WEA Religious Liberty Prayer News, February 15, 2011

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The Lord lives! Blessed be my rock,
and exalted be the God of my salvation,
the God who gave me vengeance
and subdued peoples under me;
who delivered me from my enemies;
 indeed, you exalted me above my adversaries;
you delivered me from the violent.
Psalms 18:46-48

* 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.

Christian forced to renounce his faith in Afghanistan[i]

Shoaib Assadullah, an Afghan Christian, is faced with the choice of renouncing his faith or a possible 20 year prison sentence. He is being held in a prison in northern Afghanistan since October 2010 under the country’s apostasy law. CSW reports that Shoaib Assadullah was arrested on 21 October 2010 after he gave a man a Bible in Mazar-e-Sharif, the fourth largest city in Afghanistan. On 3 January 2011, a judge told Shoaib that if he did not renounce Christ within one week he would be imprisoned for up to 20 years or possibly be sentenced to death. Shoaib refused to deny his faith and has remained faithful to the Lord Jesus Christ. The court determined that Shoaib needs to be in prison for another six months, and it is not clear whether this would be in prison or in hospital, as it is reported that Shoaib was taken to hospital in chains, where doctors stated that he may require hospitalization as he was speaking incoherently.
CSW reports several other instances of charges against converted Christians under Afghanistan’s apostasy law.

Prayer points:

  •   Pray for Shoaib Assadullah that he might find strength and refuge in Christ in this time of trouble and persecution.
  •   Pray for Afghanistan’s Christians, especially those who are arrested for their faith, and those who have converted from Islam.
  •   Pray for just laws and freedom of religion in Afghanistan. 

Islamic militants confiscate Christian farms in SOMALIA[ii]

 Voice of the Martyrs reports that since January 19, members of Al-Shabaab, an Islamic Somali extremist group, have confiscated five farms belonging to Christian converts as well as 3 farms from Muslims who reportedly attended Bible studies in the cities of Afgoye and Baidawa. The affected families have gone in to hiding. It is reported that the confiscated lands were given to businesspersons who regularly donate to Al-Shabaab. There are also reports of systematic violence against church leaders, desecration of Christian cemeteries and destruction of libraries carried out by the Islamic group who has vowed to cleanse Somalia of any Christian influence. They are also responsible for the deaths of 23 Christians.

Prayer points:

  •   Pray for protection and provision from God for those whose farms have been confiscated.
  •   Pray for Christians in Somalia to grow stronger in time of persecution.
  •   Pray for change in the hostile attitude against Christians in the country.

Violence erupts after sentencing of Christian in INDONESIA[iii]

Compass Direct News Service reports that Christian leaders in Indonesia faulted the authorities for security breaches that allowed Islamic extremist mobs to attack Antonius Richmond Bawengan - a man convicted of defaming Islam. The mob also attacked the judge who sentenced him as well as two churches and a Christian school. The attack was sparked by dissatisfaction with the five year prison term – the maximum allowed under Indonesia’s “blasphemy” law – handed by the judge. Christian leaders condemn the violence but also the state for failing to prevent such violence. CDN reports that the chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) released a statement urging Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to bring the perpetrators of the attacks to swift justice.

Prayer points:

  •   Pray for adequate action on the part of state authorities in all cases of violence against Christians in Indonesia.
  •   Pray for religious freedom for all in the nation.
  •   Pray for the Church in Indonesia to stay strong.  

    Additional prayer items are available at the WEA website, http://www.worldevangelicals.org/pray/ .

 Keep in your prayer also the upcoming events and activities of the WEA globally, regionally and nationally, posted at http://www.worldevangelicals.org/newsletter/july08.htm

[i] Source: Christian Solidarity Worldwide Hong Kong, available at: http://www.csw.org.hk/?p=754#more-754

[ii] Source: The Voice of the Martyrs, Canada, available at: http://www.persecution.net/pnp.htm#1102103

[iii] Source: Comas Direct News Service, available at: http://www.compassdirect.org/english/country/indonesia/32936/