Barnabas Aid - International Headquarters River Street, Pewsey, Wilthire. Phone: +44 1672 565030 Latitude: 51 deg 23 min 18 sec N Longitude: 1 deg 45 min 48 sec W .

Email:

Prayer Focus 04/09

To

Email address:
Separate multiple addresses with a comma (,). Maximum of 10

From

Your name:
Your email address:
Security test:
Please enter the numbers that appear here in the box below.
refresh captcha
CAPTCHA Image
Security code:

Details provided here will never be used in any other context

Prayer Focus 04/09

PAKISTAN - CHRISTIANS TARGETED AND ATTACKED BY MOB

UK - CHRISTIAN MINISTER ATTACKED WHILE IN LONDON

THE UN - PROPOSED NEW RESOLUTION COULD BE A DANGER TO GLOBAL FREE SPEECH

INDIA - CHRISTIANS SUFFER EXTREMIST ATTACKS DURING CHURCH SERVICE

CHINA - CHRISTIAN PRISONER HELD FOR 14 MONTHS

NIGER - ISLAMIC PREACHERS BANNED FROM BROADCAST MEDIA AND PUBLIC PLACES

 

PAKISTAN - CHRISTIANS TARGETED AND ATTACKED BY MOB

In early March 2009, the peace and quiet of the small village of Sangowali in the Punjab province of Pakistan was broken by a gang of Muslims who descended on the village. The 25-strong mob targeted local Christians, breaking down doors and forcibly entering their houses and beating them with clubs and iron rods. Women tried to protect their sons and husbands, but the mob was indiscriminate in their attack. A number of Christians were injured, three of them severely, and one woman died of her injuries. The wounded were rushed to hospital, but their journey was delayed as the gang blocked the road shouting abuse and firing their guns.

It is thought the attack was intended to punish the Christian community living in the village because of the actions of a 16- year-old Christian boy. Prior to the attack, he had been sexually harassed by local Muslims and had pressed charges against his attackers at the local police station.

The families of the injured Christians are struggling to obtain justice for their relatives from the local police, as the accused are very influential in the area. A charge of murder has been registered, and ten Muslim men have been named, but as yet no one has been arrested.

• Pray for the Christians injured or bereaved in this attack, that the Lord will heal and comfort them at this time.

• Ask the Lord Jesus to change the hearts of the men who carried out the attacks and pray that the police will act to ensure justice for Christians.

Back to top

UK - CHRISTIAN MINISTER ATTACKED WHILE IN LONDON

The Rev. Noble Samuel, a Christian minister at a United Reformed Church in West London, has been attacked by three men on his way to the TV studio where he films a Gospel programme. Mr Samuel was born in Pakistan and moved to Britain 15 years ago. He presents an hour-long live Asian Gospel Show on satellite television. He does not set out to be confrontational, but in recent weeks his views have been aggressively challenged by Muslim callers in a broadcast phone-in.

The incident, which has been described as a "faith hate" crime by police, happened when a car pulled in front of Mr Samuel and a man came over to ask for directions. The attacker opened the car door and started punching Mr Samuel and trying to hit his head on the steering wheel; he then grabbed Mr Samuel's cross and pulled it off, throwing it to the floor. Two other men stole his laptop and Bible. The assailants warned Mr Samuel, "If you go back to the studio, we'll break your legs." Following the attack, Mr Samuel went ahead with his show at studios that are owned by local Muslim businessman Tahir Ali, who went on air later that day to condemn the attacks.

Earlier this year, the plight of Asian Christians in Britain was highlighted during a meeting at the General Synod of the Church of England. An Asian Synod member, Mrs Zahida Mallard, noted, "We are very much aware of the persecuted Church in Iraq, Palestine, Pakistan and other places where to own the Name of Christ is to invite suffering, stigma and social isolation - but the persecuted Church is a reality not just in these foreign lands but in our cities." Particularly vulnerable are British-born Asians who have converted from other faiths to follow Christ and are often treated as traitors by their friends, relatives and community. A minute's silence was held at the meeting in February 2009 in honour of persecuted Asian Christians in England.

• Thank God that Mr Samuel faced his attackers with courage and continued with his work for Christ following the attack.

• Pray for the Lord's protection of Mr Samuel's family, and that their faith in the Lord Jesus will keep them from fear.

• Pray that "faith hate" crimes will be taken seriously in the UK and that the police will deal with such crimes appropriately.

Back to top

THE UN - PROPOSED NEW RESOLUTION COULD BE A DANGER TO GLOBAL FREE SPEECH

A new United Nations Resolution has been proposed that represents a dangerous threat to global religious freedom, human rights and free speech. Entitled "Combating Defamation of Religions", the resolution stresses the need to "effectively combat defamation of all religions and incitement to religious hatred in general and against Islam and Muslims in particular". The resolution has been penned by Pakistan and circulated by the Muslim countries that dominate the Human Rights Council. It seeks to criminalise "defamation of Islam" and to define any questioning of Islamic beliefs as a human rights violation. No other religion is mentioned explicitly.

