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Christian Woman, Son and Daughter Killed in Plateau State, Nigeria

Nigeria (Morning Star News) – A Christian woman and her two children were killed in north-central Nigeria last week, three days after a kidnapped priest was slain by his abductors in the southwestern part of the country, sources said.

Armed Muslim Fulani herdsmen on Tuesday (Oct. 24) ambushed and shot to death Rebecca Daniel Choji, her 16-year-old daughter Suzanna Daniel Choji, and her 29-year-old son Joel Choji, in Jol village, Riyom Local Government Area (LGA) in Plateau state, as the family members were on their way to a health facility in Vwak village, sources said.

Suzanna and Joel Choji died immediately, while their mother succumbed to her gunshot wounds two days later at Plateau State Specialist Hospital in Jos, sources said.

Members of the Church of Christ In Nations (COCIN) in Jol village, the three victims were being driven to a hospital by a relative, Dachung Yakubu, as Choji’s two children were ill. The herdsmen attacked at about 7 p.m. and also wounded Yakubu, who at this writing was in critical condition at the Intensive Care Unit at Plateau State Specialist Hospital, sources said.

The attack was the latest by herdsmen on Christian communities in Plateau state’s Riyom, Barkin Ladi, Bokkos, and Bassa LGAs.

“We have been under attack constantly from these Fulani herdsmen because we are Christians,” Gyang Dahoro, 55, an area COCIN congregation elder, told Morning Star News by text message. “Our villages have been ravaged, and our houses and churches destroyed, and in most cases these herdsmen have taken over the villages where Christians have been displaced.”

He added that the woman and her two children were some of the “Christians killed in recent times as the herdsmen in collaboration with Boko Haram continue to invade our communities.”

The attack came a week after similar assaults were carried out in villages around Miango town, in Bassa LGA.

“We are saddened by yet another attack on our defenseless members in Jol who were on their way to visit a health care center,” Dachalom Datiri, COCIN president, told Morning Star News by phone. “All we can do is to keep praying for an end to these attacks and hope that Nigerian government can halt these senseless killings.”

Emmanuel Jugul, chairman of the Riyom Government Council Management Committee, confirmed the killing of the Christian woman and her two children and the wounding of the fourth relative, as did Tyopev Terna, police spokesman for the Plateau State Command.

“The four persons were going to a clinic when they were attacked by gunmen,” Terna told Morning Star News.

Priest Killed

In southwest Nigeria, a priest with the African Church was killed after being kidnapped by armed Muslim Fulani herdsmen.

The Rev. David Ayeola, 26, was kidnapped at gunpoint in an ambush on Oct. 17 and was shot to death on Oct. 21 after failed rescue efforts by police, sources said.

The priest was a chaplain at the headquarters of the African Church in Akure, Ondo state. A church bishop, his wife and driver escaped capture.

He was kidnapped while traveling to a burial for an in-law of the bishop in Ayegbaju as they drove from Imojo Ekiti, the bishop said in a press statement texted to Morning Star News.

The Rev. Samuel Ojo, bishop of the African Church, a denomination in Nigeria, said that somewhere between Imojo and Oye Ekiti, masked gunmen emerged from the bush, blocked the road and started shooting.

“Our driver attempted to turn back, but he discovered that members of the gang were also coming from the back,” Ojo said. “He suddenly drove into the forest. Myself, my wife, the priest and the driver ran into the bush. I told them to run for their lives, and we fled in different directions. I crawled in the forest like a snake for hours.”

After capturing Ayeola, the armed gunmen phoned church headquarters and demanded 100 million naira (US$275,368) for his release, Ojo said.

“The kidnappers started calling me from the priest’s phone number,” he said. “From their accents, they sounded like Fulani. They were threatening to kill him if we didn’t pay the money. When I offered them 500,000 naira (US$1,375), they insulted me and the church.”

Villagers saw the priest with three armed gunmen at a farm and reported it to police late the night of Oct. 21, he said, and officers from three divisions in Ekiti and Ondo states went into the forest and surrounded the property.

Bishop Ojo said the Fulani gunmen forced police back, and then shot Ayeola as they fled, leaving him to die in the forest.

