Help by sharing their stories. Knowledge is power!

CHRISTMAS CARDS FOR SAEED 2014- Join the International Campaign!

December 2014
M T W T F S S
« Nov    
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031  

One small voice cries out

Islamist Herdsmen, Mercenaries Attack Christians in Benue, Nigeria from Nasarawa

MAKURDI, Nigeria (Morning Star News) – Muslim Fulani herdsmen from Nasarawa state and Islamist mercenaries from outside Nigeria attacked villages in neighboring Benue state on Sunday (Dec. 14), killing five Christians, sources said.

Inhabited almost entirely by ethnic Idoma farmers, the Fulani herdsmen from Nasarawa state, with mercenaries from Chad and Niger, razed several villages, destroying homes and church buildings in the predominantly Roman Catholic Agatu Local Government Area and forcing hundreds of Christians to flee.

Area resident Sule Audu told Morning Star News in Makurdi, the capital of Benue state, that the attacks took place while Christians were in worship services.

“Several houses in communities like Adeka and Olegadeje villages were destroyed,” he said. “In addition, farmlands and properties were also destroyed in the renewed attacks.”

Since the beginning of the year, Christian communities in Agatu have been under attack from bands of armed Muslim Fulani herdsmen. Sunday Oyigadu, a Christian leader in the area, told Morning Star News that in the first six months of this year Muslim Fulani herdsmen attacked 61 Christian communities.

“It is sad that we spent a whole year running helter-skelter from Fulani herdsmen,” Oyigadu said, adding that Christians have been killed or displaced in Ichogoluwu, Oshigbudu, Ogwule, Ocholonga, Adagbo, Okokolo, Adana, Okpancheyi, Egba and Ekwo.

Usually invading from Loko, a predominantly Muslim border town in Nasarawa state, the herdsmen and mercenaries have killed and maimed Christian villagers and destroyed their homes and farms for months, he said.

“The crisis has forced us into seeing the bitter side of life – we no longer have beds to sleep on,” Oyigadu said. “Some of us manage with the mats donated to us by some Christian brethren, and others whose houses were also burned down are still squatting with their relatives in Otukpo town or cities outside Benue state.”

Peter Elaigwu, a Christian resident of the area whose house was destroyed, told Morning Star News that incessant attacks have devastated residents and displaced thousands. Two Christian widows, Ema Okpanachi and Abiye Edo, said their husbands were killed in attacks by the herdsmen, and that after this week’s assault they no longer have homes. They lamented that they have become refugees in their own land.

The Rt. Rev. Michael Apochi, Roman Catholic bishop of Otukpo, told Morning Star News by phone that attacks by Muslim Fulani gunmen have adversely affected churches and Christian ministries.

“Life has become unbearable for Christians, as thousands of our members have been displaced in the past one year of intense attacks by Fulani gunmen and Muslim Islamists,” he said.

On Jan. 19, Fulani herdsmen raided two villages in Benue that left seven Christians dead; a Fulani spokesman said the assailants must have come from elsewhere as there are no Fulani herdsmen known in the area. On January 21, Fulani herdsmen reportedly killed 20 civilians and five soldiers in Benue.

While Muslim Fulani have historically had property disputes with Christian farmers, Christian leaders say attacks on Christian communities in Benue, Nasarawa, Plateau, and Kaduna states by Fulani herdsmen constitute a war “by Islam to eliminate Christianity” in Nigeria.

Fulani herdsmen have long attacked settled Christian farmers in Plateau, Bauchi, Kaduna, Taraba and Adamawa states, but in the past year analysts have begun to see some ties between the assailants and Islamic extremist groups keen to exploit longstanding ethnic, property and religious conflicts.

Christians make up 51.3 percent of Nigeria’s population of 158.2 million, while Muslims account for 45 percent. Those practicing indigenous religions may be as high as 10 percent of the total population, according to Operation World, so the percentages of Christians and Muslims may be less.

Morning Star News

let-s-pray-nigeria

Voice of the Persecuted Mourns the Death of Children in Pakistan: “My Mother cried today.”

 children_silhouette-1

(Voice of the Persecuted)Deeply saddened, we are still learning the magnitude of the slaughter of innocents in Pakistan, yesterday. A Taliban revenge attack for a military offensive against their safe havens. Reports claim that 148 have been killed and over 130 were children. And many were wounded. Since early yesterday morning, we have sat crying and praying for the survivors and victims of the Peshawar Army school attack. This is also the same city where a Taliban suicide bombing killed nearly 100 people after a church service at the All Saints Church in September 2013.

