Pray for Pastor Ruben, Whose Church Was Burned
Police are still investigating a fire that destroyed “The Church of South India” on March 18. An unknown person or group of people set the fire around midnight. Pastor Ruben and others from the village tried to put out the fire, but the church was engulfed in flames when they arrived. The fire spread very quickly because the church had a thatch roof and walls made with dry grass. Police arrived with extinguishers shortly after being notified, but the musical instruments, speaker system and furniture were all destroyed. Please pray for Pastor Ruben and his 200-member church as they follow Christ in a hostile area.
“Suraya,” a Christian convert from Islam, was abused by her husband long before she became a Christian. He became even more violent after she turned to Christ, even trying to kill her. A judge had granted Suraya custody of their children, but her ex-husband has kidnapped them. Suraya’s children have been allowed to leave her voice messages, but she hasn’t spoken with them directly. In the messages she has received, the children are often crying for her to remember them. Suraya’s ex-husband does not answer her calls. Please pray that Suraya’s children will be returned soon and that the Lord will comfort them.
Pray for Miriam, the only Christian Left in Village
Miriam, a 93-year-old Christian woman, is the only believer left in her Iraqi village. In 2014 the self-proclaimed Islamic State (ISIS) overran the village, forcing thousands of Christians, including her children and other relatives, to flee. Miriam has survived a series of tragedies in her life involving the persecution of Christians, and her village is still a very dangerous place to live. Some nearby Kurds have been checking in on Miriam from time to time and bringing her supplies. In addition, VOM is helping meet her needs through a local church partner. Please pray for Miriam’s health, safety and spiritual encouragement.
Pray for Yklas Kabduakosov, Sentenced to Two Years Imprisonment
Six weeks after a judge sentenced Yklas Kabduakasov to seven years’ house arrest for his Christian activities, he was rearrested and sent to a labor camp. Yklas, a former Muslim, was first arrested in August 2015; he spent 12 weeks in prison before receiving a sentence of seven years under house arrest. The 54-year-old father of eight sought full acquittal, stating that he had not insulted Islam nor “incited religious hatred.” But on Dec. 28, 2015, a court changed his sentence to two years’ imprisonment in a labor camp nearly 280 miles from his home. Please pray for Yklas as he prepares a final appeal.
We Need More Prayers
Prayer Alert, March 29th
Please continue to pray for the bereaved and injured following Sunday’s horrific suicide bomb attack on Christians in Lahore.
More than 70 people, Christians and Muslims, were killed and over 350 seriously injured in the blast at a leisure park. A Taliban splinter group admitted responsibility for the attack which was deliberately targeted at the Christian community.
A church leader in Lahore, who previously expressed to us fears of such an attack, told us: ‘Once again the Christian community is targeted on Easter Sunday.
‘Gulshan-e-Iqbal is a very attractive and popular park in the northwest of Lahore and on special occasions this park is always overcrowded with children and parents. On Easter Day after church services many Christian families from all sides of Lahore city went to this park to have some recreational time with their children.’
Most of the dead and injured were women and children.
The church leader added: ‘Please continue to pray for the bereaved and grieving. We need more prayers!
Also on Sunday thousands of Islamist activists went on the rampage in the capital, Islamabad. At least three people were killed and several others injured in violent clashes with government forces. The protesters demanded the immediate execution of Asia Bibi, a Christian whose appeal against the death sentence for blasphemy is pending in the Supreme Court.
Artemisa, who lives with her parents and extended family in a small house in Albania, reads her Bible to the family each morning before going to school. The 7-year-old is one of 200 children who received a children’s Bible during a recent distribution by a VOM partner in the majority Muslim nation. A Christian worker who knows the family says Artemisa shares the Bible stories because her parents and some of her other relatives are unable to read. Please pray that Artemisa and her family will come to know Jesus.
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