Pray for "Dee," Teenager Living in Safe House
A teenage girl from Laos went home while on break from her high school to share her new Christian faith with her family, but was immediately rejected and disowned for becoming a believer. “Dee,” 16, had once heard many negative things about the Christian faith, but after becoming a believer, she thought it would be okay to tell her parents about what she had learned. Her parents were not happy and tried to force Dee to renounce her faith. When she refused, insisting that she will follow Jesus no matter what happens to her, her parents kicked her out of the home and told her that she is no longer their daughter. Church leaders are helping Dee, who is staying in a safe house, and they ask for prayers for her and say that although she is sad about her parents, she still has a lot of joy and peace. Dee also asks for prayers for her parents and wants them to know Christ.
Christian Farmers Massacred
Prayer Alert, March 15th
Please pray for our brothers and sisters in Benue state, central Nigeria, where Fulani herdsmen have killed hundreds of mainly Christian farmers in recent weeks.
Heavily armed herdsmen killed about 300 farmers between February 22 and 29 in the Agatu local government area of this mainly Christian state, and at least eight others were killed on March 8 in Logo area. Five villages have been ‘utterly destroyed’ and homes looted.
An estimated 7,000 people have been displaced and have taken refuge in camps. Government officials say the herdsmen have started to leave voluntarily but locals report the attackers and their cattle are still occupying villages in Agatu.
Herdsmen leaders say they were retaliating for the killing of thousands of cows by local villagers – although there is no evidence of this. A fact-finding team which included a human rights lawyer said it suspected the violence was religiously motivated as churches and Christian homes had been targeted while mosques had been left untouched.
In the Buddhist nation of Bhutan, few Christians are reaching out to the Bhutanese majority with the gospel. However, one pastor who spent time in prison for his Christian work is committed to sharing Jesus. “We want to reach out to our people and to share the love of Christ, how powerful it is in our life,” the pastor said. “We want to reach out to the Buddhist background family, to disciple them.” In 2014, Pastor Tandin was charged with receiving funds to spread Christianity and sentenced to nearly four years in prison. His sentenced was later reduced and he spent 49 days in jail before posting bail. The pastor said he was especially encouraged to read all the prayers posted for him on iCommitToPray.com during his imprisonment.
Praise God for Release of Assyrian Christians
Islamic extremists released a group of 43 Assyrian Christians on Feb. 23, after holding the men, women and children hostage for a year. In February 2015, ISIS militants overran dozens of villages along the Khabur River, taking 253 Christians hostage and demanding ransom payments in exchange for their release. In September 2015, the militants released a video showing the execution of three Assyrian Christian men and demanding $10 million for release of the remaining hostages. Most of the hostages have been released over the last few months. However, ISIS militants abducted another large group of Assyrian Christians in August from Qaryatain and are still holding 179 hostage. Please pray for those who have been released and for those who are still being held.
Pastor Jailed for Social Media Prayers Is Freed
Prayer Alert, February 25th
Thank God for the release of our Chinese brother Yan Xiaojie, a pastor jailed for five months for circulating prayer requests on social media.
Pastor Yan of the China Christian Evangelic Mission in Wenzhou city was arrested last August after using social media to forward prayer requests for churches in Zhejiang province targeted for cross removal.
His original eight-day sentence was ‘extended indefinitely’ last September (Prayer Alert, September 15) on charges of ‘gathering a mob to disturb social order’. Another church elder, Cheng Chaohua, detained the day after Yan, was released in December.
Eight other Christians from Zhejiang remain in detention. Seven are church elders or their wives, including prominent pastor Gu ‘Joseph’ Yuese (Prayer Alert, February 19); the eighth is Christian lawyer Zhang Kai (Prayer Alert, December 11), held in an unregistered jail since July.
Meanwhile, Haicheng Christian Gathering in Wenzhou received an official warning on February 2 that its cross would be removed; its electricity and water have been cut off.
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