In agreement with this statement by Franklin Graham.  “What kind of evil perpetrates this kind of crime?”

He also said,

“We pray that God will comfort the families and that they would know the hope that is only found in Jesus Christ. We long for the second coming of the Lord Jesus, when he will gather those who follow Him. “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4, NKJV)

We have spoken with our contacts in Pakistan and one Christian forced to flee the nation due to extreme persecution. They describe an emotional roller coaster upon hearing the news.  Grief, anger, revenge, shock and disbelief felt all at once.  They are asking the same question over and over, “Why?”

The attack has brought international outcry from France, Britain, and the US.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Sharif  visited Peshawar and said,

“My children have been targeted in the tragedy. He said the loss of innocent children is the loss of the nation.”

He also directed his Ministers to coordinate rescue operations and instructed them to secure the safety of the children at all costs.

Muhammad Sarwar Governor of Punjab said,

“I strongly condemn the attack on school children in Peshawar and offer my heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families. It is heart-rendering to see innocent lives being so brutally targeted. The barbarians will surely be brought to justice for such a callous act. This remorseful incident is a national tragedy and those who concocted this heinous plan are the murderers of humanity.”

And Maj. Gen. Asim Bajwa told reporters, “This is not a human act.” “This is a national tragedy.”

We asked for a translation of a video where children were interviewed after the attack. They told us a boy was saying, “First they came inside, they went up to the roof of the school and started firing over there.” They explained this was for show that they (the militants) had conquered the place, in a gesture to say ‘this is now ours’.

One child recalled, “Then the teacher said to lay down on the floor and lock the doors.” They broke in while an army nurse or doctor was training for first aid class, they broke the doors then starting firing on all the children, killing them.”   While he was giving statements, he was visibly confused, scared and still living the trauma.

Another gave a testimony while hiding under a desk that all he saw were “big black boots bringing death”.

130+ mothers will not be able to sleep for many nights. It’s hard to imagine their suffering, such a senseless tragedy. An American Pakistani said, “My mother started crying when she heard the news.” Regardless of religion, many mothers in Pakistan and around the globe are crying with those who are grieving today.

A Christian from Pakistan shared the following poem with us. It was written by another Pakistani after the attack.  The word for ‘Mother’ in this poem is ‘Ammi’.

What was my fault?
I never hurt you, Never teased you
I dont even know who are you..
I knew villians are there,
But Ammi said they are never real
If they are, then where is the superman?
I also had a big gun
but that was plastic one…
I left it with my teddy,
Over the pillow of my Daddy
My teddy would miss me every night
And so will my batman and spiderman fight
Now, Please tell my Ammi to visit my permanent bed
Tell Ammi to sing me lullaby as she said
I had heard Teachers are never wrong or deceit
She told animal walks on Four but I saw animals walking on
Two Feet
By Ashish Chauhan

Voice of the Persecuted strong condemns this violent attack. We stand with the victims and pray for their wounds physically and mentally. We pray not only for Pakistani Christians, but all people of Pakistan. Praying for peace and equality for all. God bless you, Pakistan.

Pray with us for Pakistan:

Father we ask for your comfort, your light, & your peace. Peace that passes all understanding.  We lean on you in this time of darkness.  Father we know these precious soul’s are in your arms.  We ask that you bring comfort and peace to the parents and the families.  We ask for strength and courage.  Grant your mercy, Father. Show Your love and light to the people of Pakistan.  Hold this nation in your loving arms as they grieve for their children.  Father, this touches us all, our hearts are heavy, we can’t understand the suffering of such innocence.  But we will put our faith and our trust in you.  Hold them, Father and grant healing.  In Jesus name we pray, Amen.



Second Appeal Hearing for Three Iranian Clergymen

Iran Christians
Pastors Behnam Irani, Matthias Haghnejad and Deacon Silas Rabbani attended a second court session today as part of their appeal against six-year sentences on trumped-up political charges, which had been handed down in October.

