INDONESIA: Pastor and Assistants Arrested for Baptisms
Pastor Onekesyi Zegaand and three of his assistants were arrested recently by a district police officer after being accused of baptising Muslims.
The allegations were made on 20 June, when a Muslim family reported that a family member had become a Christian and been baptised by the pastor. Police told the pastor and his assistants that the Muslim family had planned to “catch” them at a nearby drugstore. “Our job is just arrest them,” the police officer stated.
Police also seized Christian books in various languages as well as a notebook. Two people who admitted to being baptised by the pastor have since returned to Islam.
Source: Voice of the Martyrs
Pray the Lord will keep Pastor Zegaand and his assistants faithful during this difficult time. Pray for their release. Pray this persecution will result in increased boldness among the believers (Acts 4:29-31). Pray for those who have returned to Islam, that they willingly return to the one true God.
VIETNAM: Praying Christians Brutally Assaulted by Police
On 31 July, a group of Christians in Ho Chi Minh City were assaulted by police while gathered in front of the Notre Dame Cathedral for prayer.
They were praying for the resolution of land disputes because the government has been trying to confiscate their properties. Police and security personnel forcibly ended the meeting, dragging the Christians onto buses. Those who resisted were brutally beaten. As a result, several had to undergo medical treatment in hospital.
In recent years, prayer vigils and peaceful protests have been held by Christians in response to the unlawful confiscation of land by the government.
The Communist Party of Vietnam enforces strict control of all policy and activity. In particular, the confiscation of land is becoming a serious issue. The government is also using the confiscation to restrict unsanctioned religious activities.
Unregistered churches in Vietnam face harassment and discrimination. Recently, severe famine in the land moved the government to start providing emergency aid to villages. Christian communities in desperate need were discriminated against by the government and left without the necessary provisions, unlike the response that was given to those of non-believers.
Source: Christian Solidarity Worldwide
Pray believers in Vietnam will experience ongoing spiritual strength and growth as they face these challenging circumstances because of their faith. Pray that the land disputes threatening their churches and communities will be fairly resolved. May those afflictingand harassing them sense God's powerful touch, resulting in changed hearts and lives.
ALGERIA: Christian Convert Facing Prison Time for Defaming Islam
An Algerian Christian convert from Islam is still awaiting a verdict on his appeal to a harsh 5-year jail term handed to him by a court for proselytism and defaming Islam.
According to reports, Krimo Siaghi was arrested on 14 April 2011 after he refused a merchant who tried to force him to recite the creed for converting back to Islam.
Subsequently, the merchant filed a complaint against Siaghi on charges of proselytism and of defaming Islam and its prophet.
Christian leaders in Algeria say that government officials influenced the judge's strict sentence and that the ongoing court delay was a guise to divert international scrutiny on the incident. Krimo Siaghi, however, has been allowed to remain free pending his appeal.
Sources: World Evangelical Alliance, Worthy Christian News
Pray that Krimo Siaghi would place his trust in the Lord during this difficult time. Pray for God's guidance upon Siaghi and his legal team; pray that Siaghi would be cleared of any wrongdoing. Pray the Lord will pour out His Spirit on Algeria so many may know Him.