WEA Religious Liberty Prayer News – January 15, 2012

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“Praise be to the LORD,
for he has heard my cry for mercy. 
The LORD is my strength and my shield; 
my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.
My heart leaps for joy,   
and with my song I praise him.”
Psalm 28:6-7     

*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.


Church bombings leave more than 40 dead in NIGERIA[i]

January 1, A string of bombs on Christmas day struck five churches in Nigeria, leaving 43 dead and dozens wounded. The leader of the Christian Association of Nigeria stated the attacks were "considered as a declaration of war on Christians and Nigeria as an entity," and that while he did not want to encourage acts of revenge, "Christians should protect themselves in any way they can".  

Boko Haram, the Islamic extremist group seeking the imposition of strict sharia law in Nigeria took responsibility for the attacks which targeted churches across the country for the second Christmas in a row, attacking churches in the cities of Madalla, Jos, Kano, and Damaturu and Gadaka. The Islamic militants also issued an ultimatum, following the attacks, giving three days for Christians to leave Northern Nigeria. This has further intensified the threat to Christians in the Muslim majority North.  

Prayer points: 

v  Pray for those injured and for families who have lost loved ones that they will experience God’s comfort.
v  Pray that God will strengthen believers in Nigeria to stand firm in their faith and not respond to attacks with violence.
v  Pray for protection over all believers in Nigeria.
v  Pray that the violence inflicted by Boko Haram on Christians would cease and that they would be brought to justice. 

Christmas-time attacks against Christians in INDIA[ii] 

29 December, On Christmas day, a mob of about 20 persons forcibly entered the house of one Adiveppa Kashennavar in Karnataka, where pastor Suresh from New Life Church, Surathkal along with his family and a few other believers were invited for Christmas dinner. The mob armed with stones/sticks/clubs is reported to have assaulted and verbally abused the believers including women and children,causing severe injuries.

In a separate incident, on 28th December, about 10 persons entered the Hebron Full Gospel Assembly Church, situated at Haleyangadi, on the Mangalore-Udupi Highway and damaged the premises while the pastor’s wife, his two children and other relatives were praying inside the prayer hall.

Prayer points: 

v  Pray for the believers who were attacked and injured during these incidents.
v  Pray that they would stand firm in their faith in spite of harassment.
v  Pray for the attackers that God will touch their hearts and they would repent and come to know Christ. 

Acid thrown on Bishop in UGANDA[iii] 

December 28, Bishop Umar Mulinde of Uganda was blinded in one eye and suffered burns after Islamic extremists threw acid on him. The Bishop, a former Muslim, is recovering in hospital in Kampala with severe burns due to the attack on Christmas Eve outside his Gospel Life Church International in Namasuba. It is also reported that Doctors are fighting to save the sight in his other eye due to extensive injury caused.

The 37-year-old bishop said that he was approached by a man who called out, 'Pastor, pastor,' and then threw acid over his face while the rest of the attackers poured the liquid on his back. Attackers had then fled shouting Allahu akbar ('Allah is greater'). In October 2011, a fatwa, an Islamic religious ruling on a matter of Islamic law, was issued against Bishop Umar, demanding his death. In 2001 in Busia, while addressing a meeting, a Muslim extremist narrowly missed killing him with a sword. In 1994, he survived a gun attack at Natete, near Kampala, when a bullet narrowly missed him.

Prayer points:

v  Pray for God’s healing upon Bishop Umar Mulinde who is at risk of losing sight in both eyes.
v  Pray for protection over Bishop Umar Mulinde and his family in this difficult time.
v  Pray for the Church in Uganda, that it would stand strong and continue to grow spreading the Good news of the Gospel across the country.   

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