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TESTIMONIES INSPIRED BY FAITH OF ABEDINI FAMILY

Share your testimony inspired by their faith

May 2015
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Syrian Catholic Priest Abducted

Father Jacques Mourad with the Syriac Catholic Church abducted

Father Jacques Murad with the Syriac Catholic Church abducted

Fr. Jacques Murad kidnapped; he belonged to the same community of Father Paolo Dall’Oglio

(Agenzia Fides) – Priest Jacques Murad[Mourad], Prior of the Monastery of Mar Elian, was abducted by two kidnappers at the Monastery under the threat of arms. According to some local sources, contacted by Agenzia Fides, the seizure most probably took place on Monday, May 18, while other sources claim that the priest was kidnapped on Thursday May, 21. The news was confirmed today by the Syrian Catholic Archdiocese of Homs, that asked all the faithful to invoke the Lord in prayer so that father Jacques is released and can return to his life of prayer, to serve his brothers and all Syrians.

According to some local sources, it is believed that also deacon Boutros Hanna was kidnapped, too. But this rumor has not been confirmed by the Syrian Catholic archdiocese of Homs.

According to preliminary reports, the kidnapping was carried out by two armed men on motorbikes who arrived at the Monastery of Mar Elian. The abductors forced father Jacques to get in his car and, under the threat of weapons, forced him to go to an unknown destination.

Local sources consulted by Fides speculate that behind the kidnapping there are Salafi groups in the area, who felt strengthened by the recent success of the jihadists of al-Nusra Front and the Islamic State in Syrian territory.

Father Jacques Murad is the Prior of the Monastery of Mar Elian and pastor of the community in Qaryatayn, 60 km southeast of Homs. The monastic settlement, located on the outskirts of Quaryatayn, is a branch of the Monastery of Deir Mar Musa al-Habashi, refounded by the Italian Jesuit Fr. Paolo Dall’Oglio, who was also kidnapped on July 29, 2013 while he was in Raqqa, the Syrian capital for years under the control of the jihadist of the Islamic State.

In the years of conflict, the city of Qaryatayn was repeatedly conquered by anti-Assad militias and bombed by the Syrian army. It was father Jacques, along with a Sunni lawyer, who acted as mediators to ensure that the urban center of 35 thousand inhabitants was spared for long periods by armed clashes.

The Monastery hosted hundreds of refugees, including more than a hundred children under ten years of age. Father Jacques and his friends provided to find the bare necessities for their survival even by seeking the help of Muslim donors. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 22/05/2015)

  • Please pray for his release and Christians in Syria.

Honoring Heroes of Freedom and of Faith

Christian Heroes

Many will be honoring America’s fallen heroes this weekend. We honor all who have served America and given the ultimate sacrifice, their lives for this Country and our freedoms.

However, there are heroes the world has remained mostly silent on. The unsung heroes of faith.

These silent heroes have given their all. They have been tortured, watched their loved ones and children brutalized or killed, and given their lives for their faith in Christ. We have seen many images of the martyred and the suffering survivors of this modern-day Christian Holocaust spreading across the Middle East, Africa and Asia. While the media has given it some coverage, there is one aspect that they leave out—the loss of dignity, the loss of peace and freedom.

Most have lost everything they own. Their properties have been completely destroyed. Many no longer have villages to return to, they been razed to the ground. All they have worked so hard to obtain is gone.  They have lost family members, or have succumbed to their injuries, starvation and sickness due to squalid conditions and little to no medical care. Much physical and emotional suffering begins after the attack, but often goes unseen due to lack of media reports. They are wounded, traumatized and devastated. One look at the faces of those surviving and you can see the loss of dignity and peace, some feel as if lost forever. And the numbers of those who have lost their lives is staggering.

Inspirations of faith, these martyred brothers and sisters including the survivors, are our heroes who deserve our respect and prayers.

They are family, one with us in the Body of Christ. Let us never forget these Ambassadors for Christ. Let us remember their sacrifice in this great spiritual battle. May they inspire and encourage our own faith, as they have shown us what it truly means follow Christ to the end. In adversity and unthinkable situations, with great courage and strength in Christ, may we also be able to say, “I follow Christ, my Lord and Savior…no turning back, no turning back.”

This weekend, join us as we also remember our unsung heroes, the persecuted.

 

Source of Encouragement-Inspired by the faith of Pastor Saeed Abedini

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Diana Franklin-Georgia, USA

Our God is truly an Awesome and Faithful God!! Please tell Saeed’s family that they have been a great source of encouragement to me and my family as we too are under attack for our faith.   In the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus the Christ, we pray for God’s power to be revealed, God’s mercy to shower upon all those who call upon His name and stand firm on His way of living! Lord give Pastor Saeed the strength and courage to continue this journey with his head high and his heart full of hope that YOU, LORD WILL SAVE HIM from the hands of his enemies. Amen and Amen.

2 Chronicles 20:17 “Ye shall not need to fight in this battle; set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the Lord with you…fear not, nor be dismayed, tomorrow go out against them, for the Lord will be with you.”

Praise God this is NOT our fight but HIS!

__________________________________________________

Amen Diana!
We can rejoice and count it as a blessing any reproach or suffering we may endure for the name of our Savior Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 4:14 ” If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of Glory and of God rests upon you! ”
Grace be with you!

Luanne Stradley, 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

PAKISTAN: 106 indicted for the murder of two Christians burned alive: “A step towards justice”

Child laborers at Pakistani Brick Kiln Chak 59 near Kot Radha Kishan

Child laborers at Pakistani Brick Kiln Chak 59 near Kot Radha Kishan

(Agenzia Fides) – “It is a step towards justice. We hope that justice is done in a case that shocked the Christian community in Pakistan”: is how father Waseem Walter, Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies in Pakistan, commented to Fides the news that an anti-terrorism court has officially indicted 106 people for the murder of a Christian couple, Shahzad and Shama Masih, lynched and burned alive after being accused of blasphemy in November 2014 in the city of Kot Radha Kishan, in Punjab.
They had four children and Shama was pregnant. They were segregated, beaten and burned in a brick oven by a Muslim mob who accused them of having burned pages of the Koran. The incident provoked international outrage.
According to the reconstruction based on some evidence obtained by the court, three religious leaders of local mosques are accused of inciting a mob of about 400 Muslims who lynched the couple, after having found some burned pages of the Koran in the vicinity of their home. The crowd asked Masih and his wife to convert to Islam. The two refused. They were seized, locked up for a night and were then killed by the crowd.
The 106 people charged yesterday were conducted before the court of Lahore. It is believed that 32 other suspects are still at large. The court confirmed the indictment for the murder. Not all pleaded guilty. According to police, in addition to the three imam Mohammad Hussain, Arshad Baloch and Noorul Hassan, also Yousaf Gujjar, the owner of the brick kiln, incited the crowd.
As Fides learns, Christian lawyers believe this process is a key step to show that justice in Pakistan is the same for everyone and does not discriminate when the victims belong to religious minorities. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 22/05/2015)

 

In Egypt, God is moving in a BIG way!

Egyptian Coptic Christians carry a cross and chant prayers during a candlelight protest marking one week since sectarian clashes with soldiers and riot police at a protest against an attack on a church in southern Egypt, at Abassaiya Cathedral in Cairo

Since January 18, 2011, Egypt has been in a state of civil and political unrest, but in the midst of the violence and uncertainty, God is moving in a BIG way.

Eyes Open from Moving Works on Vimeo.

Avoid Israel’s Mistakes-Idol Feasts and the Lord’s Supper-The Believer’s Freedom

The-Sword-of-the-Lord-voiceofthepersecuted-org

1 Corinthians 10 

For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were allunder the cloud and all passed through the sea; and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and all ate the same spiritual food; and alldrank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was [a]Christ. Nevertheless, with most of them God was not well-pleased; for they were laid low in the wilderness.

Now these things happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they also craved. Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and stood up to play.” Nor let us act immorally, as some of them [b]did, and twenty-three thousand fell in one day. Nor let us try the Lord, as some of them [c]did, and were destroyed by the serpents. 10 Nor grumble, as some of them [d]did, and were destroyed by the destroyer. 11 Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall. 13 No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.

