PHILIPPINES (Mindanao): Christian Villages Attacked
Two Christian villages in Midsayap, Cotabato, were attacked by the Muslim Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) on 29 July and 31 July. More than 70 armed men attacked the villages, using four boats to reach the villages and to carry away their spoils.
They ransacked the villagers’ homes, taking belongings such as rice, clothing and utensils. The attackers also took all the animals from the village, including goats, pigs and more than 300 ducks.
Reynaldo Aloro, a village leader who ran for help when he saw the armed Muslims, was caught by the attackers and killed.
The villagers now walk to their farms by day and stay at an evacuation centre at night for fear of more attacks. The BIFF continually harass and threaten Christians as part of their campaign for a pure Islamic state.
Source: Voice of the Martyrs USA
Pray the Lord will comfort those who are mourning the loss of life and the loss of property (Matthew 5:4). Pray the Lord’s protection and provision may be granted to them. Pray for members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, that the Lord would bring many to repentance through the work of His Holy Spirit and the witness of the Christian believers they are persecuting.
IRAN: Believer Sentenced to 10 Years Imprisonment
Christian convert from Islam Mohammad-Hadi Bordbar, known as Mostafa, was sentenced to ten years in prison for being a part of an “anti-security organisation” and “gathering with intent to commit crimes against Iranian national security” on 31 July.
He was arrested on 27 December 2012 in Tehran along with 50 other Iranian Christian converts who were celebrating Christmas in Tehran. He was offered release on bail, however, the title deeds offered were rejected because they were for property in Rasht, where he lives, rather than Tehran where he was arrested. Consequently, he remained in detention.
Mostafa Bordbar was first arrested in 2009 in his hometown of Rasht for converting to Christianity and attending a house church. He was found guilty of apostasy (abandoning Islam), but he was released after posting bail. The apostasy conviction remains on his record.
Mostafa’s lawyer is preparing an appeal.
Sources: Voice of the Martyrs USA, Middle East Concern
Pray the Lord will fill Mostafa’s heart with peace beyond comprehension (Philippians 4:4-7). Pray the Lord will use him as a witness for the Gospel while in prison. Pray for Mostafa’s lawyers preparing an appeal; ask God to supply them with wisdom and with words when appearing before authorities (Matthew 10:19).
INDONESIA: Evangelists Jailed for Three Years
The two Christians, known as Kashfi Rasyid and Jalaludin, were convicted despite their lawyer's insistence in court that the trial violated their human rights. Much of the debate in court revolved around whether or not the pair were in fact still Muslims because of their religious background. The men insisted they were Christians.
Five other families associated with the ministry which the men lead were forced to flee for their lives. VOM partner Release International has provided practical support to help them to resettle elsewhere.
Lawyers for the two men say they plan to appeal to a higher court.
Source: Release International
Pray that Kashfi Rasyid and Jalaludin's appeal will be heard quickly and will be successful. Ask God to sustain them and strengthen their faith during their detention. Ask God to protect the other members of their ministry. Pray that God will use them and their witness to draw many others to Him.