Adeyemi Ademola, a police spokesman for the Ekiti State Command, confirmed the murder in a statement sent to Morning Star News.

“When the kidnappers noticed that the police and the hunters were coming, they shot the priest and escaped,” Ademola said. “We went after them for a while, but the team had to turn back when it was getting dark. This was to avoid endangering the lives of members of the team in a terrain that the kidnappers may be more familiar with. We took the priest to a general hospital, but sadly, we lost him.”

Ojo said Ayeola, a graduate of the African Church Theological Seminary in Lagos, was ordained two years ago.

“I ordained him in 2015. He was the best at the college of theology in his set,” he said. “He was an excellent and vibrant preacher of the gospel. We are all saddened by his death. We want the police to get the suspects and bring them to book. This is a great loss to the church.”

IDOP 2017: Let Us Be On Their Side

 

(Voice of the PersecutedPersecution is real! It can be overwhelming, or even frightening, when learning of all the suffering persecuted  Christians experience across the globe, today. When their most dire request is prayer, how do we Pray?

Some of the prayer requests we often hear are,

  • For endurance to persevere
  • They ask for courage, and strength to face the day.
  • To be comforted and that their immediate needs be met.
  • They ask for those who can help to be guided by the Holy Spirit.

When earnestly praying before the Throne of God, He hears and know’s your heart for the persecuted. We may never witness it, but be assured He’s responding to your prayers for the good of our persecuted family in Christ.

Brothers and Sisters, on Sunday 11/5/17 and Sunday 11/12/17 we will have an opportunity to join with millions of other believers around the world lifting up prayers for our persecuted brethren. These two Sundays will be observed as the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP 2017)

“Let us be on the side of those who sit in jails and are sentenced to death for their faith. Let us pray for them and help them.”…Richard Wurmbrandt
“Our prayers can go where we cannot…there are no borders, no prison walls, no doors that are closed to us when we pray.”…….
Brother Andrew
 .
Below are some suggested prayer points to pray for those who are in the shadow of the cross.
1.. Please pray that persecuted believers will know the hope that God gives…Colossians 1:27.
 
2… That the Holy Spirit would strengthen the persecuted believers…
Ephesians 3:14-21
 
3… That the persecuted would know how to share the gospel…Ecodus 4:12
 
4… Pray that persecuted believers will see Christ in deeper ways… Philippians 3:7-11
 
5… Pray that persecuted Believers will know how much God loves them…Romans 8: 38 – 39.
 
6… That persecuted believers will fearlessly tell others about Jesus…Ephesians 6:18-19
 
7… Please pray that Christ will soften the hearts of their persecutors…Matthew 5:44
 

IDOP 2017 Prayer Conference Call Event

Dear saints, our prayers do make a difference in the hearts and lives of our persecuted brothers and sisters. Please join us as we lift up prayer on behalf of those who carry the cross of Christ. There will be two 12-hour calls coming up the first two Sundays in November. Info for those calls is below.  But even if you are not able to join our prayer calls please do remember the persecuted in your prayers. For everyday should be an International Day of Prayer for our persecuted brethren. Meet you on the call!

Your brother in Christ,

Blaine Scogin

pwprayercall@gmail.com

Serving Jesus as Prayer Director of Voice of the Persecuted and Persecution Watch

Participating Global Advocates

Persecution Watch

Voice of the Persecuted

International Orality Network (ION)

SPEAK UP against persecution—DEFEND those discriminated—HELP those in need—PRAY for those suffering.

MARK YOUR CALENDARS!

Location: Any location from your phone
PRINT/DOWNLOAD FLYER IDOP 2017 Prayer Conference Call (please share with pastors, church members, prayer groups)
DATE:
Sunday November 5
Sunday November 12
Time:
9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Eastern time
8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Central time
7 p.m. to 7 p.m. Mountain time
6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Pacific time
Call Number:  
712-775-7035
Access Code:
281207#

International numbers and Mobile App links available

MOBILE APP: Free Conference Call HD also provides a quick and easy way for you to dial into conference calls without having to remember the dial-in credentials. Save all of your conference call dial-in numbers and access codes using this free app. With the Free Conference Call HD you can instantly dial into a conference call via 3G/4G data network and or regular mobile carrier. Google Play link  or App Store – iTunes

Available International IDOP Prayer Conference Call Numbers

(Note: If you will be using one of the call numbers below, you may experience issues in your country. If you are unable to connect, try using the VoIP dialer available at this link. Click on VoIP dialer, go to this number 712-775-7035 in the drop down menu—enter access code 281207 (do not add the # symbol)—enter your name and click on the ‘Place Call’ button.)

