Weekly Prayer Updates for VOM Persecuted Christians

 

As we go about our daily lives and the freedoms that we are so greatly blessed with in a free society, may we stop each and every day and thank our Heavenly Father for the opportunities to openly worship without fear of reprisal or imprisonment. Take time each and every day to pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ around the world that are dealing with persecution even to the point of losing their life for His sake. Prayer is a mighty tool that God has given to us to use for His honor and glory. Take time right now to pray and ask God to give them victory in their lives in Jesus' name.
 

Thank you for praying for our persecuted brothers and sisters around the world.
"Always respond to every impulse to pray. The impulse to pray may come when you are reading or when you are battling with a text. I would make an absolute law of this – always obey such an impulse." Martyn Lloyd-Jones
"But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD." – Joshua 24:15


Sep. 14, 2017 | India
Pray for Jailed VBS Chaperones
[217] prayers in [14] nations have been posted for VBS Chaperones.
 
Police in India arrested nine adults traveling with a group of 60 children to a Vacation Bible School (VBS) program this summer. The children and their chaperones sang Christian songs and read the Bible as they traveled by train, attracting the attention of a group of Hindu extremists. As soon as the train reached its destination, the militants called the police. When the police arrived, they arrested the adults and called the children’s parents to come pick them up. The adults were charged with kidnapping and converting people to another religion by force. After more than 40 days in jail, three of the adults were released on bail. The other six, however, are still being held. Pray that the jailed Christians will be released and that this experience will strengthen the faith of the children involved.


Sep. 14, 2017 | Laos
Pray for Vu, Rejected by Her Family
[129] prayers in [12] nations have been posted for Vu.
 
“Vu” placed her faith in Christ earlier this year while working in the Laotian capital of Vientiane. Several months later, she shared her faith with her parents and brother in hope that they, too, would become Christians. Instead, they cursed her. They insisted that she abandon her Christian faith immediately or they would disown her as their daughter. Vu told them that she respected them but would not leave Jesus. Her parents later sent her brother and sister to persuade her to leave Christianity, but instead her sister became a Christian. “The younger sister is a new person now,” a VOM contact said. Please pray for these two young women as they minister to their family and encounter further hardships because of their faith.


Sep. 14, 2017 | Pakistan
Pray for Esmail, Unemployed After an Attack by Colleagues
[124] prayers in [11] nations have been posted for Esmail.
 
A Pakistani Christian man lost his taxi business recently after two Muslim colleagues destroyed his car. “Esmail” was never shy about sharing his Christian faith, and when he began driving a taxi several years ago he continued sharing it with other taxi drivers, even giving a Bible to one especially interested colleague. But two other drivers disapproved of Esmail’s boldness, accusing him of trying to persuade Muslims to give up their faith. A village leader warned Esmail to stop sharing his faith with Muslims, but the two angry drivers decided a more severe punishment was in order. They smashed into Esmail’s car with a truck, destroying his taxi and sole means of financial support. Esmail was badly injured in the incident and had to borrow money to pay for medical treatment. Pray for Esmail and his wife, who now have no way of supporting themselves. Pray for Esmail’s healing, and thank God for their strong faith.


Sep. 07, 2017 | Tanzania
Pray for Christians Whose Possessions Were Taken
[225] prayers in [18] nations have been posted for Tanzanian Christians.
 
A pastor and several church members in a southeastern Tanzanian village had all of their belongings and cash confiscated after they refused to contribute to a ceremony involving witchcraft. Village leaders had called witch doctors to remove “curses” on their village, and everyone in the community was required to make a donation for the ceremony. Because the ceremony involved witchcraft, the Christians refused to contribute. Angered by the Christians’ refusal, village leaders forced their way into the pastor’s house and took his possessions. They later did the same to other church members, even taking a large amount of cash from a young man who had saved the money to pay for his wedding. When the Christians turned to police for help, the police called them “idiots and ignorant fools.” Village leaders then threatened the pastor and told him they intended to destroy the church and get rid of all Christians in the village. Pray that these believers will not be intimidated and that their possessions will be returned.


Sep. 07, 2017 | India
Pray for Pastor Perry and His Church, Attacked by Hindu Extremists
[139] prayers in [15] nations have been posted for Pastor Perry's Church.
 