Most notably, this resolution strikes at the heart of human rights as it seeks to shelter Islam as a faith and ideology from "question, debate or critical inquiry", as opposed to protecting individual humans. It would make it difficult to critique Islam for its attitude and actions towards women, non-Muslims and apostates who leave Islam. Unfortunately, it is expected that this resolution will be adopted, as Muslim countries make up the majority of the Council.

• Pray for guidance and wisdom for members of the Human Rights Council, that they will see the potential damage of this resolution and that they will have the courage to speak out against it.

Back to top

INDIA - CHRISTIANS SUFFER EXTREMIST ATTACKS DURING CHURCH SERVICE

A pastor and several worshippers have been injured following a shooting spree in early March by a man protesting against conversions from Hinduism to Christianity. A bomb was also detonated in the church in India's eastern state of Bihar. The attacker burst into the church during a worship service carrying a pistol, ammunition and anti-Christian pamphlets protesting against what he called "forcible conversions". The 35-year-old pastor, Vinod Bhaskar, was shot in the chest and was rushed to a nearby hospital in a critical condition. At least four other worshippers, including a six-yearold child, were also taken to hospital. The attacker was restrained by a group of the churchgoers and was arrested by the police. It is not clear if the attacker acted alone but there have been no claims of responsibility for the attack. It has been reported that the Christians and pastor have received death threats from nationalist Hindus.

India is a majority Hindu nation with over one billion people. In recent months, Christians have been targeted by those who oppose the spread of Christianity in India. Earlier this month, suspected Hindu militants attempted to break in to the home of a Christian pastor in the state of Uttar Pradesh who has seen a substantial increase in Christians attending the church that he leads.

These attacks come at a time when the government is under increased international pressure to tackle extremism against India's Christian minority.

• Pray for the pastor and those injured in the attack in Bihar, for God's healing hand to be upon them.

• Pray for the attacker of the church in Bihar, that he repents of his actions and comes to know and trust the Lord Jesus Christ.

• Pray that the government of India will have the wisdom and courage to calm the anger among Hindu activists and tackle extremism against local Christians.

Back to top

CHINA - CHRISTIAN PRISONER HELD FOR 14 MONTHS

Authorities in the Muslim-majority Xinjiang Uyghur region of China have been detaining a local Christian church leader for over 14 months. His family have not been allowed to see him since his arrest and only limited, restricted access has been given to his lawyer. Alimujiang Yimiti is an ex-Muslim who has been a believer in Jesus Christ for 14 years. According to his wife, "Faith in Jesus has made great changes in Alimujiang's life and has made him really a good citizen who loves his country and his people."

Alimujiang had already been prevented from carrying out his business activities, as he had been accused of using his employment "as a cover to preach Christianity among the people of Uyghur". In January 2008, he was arrested for "endangering the security of the state". At the time of his arrest, his house was searched by police who removed his personal computer, and it is alleged that he was physically abused by the police. Alimujiang's family have attempted to visit him in prison a number of times, but each time they have been turned away. His family have received no news about him and no communication from him for the past ten months. His case was brought to trial in May 2008 but was returned to local prosecutors because there was "insufficient evidence" against him.

• Pray for Alimujiang, that he will be able to communicate with his family and that he will soon be released to return to home and continue the Lord's work.

• Pray for Alimujiang's wife, Guli Nuir, and for his two young sons as they face each day without their father. Thank the Lord for Guli Nuir's strength and persistence in trying to communicate with her husband.

• Pray that the government agencies will handle this case quickly and impartially, and they will give Alimujiang access to his lawyer.

Back to top

NIGER - ISLAMIC PREACHERS BANNED FROM BROADCAST MEDIA AND PUBLIC PLACES

On 25 March the religious affairs ministry of Niger announced that some Islamic preachers were to be banned from the airwaves to prevent "religious anarchy". The ministry said in a statement that it had outlawed the broadcasting of preachers and religious debates that were "likely to create ill-feeling and present a severe test of social cohesion". The Religious Affairs Minister, Issaka Labo, said on state television that "some religious circles resort to insults through the media, or broadcast provocative preachers and messages likely to upset the tranquillity between the different Muslim brotherhoods".

New restrictions have also been introduced on Islamic preaching in streets and markets. According to the ministry, Muslim associations must in future have official authorisation to preach in public areas and have to tell the authorities the venue, date and time of any sermon.

The government has tried to regulate Islamic preachers since 2006. It has warned that "tendentious sermons going beyond the instructions of the Qur'an" will not be tolerated.

The vast majority of Niger's population of 13 million is Muslim, mostly moderate Sunnis. There are also very small Christian and Baha'i communities. Despite the rapid progress of Islamisation in recent years, Niger has so far managed to avoid the religious violence that has afflicted its southern neighbour Nigeria and has maintained peace between the country's religious groups. Although the banning of inflammatory preaching by Muslims on air and in public is intended to prevent inter- Islamic quarrels, it will also enhance the security of Niger's Christians.