Australia                                              +61 (0) 3 8672 0185

Austria                                                  +43 (0) 732 2781155

Belgium                                                +32 (0) 9 324 29 17

Brazil                                                     +55 61 4040-4314

Bulgaria                                                +359 (0) 2 495 1527

Canada                                                 (712) 775-7060

Chile                                                      +56 (0) 44 890 9161

China                                                     +86 (0) 510 6801 0117

Costa Rica                                            +506 4000 3885

Croatia                                                  +385 (0) 1 8000 065

Cyprus                                                  +357 77 788854

Czech                                                    +420 225 852 060

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Germany                                             +49 (0) 89 143772955

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Iceland                                                 +354 539 0323

Indonesia                                            +62 (0) 21 51388813

Ireland                                                  +353 (0) 1 437 0318

Israel                                                     +972 (0) 76-599-0026

Italy                                                       +39 06 8997 2187

Japan                                                    +81 (0) 3-5050-5075

Kenya                                                   +254 (0) 20 5231033

Latvia                                                    +371 67 881 516

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Malaysia                                              +60 (0) 11-1146 0070

Mexico                                                 +52 (01) 899 274 5015

Netherlands                                       +31 (0) 6 35205061

Nigeria                                                  +234 (0) 1 440 5221

Norway                                                +47 21 93 53 35

Pakistan                                               +92 (0) 21 37130640

Panama                                                +507 838-7821

Poland                                                  +48 32 739 96 40

Portugal                                               +351 21 114 3145

Romania                                              +40 (0) 31 780 7760

Slovakia                                                +421 2 333 255 32

Slovenia                                               +386 (0) 1 828 03 25

South Africa                                         +27 (0) 87 825 0107

South Korea                                       +82 (0) 70-7686-0015

Spain                                                     +34 931 98 23 70

Sri Lanka                                              +94 (0) 11 5 322961

Sweden                                               +46 (0) 31 781 06 26

Switzerland                                        +41 (0) 43 550 70 55

Taiwan                                                  +886 (0) 985 646 917

Turkey                                                  +90 (0) 212 988 1713

Ukraine                                                +380 (0) 89 323 9978

United Kingdom                                 +44 (0) 330 606 0527

United States                                                (712) 775-7035

Vietnam                                                 +84 (0) 4 7108 0080

The weekly Persecution Watch Prayer Call meets at 9pm EST every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. For more info contact: pwprayercall@gmail.com  

Prayer Request from Pakistan (10/26/17)

Please could you pray for the Christian prisoners of Pakistan who have lost their religious freedom and facing persecution by the Inspector General of Prisons Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan. He has stopped the religious syllabus/Bible study, worship services and religious remission for Minorities prisoners. They also have no opportunity to improve their education under rule 215 of the Pakistan Prison Rulers (Jail Manual)  reference to the Writ petition No.599 /1994,dated 01-02-1994 in the Lahore High Court Lahore by Maurice Shahbaz, under articles 37 and 38 of Pakistan’s constitution (1973), a policy of the state to eradicate illiteracy from the country.
On numerous visits and writing to the Government official and other authorities to solve the matter, still, no action has been taken. 
Many Pakistani Christians are routinely persecuted, tortured, raped and murdered by a society that does not tolerate them. I call upon all members of the global Christian community to speak on behalf of the Christians in Pakistan and to highlight the distressing, dangerous and life-threatening conditions we live under. I appeal to you  to help us survive this persecution and to speak on our behalf at the highest religious and governmental levels, worldwide. I pray that the Almighty Lord make you a part of our mission.
Thank you. God bless you.