The three men were represented by their lawyer Moshkani Farahani, who had previously argued against the charges faced by each of his clients at the last court session of this trial on 24 November.

During the previous session, Mr Farahani argued that it was inconceivable that Behnam Irani could have been guilty of the political crimes given that he was already imprisoned. He went on to state that Matthias Haghnejad should be released on the basis that he had previously been acquitted of charges by a tribunal in Bandar-Anzali.

Mr Farahani also contended that people cannot be sentenced on political charges for simply belonging to a religious fellowship; in this case, a Christian community: “It is normal for members of minorities to be in touch with each other; Jews are in touch which others, Zoroastrians are in touch with each other, it is the same for Assyrians, Orthodoxes and Evangelicals. Such connections cannot be perceived as a penal crime…”

In other news, Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) have been informed that another Christian, Ebrahim Hosseinzadeh, was arrested by agents of Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security last month during a raid on his apartment, during which Christian books and his laptop were confiscated.

Although the exact date of Ebrahim Hosseinzadeh’s arrest is unclear, reports received by CSW indicate that it was between 18-20 November. Mr Hosseinzadeh, who is 32 years old, converted to Christianity in 2009 and is a church house leader in Shiraz.

After he was taken into custody, Mr Hosseinzadeh was transferred to ‘Pelak 100’, a detention centre in Shiraz under the control of the Ministry of Intelligence. Sources close to CSW believe he is still detained.

CSW’s Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas said, “The charges faced by Pastors Behnam Irani, Matthias Haghnejad and Deacon Silas Rabbani are clearly unjust, as Mr Farahani has argued in court. We continue to call on the authorities to release these clergymen along with Ebrahim Hosseinzadeh, unconditionally and without delay. Their only ‘crime’ is to exercise their right to freedom of religion or belief, as guaranteed in the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights, to which Iran is signatory. We urge the Iranian government to uphold this right for religious minorities in Iran, in line with its obligations under international law and the provisions upholding the rights of religious minorities in its own constitution.”

Christian Solidarity Worldwide

American Pastor Saeed Writes Heartbreaking Christmas Letter from Dangerous Iranian Prison

 

Saeed-Abedini

(Voice of the Persecuted) Pastor Saeed’s wife, Naghmeh shared with us, a new letter from her husband, American Pastor Saeed Abedini – a U.S. citizen imprisoned for his Christian faith – has written from his prison cell.

The letter was sent to a family member. Last week, a relative was able to visit him, the first family member to visit him in over a month. He remains in need of medical care, suffering from increased pain from internal injuries sustained as a result of multiple prison beatings throughout the course of more than two years in a harsh Iranian prison.

Naghmeh, and the kids, Jacob and Rebekka, will be spending their third Christmas without Saeed.

She tells us it is difficult receiving this letter knowing his harsh condition, but she is encouraged and blessed to have a letter from him. Her attorney’s who are diligently working alongside her for Saeed’s release, shared on the ACLJ site Naghmeh’s emotions toward the new letter and the absence of another Christmas without her beloved husband.

She said,

Reading this Christmas letter is quite difficult knowing the harsh condition that Saeed is in and the adversity that he faces daily. Saeed…I wish you could see the lives that are touched and transformed because of you standing strong in your faith in Jesus Christ. The kids and I miss you and cannot imagine another Christmas without you, but we are proud of you and your endurance. Don’t give up hope. Many are praying and taking action to bring you home.

Saeed’s letter:

Rajai Shahr Prison 2014

Merry Christmas!

These days are very cold here. My small space beside the window is without glass making most nights unbearable to sleep. The treatment by fellow prisoners is also quite cold and at times hostile. Some of my fellow prisoners don’t like me because I am a convert and a pastor. They look at me with shame as someone who has betrayed his former religion. The guards can’t even stand the paper cross that I have made and hung next to me as a sign of my faith and in anticipation of celebrating my Savior’s birth. They have threatened me and forced me to remove it. This is the first Christmas that I am completely without my family; all of my family is presently outside of the country. These conditions have made this upcoming Christmas season very hard, cold and shattering for me. It appears that I am alone with no one left beside me.

