During October we have prayed for –

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* The International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church *
* For resources, visit http://www.idop.org *

Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin | No. 451 | Wed 24 Oct 2007

WELCOME to the 32 intercessors who have joined the list this month.



MUSLIMS during Ramadan, specifically on the Night of Power. Please
continue praying for the world's Muslims, for their sake and also
for the sake of the Church. 'They will do such things [persecute
you] because they have not known the Father or me.' (Jesus,
preparing his disciples to expect persecution. John 16:3 NIV)

NIGERIA, where a violent Muslim pogrom on 28 September in Tudun
Wada, Kano State, left 10 Christians dead, 61 injured and
hundreds displaced. The town's nine churches were razed. The
violence was due to an unsubstantiated rumour that a Christian
had drawn a cartoon of Mohammed, which Muslims would deem
blasphemous. The pogrom bore all the signs of an orchestrated

* UPDATE: The Kano Muslim Youths Consultative Forum has proposed
that federal and state governments enact laws against
'blasphemy' to prevent such religious violence. In traditional
Islam, dhimmis (subjugated non-Muslims) are 'protected'
(permitted to live) provided they agree to live as submissive,
subjugated peoples. If a dhimmi violates the agreement through
'blasphemy' or by demanding equality or rights, then 'protection'
is withdrawn and jihad may be waged against them. Hence
Christians are held responsible for Islamic violence, and
'blasphemy', not violence, is claimed to be the issue. In Tudun
Wada a totally unsubstantiated rumour triggered the deadly
pogrom. If a blasphemy law is enacted then Christians will be
charged on rumours and false accusations. Sharia mandates death
for blasphemy, something the Forum also recommends. Please pray
for Nigeria.

GAZA, where Rami Khader Ayyad (30), a youth leader in Gaza Baptist
Church and the director of Gaza's only Christian bookshop, was
kidnapped and murdered by Islamic militants during the weekend 6
& 7 October.

* UPDATE: The Guardian recently reported that Christians in Gaza
are feeling increasingly unwelcome there. One Christian said he
is called a 'kaffir' (unbeliever) every day. The Bible Society
bookshop and premises are now closed. Christians are reportedly
very fearful, emotional and hoping only that they will be enabled
to leave. Please pray for God to comfort, protect and deliver his

IRAQ, where two of Mosul's Syrian Catholic priests were kidnapped
on 13 October.

* UPDATE: The militants released Father Pius Affas (68) and Father
Mazen Ishoa (30) at 11am on Sunday 21 October. The men made their
way immediately to St Thomas' church and worshipped with their

While there is joy at St Thomas' church, there is fear and
grieving elsewhere as Islamic militants continue targeting
Christians. Compass Direct reports two Christians were kidnapped
from a village outside Mosul on Saturday 20 October. A large
ransom has been demanded from the family. The next day the son of
a Syrian Orthodox priest was killed by a sniper in the town of
Basheeqa, 24km north-east of Mosul. Tensions of all sorts are
escalating across northern Iraq. The situation is serious now but
if/when war erupts, Islamist forces will exploit the chaos to
eliminate the Church. Please pray for the Christians in Iraq.



On Friday 19 October, Kosovo police raided a property in Deneral
Jankovic, south-eastern Kosovo, near the border with Macedonia - an
area dominated by Albanians, about 15km north of Skopje. They
seized a major cache of weapons including an anti-aircraft machine
gun, recoilless cannon, a mortar, a sniper rifle and 1300 rounds of
ammunition. Five people were arrested. The same day Kosovo police
reported explosives were thrown at St Nikola Serbian Orthodox
church in Gnjilane, eastern Kosovo. The two Molotov cocktails left
scorch marks on the wall of the church. In August, the graffiti
'death to all Serbs' had appeared on the wall of an elementary
school in Gnjilane, while 'I am proud to be Albanian' appeared on
the front gate of the St Nikola Church. Some 20,000 Serbs, mostly
Serbian Orthodox, once made up 7.8 percent of Gnjilane's
population. Though it is now virtually ethnically cleansed, ethnic
and religious hatred remain intense. Please pray for the Church in
Kosovo, especially the Serbian Orthodox remnant for whom security
is tenuous and the future uncertain.


Taliban and al-Qaeda forces in north-western Pakistan have cranked
up their terrorism since the government conquest of the Lal Masjid
(Red Mosque) in Islamabad in July. Whilst their main target has
been the Pakistan Army, they are also attacking everything they
deem un-Islamic, from ancient carved Bhuddas to girls' schools and
especially Christian-run schools. In September, a Catholic high
school in the Swat Valley, North West Frontier Province, received a
letter threatening it with suicide bombings if full Islamisation is
not implemented. The demand was later published in a local
newspaper. The local government has chosen to align with the
Islamists against the Christians and order full Islamisation
including the veiling of all girls in burqas. This has caused an
exodus of students. Some 1000 Christians live amongst 1.5 million
Muslims in Swat Valley. Pray for God to protect and deliver them.


in some places are not only living with persecution, they are
threatened with annihilation! The International Day of Prayer
(IDOP) for the Persecuted Church - 11 (or 18) November 2007 - gives
the Church an opportunity to appeal to the Lord unitedly for
merciful divine intervention. See < http://www.idop.org >. Please
pray. 'Nothing is impossible with God.' Luke 1:37

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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.