Port Authorities in Sudan Detain Bible Shipment without Explanation

(Morning Star News) – Authorities in Sudan have detained a container of Bibles in Port Sudan without explanation for at least two years, a source said.

A Bible Society in Sudan representative told Morning Star News the container was one of two containing Arabic Bibles detained more than two years ago. The other container was released shortly after appeals to port authorities.

The detained shipments were destined for Sudan’s capital, Khartoum, said the source, who asked to remain unnamed for security reasons. At present the Bible Society in Sudan does not have a single copy of an Arabic Bible available in Khartoum, he said.

Other shipments of Bibles at Port Sudan, on the Red Sea, have also been detained over the past two years, he added.

A church leader said availability of Bibles and Christian literature in the country is increasingly limited.

“There is difficulty in getting Bibles in the country,” he said.

The Bible Society in Sudan representative said a port official in the past week has been more willing to consider releasing the shipment. Sudan links Christianity with the West, and Christian leaders speculated that Sudan may be opening to releasing the shipment as the U.S. administration lifted sanctions on Oct. 12. The sanctions had been in place since 1997 for Sudan’s terrorist ties and human rights violations.

Port officials were unavailable for comment.

Other international Bible providers have also complained of Sudan detaining shipping containers full of Bibles – usually due to corruption, but in some cases also to keep Judeo-Christian scripture out of the country.

Detainment of Bibles in Sudan also took place before 2011, with one shipment held up for nearly four years, the Bible Society source said.

Following the secession of South Sudan in 2011, President Omar al-Bashir vowed to adopt a stricter version of sharia (Islamic law) and recognize only Islamic culture and the Arabic language. Church leaders said Sudanese authorities have demolished or confiscated churches and limited Christian literature on the pretext that most Christians have left the country following South Sudan’s secession.

The Sudanese Minister of Guidance and Endowments announced in April 2013 that no new licenses would be granted for building new churches in Sudan, citing a decrease in the South Sudanese population.

Sudan since 2012 has expelled foreign Christians and bulldozed church buildings on the pretext that they belonged to South Sudanese. Besides raiding Christian bookstores and arresting Christians, authorities threatened to kill South Sudanese Christians who do not leave or cooperate with them in their effort to find other Christians.

Sudan fought a civil war with the south Sudanese from 1983 to 2005, and in June 2011, shortly before the secession of South Sudan the following month, the government began fighting a rebel group in the Nuba Mountains that has its roots in South Sudan.

Due to its treatment of Christians and other human rights violations, Sudan has been designated a Country of Particular Concern by the U.S. State Department since 1999, and the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom recommended the country remain on the list in its 2017 report.

Sudan ranked fifth on Christian support organization Open Doors’ 2017 World Watch List of countries where Christians face most persecution.

Iran: Another Christian Convert Arrested in South-Western Iran

Mohabat News – Another member of the Payam-e Aramesh (Message of Peace) house church in Dezful, Abdol-Ali Pourmand (Elyas) was arrested on October 19, 2017 and transferred to Ahwaz.

Knowledgeable sources told Mohabat News that the security authorities raided Mr. Pourmand’s house when he was working on his farm. Plain-clothes security authorities searched his house thoroughly in his absence and confiscated a few Bibles and Christian CDs.

Later, Mr. Pourmand received a call from the Ministry of Intelligence. He was summoned to their office in Dezful. He went to the ministry’s office and was arrested on the spot.

Three days after his arrest, on October 21, 2017, Mr. Pourmand was allowed to make a short phone call to his family. During the call he told his family that he is told he will not be held there for long.

Mr. Pourmand has been married for two months and is currently separated from his new bride.

Three other Christians have been arrested in Dezful recently. Mohabat News has obtained confirmed reports of them being beaten in prison and threatened that if they don’t renounce their faith in Christ and turn away from their Christian faith they will be forced to leave the country or be beaten to death.

Persecution of Christians in the south-western province of Khuzestan has intensified in the last several weeks, especially in the city of Dezful.

Another member of the Payam-e Aramesh (Message of Peace) house church, Mohammad Ali Torabi, also known as Davoud, had also been arrested at his work place on October 10, 2017. He was transferred to Ahwaz immediately after his arrest. His family was also told that he will be released soon, but he has not yet been released.

