During November we prayed concerning --

Prayer November 27, 2008

Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin | No. 506 | Wed 26 Nov 2008

WELCOME to the 23 intercessors who have joined the list this month.

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SOMALIA, where al-Qaeda-linked Shabaab jihadists have captured
most of the south. They recently publicly executed Aisha Duhulow,
a 13-year-old rape victim, and Mansuur Mohammed (25), a Somali
convert to Christianity. They regularly assassinate aid workers,
making Somalia too great a risk for most aid agencies. Jihadist
and clan conflicts risk spilling into Somali-populated
north-east Kenya. The whereabouts are still unknown of Maria
Teresa Olivero (60) and Caterina Giraudo (67), two nuns kidnapped
out of north-east Kenya on 9 November and taken into Somalia. The
Transitional Federal Government is powerless. Pray for God's
intervention.


PAKISTAN, where al-Qaeda-Taliban jihadists, who have captured most
of the north-west Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA),
are now terrorising Peshawar, the capital city of North West
Frontier Province (NWFP). This is only 150km from Islamabad on
the road to the Khyber Pass and Kabul, Afghanistan. The church
in NWFP is greatly at risk. Please pray.


AND WE JOINED with hundreds of thousands of churches across the
world for the annual International Day of Prayer (IDOP) for the
Persecuted Church on Sunday 9 November.

Right now, today, multitudes of Christian individuals, families and
churches are facing severe trials. In several places whole
Christian communities are facing genocide. Being part of One Body
necessarily involves sharing its pain. Avoiding the pain of the
persecuted Church simply because it is offensive and distressing is
akin to a limb severing itself from the body in the belief that its
separation and independence will be to its benefit. But that cannot
be, for it not only defies biology, it defies the very will of
Christ who is the Head and who wills that we should be one so the
world may believe (John 17:20-23). May we trust God and commit
ourselves and our churches to union with and prayer for the
persecuted body of Christ -- not just on one Sunday each year, but
as an integral part of our lives as Christians and of our church
life.


OTHER ISSUES DURING NOVEMBER
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* EGYPT: ANOTHER ATTACK AGAINST COPTS IN UPPER EGYPT

When a 14-year-old Coptic boy recently failed to dismount from his
donkey as a Muslim funeral procession passed by, the mourners
grabbed and beat him. After the burial they returned to the boy's
village, Tayyiba in Upper (southern) Egypt, and rioted, destroying
property and looting. After using tear gas to quell the riot, the
police arrested 10 Muslims and 50 local Copts. The arrests will
doubtless persuade the Copts to accept a 'reconciliation session'
where they will be asked to drop all charges in exchange for
'peace' with the Muslims. The local priest, Father Augustinus,
reports that this was the third sectarian incident in the village
in little less than five months.


* INDIA: REWARDS OFFERED TO KILL CHRISTIANS

Several Christian ministries in Orissa, north-east India, have
reported that Hindu nationalist groups are offering rewards of
money, weapons, kerosene, food and alcohol to Hindus who will kill
Christians and/or destroy their homes, churches and properties. The
Hindu nationalist paramilitary, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh
(RSS), denies the claims. However, according to Faiz Rahman, the
chairman of Good News India, 'The going price to kill a pastor is
$250.' Rahman is desperate to get some 250 pastors out of the
relief camps to safe locations. A report by India's Communist Party
estimates the number of Christians killed during the Orissa pogrom
is closer to 500 than the dozens quoted in official statements.
Christians report that Hindu mobs are using horrific threats
against children to force parents into 'converting' to Hinduism so
their already homeless children won't be pack-raped or burnt alive.
Please pray.

* IRAN: PERSECUTION INTENSIFIES

Whilst Mandaeans revere John the Baptist, they do not recognise
Jesus as Lord and so they seek forgiveness of sins through regular
baptism. The sect originated on the banks of the Jordan River over
2000 years ago before great persecution drove them east to the
marshlands of southern Mesopotamia. They are facing genocide in
Iraq and the tiny minority that lives in southern Iran reports an
escalation in intensive and systematic persecution. It is the same
for Christians, especially converts from Islam. Middle East Concern
(MEC) reports that an Iranian convert Christian named Sobhan was
recently released from prison after renouncing his faith under
torture. MEC requests prayer that this distressed and traumatised
believer will be restored to full fellowship. Please pray for God's
intervention in Iran.

'And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed.
And the Lord turned and looked at Peter . . . And he [Peter] went
out and wept bitterly.' (Peter's denial of Jesus, Luke 22:54-62
excerpt ESV). 'But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his
voice and addressed them . . . and there were added that day about
three thousand souls.' (Acts 2:14a,41b ESV)


* IRAQ: TERROR AND GENOCIDE

On 12 November in Mosul, the capital of northern Iraq's Nineveh
province, Islamic terrorists attacked yet another Christian family,
shooting the two daughters as they waited outside their home for a
bus and then wounding their mother before destroying the family's
home with bombs. Shortly after this attack, a Christian bishop in
Iraq received a threatening letter from the al-Qaeda-linked Ansar
al-Islam saying Christians must leave the country 'immediately and
permanently'. 'There'll be no room in Iraq for the Christian
infidels from now on,' the letter said, adding that those who
remain will have their throats slit as 'is happening to the
Christians of Mosul'. Iraq's Christians are facing a 'final
solution' -- this is genocide. Only God can change this situation,
meaning the humble pray-er is more influential than any politician,
diplomat or warrior on earth. Please pray for God's intervention in
Iraq.

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'Ah Lord God! It is you who has made the heavens and the earth by
your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard
for you.' (Jeremiah 32:17 ESV) And the Lord responds: 'Behold, I am
the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me?' (v27)

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run the whole of an RLP. As a summary is not practicable with
this monthly update posting we suggest one or more of the above
items be used instead.

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The WEA Religious Liberty Commission sponsors this
RL Prayer List to help individuals and groups pray
specifically and regularly for religious liberty
issues, and in particular to uphold the Church
where it is suffering persecution.

RL Prayer is moderated by Ron Clough, a commissioner
of the WEA RLC and convenor of the Australian EA RLC.
Elizabeth Kendal researched and authored this message.