**** PLAN TO PARTICIPATE IN IDOP - 13 / 20 NOVEMBER 2005 **** * The International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church * * For resources, visit http://www.IDOP.org * *************************************************************
Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin - No. 350 - Wed 26 Oct 2005
WELCOME to the intercessors who have joined the list this month.
DURING OCTOBER WE HAVE PRAYED FOR -
ALGERIA, where we pray for God to work powerfully through his small but growing Church, as it ministers in the midst of a traumatised and disillusioned people, in a nation desperately needing reform, peace and genuine restorative justice.
INDIA, where the Supreme Court is considering the constitutionality of equality for Christian Dalits. Dalits (Untouchables) are the most deprived and abused of all Indians. They exist below the Hindu caste system, without hope of liberation. In a Constitutional change in 1950, the Indian government introduced affirmative action to address historic Dalit disadvantage. However Christians are presently banned from receiving affirmative action. This is a breach of India's Constitution which prohibits discrimination on religious grounds. Sixty percent of all Indian Christians are Dalits.
CUBA, where the authorities are steering the country back towards a more orthodox Communist model. This involves increased repression of human rights advocates, many of whom are Christians, and greater hostility towards and repression of the thousands of house-churches that sprang up in the 1990s. New legislation imposes harsh restrictions on the house-churches and will force many to go underground, stifling Christian witness and ministry.
OTHER ISSUES IN OCTOBER -----------------------
* INDONESIA: ISLAMIC RADICALS HARASS CHURCHES
Some of the churches forced to close in West Java have been worshipping on the street outside their premises. But on 16 October, the Lutheran, Presbyterian and Pentecostal churches in Jatimulya, East Bekasi, were prevented from holding services in the street by large crowds of Islamic radicals setting down their prayer mats there and conducting Islamic services. When the Christian congregations then found other places to worship, angry Muslims confronted them, mocking them and threatening violence. According to reports, the police did not intervene, even when the Presbyterian pastor Anna was assaulted. The movement to close the churches across Java appears to be spreading and many of them feel under threat. In South Sulawesi on Sunday 16 October, some 150 angry Muslims broke into and vandalised a house that had been used for Christian worship earlier that day. Please pray for justice and security in Indonesia.
* NORTHERN NIGERIA: SEVERE PERSECUTION IN KANO
Northern Nigeria is under Sharia Law and Christians face systematic discrimination, persecution and the destruction of their churches. One of the most hostile states is Kano. Compass Direct (CD) reports Christian leaders in Kano complain that Muslims are targeting Christian children in government schools and pressuring them to convert to Islam. The children have no rights and are forced to observe Ramadan and wear Islamic dress. Christian leaders told CD that the persecution is so severe it is like being a slave, and there are now more Christian widows and orphans than the Church can care for. Also a Christian exodus is emptying the churches. Pastors believe this is all part of an aggressive campaign to completely Islamise Kano State. The Reverend Murtala Marti Dangora, a former Muslim, has led more than 300 Muslims to Christ. He is persistently persecuted by Islamists. He says there are many Muslims who desire to know Christ, but persecution scares them away. Please pray for God to intervene in Kano.
'O Lord, be gracious to us; we wait for you. Be our arm every morning, our salvation in the time of trouble.' Isaiah 33:2
* UZBEKISTAN: SAVAGE HATE AND COSTLY FAITH
During October Compass Direct (CD) reported on the shocking persecution of Christian believers in Janbashkala village, near Turtkul in southwestern Uzbekistan. For two years now, converts from Islam have been hounded out of their jobs and homes and beaten at the behest of a local strongman, the wealthy Tokhtabay Sadikov. This comes after years of harmonious, peaceful co-existence. CD reports, 'The water supply to Christian homes in the village has been cut off, and the church of nearly 100 has dwindled to 20.' CD states also that 'local police and civic officials, the prosecutor's office, the secret police and Muslim clerics' have all been co-opted to punish the believers. Some have literally lost everything. Because the water has been cut, the families, including children, are forced to drink dirty water and are frequently very ill. Several Christian families have sold their homes and fled to Kazakhstan. Despite their good relations with the other villagers, the persecuted Christians have no support because the whole village fears Tokhtabay Sadikov. The leader of the persecuted believers is Pastor Kaldibek Primbetov. After one savage beating his home was confiscated. His wife has also been abused and threatened.
PLEASE PRAY SPECIFICALLY FOR:
* strength and perseverance, grace, wisdom and inner peace for Pastor Primbetov, his family, and all the believers in Janbashkala village.
* the sovereign Living God, the God of justice and righteousness, to powerfully and mercifully intervene in Janbashkala village, converting or removing Tokhtabay Sadikov.
* God to open the eyes and hearts of the people of Janbashkala village to the grace exhibited and the truth cherished faithfully by the believers; may the time of sowing in tears pass and be replaced with joyful harvest. (Psalm 126:5,6)
'Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all who wait for him.' Isaiah 30:18
Please send this RLP to others, with attribution to World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) Religious Liberty Prayer List <[email protected]> ----------------------------------------------------
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.
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