These cold and brittle conditions have made me wonder why God chose the hardest time of the year to become flesh and why He came to the earth in the weakest human condition (as a baby). Why did God choose the hardest place to be born in the cold weather? Why did God choose to be born in a manger in a stable, which is very cold, filthy and unsanitary with an unpleasant smell? Why did the birth have to be in such a way that it was not only hard physically, but also socially? It must have brought such shame for Mary and her fiancé that she was pregnant before marriage in the religious society of that time.

Dear sisters and brothers, the fact of the Gospel is that it is not only the story of Jesus, but it is the key of how we are to live and serve like Jesus. Today, we like Him should come out of our safe comfort zone in order to proclaim the Word of Life and Salvation though faith in Jesus Christ and the penalty of sin that He paid on the cross and to proclaim His resurrection. We should be able to tolerate the cold, the difficulties and the shame in order to serve God. We should be able to enter into the pain of the cold dark world. Then we are able to give the fiery love of Christ to the cold wintery manger of those who are spiritually dead. It might be necessary to come out of the comfort of our lives and leave the loving embrace of our family to enter the manger of the lives of others, such as it has been for me for the third consecutive Christmas. It may be that we will be called fools and traitors and face many difficulties, but we should crucify our will and wishes even more until the world hears and tastes the true meaning of Christmas.

Christmas means that God came so that He would enter your hearts today and transform your lives and to replace your pain with indescribable joy.

Christmas is the manifestation of the radiant brightness of the Glory of God in the birth of a child named Emmanuel, which means God is with us.

Christmas is the day that the heat of the life-giving fire of God’s love shone in the dark cold wintry frozen hearts and burst forth in this deadly wicked world.

The same way that the heat from the earth’s core melts the hard stones in itself and produces lava, the fiery love of God, Jesus Christ, through the virgin Mary’s womb came to earth on Christmas to melt the hard heart of sin and wickedness of the world and removes them from our life. In the same process, the work of the Holy Spirit is a fiery rain of God’s Holiness and Mercy that flows into our body, soul and spirit and brings the light of Christ into us and through us making this dark, cold, wintry world into radiant burning brightness. He is turning our world into a world full of peace, joy, and love that is so different than the dark, cold, and wintry world that we used to live in. Hallelujah!

So this Christmas let the lava-like love of Christ enter into the depth of your heart and make you fiery, ready to pay any cost in order to bring the same lava love to the cold world around you, transforming them with the true message of Christmas.

Pastor Saeed Abedini

Soaking in the lava love of Christ

As we reflect and celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior blessed with the freedom to worship him, remember those imprisoned and suffering for their faith in Christ. Let us press in with our prayers. And may they know we are with them.

Please continue to sign the petition for Pastor Saeed’s freedom standing with this pastor, his family and attorneys working to secure his release. Your efforts are needed and truly appreciated.

You can also send love to Saeed and light to Iran by joining nearly 1500 Christians flooding Rajai Shahr Prison with Christmas Cards and messages of Christ! JOIN HERE  Don’t worry that it may not arrive until after Christmas. What’s important is that it arrives. Letting him, his family and Iran know, Saeed is NOT FORGOTTEN!

 

christmas-cards-for-saeed-cov-banner2

Mindfulness – Inspired by faith of Pastor Saeed and the Persecuted

10 Steps for Overcoming the Fear of Making a Change

Daniele Lindsey, Pennsylvania/USA

Being aware of Saeed’s and his family’s fiery trial of faith has brought me into a more watchful and mindful awareness of being a member of the body of Christ. Rarely a day goes by that I do not remember to think of and groan along with brother Saeed and others in his or even worse trials. It sobers me knowing this could be me or my loved ones–this is me and my loved ones for we are one in Christ and we suffer and joy together.

It has made me aware of how prone I am to complain when I have absolutely no right and has inspired a greater thankfulness and contentment with the simple life I have been blessed with. So the free mattress I have been given smells like cigarette smoke? Ha! It is comfortable and clean and in a warm, safe house with my family. I do not have a car? Who cares! God has provided me with children that are willing to take me where I need to go, a bicycle, and the health and strength to walk! And so on it goes. How many of our Lord’s prisoners and others unjustly imprisoned and tortured for faith or otherwise throughout history would consider my little complaints luxuries! I pray for your immediate release and I do not forget you. I feel the light of your gentle spirit casting power over darkness and know we will overcome together through the great love of our Savior.

