregation’s musical instruments.

When the sword was placed on Pastor Dinbanhu’s shoulder, he admittedly felt fear in his heart but prayed that God would save them. As the church burned, the couple fled and filed a report with the police. The incident took place in the remote village of Karanji, located within the Tokapal area of the sprawling Bastar district, in which there have been several incidents of anti-Christian violence at the hands of Hindu fundamentalists. To learn more about persecution in this country, go to our India Country Report.

While we can be very thankful that the lives of this pastoral couple have been miraculously spared, we pray that their unborn child will in no way be affected by the attack. Rather may God’s hand of protection and blessing be upon this newly created life — not only in the womb but also for the duration of the child’s destined lifespan upon this earth. Ask that the Lord will open the spiritual eyes of the perpetrators (and others of this village community) that they may personally see the promised “Light of the World” through the faithful witness of His people and, therefore, choose to walk in the paths of His righteousness and unfailing love. May the church building be fully restored and equipped for the bold proclamation of the Gospel so that the exuberant praises of His people within this community will reach toward the heavens in rightful honour of our Almighty God.


EGYPT: Teen Released in the Midst of Plaguing Phenomenon

Source: World Watch Monitor

Celebrating the return of Anthonius
Photo: World Watch Monitor

On the morning of April 5th, a 13-year-old Christian boy was kidnapped in Upper Egypt. After a ransom had been paid in exchange for his freedom, the young teen was safely released 12 days later. Anthonius Farag was snatched outside his school early that morning in the village of Mansheyyit Manbal (near Matay, which is about 230 kilometres south of Cairo). On the same day of the kidnapping, the perpetrators released a Muslim child after identifying the student’s religion by his name, but sped away in a vehicle forcefully retaining the Christian teen.

This latest case is not isolated. According to the Coalition of Coptic Egypt (CCE), a concerned advocacy group, the Upper Egyptian province of Qena alone saw no less than 72 cases of kidnapping, extortion and related violence against Copts during the period of 2011 to 2014 (the most recent figures received by the advocacy group for this province). Victims targeted in the kidnappings ranged from children to the elderly.

Targeted violence against Copts has also occurred elsewhere in the country. During a two-year period leading up to July 2015, CCE representatives state that “127 Coptic families were forced to leave Rafah, Sheikh Zuweid and al-Arish after a rash of attacks.” This phenomenon is plaguing the Egyptian northeastern Sinai Peninsula where an apparent Islamist insurgency caused by militants has been taking place. Additional reports on persecution — including informative video documentaries — are available here.

As fellow believers, we can share in the joy of Anthonius’ family and friends who are rejoicing over his safe release from captivity, giving thanks to God for protecting his life. At the same time, please join us in praying for other Christians in Egypt who are experiencing tremendous challenges due to persecution. Thankfully, the Lord will fulfill His promises by making the wrongdoings of others “right,” using what the enemy has meant for evil to bring about greater good in the lives of those who love Him (Romans 8:28). May the transforming love of Jesus touch the hearts of Egyptians who are opposed to Christianity so that they, too, may know of His tender loving mercy.

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.


May 5, 2016 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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