“Turn to me and be gracious to me,
for I am lonely and afflicted.
Relieve the troubles of my heart,
and bring me* out of my distress.
Consider my affliction and my trouble,
and forgive all my sins.”
Psalms 25:16-18Death sentence for a pastor convicted of apostasy in IRAN[i]
The latest release of The Voice of the Martyrs Canada (VOM) on Iran calls us to pray for Youcef Nardarkhani, an Iranian pastor convicted of apostasy for leaving Islam, who had his death sentenced for apostasy upheld and confirmed by the Iranian Supreme Court. VOM further states that according to pastor Youcef's lawyer the Supreme Court would annul the sentence if Youcef renounced his faith and embraced Islam. This means that Pastor Youcef still remains at serious risk of execution and continues to face extreme pressure to deny Christ. Secular powers, as the U.S. State Department, have mobilized to put pressure on the Iranian government in regard to the described case. But the most effective mean still is our spiritual mobilization in prayer.
v Pray for clear annulment of the death sentence for Youcef Nardarkhani and his release.
v Pray for strength and perseverance in pastor Youcef and all suffering believers in Iran.
v Pray for hostility of the Iranian government towards Christians to end.
Criminal charge for praying for the sick in KAZAKHSTAN[ii]
The July 5th edition of Forum 18 reports that the KNB secret police brought criminal charges of harming an individual's health against pastor Yerzhan Ushanov of the New Life Protestant Church in Taraz, Kazakhstan, after the pastor was accused to have prayed for a sick person allegedly using hypnosis. If the criminal charges reach court, pastor Yerzhan could face up to two years' imprisonment. Statements of other protestant pastors in Kazakhstan show that this is not the first time when such absurd charges were brought against pastors in southern regions of Kazakhstan in order to put pressure on the Christian community.
v Pray for Pastor Yerzhan Ushanov.
v Pray for of the New Life Protestant Church in Taraz.
v Pray that this case might only strengthen the faith of the Christian minority in Kazakhstan.
Church attacks in SENEGAL
The Research and Analysis Report of the WEA Religious Liberty Commission (RLC) from July 7th, which most of you have already probably reviewed, gives us an interesting analysis of some worrisome and puzzling events in Senegal – a predominantly Muslim nation, seen as a model of tolerance and religious co-existence. The events in question are the attacks against at least six churches in the national capital Dakar during the recent protests over constitutional amendments. Although Churches have been attacked in the past, violence of this scale is a new development in Senegal. The attackers are unknown and the attacks raise many questions. Executive Director of the WEA RLC Godfrey Yogarajah said: “It is also clear that the attacks were not spontaneous; they were planned and organized taking advantage of the protests. How else do you make sense of mobs launching attacks on six churches when there was absolutely no immediate provocation?”
v Pray for the Senegal government to be able to ensure religious freedom for all Christian and other religious minorities in the country.
v Pray for proper investigation of the attacks and protection over Christian churches in Senegal.
v Pray that Senegal might remain a model country for religious tolerance.
ü Additional prayer items are available at the WEA website, http://www.worldevangelicals.org/pray/ .[i] Source: Voice of the martyrs Canada, available at: http://www.persecution.net/pnp.htm#1107071
[ii] Source: Forum 18 News Service, available at: http://www.forum18.org/Archive.php?article_id=1590
World Evangelical Alliance is a global ministry working with local churches around the world to join in common concern to live and proclaim the Good News of Jesus in their communities. God is glorified and the nations of the earth are forever transformed.
The purpose of the WEA Religious Liberty Prayer Release is to keep you informed and mobilized in prayer and intercession for the needs of justice and religious liberty in the Church around the globe, so that we can stand together for the work of the Kingdom and the healing of the Nations. The Prayer Release is comprised on the basis of different credible Christian based resources.