______________________________________________________________

Thank you for this wonderful reminder, Danielle. God bless you!

While suffering for Christ, the apostles encouraged believers to have joy in all things, as they counted each trial worthy. By their testimony and through great adversity, the Church expanded as Saeed and so many others continue to do today! A modern-day witness of God’s divine ability! Let us all be encouraged, we are never alone, but the One who reigns forever and ever is with us. We can be strong and will endure in Him. Hold On!

Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done. Amen and Amen.

James 1:2-8 (NIV)

Trials and Temptations

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.

VOP Project Team

Tell Pastor Saeed that we understand, and we will pick up the cross and follow Christ as he has.

Join in this project to let the Abedini’s know how they have inspired or renewed your faith. Each testimony will be a source of encouragement to them and the Body of Christ. When the family is reunited, we will gather the stories to be published in a book and presented to them as an appreciation for their steadfast faith. Together, we will be able to provide a little insight into how God has worked through them to be a blessing to more than they realize.  Add your testimony below. If your church has been active in praying for this persecuted family, inform them of this special mission so they too can share their thoughts and be an encouragement.

Be encouraged, view submitted testimonies HERE 

 inspired by faith

abedini-1

Pray for Pakistan – Students declare support for the Islamic State (IS)

pakistan_map_400

ISLAMABAD: Lal Masjid’s clerics took the Islamabad administration to court for detaining their spokesperson in connection with declaration of support by the students of the seminary for the Islamic State (IS) led by Abu Bakar al Baghdadi.

Ihtesham Ahmad, trustee and spokesman of seminary’s Shohada Foundation, filed a petition in the Islamabad High Court against his detention by the capital police, requesting the court to restrain the police from harassing him and other members of the foundation.

A video in Arabic was released on November 26 by the Jamia Hafsa students declaring their support for the Islamic State and Baghdadi besides asking the Pakistani militants to join hands with IS fighters. READ MORE

Gunmen Kill Christian Widow in Jos, Nigeria Bomb Blasts

Jummai Sunday. (Morning Star News)

Jummai Sunday. (Morning Star News)

For Jummai Sunday, 63, Thursday (Dec. 11) began like that of any other for the Christian widow. After a morning devotional, she visited sick or bereaved families, and then returned home to gather items for sale at her market spot near the bus terminal area in Jos, Nigeria.

She survived the twin bomb blasts that the Boko Haram jihadist group is suspected of detonating that evening, but gunmen who swooped in on survivors killed her with shots to her head, leg and hand, relatives said. At least 31 other people in the predominantly Christian quarter were killed by the Islamic extremist group that has created violent chaos for five years in its bid to turn Nigeria into a sharia (Islamic law) state.

Her body was taken to a hospital in Yan Shanu, a Muslim quarter of the city where her son went to retrieve her corpse – taking with him a small contingent of police and soldiers, as he had learned that Muslims were shooting Christians in the area.

Another Christian woman selling her wares beside Sunday was shot but survived to tell relatives how the widow died.

“Her son and sister died during the attack, but she survived as she escaped while the shooting was going on,” Sunday’s 35-year-old daughter told Morning Star News. “What we found out was that soon after bombs exploded, the gunmen who planted the bombs began shooting at survivors.”

Muslims were likely among those killed or wounded in the bombing, but Boko Haram has frequently targeted Christians and Christian institutions along with government and security agency sites in its terrorist campaign; its attacks on moderate Muslims are usually aimed at particular individuals.

Boko Haram militants are suspected in bomb blasts that killed 118 people in the same area of Jos on May 20. With elections scheduled for February, Boko Haram’s efforts to destabilize the government of President Goodluck Jonathan are expected to increase. Christians make up 51.3 percent of Nigeria’s population of 158.2 million, while Muslims account for 45 percent and live mainly in the north.

Sunday’s daughter, whose name is withheld for security reasons, said she had spoken by phone with her mother that afternoon; the conversation was cut short when her mother’s phone battery apparently lost power.

“Soon after my brother had left with others to visit hospitals in the city, I received a phone call from an unknown Muslim caller,” she said. “He told me that my mom was in a hospital near their house at Yan Shanu, a Muslim quarter. I asked to know how she got there, and the man said my mom was evacuated at the scene of the bomb blast and was taken to the hospital.”

