“But you, O Lord, do not be far away!
O my help, come quickly to my aid!
Deliver my soul from the sword,
my life from the power of the dog!
Save me from the mouth of the lion!”
* 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.
Persecution against Christian leaders continues in PAKISTAN[i]
Let us keep Pakistani Christians in our prayers as they face an unprecedented wave of persecution. Voice of the Martyrs, Canada reports that a leading human rights campaigner in Pakistan continue to receive disturbing threats after the recent assassination of Mr Shahbaz Bhatti, Minister for Minority Affairs and Human Rights in Pakistan. One of the most targeted human rights activists is Mr. Joseph Francis, Director of CLAAS (Centre for Legal Aid Assistance and Settlement), who received death threats for his work on repealing of the country's controversial blasphemy laws. Mr. Francis has requested the government to provide him with "full-fledged security." Further, Mr. Naveed Walter, President of Human Rights Focus Pakistan (HRFP) also has raised concerns about Mr. Francis’ safety.
* Pray for the safety of Joseph Francis, Naveed Walter and their families.
* Pray for the protection of all those willing to stand up for the rights of the Christian minority in Pakistan.
* Pray that this growing persecution against Pakistani Christians may bring much glory to Christ!
18 Christians arrested in INDIA[ii]
Another release of Voice of the Martyrs, Canada (VOM) reports that on the 28th of March two pastors and 16 newly converted Christians were arrested for converting to Christianity without official permit in Orissa's Mayurbhanj district in India. The Christians were charged under the "Orissa Freedom of Religion Act," which bans any conversion lacking a permit issued by authorities. They were brought before court and were released on bail on 30th and 31st of March. VOM reports that Sajan K. George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians, called on Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to withdraw the accusations and put a stop to anti-Christian violence in the state.
* Pray that true freedom of religion will be established in the state of Orissa..
* Pray for God’s protection especially over the newly converted Christians in India, passing through such persecution.
* Pray that God might build and strengthen His Church in India, in spite of the opposition.
Restriction on the import of Bibles in MALAYSIA[iii]
Compass Direct News Service (CDNS) reports about the serious concern on part of the Christian community in Malaysia on the new conditions, imposed by the government on the release of imported Bibles. In several recent incidents the Home Ministry released imported Bibles only under the condition that the books bear the stamp, “Reminder: This Good News [Malay] Bible is for use by Christians only. By order of the Home Minister.” The Home Ministry stamped these words on 5,100 Bibles without consulting the importer, the Bible Society of Malaysia (BSM), which initially refused to collect them as it had neither accepted nor agreed to the conditions. The Bibles had been detained in Port Klang, 38 kilometers (24 miles) southwest of Kuala Lumpur, since 20th of March 2009. CDNS reports that another 30,000 Bibles detained since 12th of January on the island of Borneo remain in port after the Sarawak state Home Ministry told the local chapter of Gideons International that it could collect them if the organization would put the stamp on them. Gideons has thus far declined to do so, and a spokesman said that officials had already defaced the books with the stamp.
* Pray for wisdom in the Christian community and their leaders in Malaysia on how to react towards the recent government restrictions.
* Pray for Christians in Malaysia, who make up more than 9 percent of Malaysia’s population of nearly 28 million.
* Pray for religious freedom and efficient and unrestricted distribution of the Word of God in the country.
Additional prayer items are available at the WEA website, http://www.worldevangelicals.org/pray/