Hindu extremists attacked a church in Karnataka state recently, beating the pastor and burning everything in the church. Shortly after Pastor “Perry” and about 40 church members gathered for a special midday prayer meeting, more than 100 Hindu extremists rushed in and began beating the Christians with rods. They dragged Pastor Perry and his wife, “Glory,” to a nearby temple, smeared vermillion on their foreheads and tried to force them to worship a Hindu idol. Meanwhile, militants at the church set fire to Bibles, song books and musical instruments. When police arrived, the extremists accused the pastor of insulting Hindu gods and forcing Hindus to convert to Christianity. Pastor Perry was arrested and held for several weeks before being released on bail, and the extremists have threatened to kill him if he doesn’t leave the village. Pray that the charges against the pastor will be dropped and that church members will remain strong and courageous in the face of persecution.


Sep. 07, 2017 | Turkey
Pray for Pastor Andrew Brunson, Charged with Spying
[151] prayers in [15] nations have been posted for Andrew Brunson.
 
An American pastor who has been imprisoned for almost a year is now facing espionage charges. Andrew Brunson, who has lived in Turkey for 23 years, was arrested last October and accused of membership in an Islamic terrorist organization. According to World Watch Monitor, he told the court, “I would never support a Muslim movement. I started a church; I am a man of religion who did this with the state’s knowledge. My aim is to tell about Jesus Christ.” Pray for Pastor Brunson and his family. Pray for his release from prison and that his testimony will have a wide-ranging effect on Turkish citizens.


Aug. 31, 2017 | Pakistan
Pray for Christians Still Recovering from Peshawar Bombing
[181] prayers in [18] nations have been posted for Injured Pakistani christians.
 
Although it’s been nearly four years since suicide bombers struck the historic All Saints Church in Peshawar, killing more than 80 Christians, some of the more than 150 injured are still recovering. VOM continues to provide medical care to about 10 people who were badly injured in the Sept. 22, 2013, bombing. Some of the victims, including a young girl, require further surgeries to recover from their injuries. Pray that these brothers and sisters will heal as completely as possible. Pray that their faith will continue to grow and inspire their Muslim neighbors to learn more about Jesus.


Aug. 31, 2017 | Laos
Pray for "Noum" and Her Sons, Who Are Now Homeless
[113] prayers in [14] nations have been posted for Noum and Sons.
 
After 54-year-old “Noum” and her two sons became Christians, her husband angrily refused to let them practice their faith. Then, when village authorities and witchdoctors accused Noum of angering the spirit presiding over the village, Noum’s husband threatened to kick her out of the house if she didn’t renounce her faith. Noum and her sons stood firm, refusing to turn their back on the God who had freed them from superstition. They were forced to leave their home, but authorities awarded Noum a small plot of land that she and her husband had owned. Pray that Noum will be able to get the materials needed to build a home for herself and her sons. Pray that they also will receive enough rice to last through the rest of the year. Pray that they will continue to grow in faith and be a light in the spiritual darkness around them.


Aug. 31, 2017 | China
Pray for Children Barred from Attending Church
[124] prayers in [16] nations have been posted for Christian Chinese youth.
 
Government officials in China’s Zhejiang province are currently monitoring churches to ensure that children aren’t attending. In addition, more than 100 area churches received verbal warnings against teenagers attending church services, Sunday school or other church-related activities. Many Christians are standing up for the religious freedom of Chinese youth, but they remain concerned about the future. Pray that Christian children and teens will find new ways to grow in their faith and experience fellowship. Pray that their parents will remain strong in the faith, and pray for the authorities who try to prevent children from learning about Jesus.


Aug. 24, 2017 | Myanmar
Pray for Tin and His Family, Searching for a New Home
[233] prayers in [18] nations have been posted for Tin and Family.
 
A few months after Tin and his family came to faith in Christ, a group of Buddhist monks in their village demanded that they return to Buddhism. The monks met with villagers about the family’s conversion to Christianity, and the villagers suggested that the family be banned from the village or even killed. But Tin and his family refused to return to Buddhism. Then, one night about 150 villagers threw large stones at Tin and his family, injuring nine people. Tin and his extended family have since left their homes and are praying for a new place to live. Pray that they find a new place to live and continue growing in their faith. Pray also that those who persecute them will come to know Christ.


Aug. 24, 2017 | Pakistan
Pray for Pastor Mashar and His Church, Which Faces Constant Threats
[117] prayers in [15] nations have been posted for Pastor Mashar.
 
Pastor “Mashar” has pastored a church in Pakistan since 2012. During his ministry, people have accepted Christ and experienced healing from the Lord. As a result, he and his church members have received numerous death threats. The stress his wife endured during pregnancy several years ago is believed to have affected their daughter’s health. As pressure and threats have increased recently, Pastor Mashar and his family have sought relocation to a safer area. Pray for Pastor Mashar and his family as they continue to serve despite intense persecution. Pray that church members will stand strong and that their faithfulness and love will draw their persecutors to Christ.