He had found her number in her mother’s cell phone call log. The caller told her to come as soon as she could. It was close to midnight.

“I asked the caller to give the phone to my mom so that I can talk to her, but he declined and said my mother’s case is critical so she would not be able to talk to me,” she said. “However, after a while this Muslim called back to tell me that I should not go the hospital as Muslims in the area are attacking Christians and killing them.”

She phoned her brother. He called soldiers and policemen who accompanied him and others to Plateau Hospital in the Yan Shanu area of Jos.

“When they got home, they told us that mom was shot by gunmen who after the bombs exploded went around shooting survivors at the scene of the explosions,” Sunday’s daughter said. “She survived the explosion but was shot dead by the gunmen.”

She described her mother as someone loved and served others, sharing the household food even when there was little of it.

“Even when things were tough for us, my mom would take foodstuffs we have in the house and share this with other families who do not have anything to eat,” she said. “A visitor to our home will always have something to eat first before Mom would talk to such a person.”

She also visited others in their homes – praying for the sick, consoling those that mourned, and sharing Scripture with those she felt needed it, her daughter said.

“Sometimes she would abandon her wares in the market and go out to share the Word of God with others before returning to the market,” she said. “There were times I had to talk to her to minimize her zeal for outreach to others, but she would caution me and say she is into the business of winning souls for God and not looking for money.”

The Rev. Musa Ishe, pastor at an Evangelical Church Winning All in Jos, said Sunday was a committed member of his church, active in the women’s fellowship group.

“We are saddened that she has been killed and in such a brutal way,” he told Morning Star News. “God has called her to be with Him at this time, and we cannot therefore question God on this. It is our prayer that God, who is an all-powerful God, will bring an end to these endless killings of Christians in this country.”

Ishe said Christians in Jos have long lived alongside Muslims without having problems.

“So we are baffled that Islam has now become a religion whose proponents derive pleasure in killing Christians without provocation,” he said. “We therefore plead with the Nigerian government to step up on the fight against terrorism so that we can have some respite from the bloodshed. We will continue to pray that these Islamists will come to know Jesus Christ and become transformed persons that God has created them to be.”

Sunday’s daughter said her mother often told them that material possessions can never bring satisfaction, and that their desire should be to do things pleasing to God.

“Whenever she advised us not to do certain things and we disobeyed her, we ended up running into difficulties; in the end, we always ran back to her asking for forgiveness for disobeying her,” she said. “With her death, it has dawned on me that my mom has left a very big task for me. I pray that I am able to have the grace to take after her. I have no choice than to follow her exemplary lifestyle of being a disciple of Jesus. I have lost a dear friend and a mother.”

Morning Star News

Asia Bibi’s Lawyer Urges For International Pressure For Release Of Asia Bibi

Mother of five, Asia Bibi with two of her children

Mother of five, Asia Bibi with two of her children

Naeem Shakir, human-rights lawyer who is Asia Bibi’s defence counsel has strongly denounced the blasphemy law under which Asia has been sentenced to death. According to him the law is being used as the “tool of oppression.” Naeem Shakir, urged the international community to pressurize the Pakistani authorities to reform the law. “Sharing your concern from wherever you are is important,” he said, because “no change is forthcoming, due to the unavailability of any kind of dialogue. . . We do not find anywhere to seriously deliberate these issues.”

He went on to say, “Political actors are not concerned . . . to deliver justice. . . . They do not want to distress their constituencies by disturbing the religious extremists. There was now,” he said, “a wrong public impression, created by vested interests, that this law is . . . divinely mandated”, whereas it had been “framed by earthly men” and did a disservice to Islam, undermining the “basic principles of Islamic jurisprudence”. As a man-made law, it was “not static”, and could be reformed. “This law is flawed. This law is against the Qur’an and a tool of oppression.” The death penalty for blasphemy was recommended in Pakistani law in 1986. He went on to argue that as for those who present argument that, without the blasphemy law, people would take justice into their own hands, he said: “People are already doing that.” He pointed to the case of a Christian couple beaten and burned alive in a brick kiln in November after they were accused of blasphemy.

