Lyazzat Almenova (34) is a member of Grace Church in Kazakhstan's capital, Astana. In 2011 her mother made allegations against the church, claiming the pastor had caused her daughter to become 'schizophrenic'.
After a state 'expert' confirmed the diagnosis, the police started investigating Pastor Kashkumbayev (66). He was arrested, accused of “praying for the sick” and thereby “psychologically influencing” church members so that their health is harmed. He is also accused of using “stupefying substances” (which turned out to be the non-alcoholic red tea used in communion) to 'collect gifts' (church offerings) from members.
On 19 July Pastor Kashkumbayev was transferred to the Almaty City Psychological-Psychiatric Assessment Centre. There are great fears for his wellbeing there.
Source: Australian Evangelical Alliance Religious Liberty Commission
Ask the ever-present Lord of Hosts to shield, protect and deliver Pastor Kashkumbayev. Pray for his release. Pray God will give Kazakhstan's Christians great wisdom, courage and grace to enable them to act as effective witnesses for the Gospel. Pray for all those in authority in Kazakhstan.
IRAN: Court Refuses Pastor Saeed's Appeal
An Iranian court has rejected an appeal from Saeed Abedini, the American Christian pastor held in Iran for his Christian faith, and refused to reduce the eight-year prison sentence according American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ).
Abedini, 33, an American citizen, has been held in Iran’s Evin Prison since September, following his arrest on a bus. His supporters say he has been beaten and tortured in the prison, and that he was in Iran to try to start a secular orphanage.
Abedini’s lawyers were hopeful that new Iranian President Hasan Rowhani, who took office this month, would show more clemency in religious persecution cases. Instead, Abedini's legal team is now more fearful that the latest legal setback could mean he'll face additional beatings and abuse inside the notoriously brutal prison.
“The news out of Iran is devastating to our family,” said Naghmeh Abedini, who believes her husband's only hope for freedom lies with Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei.
Sources: Fox News, Jubilee Campaign
Please pray the Lord will comfort Saeed and his family so they will not despair but cling ever closer to Him during this difficult and uncertain time. Pray the Lord’s favour will rest upon Saeed and his legal team as they prepare for the next course of action. Ask the Lord to protect Saeed while in prison and use him as a Gospel witness to other prisoners and prison authorities.
VIETNAM: Bibles Confiscated from House Church
Local authorities confiscated 16 Bibles and some hymnals from a group of Hmong believers during a house church meeting two weeks ago, a VOM worker reports. The house church of 30 families was formed two months ago after an evangelist came and shared the Gospel in their mountain village.
No Christians lived in the village prior to the evangelist’s visit, and police are especially opposed to Christianity spreading in new areas.
Police are watching the house and have threatened to arrest the group’s leader and tear down the house if they meet again. They also took the believers’ mobile phones and told them not to contact anyone outside the house. VOM is making plans to replace the Bibles that were taken by police.
Source: Voice of the Martyrs USA
Pray the Lord will grant wisdom to these new Christians to know how to deal with the authorities (Matthew 10:19). Pray they will not stop meeting together to worship the Lord and learn from His word. Pray for the authorities who are opposed to the Gospel in Vietnam.