14 Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. 15 I speak as to wise men; you judge what I say. 16 Is not the cup of blessing which we bless a sharing in the blood of Christ? Is not the [e]bread which we break a sharing in the body of Christ? 17 Since there is one [f]bread, we who are many are one body; for we all partake of the one [g]bread. 18 Look at [h]the nation Israel; are not those whoeat the sacrifices sharers in the altar? 19 What do I mean then? That a thing sacrificed to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything? 20 No, but I say that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons and not to God; and I do not want you to become sharers in demons. 21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. 22 Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? We are not stronger than He, are we?

23 All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify. 24 Let no one seek his own good, but that of his[i]neighbor. 25 Eat anything that is sold in the meat market without asking questions for conscience’ sake; 26 for the earth is the Lord’s, and [j]all it contains.27 If one of the unbelievers invites you and you want to go, eat anything that is set before you without asking questions for conscience’ sake. 28 But if anyone says to you, “This is meat sacrificed to idols,” do not eat it, for the sake of the one who informed you, and for conscience’ sake; 29 I mean not your own conscience, but the other man’s; for why is my freedom judged by another’s conscience? 30 If I partake with thankfulness, why am I slandered concerning that for which I give thanks?

31 Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 32 Give no offense either to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God;33 just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit but theprofit of the many, so that they may be saved.  (NASB)

bible-swordFootnotes:

  1. 1 Corinthians 10:4 I.e. the Messiah
  2. 1 Corinthians 10:8 Lit acted immorally
  3. 1 Corinthians 10:9 Lit made trial
  4. 1 Corinthians 10:10 Lit grumbled
  5. 1 Corinthians 10:16 Lit loaf
  6. 1 Corinthians 10:17 Lit loaf
  7. 1 Corinthians 10:17 Lit loaf
  8. 1 Corinthians 10:18 Lit Israel according to the flesh
  9. 1 Corinthians 10:24 Lit the other
  10. 1 Corinthians 10:26 Lit its fullness

KNOW THE WORD—STUDY THE BIBLE 

A Call to Persevere in Faith-Straight From The Word Of God

note-to-satan

It can be hard in this time of trials and tribulation to understand why, and give freely.  It can be hard to comfort those in prison, those fleeing for their lives, those living in fear.  It’s hard to understand and easy to feel hatred, and revenge. But in the Bible, God tells us that we must persevere and stay the course.  We must rebuke the devil, with the word of God and the Blood of Christ, no matter what we’re are experiencing. This is the only way.

Hebrews 10:19-39

19 Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

26 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. 28 Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”and again, “The Lord will judge his people.” 31 It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

32 Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering. 33 Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. 34 You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions. 35 So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.

36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. 37 For,“In just a little while, he who is coming will come and will not delay.”38 And, “But my righteous one will live by faith.  And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back.” 39 But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.

C. Refsland, VOP Advocate

Credit to Bible Gateway

Strength To Overcome – Inspired by faith of the Abedini family

troubles seem smal

Robin-Ohio, USA

My family and I pray daily for the Abedini family.  I have been deeply touched by their story.  Each day when I am tempted to complain about the difficulties of life, I pause and reflect on what they are going through.  I realize that my challenges are so small in light of what they are dealing with.   I only wish they could hear the sweet voices of my children pray for them daily.  I know The Lord hears them and we will never give up hope.

Through their story, I now realize that God can give us the strength to overcome this world.

____________________________________________

Overcoming the many trials one faces is a complete dependency on God. He will bring us through it, if we hold fast to Him.
What a treasure you are teaching your little ones to pray for Saeed and his family.
Thank you Robin, they will be touched.

L. Stradley, 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

Voice of the Persecuted

Pastor, More than 70 Christians Killed in Plateau State, Nigeria

Ethnic Fulani Muslim herdsman -Wikipedia

Ethnic Fulani Muslim herdsman -Wikipedia

(Morning Star News) – Gunmen killed a church pastor and more than 70 other Christians in Plateau state in the past month, sources said.

Setting fire to church buildings and houses in attacks that continued this week, Fulani Muslim herdsmen on May 2 killed the Rev. Luka Gwom of the Church of Christ in Nations (COCIN) in the town of Foron, Barkin Ladi Local Government Area (LGA).