He pointed out the “contradictions” in the witnesses’ testimonies and a six-day delay in bringing the accusation against Asia Bibi. He further criticized that the atmosphere in courts also prevented the administration of justice, owing to the intimidating presence of “religious extremists”.

Christians in Pakistan

womanPrayingIt is dire that we remember this Christian mother of five in our prayer. And to use our voices by asking our elected officials to pressure the Pakistani government for her release and protection.

In the USA, You can find your elected officials at the links below

Senate

House of Represenatives

Pray for the nation of Pakistan as they are facing growing radicalism, human rights abuses, discrimination and violence against religious minorities and women.

Where Two or Three…Inspired by Testimony of the Abedini’s

Matthew 18-20

George D Mate, City of Carlisle in the English Lake District, UK

The Lord Jesus laid the Abedini family on my heart some months ago and I began to pray for them, I then shared them with another Christian friend now as a result of this, I created a new email address from “modelrallysport” to “prayerchangesthings-@outlook.com” there are now 12 of us praying and our group is growing …. PRAISE the Lord!

“As o’er each continent and island
The dawn leads on another day,
The voice of prayer is never silent,
Nor dies the strain of praise away”.

WE WILL KEEP PRAYING FOR YOU ALL

God Bless YOU and KEEP YOU

_______________________________________________________________

PRAISE THE LORD! Thank you, George for sharing how God has led you to form a prayer group interceding on the behalf of Saeed and the persecuted Church. Your testimony is also encouraging to us knowing more are praying for our suffering brethren in Christ! May God bless and grow your ministry! We will keep you in our prayers.

VOP Project Team

Tell Pastor Saeed that we understand, and we will pick up the cross and follow Christ as he has.

Join in this project to let the Abedini’s know how they have inspired or renewed your faith. Each testimony will be a source of encouragement to them and the Body of Christ. When the family is reunited, we will gather the stories to be published in a book and presented to them as an appreciation for their steadfast faith. Together, we will be able to provide a little insight into how God has worked through them to be a blessing to more than they realize.  Add your testimony below. If your church has been active in praying for this persecuted family, inform them of this special mission so they too can share their thoughts and be an encouragement.

Be encouraged, view submitted testimonies HERE 

 inspired by faith

abedini-1

Patriarch Ignace Yussif III at the Synod of the Syro- Catholic Church: let us help to grasp the “signs of the times”

time out of focus

(Agenzia Fides) – The Christian Syrians have suffered persecution and martyrdom “since ancient times”. And today, faced with the present situation in the Middle East which causes suffering to the local Christian communities, the first task of the pastors is to console the people and help everyone to read the “signs of times”. This is the spiritual discernment of the present time that the Patriarch of Antioch of the Syrians, Ignace Youssif III, wanted to suggest during the intervention with which he opened the annual Synod of the Syro-Catholic Church, convened in Rome from 8 to 10 December.

In the sessions of the Synod, chaired by the Patriarch, 18 Syro-Catholics Bishops, mostly from the Middle East, are called to take charge of the problems and urgent needs experienced by the faithful, both in the Middle East and in Countries where there are Syrian Catholic communities of the diaspora. The agenda of the Synod also include the development of initiatives planned to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of the mass killings against the Armenian and Syriac Christians, in Anatolia in 1915. In the synod discussion, attention will be dedicated to the relationship between the priests and Bishops and ecumenical dialogue with our brothers of the Syro-Orthodox Church.

In his opening speech, Patriarch Ignace Youssif III expressed concern about the institutional stalemate experienced in Lebanon, calling the Lebanese political class to take responsibility “before God, the people and history” and paying tribute to the army and security forces that protect the Country of the Cedars from the jihadist negative effects.

The Patriarch also spoke about the suffering of the Christian communities in northern Iraq that have had to leave their homes before the offensive of the militiamen of the Islamic State (IS). Currently – said His Beatitude Ignace Youssif III among other things – more than a third of the Syrian-Iraqi Catholics live the plight of homeless refugees, subjected to the temptation to flee abroad and abandon their homelands forever.

HELP SAVE THE PERSECUTED

HELP SAVE THE PERSECUTED

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Our Voices Cry Out For The Persecuted Church

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,058 other followers

%d bloggers like this: