Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin - No. 355 - Wed 30 Nov 2005
WELCOME to the intercessors who have joined the list this month.
DURING NOVEMBER WE HAVE PRAYED FOR -
GUINEA, where tensions are building in the southeastern Forest
Region due to an influx of northern Muslims and Liberian Muslim
ex-combatants. Guinea's Christian minority (4.7%) live mainly in
the capital, Conakry, and the Forest Region.
IDOP, when we joined together as the global body of Christ to pray
for our brothers and sisters who are persecuted. We especially
remembered those imprisoned for their faith.
CHINA & INDIA; in China the government violently represses freedom,
while in India Hindu supremacists repress and violently
persecute the Church.
* UPDATE: Violence against Christians in India is escalating in
frequency and severity. When the Hindu nationalist BJP
controlled the federal government, Hindu activists anticipated
national anti-conversion laws. Now that Congress controls
government the Hindu nationalists are taking matters into their
own hands, trying to silence Christians through violence and
intimidation. Police are often very reluctant to intervene, as
they are mostly Hindu in the midst of a Hindu majority, all
living in fear of Hindu militants. India is in great need of
prayer that Indians, especially those with authority, will reject
violence and embrace peace, liberty and justice.
CENTRAL SULAWESI, where Islamic militants are killing Christians,
seeking to provoke retaliation and thus re-ignite jihad so they
can control Poso and from there, advance their Islamic agenda.
OTHER ISSUES IN NOVEMBER
* IRAN: NEW ERA OF INTENSE PERSECUTION
Compass Direct reports that members of Iran's Ministry of
Intelligence and Security (MOIS) have recently visited Christian
leaders and warned that the government is watching them. Ghorban
Tori (50), a convert to Christianity, was pastoring an independent
house-church of Christian converts in Gonbad-e-Kavus, northeastern
Iran. Compass Direct reports that on 22 November, he was kidnapped
from his home and stabbed to death. His body was then dumped back
in front of his home. He leaves a wife and four children. Hours
later, secret police arrived and searched the house. The following
day they raided the homes of all other known believers in the area.
Ten Christian leaders from several cities have also been arrested,
tortured and released. This can be seen as the beginning of a
serious, prolonged assault on the Church in Iran - please pray.
* LRA IN NORTH UGANDA AND SOUTH SUDAN
On 21 November, 12 civilians died in North Uganda when fighters
from the blasphemous terror militia, the Lord's Resistance Army
(LRA), attacked a mini-bus and burnt its occupants alive. Only
three days earlier, LRA rebels had ambushed and killed five other
civilians. LRA violence has affected relief work in both North
Uganda and South Sudan. On 21 November, LRA rebels killed civilians
in South Sudan, as well as mine clearance workers earlier in the
month. Over the past year remnant LRA soldiers have killed
primarily for food, water, weapons and 'juju' (occult charms). The
mini-bus attack seems to have been simply terror or sport. The
Sudanese People's Liberation Army (SPLA), the Sudanese Armed Forces
(SAF) and the Ugandan army (UPDF) are co-operating to hunt down the
LRA and put a stop to their terror. Please pray that through ending
LRA terror, God will secure peace and justice for the predominantly
Christian, war-ravaged, traumatised populations of North Uganda and
South Sudan. Pray that Joseph Kony, the LRA's spirit-medium leader,
will be brought to justice very soon.
* PAKISTAN: CHRISTIANS, CHURCHES, SCHOOLS ATTACKED IN PUNJAB
On 11 November, a Muslim in disputation with a Christian man,
Yousaf Masih, falsely accused him of blasphemy. Islamic leaders
then called Muslims to the Jamia Madni Masjid, the central mosque,
and incited them to defend Islam and attack the Christians. Some
2000 enraged Muslims then assaulted the Christians of Sangla Hill,
Punjab. They burned the local Presbyterian Church, along with its
manse and library. They attacked the Catholic Church of the Holy
Spirit, the adjacent nun's convent, and the home of the parish
priest. They destroyed the furniture, libraries and science
laboratories of the Saint Anthony Primary and High Schools. They
attacked and seriously damaged the Salvation Army church. Some 450
Christian families were forced to flee their homes. The (Catholic)
Justice and Peace Commission has accused the police of 'criminal
negligence' because they did not intervene, nor did they stop
rioters being bussed in from surrounding districts to join the anti-
Christian pogrom. Pray for justice in Pakistan.
* SRI LANKA: CRYING FOR JUSTICE AND SECURITY IN AMBALANGODA
The Assemblies of God (AoG) church in Ambalangoda was destroyed in
the Boxing Day Tsunami. On 4 June 2005, the congregation bought
land and a building for use as a church. On 5 June, militant
Buddhists attacked and damaged it. On 6 June around 10pm, a mob of
about 100 surrounded the building shouting threats. At
approximately 3pm the following day they invaded the church,
attacking the pastor and believers with sticks, iron rods, shovels
and two swords. The pastor and two other believers were
hospitalised. Intervention by the police only caused further
disturbance. Eventually the pastor had to be evacuated from the
hospital to another town for his own safety. The police have now
filed charges against some of those involved in the violence, but
the believer giving evidence against the attackers has received
death threats. Please pray for justice and security for the Church
in Sri Lanka.
PROMISE: '...don't you think God will surely give justice to his
chosen people who plead with him day and night? Will he keep
putting them off? I tell you, he will grant justice to them
quickly!" - Jesus (Luke 18:7,8)
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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