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


Nov. 09, 2017 | Sri Lanka
Pray for Believers Receiving Christian Literature
[192] prayers in [13] nations have been posted for Sri Lankan Believers.
 
About 50 people gathered at a 250-year-old church in Matara, on Sri Lanka’s southern coast, in mid-October to receive books intended to help them grow in faith. Two students led a worship service to express gratitude to God for the books. Days later, a second distribution took place in north-central Sri Lanka. Pray that those who received the books will read them, apply what they learn to their lives and share the books with others. Pray that these books will encourage all who read them and lead them to a more active faith.


Nov. 09, 2017 | Eritrea
Pray for the Children of Believers Who Are in Detention Camps
[154] prayers in [12] nations have been posted for Children of Detained Believers.
 
Fikadu Debesay, a mother of three children, died a few weeks ago at Metkel Abiet, an Eritrean detention camp. Fikadu had been imprisoned for worshiping in a Lutheran church not recognized by the government. She and her husband were among 33 believers arrested on the same day in May. The harsh treatment she endured in the camp and the extreme desert temperatures reportedly contributed to her death. Since May, the number of detained Christians has grown to 210. Dozens of children have been left without one or both parents as a result of the arrests. Pray that these children will know Jesus and be raised by Christians. Pray that they will grow in their relationship with Christ and not lose hope. Pray, too, that those in the camps will hold fast to their faith and continue to be a light in the darkness.


Nov. 09, 2017 | China
Pray for Pastor Zheng, Whose Church Was Forced to Close
[134] prayers in [11] nations have been posted for Pastor Zheng.
 
After resisting government pressure to join the state-run Three Self Church, the Ci Ai Fellowship in China’s southern Guangdong province was forced to close on Oct. 25. Government authorities took church members’ ID cards, confiscated the church’s Christian literature and summoned Pastor Zheng Shaoyun for questioning. Prior to the raid, authorities had threatened to prevent the pastor’s son from advancing in his career if the church didn’t stop meeting illegally. Pray that church members will remain committed to Christ despite government pressure and that Pastor Zheng’s faith will be emboldened as she leads the church through this period of persecution. Pray also for the protection of her son’s career.


Nov. 02, 2017 | Indonesia
Pray for a House Church Being Pressured to Close
[190] prayers in [10] nations have been posted for House Church Members.
 
A house church in East Java, Indonesia, is being pressured by local authorities and the Islamic group Wahidiyah to stop meeting in a pastor’s home. Although neighbors did not initially object to the house church, some have begun to complain since authorities and the Islamic group publicly criticized the pastor for meeting without a religious permit. The group of about 30 Christians is now meeting in another believer’s home to avoid conflict, and the pastor is scheduled to meet with village administrators and sign a letter agreeing to stop meeting in his home. Pray for the pastor as he interacts with area Islamic and government leaders. Pray that the house church members will stand firm in their faith and share God’s love with others in their community. Pray that they will be able to continue meeting in believers’ homes.


Nov. 02, 2017 | Pakistan
Pray for Zhafar Bhatti, Imprisoned Since 2012
[129] prayers in [12] nations have been posted for Zhafar.
 
Zhafar Bhatti, who was arrested and charged with blasphemy in July 2012, remains in prison, where he has been beaten several times. Zhafar, a traveling salesman for various medications, often used his door-to-door presentations to also share the gospel. He established a small NGO called “Jesus World Mission” with the purpose of helping the poor. On July 11, 2012, he was accused by a fellow NGO worker of sending blasphemous text messages from a mobile phone that she had given him. Zhafar and his wife left their village to avoid a riot, and police arrested him on July 26, charging him under Pakistan’s blasphemy laws. Other prisoners have beaten Zhafar several times and tried to poison his food, and Muslim prisoners continually pressure him to embrace Islam. Pray that Zhafar will remain strong in his faith, and pray that he will be released and reunited with his family soon.


Nov. 02, 2017 | Laos
Pray for Christians Imprisoned and Harassed by Local Authorities
[105] prayers in [12] nations have been posted for Imprisoned and Harassed Christians.
 
