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Prayers for July 19, 2005

July 19, 2005

“Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, ‘Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death'” (Revelation 12:10-11).

Thank you for supporting our Christian brothers and sisters with your prayers!

VOM Web Team

From The Voice of the Martyrs

INDIA (Compass Direct)
A 25-year-old man, Kokala Govardhan, has confessed to the killing of Pastor K. Daniel and Pastor Isaac Raju in Hyderabad, southern India. Both murders occurred in May; police arrested Govardhan in late June. Govardhan told reporters Dara Singh, who orchestrated the murder of Australian missionary Graham Staines in January 1998, was his inspiration. Christian groups have now called for Dara Singh’s life sentence to be changed to the death penalty as a warning to extremists. Staines’ widow, however, has maintained her stand of total forgiveness. “If we don’t forgive men of the wrong that they do, then how can we be forgiven?” she said in a recent BBC interview.

Pray God will prevent any more “copy cat” murders of Christians in India. Give thanks to God for the example of Christ’s forgiveness demonstrated by Graham Staines’ widow. Pray Dara Singh will respond to the forgiving heart of Gladys Staines and turn to her Savior in repentance and peace.

INDONESIA (ASSIST News Service)
Three Christian Sunday school teachers (all female) are on trial, arrested under Indonesia’s “Child Protection” laws for using so-called deception to entice children to convert to Christianity. According to International Christian Concern (ICC), the children denied being given any money to convert to Christianity. Each Muslim child who attended the Sunday school classes had their parents’ permission. As the trial was about to begin, a group of radical Islamists went to the courthouse; and when the three women arrived, ICC reported police officers had to hold back the mob from attacking the women. As the trial began, protesters took over the seats in the courtroom and reacted loudly to everything said. All the children who were called to testify along with their parents were frightened and had to be taken outside to recover. The charges were not brought by the Muslim parents, but by the principal of the local elementary school after he heard his students singing Christian songs in the hallways.

Pray the Lord will embolden the witnesses to tell the truth concerning the work of these three faithful women. Pray God will bring about their release, allowing them to continue the work He called them to do. Pray the Muslim children who heard the Good News will turn to the One who is calling them to Himself.

IRAQ (Compass Direct)
Coming from religious backgrounds ranging from Presbyterian to Muslim, Iraqi evangelicals have seen a spurt in church growth. In Baghdad, 15 evangelical fellowships have begun since Saddam Hussein’s regime fell in April 2003. Local Iraqis are moving into positions of church leadership. Kurdish influence could keep the constitution from becoming strongly Islamic, and many Christians who fled the country have returned. Pastor Gassahm Thomas of the Christian Missionary Alliance in Baghdad says that because they do not have peace in their country, he preaches on “How do we get peace?” and everyone listens, especially when he talks about the deeper peace Christ brings. (Click here)

Praise God for His ways of turning evil into good, causing His Kingdom to grow in Iraq. Pray the Lord will protect and strengthen those who faithfully witness to the love and power of Christ. Pray many more new converts will be added to their number daily.

LAOS (Missions Insider)
Two Lao Christians, Mr. Khamchan and Mr. Vangthong, arrested March 27th, have been sentenced to three years in prison on charges of possessing illegal weapons. The man who actually did possess the weapons, which were used to accuse the two men, confessed his guilt to authorities, yet Christian Aid’s contact says “officials refused to listen because they desire to keep Khamchan and Vangthong in prison.” It is thought that Mr. Khamchan may have been targeted because he had been a village chief and member of the local Communist Party in Phin district before he became a Christian. When he confessed his faith in Christ one year ago, he was fired from Communist Party leadership. Christian leaders in Savannakhet were approached recently by authorities from both the Lao central and Savannakhet provincial governments. Apparently, officials tried to convince local Christians to help them cover up the wave of arrests of Christians that took place in March. The believers refused to cooperate.

Pray Jesus will draw near to Mr. Khamchan and Mr. Vangthong as they suffer in prison. Pray God will protect and embolden the hundreds of Laotian Christians who face physical and psychological persecution from their local authorities. Pray the officials who witness the loving faith of these Christians will be drawn to seek their Lord and Savior.

UZBEKISTAN (ASSIST News Service)
Following his arrest on June 14th, 19-year-old Pentecostal believer Kural Bekjanov is still being held at a police station in the capital Tashkent, with no progress on the investigation into whether he was connected to the murder of a U.S. citizen. A lawyer for the Full Gospel Church told Forum 18 News Service they are convinced of Bekjanov’s innocence and suspect that his religious beliefs are the reason for his ordeal. According to a Forum 18 source, Bekjanov has been tortured by police and cell mates trying to force him to abandon his Christian faith. When his mother was finally allowed to see him, she reported that he had lost weight, had difficult walking, and his fingers and legs were covered in blood. Police summoned nearly 20 other church members but were less interested in investigating the murder than in questioning them about their beliefs and threatening and insulting them. (Click here)

Pray the charges against Kural Bekjanov will be dropped soon. Pray his friends and fellow believers will not be intimidated by his experience. Pray for all those in Uzbekistan who don’t yet know the love of Jesus.

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