• Praise the Lord that the government of Niger has taken firm action to maintain public order and peace between the country's religious groups. Pray for the effective implementing of the new restrictions.

• Pray for the small Christian minority in Niger, that it may be kept safe and free, and that the process of Islamisation in the country will be arrested and reversed.

Back to top

Help us: Share this article

Email:

Prayer Focus 04/09

To

Email address:
Separate multiple addresses with a comma (,). Maximum of 10

From

Your name:
Your email address:
Security test:
Please enter the numbers that appear here in the box below.
refresh captcha
CAPTCHA Image
Security code:

Details provided here will never be used in any other context

christian, persecution, charity, church, persecuted, sookhdeo, Islam

Partner with Barnabas

partner-box.jpg

Our magazine - Barnabas aid

Barnabas aid magazine

Other articles

Follow Barnabas

or

receive news & appeal emails as they are published

From Twitter

From Twitter_icon
  • Islamic parties make unexpected gains in Indonesian elections http://ow.ly/vR60m 9 hours ago

  • Former counter-terrorism chief to lead inquiry into alleged Islamist takeover of Birmingham schools http://ow.ly/vOn9I Tue, Apr 2014 17:01

  • Condemned Christian mother Aasia Bibi's appeal hearing- set for today- deferred for third time in Pakistan http://ow.ly/vLEkf Mon, Apr 2014 16:03

  • "We should stand up against persecution of Christians" David Cameron in Easter speech http://ow.ly/vEai9 Thu, Apr 2014 16:53

  • UN religious freedom expert calls on Kazakh govt to end mandatory registration of religious communities http://ow.ly/vBb6V Wed, Apr 2014 14:36

Daily prayer

Daily prayer_icon
  • Cry out to the Lord for Christians in the Central African Republic (CAR) who have been driven from their homes by the violence that has engulfed their country. Attacks by Islamist Séléka militants and retaliation from “anti-balaka” militias has generated a huge humanitarian crisis in which around two million people, many of them Christians, are in need of emergency assistance. Give thanks for the work of Barnabas partners who have been providing food rations to hundreds of displaced believers in the capital, Bangui, and distributing food, medicines, clothing and seeds to thousands in various regions. Pray that the aid will reach those who need it most, and that the Lord will comfort the relatives and friends of the thousands who have been killed in the fighting. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 2 hours ago

  • “Jesus Christ performed tremendous miracles in all our lives through this Shalom Camp.” A pastor spoke of how God had worked through a Barnabas-sponsored weekend Bible camp for persecuted Christians in Sri Lanka. The camp was attended by believers from five different churches that had been the target of threats or attacks by Buddhist or Hindu extremists. The participants heard teaching on the Biblical basis for persecution and took part in group discussions; they came away refreshed and encouraged, and for many the camp was a time of great spiritual renewal. Give thanks to the Lord for the peace He has brought to these persecuted believers, and ask that the weekend will continue to bear much fruit in their lives. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Wed, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Pray for a church leader in Sri Lanka, S.S. Johnpillai, who was threatened at gunpoint by attackers who claimed to be Special Forces officers. The minister was in a hut next to his church building in Guadalupe, Trincomolee when, he said, the men “appeared out of nowhere”. The intruders put a gun to Johnpillai’s head and accused him of holding a Communion service in honour of the founder of the Tamil Tigers, the government’s opponents in the country’s long and bloody civil war. The government had that day made it a criminal offence to commemorate the group. The gunmen ignored Johnpillai’s protests that he had not dedicated Communion to the group’s founder, and they threatened to shoot him. Ask the Lord to support and strengthen Johnpillai as he recovers from this terrifying ordeal. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Tue, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Lift up to the Lord persecuted Christians in Sri Lanka, where at least 65 anti-Christian incidents took place during 2013, including repeat attacks on several believers and their property in October 2013. However, a Sri Lankan government minister from a Buddhist nationalist party denied the accounts, saying that they might be “made up”. The minister claimed that Sri Lankans are “one family … trying to live together after a long civil war”. Pray that the Sri Lankan government will recognise the danger that our brothers and sisters face from militant Buddhists and that the authorities will provide effective protection for vulnerable Christians. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Mon, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Condemned Christian mother Aasia Bibi’s final appeal hearing is scheduled to take place tomorrow (14 April) having been deferred twice. She was sentenced to death for blasphemy in November 2010 having been falsely accused of insulting Muhammad following an argument with Muslim co-workers. Aasia has been languishing in jail since the accusation was made in June 2009. Pray that her appeal will finally go ahead and that the judges will have the courage to acquit and release Aasia; there are concerns that they may give in to pressure from hardline Islamists who have been calling for her execution. Pray that Aasia, her husband and children will know the Lord’s peace as they await the verdict. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sun, Apr 2014 00:00

© Barnabas Aid 1997 - 2014 All rights reserved.
Barnabas Aid is a registered trade mark