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Prayers for January 31, 2006

January 31, 2006

We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are prudent in Christ; we are weak, but you are strong; you are distinguished, but we are without honor. To this present hour we are both hungry and thirsty, and are poorly clothed, and are roughly treated, and are homeless; and we toil, working with our own hands; when we are reviled, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure”
(1 Corinthians 4:10-12, NASB).

From The Voice of the Martyrs
The Voice of the Martyrs Visit:

Pray for EGYPT
EGYPT (Compass Direct)
One Christian has died, and at least 11 Egyptians reportedly injured on January 19th when Muslims clashed with security police and set fire to a Christian community center in Upper Egypt. Coptic Christian Kamaal Shaker died of injuries he received when a group of Muslims set fire to an Orthodox-owned building in the town of el-Udaysaat, near the city of Luxor. Coptic Orthodox Pope Shenouda III plans to send seven bishops to el-Udaysaat tomorrow for Shaker’s funeral service, Youssef Sidhom, editor of the Egyptian weekly Watani reported. He said the funeral would be held at a venue unlicensed as a church, in apparent protest against Egypt’s restrictive law governing the building and basic upkeep of non-Muslim places of worship.

Pray the Coptic Christians respond with the mind of Christ toward their Muslim neighbors. Pray God will comfort Kamaal Shaker’s family and friends and quickly heal those who were injured. Pray God will build His church in Egypt to give honor and glory to Jesus.

Pray for INDIA
INDIA (Compass Direct)
At this time last year, 55-year-old Noor Jehan Ahmed lived peacefully in the village of Nagaon, in the Northeastern state of Assam. Her extended household of 29 people formed a Christian enclave within the majority Muslim community. A Muslim father, angry over his daughter’s relationship with a Christian man, hatched a conspiracy to accuse Ahmed of forced conversion. Her family was shattered, and she spent two months in prison. Court cases are still pending, and the community is now clearly divided on religious lines.

Pray Ahmed will have God’s special peace, knowing she and her family are established in the truth. Pray the love and power of the Holy Spirit will overcome the Muslim father’s anger. Pray the Lord will soften the hearts of both the Muslims and Christians and bring peace to the village and many to salvation.

(Compass Direct)
A pastor and his cousin charged with attempted forced conversion in Orissa state were released on bail on January 24th, leaving five Hindu villagers charged with assault and setting fire to the pastor’s house still in custody. On January 15th, Hindu villagers attacked Rabindra Mallick as he returned home from a nearby market. The next morning, a group of about 15 villagers armed with sticks stormed the home of his older brother, Pastor Kulamani Mallick, assaulting him and his family. Pastor Mallick and two other family members required hospital treatment for minor injuries. The assailants set fire to their house, and seven adjacent houses also were burned and destroyed-in total, six homes belonging to Christians were gutted. Shortly thereafter, a village woman accused the pastor and two of his relatives of forced conversion.

Pray Pastor Mallick and all the Christians will forgive those who burned down their homes. Pray the Christians whose homes were spared will provide shelter and aid to their suffering friends. Pray those who see the love of Jesus in action will desire to know Him.

INDONESIA (Compass Direct)
On January 17th, judges at Indonesia’s Constitutional Court ruled the Child Protection Act is in line with the constitution and should not be amended. The Rev. Ruyandi Hutasoit had challenged Article 86 of the Act, which was used as the basis for sentencing Dr. Rebekka Zakaria, Eti Pangesti and Ratna Bangun to three years in prison on September 1, 2005. The Christian Sunday school teachers were arrested in May 2005, after members of a local Majelis Ulama Indonesia (MUI or Muslim Clerics Council) in West Java accused them of trying to convert Muslim children. Judge Jimly Asshiddique said Rev. Hutasoit had no right to contest the Child Protection Act, since he had not experienced any “direct losses” under it. (Click here)

Pray God will comfort and protect these faithful and innocent women, giving them patience as all the legal means for their release appear to be exhausted. Pray they will have many opportunities to share their faith with other prisoners. Pray what the authorities meant for harm will work to God’s glory.

Pray for TURKEY
TURKEY (Compass Direct)
Following Sunday worship services January 8th, five young men attacked and threatened to kill a Protestant church leader in Turkey’s fourth largest city. Kamil Kiroglu, 29, was beaten unconscious twice along the street after leaving his church premises in Adana at about 5:00 p.m. “They were trying to force me to deny Jesus,” Kiroglu said. “But each time they asked me to deny Jesus and become a Muslim, I was saying, ‘Jesus is Lord.’ The more I said, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ the more they beat me.” Wielding a long butcher knife, one of the unidentified attackers threatened to kill him if he refused to deny his Christian faith and return to Islam. The five strangers showed up at the Adana Protestant Church’s rented facility 45 minutes before the Sunday service began around 2:00 p.m. The group’s leader said that he had “converted” the four Turks with him to Christianity, but he did not know how to teach them. They waited until after the service when everyone had left before confronting Kiroglu and asking him to deny Jesus. Kiroglu told Compass, “I am praising God not because He saved me from death, but because He helped me not to deny Him in the shadow of death.”

Give thanks to God that He spared Kiroglu’s life. Pray his example of faithfulness will be an inspiration to his congregation and all who hear of his ordeal. Pray the Lord will lead his attackers to seek the Lord Jesus who gave Pastor Kiroglu the strength to endure.

Pray for ERITREA
ERITREA (ASSIST News Services)
The Patriarch of the Eritrean Orthodox Church has been forced out of office and officially placed under house arrest. In a report monitored by Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), and forwarded to ANS, the Web site states Abune Antonios had earlier been removed from effective control of the Patriarchate and confined to ceremonial duties. His non-appearance at the recent Epiphany celebrations adds weight to reports of his total removal from office. Abune Antonios is said to have been informed of his dismissal last week following secret meetings of the Holy Synod, the church’s administrative body. Since his ordination in April 2004, Patriarch Antonios is said to have been increasingly critical of the government’s continual interventions into church matters. CSW states: “The meetings were convened by Yoftahe Dimetros, a government-appointed lay person, who assumed administrative control of the Patriarchate in contravention of the church’s constitution, which reserves membership of the Holy Synod to ordained Bishops and the chairmanship of the Synod to the Patriarch.” (Click here)

Pray Patriarch Antonius will know God’s peace as he casts all his cares on Him. Pray Christians worldwide will continue to lift Eritrea in prayer asking God to move powerfully to overcome the repressive authorities. Pray the people of Eritrea will long to know the peace of Christ Jesus.

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