Aug. 24, 2017 | Sierra Leone
Pray for Christians Facing a Growing Islamic Presence
[119] prayers in [16] nations have been posted for Sierra Leonean Christians.
 
In the past several years, Islam’s presence and influence have grown dramatically in Sierra Leone. By some estimates, more than 75 percent of the country is now Muslim, up from about 55 percent just seven years ago. A VOM worker in the region said that despite Islam’s growth, VOM’s work is “yielding uncountable fruits in the kingdom of God.” Pray for Christians who are sharing God’s love and truth with their Muslim neighbors. Pray that the church in Sierra Leone will be strengthened and united in its work. Pray that VOM’s work will continue to bear fruit and encourage persecuted believers in Sierra Leone. Also pray for victims of a recent mudslide and flood that killed more than 400 people and left 3,000 homeless (about 600 are still missing). Pray that Christians will minister to their Muslim neighbors following this tragedy.


Aug. 17, 2017 | India
Pray for Pastor Ariaan, Accused of Forcibly Converting Hindus
[229] prayers in [17] nations have been posted for Pastor Ariaan.
 
Pastor “Ariaan” has been charged with forcibly converting Hindus to Christianity and has been ordered by police not to pray, share the gospel or host prayer meetings in his home. In addition, his landlord has ordered him to leave his home, and his daughter has been denied admission to school. The pastor’s troubles began when Hindu extremists interrupted a church service one Sunday morning and ordered him to stop preaching. Pastor Ariaan continued to preach, and three months later the extremists returned, this time dragging him and two other church members to a Hindu temple for a “reconversion ceremony.” Police intervened, however, and instead took the pastor to the police station, where the Hindu extremists then filed charges against him. Pastor Ariaan is currently free on bail as the case proceeds through the legal system. Pray that the pastor, his family and the church members will rest in the peace of Christ during this difficult time.


Aug. 17, 2017 | Korea, North
Pray for Pastor Kim, Who Helps Trafficked North Korean Women
[148] prayers in [14] nations have been posted for Pastor Kim.
 
Every year, hundreds of North Korean women are sold in China either as prostitutes or as wives for Chinese men. These women are enslaved in brothels or homes, and if caught outside they are sent back to North Korea, where they are likely to face harsh punishment. Because these women are purchased, their Chinese husbands think of them as property. Many are beaten, and they don’t receive adequate medical treatment if they become ill. They don’t even speak the same language as their husbands. Pastor Kim, a VOM partner, reaches out to these women and to their Chinese husbands. He helps provide for their daily needs and, using the biblical model of marriage, elevates them from slave to spouse. As he establishes relationships with the couples, he also shares the gospel with them. Please pray for Pastor Kim’s work and for the couples to whom he ministers.


Aug. 17, 2017 | Pakistan
Pray for 17-Year-Old Shahzad Masih, Charged with Blasphemy
[155] prayers in [16] nations have been posted for Shahzad Masih.
 
A Pakistani teenager is being held by police in an unknown location after a co-worker accused him of blasphemy. Shahzad Masih, 17, who worked as a cleaner in a hospital to help support his family, apparently got into an argument with a Muslim co-worker, who later reported his alleged blasphemous statements to an Islamic activist. The activist then went to police and accused Shahzad of blasphemy against Muhammad. In Pakistan, blasphemy is punishable by life imprisonment or death. The Christian community in Shahzad’s neighborhood fears a possible attack by Muslims as a result of the blasphemy charge, as has occurred in the past, and the teenager’s family has gone into hiding. Please pray for Shahzad, and pray that the truth will be made known.


Aug. 10, 2017 | Kenya
Pray for Sarah Ambetsa, Widow of a Murdered Pastor
[229] prayers in [13] nations have been posted for Sarah.
 
Sarah Ambetsa’s husband was killed in 2014 as he shared the Sunday morning message at the Joy in Jesus Church in Mombasa. Attackers entered the church that morning and began shooting at worshipers, killing the pastor and six others. After the shooting, the church stopped meeting and Sarah had no way of supporting herself and her two young boys. With assistance from VOM, however, Sarah moved to a new town and established a cloth business. A VOM worker who recently visited her said, “The prayers and support Sarah received through VOM have really helped her recover fast from the loss of her husband. She has managed well taking care of the boys and also managing her small business.” Please continue to pray for Sarah and her boys, ages 9 and 4.


Aug. 10, 2017 | Middle East
Pray for Ceger and Naza, Who Fled Their Home After Death Threats
[130] prayers in [12] nations have been posted for Ceger and Naza.
 


Jul. 20, 2017 | Nigeria
Pray for Sanga Barau Who is Undergoing Surgeries Following an Attack
[268] prayers in [17] nations have been posted for Sanga.
 
