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VOM News and Prayer Update: March 13, 2007

March 14, 2007

“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”(Galations 6:9)

UPDATE: Pastor Sentenced to Four Years in Exile – VOM Sources
On Friday, March 9, Pastor Dmitry Shestakov was sentenced to four years in exile. According to The Voice of the Martyrs contacts in Uzbekistan, the location to which he will be exiled has not been determined. It is not clear if his family will be able to go with him. In January, Pastor Shestakov was arrested in a raid on his congregation in Andijan, which is affiliated with the registered Full Gospel Church. Uzbekistan’s Religious Affairs Committee claims Shestakov, an evangelical pastor, is not an authorized leader of any officially recognized religious organization in Uzbekistan. They describe him as an “imposter” leading an underground group identified as “Charismatic Pentecostals,” engaged in proselytizing under Shestakov’s leadership. Pray for Pastor Shestakov and his family as he faces this sentence. Pray the gospel work in Andijan will continue and grow. 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

Pastor and Three Others Missing – VOM Sources / National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka
According to a March 6 report from the National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka, a pastor of the Gospel Missionary Church in Vavuniya and three other men have been missing since March 2. Pastor Victor Emmanuel Yogarajan disappeared while on a trip with his two sons Daniel and David, and another young man. All four were last seen leaving a house in Negombo for a bus stop en route to Colombo. The deaths and disappearances of Sri Lankan church leaders have been increasing at an alarming rate following the renewed outbreak of civil war between the Sri Lankan government and the Tamil rebels. Pray for the families of these missing Christians. Ask God to bring peace to this troubled country and protect believers as they boldly proclaim the gospel. Pray those who persecute will come to repentance and see the truth and mercy of God. 1 Peter 5:1-4

Missionary Attacked – VOM Sources
On March 6, a missionary in Kashmir was attacked by masked people and beaten with steel pipes and wooden sticks. He became unconscious and some people found him on the street with a broken leg and took him to the hospital. His family is under threat. Pray for God’s healing power to touch his body and for protection for his family. Pray for protection for believers in this area. Ephesians 6:18-20

Church Destroyed by Militant Muslims – VOM Sources / Christian Aid
According to a March 2 report from Christian Aid, local Muslims destroyed a church building in January, three days after it was built. The church was established among the Ayizo tribe by a native missionary working with Christ’s Power Ministries (CPM). Four months earlier, CPM’s center of discipleship was also destroyed. Islam is spreading in Africa. It is estimated that 30 percent of Benin’s population is now Muslim. Ask God to give these church members in Benin boldness so they will continue to meet despite threats of persecution. Psalm 138:1-3

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