A member of the slain pastor’s congregation identified only as Paulina was also killed. A Christian community leader in Foron, Ishaku Pam, confirmed the killing of pastor Gwom, whom he said was his pastor, and said Paulina had gotten married in the church two weeks before.

Muslim herdsmen also launched attacks on Monday (May 11) in Plateau state’s Riyom LGA, a source told Morning Star News in a text message.

“The jihadists, in their quest to eliminate Christians in Plateau state and their thirst for blood, have succeeded in killing Christians and burning their houses,” wrote Gyang, whose full name is withheld for his protection, on Monday. “They are right now attacking Rim, Bangai, Gwon, Wereng, Ringya and Sopp.”

Those attacks left seven Christians dead, he said on Thursday (May 14).

In the Barkin Ladi LGA, he said a “mass burial” took place in Foron on May 4 for 27 Christians killed on May 2. Another area source confirmed the deaths.

“I was at the burial of the Christians killed in the Foron attack, and we counted 27 corpses,” he told Morning Star News.

In two other attacks in the area that day, 17 Christians were killed in Vat village, and 13 other Christians were slain in Zakupang, sources said. The victims included women and children.

Gyang said on May 7 that Fulani Muslims attacked Rim, in Riyom LGA.

“I was at Rim yesterday for a burial when a large number well-armed Fulanis came to attack the village,” he said. “This led to the killing of two of our community members on the farm. You’re aware that we in Riyom and Barkin Ladi LGAs have been under siege and invasion. Lives have been lost almost every day, and [there is] no serious action from any quarter by the government. But we are still faithful to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

The attacks in Riyom and Barkin Ladi appeared to have no connection with Fulani accusations of cattle-rustling by youths from predominantly Christian tribes in Wase LGA, more than 160 miles away, in the past few weeks. A spokesman for the Special Task Force established to check attacks in Plateau State, however, made vague reference to cattle-rustling as the cause of violence in Barkin Ladi, according to Nigerian news reports.

Gyang said on April 30 that two Christians who were returning from a burial were killed in an ambush in Barkin Ladi the previous day, and “four other Christians have just been killed in Kwi, in the Riyom Local Government Area.”

On April 25, he reported a prior attack.

“Fulani Herdsmen have continued with their invasion of Christian communities here,” he said in a text message. “The village of Shonong is under attack. Six Christians have also been killed in Kwi, Torok, and Rim, all in Riyom.”

Five Christians were killed in the attack on Shonong village; one was killed in Torok; two were killed in Kapwen; and two were killed in Rim village, he said.

Christians in Barkin Ladi and Riyom have faced increasing attacks from Muslim militants and Muslim Fulani herdsmen in the past decade.

Emmanuel Loman, chairman of the Barkin Ladi Local Government Council, confirmed the killings in Barkin Ladi. He called on the Nigerian government to take urgent security measures to curtail attacks by the herdsmen.

Muslim 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.

Church leaders say attacks on Christian communities by the herdsmen constitute a war “by Islam to eliminate Christianity” in Nigeria. 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.

Ethnic Fulani gunmen shouting the jihadist chant “Allahu Akbar” attacked three villages in Nigeria’s Plateau state in September, burning down a church building and killing at least 10 Christians.

Love in Action – Inspired by faith of the Abedini family

tumblr_ksq1k67tK41qzxg9no1_500

Arlene-Utah, USA

Love and Courage

The courage and love shown by the Abedini family is greatly encouraging to me. A man on fire for the Lord, Saeed is wrongfully imprisoned for his faith yet has such love and wisdom despite beatings and health challenges. A wife, Naghmeh, who even though shy, has managed to speak out to millions in many settings. A Mom and Dad who love their son, willing to live in a hostile environment to be able to visit and encourage him. Two beautiful innocent children who love and miss their Daddy, going to vigils and praying for him to be home. To me this family is Love for Jesus in action!! I am awed by their courage, love and dedication to each other but mostly to their Lord and God, Jesus Christ.

______________________________________________

The Abedini’s have a beautiful family testimony. A tapestry that is interlaced with iridescence strands, representing each family members journey of faith and trust in their Lord and Savior! Thank you Arlene for sharing. God bless you.

L. Stradley, 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

Voice of the Persecuted

HELP SAVE THE PERSECUTED

HELP SAVE THE PERSECUTED

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