Ebrahim Firouzi, who has been imprisoned in Iran since August 2013 and was originally scheduled to be released in January 2015, has been sentenced to five more years in prison on charges of “acting against national security, gathering, and collusion.” Ebrahim has asked Christians to pray for him, noting God’s promises to those who remain faithful. He said he wants to stand strong in the face of persecution but acknowledged that he cannot do it alone. While he longs to be free from prison, he said, “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” Please continue to pray for Ebrahim.
A pastor and his wife were seriously injured in January when four men entered their home at about midnight and attacked them with a knife. Church members helped Pastor “Kam” and his wife to the hospital, where the pastor was treated for three stab wounds to his stomach and his wife was treated for a head wound. Pray for their complete recovery. The pastor and his wife lead a congregation of 25 believers in this predominantly Buddhist nation.
Uzbek Christian Tohar Haydarov learned recently that he will be required to serve all 10 years of his sentence without the possibility of parole. Tohar has been in prison since March 2010, when he was arrested on drug charges. His church members say the charges were fabricated and he was really imprisoned because of his religious activity. Tohar’s Bible was taken away last year, but he said that he still “feels like God is next to him.” Tohar, who is featured on VOM’s PrisonerAlert.com website, receives many letters at the prison, but officials deliver only a handful because there are “too many citations from the Bible” in them. Even so, knowing the letters are coming is an encouragement to him, and he “thanks all those praying for him and thinking about him.”
Pray for "Ahanti"
A young woman required an emergency C-section after an attack by Hindu radicals on April 15 at the Full Gospel Church. Members of the Bhagath Singh group (an RSS subsidiary) rushed into the church and told the Christians they would be killed if they continued to pray. When some of the believers continued to pray and sing, the radicals began shoving and pulling church members. A young pregnant woman, "Ahanti", was thrown to the ground, causing deep pain and stress to her unborn baby. After an emergency C-section, Ahanti and her premature daughter are both doing well. Recently, the Bhagath Singh group has been trying to force the village’s 15 Christian families to convert back to Hinduism.
Pray for Farshid, Who Recently Left Iran
Farshid Fathi, who was released from prison in December after being held for five years because of his Christian ministry, was able to leave Iran several weeks ago. He is in good health and said he could feel the prayers of God’s people while in prison. Farshid will take a break from public ministry for the next 12 months. Sadly, the time in prison destroyed Farshid’s marriage. Please pray for Farshid’s ex-wife, Leila, and their two children, Rosanna, 12, and Bardia, 7.
Pray for Christians Who Face Increasing Hostility
Turkish believers have asked for prayer, as they face increasing hostility from Muslim extremists. Turkey has suffered many terrorist attacks in recent months, and churches were warned about the potential for bombings and other attacks on Easter Sunday. A VOM contact reported that police in his city wanted to install metal detectors and search everyone attending church on Easter. “The chaos in the Middle East is extending its impact into Turkey,” a Turkish pastor said. “Socially and politically the country is experiencing a deep stress. ISIS is targeting foreigners and threatening minorities, including Christians.” Pray for peace in Turkey and for the continued spread of the gospel.
A young man who lost his legs after a Boko Haram attack several years ago was recently fitted with prostheses provided by a VOM-supported prosthetics lab. As Noah and his family fled their Christian village in Yobe state during a Boko Haram attack a few years ago, Noah fell and badly injured his legs. While hiding in the bush for several days, his legs began to swell. By the time Noah’s family was able to take him to a hospital, his legs were so badly damaged that they had to be amputated below the knee. VOM workers met Noah during his recovery in the hospital, and VOM has been helping with his medical treatments since that time. Noah is currently pursuing a university degree. Pray for his continued recovery, his studies and his commitment to Jesus.
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