I subscribe to VOM via email and this was in my inbox this evening. I want to share the prayer requests and praise reports with everyone and ask that you take a moment to first give thanks to God for the gift of being able to worship Him freely, then take a moment to pray for those listed below.
“Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.” (1 Timothy 4:15-16)
Pastor Beaten; Churches Attacked – VOM Sources
On May 27, Pastor Rampal Kori was beaten by two Hindu militants in Rewa, Madhya Pradesh, India. According to The Voice of the Martyrs contacts, “The militants repeatedly struck the pastor, who was returning from prayer meetings, with an iron rod and accused him of forcibly converting villagers to Christianity. They also robbed him of 3000 Rupees (US $70). Pastor Kori sustained serious injuries that required stitches in his head.” Meanwhile on May 26, in an unrelated incident, militants demolished a thatched church in the district of Adilabad, Andhra Pradesh. On June 1, another group attacked the Masihi Mandir Church in the district of Oriya Para, Chhattisgarh state, during a morning church service. VOM sources added, “At approximately 11:00 a.m., the militants barged into the church building and destroyed the facility’s furniture. The attackers accused the believers present of forcibly converting people, and threatened them with dire consequences if they continued to worship Christ.” Pray for healing for Pastor Kori. Ask God to strengthen the believers whose churches were attacked as they continue to stand in His grace. Psalm 37: 3-6
Christians Arrested – Compass Direct News
On May 28, Eritrean police arrested 34 evangelical Christians in the city of Keren, Eritrea. According to Compass Direct News, “The Christians, who are members of the Berhane Hiwet (Light of Life) Church, were meeting in a private home for prayer and fellowship. All 24 men and 10 women present in the meeting were taken to prison, with their children left behind. The next day security officials transferred the women prisoners to the Adi-Abeyto Military Confinement facility on the outskirts of the capital city of Asmara.” Pray for the release of Eritrean Christians who are imprisoned for the sake of Christ. Ask God to strengthen and comfort their families, especially the children. Pray that the Eritrean government will respect the rights of Christians to freely worship their Lord. Ephesians 1: 19-23
UPDATE: Christian Converts Released from Prison – Compass Direct News
Praise God! Homayon Shokohie Gholamzadeh (48), an Iranian Christian convert arrested on May 11 by police in the city of Shiraz, was released from prison on May 22. According to Compass Direct News, Gholamzadeh was taken into custody with his wife and another couple before boarding a flight at Shiraz International Airport. On June 2, Mojtaba Hussein (21), another Iranian Christian convert from Islam arrested on May 11, was released from prison. According to Compass Direct, the authorities demanded valuable property deeds as bail collateral for the release of the two believers. Praise God for the release of these believers. Pray God encourages them as they live their lives for Him. Pray for other believers who face challenges for practicing their faith. Psalm 34: 1-10
Christians Detained for Helping Quake Victims – China Aid Association
On June 1, Chinese Public Security Bureau (PSB) police officers disrupted a house church meeting and forcefully detained seven believers during a Sunday service at Taikang county, Henan province. According to China Aid Association (CAA), “Approximately six PSB officials disrupted the house church meeting and forcefully detained seven of the participants. Police officials did not state the reason for the detention. During interrogation, police officials questioned the members as to who would be taking donations to the earthquake disaster area. One woman and her child were released; however the other six remain in detention under a charge of sending money to a disaster area in the name of a house church.” According to reports, PSB officials have said they will not release those detained until they paid a fine. Pray for believers in China who are facing difficulties practicing their faith. Ask God to give them boldness to serve Him and for Him to give them the ability to forgive their persecutors.