Local authorities in a Laotian village have imprisoned four Christian men and harassed numerous other Christian families in recent weeks. Police arrested the first believer, “Sanyahak,” in early October after he had led nearly 40 people to Christ. Since then, many families have been pressured to renounce their faith, and three other men have been arrested. Pray that the four imprisoned believers will remain firm in their faith and that other Christian villagers will take care of their families. Also pray for the many families who are struggling with the persecution, including two families that have renounced their faith. Pray, too, that authorities and other villagers will hear the gospel and see it lived out in the faith of these believers.


Oct. 26, 2017 | India
Pray for Six Christian Leaders Recently Released from Prison
[248] prayers in [13] nations have been posted for Christian Leaders.
 
Six house church leaders were released on Oct. 16–17 after being detained for a month on false charges that they forced Hindus to convert to Christianity. The five men and one woman rejoiced that during their time in jail they were able to share the gospel with fellow prisoners. The arrests occurred soon after state officials in Jharkhand state passed the strictest anti-conversion law in India. Many Christians in Jharkhand state fear increased persecution as a result of the new law. Pray that the six church leaders will continue their work and use their testimony to boldly share the gospel. Also pray for the courage of other Christians in Jharkhand state.


Oct. 26, 2017 | Laos
Pray for Christians Detained and Pressured to Renounce Their Faith
[146] prayers in [11] nations have been posted for Detained Christians.
 
In September police arrested six Christian couples and interrogated them for eight hours, pressuring them to renounce their faith and stop conducting worship services. “Whoever is a Christian will not be able to get any help from the government,” they told the couples. “Christian families will be isolated from the rest of the village.” Out of fear, two couples that had recently become Christians renounced their faith; days later, however, they returned to the church. The six couples must now travel to a nearby city to worship. Pray that these believers, especially those who briefly renounced their faith, will continue to grow in Christ. Pray that their faithfulness will cause others in their village to want to know about Jesus.


Oct. 26, 2017 | Pakistan
Pray for Pastor Zalaal as He Prepares to Build a New Church
[143] prayers in [12] nations have been posted for Zalaal.
 
Pastor “Zalaal” is ready to purchase land and begin construction on a new church building to replace one destroyed by angry Muslims while it was being built in late 2013. The Muslims were upset that Pastor Zalaal had led many Muslims to Christ, and as a result his congregation has faced repeated persecution. Pray that he will be able to finalize purchase of the land and begin construction soon. Pray that his congregation will remain bold and steadfast in faith. Also pray that the church will bear much fruit in its new location and that many Muslims in the area will be drawn to Christ.


Oct. 19, 2017 | Lebanon
Pray for Nahala, a Syrian Christian Sharing Jesus in Refugee Camps
[241] prayers in [13] nations have been posted for Nahala.
 
A Syrian woman who came to faith in Christ after fleeing the civil war in her country is now leading other Syrian refugees to Christ, using a Bible app that VOM helped develop. Nahala left Syria several years ago when the violence intensified in the area where she lived. After settling in a refugee camp in Lebanon, she met a Christian worker who introduced her to Jesus and regularly read the Bible with her. She then began meeting with a group of Syrian widows, reading the Bible and discussing the passages with them. The women could not read, so Nahala introduced them to a Bible app developed by VOM partners that enabled the women to listen to the Bible and use study prompts to learn about Jesus. “There isn’t one Syrian [we’ve met] who we haven’t talked to about God,” Nahala said. “My hope is that all of my people would know Jesus.”


Oct. 19, 2017 | Indonesia
Pray for Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, Imprisoned for Blasphemy
[155] prayers in [8] nations have been posted for Basuki.
 
Jakarta’s Christian governor, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, was sentenced recently to two years in prison after being convicted of blasphemy against Islam. A week before his sentencing, Basuki lost an election in which the blasphemy case, involving his criticism of a verse from the Quran, and his Christian faith were raised as major issues. Basuki has already started serving his sentence, which is harsher than the sentence requested by prosecutors. Pray that Basuki will remain strong in faith and that he will use his notoriety to proclaim the gospel. Pray that those who accused and sentenced him will feel remorse for their actions and that his sentence will be reduced or nullified. Also pray that Indonesia’s blasphemy laws will be reviewed and reformed.


Oct. 19, 2017 | Kazakhstan
Pray for Yklas Kabduakasov, Recently Released from Prison
[145] prayers in [9] nations have been posted for Yklas.
 
