THE BLACK KETTLE

Proverbs 21:30

The Persecution & Prayer Alert

“You pray and make your requests made known unto
God, and (He) will do something…. It is not you who is
going to do it, but God. He, through it all, ‘will keep
your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.'”
~ Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones referencing Philippians 4:7


COLOMBIA: Varied Reactions over FARC Deal

Source: World Watch Monitor


Flag of the FARC-EP
Photo: Wikimedia Commons / Boris Arenas

June 23rd was an historic day in Colombia. After four years of peace talks, and more than 50 years of armed confrontation, a bilateral ceasefire was agreed upon between the Colombian government and representatives of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), a guerrilla group founded in 1964 that is currently operating with 15,700 members.

The reaction of the church is divided. On one hand, its long-suffering members are skeptical about the promises of peace and reconciliation by the government and the guerrillas. A female church leader, who requests anonymity, states that “the persecution against the church has grown through criminal gangs, indigenous leaders and other guerrilla groups.”

On the other hand, leaders and representatives of the urban church have reacted more positively to the proposals. Even so, about 30 pastors from different regions of the country are concerned about getting involved in the verification processes of the points agreed upon as it could bring them added problems. One Christian leader who was displaced by the FARC explains:

“In rural areas, we are vulnerable, and any information we report to the government will be used against us. The guerrillas will have access to official information with the powers…given to them in the post-conflict. We were trained to forgive, not to denounce. Our role will be to welcome those who demobilize, and to be peacemakers as we have always been.”

There is more acceptance of the peace agreement in cities where people in the streets are expressing excitement. “This is the answer to the prayers of many churches, vigils and intercession that for many years we have done — so that the war ends in Colombia,” states Rolando, a representative of Christ for the City Church in the capital of Bogota. To learn more about the country of Colombia, and the crucial role of the church, go to this page.

Please join us in praying for the manifestation of “true peace” within the nation of Colombia — beginning in the hearts of the people. May the peace of God flow throughout the land, halting the schemes of those with intent to pose further violence and harm. May the country’s pastoral leaders and the members of their churches, especially those serving in vulnerable areas, be free to preach the Word of the Lord with boldness and to worship Him without the threat of opposition. May God continue the good work that He has begun in the nation of Colombia by not only providing peace and protection to its citizens, but also by leading many more who are in desperate need of salvation to the “Prince of Peace.”


RUSSIA: Putin Signs Anti-Christian Provisions into Law

Sources: Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin, Barnabas Aid


The Kremlin in Moscow, seat of Russian power for centuries.
Photo: Barnabus Fund

It was reported a few weeks ago that President Vladimir Putin had until July 20th to decide whether to enact an anti-terror bill into law which, despite protests from churches, includes many clauses that are strongly anti-Christian. The bill, claimed to be primarily aimed at anti-terrorist activities, was signed into law by President Putin on July 3rd. However, Christians in Russia believe the new law will be chiefly enforced as a weapon against them.

A spokesperson for RLPB reports: “In signing the ‘Yarovaya Law,’ President Putin has defied the advice of business leaders, church leaders, human rights advocates, and even his own presidential advisors. It is a difficult decision to understand and disappointing beyond measure…. Impacted most seriously by the new legislation are non-Orthodox denominations, in particular Protestants, who in times of extreme East-West geopolitical tensions can be unfairly viewed with suspicion.”

The new law requires that any sharing of one’s faith — even in casual conversation — necessitates prior authorization from the state. This includes something as basic as an emailed invitation for a friend to attend church. Even in a private home, worship and prayer will only be allowed if there are no unbelievers present. Churches will also be held accountable for the activities of their members.

For example, if a church member mentions their faith in conversation with a work colleague, not only will the church member be punished but also the church, with individuals facing fines of up to an approximate $1,000 Canadian. There are also restrictions on the extent to which churches can have contact with foreigners, as any non-Russian citizen attending a church service would be required to have a work visa or they will face a fine and expulsion from Russia.

While this is a time of mourning for the Russian church, it is also a time for the greater family of God to come alongside these brothers and sisters in prayer. May the members of our various denominations stand together as one — united across denominational lines — not only in defense of religious freedom, but in declaring the wisdom of God and the power of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. We ask that He will take this wicked attempt to silence the church and redeem it for good. May His transformative power also be demonstrated in the lives of Russia’s political leaders and citizens alike…for the sake of the nation and the glory of God.


PRAISE REPORT

PAKISTAN: Attacked Survivors Share God’s Word

Source: icommittopray.com


Christians in Pakistan recently
received VOM-sponsored Bibles.

On April 17th, gunmen attacked a group of Christian workers who were on their way to distribute VOM-sponsored Bibles. Although the attackers beat one team member and threatened to shoot their driver, all of the workers survived the attack and were able to complete the Bible distributions.

The team of workers visited 11 churches in remote villages and towns, distributing Bibles and study guides to more than 700 people. Many Christians cried with joy as they received copies of God’s Word for the first time. In addition to distributing Bibles, one worker shared his testimony and many others came to faith in Christ. Please pray for the Christian workers involved, as well as those who gratefully received the Bibles from them. (Previously posted reports revealing the challenges facing believers in Pakistan are available at our Pakistan Country Report.)

If you would like to post a prayer of praise or petition on behalf of our persecuted family around the globe, 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.com

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July 14, 2016 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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