WELCOME to the 22 intercessors who have joined the list recently.
'Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot
be shaken but endures forever. As the mountains surround
Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds his people both now and
forevermore.' Psalm 125:1,2 NIV
We pray that God, by his Holy Spirit who lives within the soul
of each believer, will strengthen the faith of each persecuted
follower of Jesus, so they will trust in him and not be
DURING JANUARY WE HAVE PRAYED FOR -
INDIA, where persecution is escalating nationwide as the Hindutva
(Hindu nationalist) forces Hinduise and radicalise the masses
and demonise the Church for political gain.
* UPDATE: On Sunday 7 January a group of youths approached Pastor
Robert Kennedy of Bangalore, Karnataka, after a worship service.
First they asked him to go with them and pray for their sick
friend, then they attacked him and beat him for ten minutes,
leaving him requiring 16 stitches to his back and head. A church
member who returned to the church after the service was beaten
too. Also on 7 January, Hindu extremists severely beat Pastor
Narsimullu Jacob of Vanasthalipuran village, Andhra Pradesh, one
of many pastors who have been threatened because of their
ministries. On 27 January three Bible school students in Himachal
Pradesh were beaten and their school was vandalised by Hindu
militants. On 28 January the Philadelphia Church in Nawapada,
Badwani, Madhya Pradesh, was attacked by Hindu militants. A
Christian woman was beaten and five believers were arrested.
IRAN, where the regime of President Ahmadinejad is intensifying
the repression, surveillance, intimidation, litigation and
persecution of Christians.
RUSSIA, where Protestants are persecuted as 'sectarians' and their
outreach is being increasingly opposed.
CENTRAL ASIA, where Christians suffer persecution from the Muslim
community and repressive, dictatorial governments.
OTHER ISSUES DURING JANUARY
* CHINA: BELIEVERS BEATEN; AN 'IMMORTAL' DIES!
China Aid Association reports that on 26 January, Beijing house
church member and activist Hua Huiqi and his 76-year-old mother
were attacked by police, kicked to the ground and wounded as they
were out walking in the morning. They were taken to the police
station where Mr Hua was seriously beaten before being taken away.
Mr Hua's wife was later told her husband had been sentenced to a
month's criminal detention. Meanwhile, the last of China's 'eight
immortals', communist revolutionary Bo Yibo, died in Beijing on 15
January at the age of 98. The 'immortals' are dead but the Church
lives on, growing in numbers and influence despite everything the
Communist Party throws at it. Hebrews 10:36,37
* ERITREA: SEVERE AND ESCALATING PERSECUTION
Compass Direct reports that in the first week of January, 68
Christians were arrested in three major operations. On 4 January,
military commanders at the Sawa Military Centre conducted a 'random
check-up on the activities of Christian extremists' amongst student
conscripts. They found and publicly burnt some 250 Bibles. Thirty-
five teenage conscripts were arrested and subjected to 'punishment'
(including torture). On 5 January, government officials arrested
eight members of the Orthodox Church renewal movement, Medhane
Alem, at their government workplaces. Eritrea's antagonism towards
Ethiopia may be finding expression in the Eritrean government's
increased repression of previously tolerated Orthodox believers.
(During 2006 Eritrea backed the Islamists against Orthodox Ethiopia
in Somalia.) A further 25 Protestants were arrested from their
homes, schools and workplaces on the same day. Some 2000 Christians
in Eritrea are presently imprisoned on account of their faith.
*** KOREA: 2007 is the Centenary of the 1907 Pyongyang Revival ***
On the night of 14 January 1907, a small group of believers were
studying the Bible in Changdaehyun Church, Pyongyang (capital of
present-day North Korea), when the Holy Spirit came on them in a
particularly powerful way. They each confessed their sins with
tears and deep repentance through the night. The next day the
spiritual fervour spread and triggered a massive revival that
transformed the spiritual landscape, earning Pyongyang the title
'The Jerusalem of the East'.
World War Two and then the Korean War left the Korean Peninsula
divided. Religious repression and persecution in North Korea has
persistently been amongst the world's worst for the past 64 years.
Meanwhile, South Korea is free and home to some of the world's
largest, most prayerful and mission-focused churches. On 14 January
2007, the executive secretary of the Christian Council of Korea,
Rev Choi Hee Boum, addressed some 15,000 believers in Seoul at an
early morning prayer meeting for North Korea. In calling for 2007
to be a Year of Prayer for North Korea he said, 'As we mark this
centenary day of the outbreak of the 1907 Pyongyang Great Revival,
we desire to see love, freedom and peace restored in Korea.' Amen!
We pray that the 'King of glory' will revive Pyongyang again.
'Lift up your heads, O you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.' Psalm 24:7 NIV
We usually provide a summary to use in news-sheets unable to
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
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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.