Yklas Kabduakasov, a Christian convert from Islam, was released from prison on Oct. 2 after spending more than two years in detention for “inciting religious hatred.” He was arrested on Aug. 14, 2015, and spent time in pre-trial detention, under house arrest and finally in a labor camp. As Yklas returns home to his wife and children, Kazakhstan’s parliament is considering further restrictions on religious worship and religious materials this month. The proposed legislation would double fines and punishments for religious offenses. Two Protestant churches in Kazakhstan have been banned from worshiping this year. Pray that Yklas will quickly adjust to life with his family and that he will boldly use his testimony to continue sharing the gospel. Pray that those who hear it will be receptive to his story and to God’s grace.


Oct. 12, 2017 | India
Pray for Pastor Arjun and His Family as They Recover from a Brutal Attack
[216] prayers in [18] nations have been posted for Pastor Arjun and Family.
 
A 60-year-old pastor and his family were beaten by Hindu radicals recently because they refused to stop their ministry work. Members of the Hindu nationalist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) had warned Pastor Arjun several times to stop his evangelical work and prayer meetings, but he continued to share the gospel despite their warnings. On July 19, RSS members armed with iron rods and wooden sticks entered the pastor’s home and began beating him viciously. When his 55-year-old wife and 32-year-old son attempted to intervene, they, too, were beaten. Pastor Arjun suffered a dislocated shoulder, and both he and his son received head injuries. The pastor’s wife received a lesser injury to one hand. Pray for Pastor Arjun and his son, who are still in the hospital, and pray that all three family members will remain strong in their faith and continue their ministry work. Also pray that the complaint filed against the family will be dropped and that the attackers will seek forgiveness and come to know the Lord.


Oct. 12, 2017 | Laos
Pray for Village Leaders as They Learn About Christianity
[98] prayers in [11] nations have been posted for Village Leaders.
 
After observing a miraculous healing earlier this year, seven families in a Laotian village accepted Christ. When the families began visiting a nearby village every Sunday to worship with the man who shared the gospel with them, authorities in their own village scolded and questioned them. They told the families that Christianity is a foreign religion that goes against their culture and traditions and that they were being “lured into a trap.” Area Christian leaders began meeting with the village authorities to discuss the teachings of Christ and practices of their faith, and the authorities are now allowing the families to worship. Pray that all village leaders in the area will hear and believe the gospel, and pray that more families will join the seven new Christian families in worship.


Oct. 12, 2017 | Turkey
Pray for a Pastor Concerned About His Children's School Environment
[114] prayers in [14] nations have been posted for Turkish Pastor.
 
A pastor in Turkey has asked that we pray for his two elementary-age children, who are surrounded by Muslims at school. Christian children in Muslim cultures often face great difficulties; their beliefs are actively mocked, both by teachers and students. The pastor said he and his wife are working hard to raise their children in a godly way, but they pick up bad habits from friends at school. They moved the children to a different school last year in hope that it would be a better environment, but they still encounter problems. “May they reflect the love of Jesus in an atmosphere where he is not known,” the pastor said. “Pray we have God’s Spirit to not only teach our children how we can be lights in the darkness, but to be examples of that as well.”


Oct. 05, 2017 | Egypt
Pray for Three Families Forced to Flee ISIS Attacks
[179] prayers in [15] nations have been posted for Displaced Families.
 
Earlier this year, an extremist group associated with the Islamic State in the Sinai Province carried out a series of attacks on Christians in the northern Sinai, killing believers, destroying churches and bombing buses. Nearly all Christians fled the area, including three families that are now struggling to find work and affordable housing in Cairo. “[ISIS] took control over Sinai, so we don’t think we will be able to go back,” a Christian woman told a VOM worker. Please pray that these families and others affected by the attacks will find ways to support themselves and take comfort in God’s promises.


Oct. 05, 2017 | Uganda
Pray for Isaac, Whose Shop Was Destroyed by Muslims
[129] prayers in [17] nations have been posted for Isaac.
 
“Isaac” recently opened a shop to sell Christian videos and music, including some of his own recordings. But Muslims broke into the shop and took Isaac’s speakers so that he can’t play the music. Although he reported the burglary to authorities, they did not investigate. The Muslims later returned and destroyed everything in the shop. Isaac again notified authorities, but they have not responded. Please pray for Isaac as he considers the next steps for his business, and pray for all Christians in Uganda who are harassed and intimidated by Muslim extremists. Also pray that the Muslims involved in the attacks will feel guilty about their actions and seek forgiveness.


