Thursday, 18 July 2013

VOM Prayer Newsletter.

Romans 1:16
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.

IRAN: Pastor Released from Prison

Iran has conditionally released Pastor Robert Asseriyan from jail on bail after 43 days in custody and has reportedly been instructed to remain silent about his imprisonment and any abuses he suffered, according to Mohabat News.

Pastor Asseriyan, a leader at the Central Assemblies of God church in Tehran, was arrested in the middle of a church service on 21 May. According to a statement released by George O Wood, General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God, "authorities raided Pastor Asseriyan's home where they confiscated a computer and several books. Then, they found Pastor Asseriyan at the church leading the prayer service, immediately arrested him, and announced the church's imminent closure."

Source: International Christian Concern

Praise God that Pastor Asseriyan has been released.
Pray for Pastor Asseriyan to recover from his ordeal and that he will forgive his persecutors.
Pray that the church will continue to be a witness and light in Tehran despite the opposition they face.

EGYPT: Christians Targeted by Morsi Supporters

Hard-line Muslims in Egypt angry over President Morsi's removal from power have attacked churches and Christian property. Reports of attacks on Christians began to surface just hours after the Egyptian army announced that it had removed from office the Muslim Brotherhood-backed premier and his cabinet.

On Wednesday, Morsi supporters attacked Al Eslah Church and St George's Church in Delgia village in Minya province, as well as Christian properties in the area. Rioting on Friday, reportedly triggered by a row between a Muslim and a Christian, resulted in the death of four Christians and the destruction of dozens of homes. Police reportedly warned church leaders in the Cairo area to be on the lookout for cars with certain number plates, amid warnings of car bombs.

The murder of a church leader in Northern Sinai has also been linked to reprisal attacks by Morsi's supporters, amid growing civil unrest. Mina Aboud Sharween was shot dead on Saturday as he walked in the Masaeed area of El Arish.

Sources: Morning Star News, Reuters

Pray that God will protect and sustain His people in Egypt, amid mounting unrest.
Pray for peace and stability in Egypt. 

SRI LANKA: Pastor and Christians Assaulted

A Christian pastor and his congregation in Sri Lanka were assaulted by a Buddhist monk and his associates during a Sunday service on 23 June. A monk began to insult and attack the pastor with a tree branch while he was on an errand in Neluwaththuduwa, in the district of Colombo.

The pastor fled to his church, only to be ambushed by 20 young men who beat him and accused him of attacking the monk. The mob raided the church where a service was being held, and attacked the congregation of about 70 members, including the pastor's two sons (aged 19 and 3). Members of the congregation managed to shield the pastor's wife from blows with a wooden club.

Police arrived to disperse the mob, and the pastor registered a case against his attackers. This attack took place a week after a violent mob armed with clubs, knives and swords attacked a congregation in Valachchennai.

Source: Release International

Pray that the authorities in Sri Lanka will act swiftly to curb anti-Christian violence.
Pray that God's peace and protection will be with the pastor, his family, and the congregation as they continue to reach out to their communities (including their enemies) with Christ’s redeeming love.

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