Religious Liberty Prayer News – September, 2012

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"The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.
He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them."

Psalm 145:18-19

Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani freed, Rimsha Masih released on bail

September 9, Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani imprisoned on charges of apostasy and sentenced to death by an Iranian court, was released on 8 September, after serving 3 years imprisonment.

According to reports, he was freed following a nearly 6-hour court appearance. It is reported that officials lowered his charges from apostasy to evangelizing Muslims, which carried a 3-year term. Pastor Yousef, a father of 2 sons, was therefore released with time served.

Rimsha Masih
Rimsha Masih sits in a helicopter after her release from jail (CNN)

Rimsha Masih, the 14 year old girl arrested on false charges of burning pages of the Quran, was also released after being held for more than 3 weeks at a high security jail in Rawalpindi, Pakistan.

She was granted bail on 7 September, and subsequently released from prison on 8 September, 2012. Following her release, Rimsha Masih was flown to a secret location for security purposes, where it is believed she will be reunited with her family.

Prayer points:

  • Praise and thank God for the release of Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani and Rimsha Masih
  • Please continue to pray for Pastor Yousef as he settles in to normal life with his family and friends
  • Pray for protection over Pastor Yousef, Rimsha and their families
  • Pray that Rimsha Masih and her family will be re-located to a secure place where they could go about their day to day living without any fear

Church demolished in RUSSIA

Tanzania flag

September 9, It is reported that on 6 September, Holy Trinity Pentecostal Church in Moscow, was demolished by unknown workers, backed by the police and civil volunteers.

The church gained registration with the Soviet authorities in the late 1970s. However, the authorities evicted the church out of its first building in 1995. The replacement church building which was demolished, was built in 1995.

Officials consistently refused to legalise the church building and prevented it from being linked to the water, electricity supply and sewerage. Holy Trinity's Pastor, Vasili Romanyuk and the congregation have long battled to save their church from confiscation and destruction.

Prayer points:

  • Please pray for God's guidance to be upon the leadership of the Church in this time of trouble
  • Pray that God would make way for congregants of the Holy Trinity Church to continue to meet and have fellowship
  • Pray that Russian authorities would act justly and not discriminate against Christians

Read more…

Christian woman and her differently-abled daughter attacked by police in UZBEKISTAN


11 September, It is reported that on 6 August, Uzbek police officials attacked a Christian lady and her differently-abled daughter at their home in Tashkent, Mirabad district.

Reports state that 6 men with sticks and bats stormed the house of Valentina Pleshakova and when confronted, attacked her daughter, Natalya, knocking her off her crutches.

The men then ransacked the house confiscating Bibles and prayer books. Subsequently the woman and her daughter were taken to a local police station where they were pressured to adopt Islam. They were released after being detained for 10 hours.

On 7 August, Valentina Pleshakova and her daughter were fined an equivalent of around, 740 US dollars each, by the Mirabad District Court after being convicted for a range of offences including, "Illegal production, storage, or import into Uzbekistan with a purpose to distribute or distribution of religious materials by physical persons".

On 23 August, the fines imposed were cancelled after church officials lodged an appeal on behalf of the victims. However, part of the decision given by the lower court was upheld by the Tashkent Criminal Court, stating that the Pleshakovas violated Religion Law.

Prayer points:

  • Pray for God's comforting presence to be upon Valentina and Natalya Pleshakova
  • Please pray for their protection
  • Pray that the authorities in Uzbekistan would not discriminate against Christians, but would treat them with equality and respect

Read more… 

The 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.