Oct. 05, 2017 | China
Pray for Families Affected by the Closing of a Christian School
[105] prayers in [13] nations have been posted for Christian school students.
 
In July, authorities closed a Christian school in Henan province, claiming it was brainwashing children. National security officers confiscated materials used at the school, which operated out of a woman’s home, and also removed items belonging to a house church that met there. Pray that the children who attended the school will be able to continue learning about Jesus and the Bible. Pray that their parents will find new ways to educate their children and that area Christians will be emboldened by this recent persecution.


Sep. 28, 2017 | Iraq
Pray for "Mustafa," Who Found Christ While Fighting ISIS
[332] prayers in [18] nations have been posted for Mustafa.
 
As Mustafa and his fellow soldiers engaged ISIS fighters in Mosul, he began to wonder why he was fighting people from his own religion. Wasn’t ISIS practicing what the Quran taught? Disillusioned with Islam, he began to look for answers among the Christians. The first church he visited turned him away, but at the second church a Muslim security guard gave him a tip: “Go down to that evangelical church,” he said. “They’ll help you.” When Mustafa entered the church, the pastor greeted him warmly. He answered his questions and gave him a New Testament to read. One week later, Mustafa returned to the church. He had read the New Testament and placed his faith in Christ. Pray that Mustafa will continue to grow in faith, and thank God for men and women like the pastor, who faithfully share the gospel despite the danger.


Sep. 28, 2017 | Pakistan
Pray for Imran Ghafur, Who Remains in Prison
[228] prayers in [17] nations have been posted for Imran Ghafur.
 
Imran Ghafur, who was sentenced to life in prison after Muslims accused him of burning pages of a Quran in 2009, remains in prison as the courts delay his appeal. Imran’s brother and sister are able to visit him for about 30 minutes each month and bring him food and clothes. He always asks about his aging parents, who are not in good health. His father was hospitalized recently for high blood pressure and complications from diabetes. Imran also asks for prayer from his Christian brothers and sisters around the world. Please continue to pray for Imran.


Sep. 21, 2017 | Pakistan
Pray for the Family of Sharoon Masih, Murdered by Classmates
[279] prayers in [18] nations have been posted for Sharoon Masih's family.
 
A Christian teenager was beaten to death by classmates recently after being accused of drinking from the same glass as a Muslim. Sharoon Masih, 17, had begun classes at the exclusive MC Model Boys Government School Burewala in Punjab only three days before his murder. He had been admitted to the school based on superior academic performance at his village school and was the only Christian in his class. A teacher in the room at the time of the attack said he didn’t notice the incident because he was reading a newspaper. Sharoon’s grandmother, who attends a church led by a VOM partner, said the family intends to ask the courts for justice. “Today is our son, tomorrow will be other sons and daughters,” she said. Pray for Sharoon’s family as they mourn their son’s death. Pray for all Christian children in Pakistan who face harassment at school and in their village.


Sep. 21, 2017 | Gaza Strip
Pray for Musa, a New Christian in Hiding from His Family
[141] prayers in [15] nations have been posted for Musa.
 
Pray for a young man in Gaza who came to faith in Christ through Internet ministries. Since becoming a Christian, “Musa” has been threatened and attacked many times by his family. He eventually was forced to flee after they tried to kill him. Currently in hiding from his family, Musa continues to participate in online Bible study and fellowship with other Christians, who encourage him in his faith. Pray that Musa will grow in faith and one day be able to share the gospel with his family.


Sep. 21, 2017 | Tanzania
Pray for the Church of a Pastor Killed While Showing the JESUS Film
[164] prayers in [15] nations have been posted for Tanzanian church.
 
A pastor working in a remote area of Tanzania was attacked by angry villagers while showing the JESUS film. Pastor Paul Oloru was described as influential in his community, but he angered some tribal leaders by speaking out against customs like female circumcision and tribal religious practices. While the pastor was showing the JESUS film at the end of July, a group of warriors from the village interrupted the movie and began beating those who had gathered to watch. Pastor Oloru was speared through the chest and later died from an infection of the wound. Three others were also badly wounded, and the attackers destroyed the motorcycles of two pastors working with Pastor Oloru. Pray that the members of Pastor Oloru’s church will remain faithful and not give in to fear.


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.

 

 

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