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Prayers for March 7, 2006

March 7, 2006

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.”
(Matthew 5:43-44)

From The Voice of the Martyrs
The Voice of the Martyrs Visit: Persecution.com

Pray for CHINA
CHINA (China Aid Association)
Thirty-six house-church leaders, school students and the students’ teachers were taken into custody in a raid on Wednesday, March 1st. They were released the evening of that same day, shortly after CAA called for their release. However, the 10,000 copies of the unlawfully confiscated Christian literature were not returned. Instead, they were given to a government committee, which will rule whether or not they are illegal literature. The released students continued their classes the next day. CAA also learned that a top provincial Public Security Bureau (PSB) official who directs the crackdown campaign decided to grant the release after increased international pressure.

Give thanks to God that these innocent believers are free. Give praise to the Lord for the work of China Aid Association in responding quickly to the plight of our Christian brothers and sisters. Pray God will use the literature to bring the Chinese officials out of the desert land of unbelief into His glorious Kingdom.

Pray for CUBA
CUBA (Compass Direct)
Cuban authorities jailed an evangelical pastor, who was the former president of his denomination, last week, apparently on charges of aiding illegal emigrants. Relatives of the Rev. Carlos Lamelas, however, said the supposed allegations against him are groundless. “They accuse him of getting people out of the country illegally, which is a big lie,” said one. “If he had that kind of money, he wouldn’t be living with hunger like he is now.” Some sources believe police targeted Lamelas because he has challenged the Castro regime on religious rights issues. Police allowed Uramis Lamelas a 10-minute visit with her husband on February 27th, one week following his arrest. She said he appeared “exhausted and depressed,” and he had been isolated from other inmates during his confinement.

Pray Jesus will surround Rev. Lamelas with the reality of His comforting, loving presence. Pray the family and friends of Rev. Lamelas will know the peace that comes from trusting in God. Pray God will convict Cuban authorities of their inhumanity toward Christians and lead them to Christ.

Pray for KAZAKHSTAN
KAZAKHSTAN (ASSIST News Service)
Baptist pastor Pyotr Panafidin’s refusal to pay a massive fine imposed last September for leading his unregistered church in the Southern town of Taraz in Kazakhstan, led to a three-day imprisonment and the decision to confiscate his home. Detained at a court hearing on February 27th, Panafidin was due for release on March 2nd. Pastor Panafidin also faces the prospect of his home being seized for non-payment of a massive fine handed down last September for his leadership of an unregistered religious congregation. “Of course we’re worried–if the house is seized, Pastor Panafidin, his wife Katya and their nine children will be homeless,” a local Baptist told Forum 18 News. “If a religious community is not registered with the authorities, that is no reason to restrict it.” He says the requirement for religious communities to register must be removed for Kazakhstan to meet its international human rights commitments. Other Baptists who refuse to register their congregations with the authorities on principle also face pressure from the police and public prosecutor’s office.

Pray publicity will thwart the plans of the authorities, Pastor Panafidin will retain his home, and the fine will be waived. Pray the members of all unregistered churches in Kazakhstan will be witnesses to the loving reality of Jesus Christ. Pray for a powerful movement of the Holy Spirit to sweep away the spiritual darkness of this country and bring in the light of Christ.

Pray for NIGERIA
NIGERIA (Compass Direct)
On February 23rd, Muslim rioters killed 10 Christians and set ablaze nine churches in Kontagora, Niger state, in Central Nigeria. The militants in Kontagora joined their counterparts in Northern Nigeria to protest what Muslims see as the blasphemy of the prophet of Islam, Mohammed, in cartoons published by a newspaper in Denmark. “The Muslim fanatics attacked Christians and burnt churches throughout the night,” Joseph Bawa, a Christian resident of Kontagora, told Compass by telephone. The militants clubbed Bawa and his family. He said, “I was beaten up by these Muslims, it is only God that saved me–I would have been killed.”

Continue to pray God will protect His followers from the spirit of violence sparked by the publication of the cartoons. Pray Jesus will comfort those mourning the loss of loved ones. Pray God will work a miracle of His love and power to break the spirit of violence in the hearts of fanatical Muslims, bringing them into His peaceful Kingdom.

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