In April 2016, Sanga Barau was walking to her farm in northern Nigeria when Muslim Fulani herdsmen (a nomadic tribe which often collaborates with Boko Haram terrorists) shot in her direction. The bullet struck her upper neck, dislocating her jaw and damaging teeth. She fell unconscious. Hours later, Sanga was rushed to the Buth Hospital. Since then, she has had numerous surgeries and still needs more reconstructive surgeries on her face. For several weeks, Sanga was not allowed to leave the hospital until her family paid her bills, which they were unable to do. She returned home after VOM stepped in to assist with her current and future medical expenses, and ongoing care. Pray that Sanga’s surgeries are successful and she experiences healing. Pray that her testimony will encourage and challenge other believers.


Jul. 20, 2017 | India
Pray for Aju Mathew, Released After 42 Days in Prison
[127] prayers in [14] nations have been posted for Aju.
 
Authorities arrested Aju Mathew as he took 14 poor children living in a Christian children’s home on a field trip in southern India. They then falsely charged him with human trafficking and the conversion of minors. Aju spent 42 days in prison, enduring poor conditions and intense interrogations, but he also built relationships with other prisoners and shared his testimony. Despite the harsh treatment in prison, guards allowed Aju to have a Bible. Before he was released from prison, Aju gave the Bible to a Muslim who had recognized his own sin. Aju, now free, reports he is closer to the Lord than he has ever been. Pray for Aju as he starts his life again with an emboldened faith. Pray for the prisoners Aju shared God’s love with, including the Muslim man who is reading his Bible.


Jul. 20, 2017 | Iran
Pray for Two Christian Men Who Received Lengthy Prison Sentences
[155] prayers in [14] nations have been posted for Hadi and Amin.
 
In July, The Islamic Revolutionary Court sentenced Hadi Asgari and Amin Afshar Naderi to 10 years in prison. Amin received an additional five years for blasphemy. The court also ruled the two are not allowed to leave the country for two years following their prison terms. Amin and Hadi were arrested with several other believers on Aug. 26, 2016, during a family party. After their first six months in prison, Amin and Hadi began hunger strikes to protest their treatment. Amin grew seriously ill while in solitary confinement. Hadi suffered from an untreated kidney infection. Please pray for Amin and Hadi’s health and treatment to improve. Pray for peace as they begin serving their sentences and pray that they’re released soon.


Jul. 14, 2017 | Myanmar
Pray for Friends and Family of Tabitha, Who Died Recently
[229] prayers in [15] nations have been posted for Tabitha's family.

“Tabitha,” the only Christian in an unreached area of Myanmar, died recently after Buddhists attacked her home. She had served faithfully for seven years and seen little fruit from her work. Finally, during the past year, 12 Buddhists had accepted Christ and been baptized. Local Buddhists took notice of these conversions, and Tabitha told Christian leaders that she was under surveillance. The night before her death, her home was surrounded by radical Buddhists carrying sticks. “She was only 32, and the official cause of death was a heart attack,” a VOM contact said. “It is unclear whether her heart attack was natural, aggravated by this traumatic event, brought on by poison or something else.” Pray for the new believers who were under her leadership as well as others mourning her loss.


Jul. 14, 2017 | Uganda
Pray for Rebecca, Kicked Out of Her Home
[146] prayers in [14] nations have been posted for Rebecca.
 
A 23-year-old Ugandan woman was thrown out of her home by her family recently because of her new Christian faith. Rebecca came to faith in Christ after being healed of an illness. Her family had invited imams to pray, taken her to local shamans and even taken her to a hospital, but nothing had worked. Finally, a visiting Christian evangelist prayed for Rebecca and she recovered from her illness. Her family and clan rejected and threatened her because of her conversion to Christianity, and her brother eventually threw her out of the house. Rebecca is now living with a local pastor and his wife, who are teaching her about the Christian faith. She is concerned about what may happen when her father, a soldier, returns from military deployment. Pray for Rebecca’s safety and spiritual maturity.


Jul. 14, 2017 | Vietnam
Pray for Mr. Lee, Arrested and Beaten
[129] prayers in [12] nations have been posted for Mr. Lee.
 
A Vietnamese believer was arrested and beaten recently after police raided his home looking for Christian materials. A few day before arresting “Mr. Lee”, police had arrested other Vietnamese Christians and discovered Christian materials on their digital music players. The Christians stated under duress that the materials had come from Mr. Lee, a dedicated Christian in northern Vietnam. Police didn’t find anything in the raid, but they still detained him for two days, beat him and warned him to stop distributing Christian materials. Pray for Mr. Lee’s perseverance and encouragement.

 

 

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