The Islamic regime of Iran has been using different methods, including harassment, terror, arrest and heavy sentences to persecute Christians over the last three and a half decades, especially Farsi speaking Christians in the country. Time and time again International Human Rights and Religious

Watchdog organizations have condemned the Islamic regime for its mistreatment of Christians, but they deny all reports of Christian persecution.
Despite Iranian government’s extensive programs for spreading Shi’ite Islam and punishing conversion to other religions by death, embrace of Christianity among Iranians citizens has been on the rise across the country./FARSI

Persecution Watch: Join the Thursday Prayer Call – Palestine (West Bank)

(Voice of the Persecuted) Dear Intercessors, you are invited to join us, tonightThursday Oct. 19, on the prayer conference call for the persecuted church. We will be highlighting Palestine (West Bank) but of course, not be limited to it.
 
Palestine – West Bank
 
Population: 5.3 million, Christian: 1000 – 1500 Evangelical believers, plus 200-250 MBB believers.
 
Life on the West Bank is difficult due to political pressures and high unemployment (38% plus). Believers being a minority experience social and economical discrimination by both Muslims and Jews.
At a conference in Santa Ana two pastors from Palestine (West Bank) shared what God is doing in Palestine. The key issue for us here is not to pray for Israel or Muslims in Palestine, but for both. Dr. Munir Salim Kakish is President of the Council of Local Evangelical Churches (22 churches) in the Holy Land and Reverand Nihad J. Salmon the founder and pastor of the Immanuel Evangelical Church in Bethlehem.
 
·     Pray for MBB who are afraid for their safety if family members and neighbors find out of their conversion to Christ.
 
·     Pray that the Lord will move more Evangelical Arabs, Muslims and Jews to worship together – as on body in Christ.
·     Pray for encouragement and strengthening of all believers.
   
·      Guide believers through Your Holy Spirit that they know when to be bold and witness and when to be mute.
 
·     Pray that Pray for believers to be steadfast and resilient in spite of hardship and discrimination.
 
·     Pray for NGOs to come alongside the Evangelical churches to support and grow their presence in the communities.
 
·     Pray that TV, radio and internet will reach more unbelievers and prompt them to ponder and think about the Good News.
 
·     Pray for the emotional and physical healing for those who have been subject to physical trauma and or imprisonment.
 
·     Pray that believers will glorify God by forgiving the people who hurt them.
 
·     Pray to the Lord to grow and multiply the Evangelical Churches.
 
Many blessings
 
Andy Keller, Persecution Watch Prayer Call Moderator
Time: 9:00 PM EST
           8:00 PM CST
           7:00 PM MST
           6:00 PM PST
Call in number: 712 775-7035
Code: 281207#

Federal Court rules World War I ‘Peace Cross’ Memorial must be torn down

(PHOTO: LIBERTY INSTITUTE)

Back in 1925, the American Legion erected a memorial in Bladensburg, Md., to honor the memory of 49 men who perished during World War I.

The 40-foot tall memorial became known as the “Peace Cross.”

In 2014, the American Humanist Association — a group that believes in “being good without a god” — filed a lawsuit alleging the cross-shaped memorial is unconstitutional and demanding it be demolished, altered, or removed.

They alleged the cross carries “an inherently religious message and creates the unmistakable appearance of honoring only Christian servicemen.”

On Wednesday, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed and ruled the historic memorial must be torn down — all because the Bladensburg Memorial is in the shape of a cross.

The Fourth Circuit said the memorial excessively entangles the government in religion because the cross is the “core symbol of Christianity” and “breaches” the wall separating church and state. read the ruling

Writing separately, Chief Judge Gregory wrote, “This Memorial stands in witness to the VALOR, ENDURANCE, COURAGE, and DEVOTION of the forty-nine residents of Prince George’s County, Maryland ‘who lost their lives in the Great War for the liberty of the world.’  I cannot agree that a monument so conceived and dedicated and that bears such witness violates the letter or spirit of the very Constitution these heroes died to defend.”

The American Legion could appeal directly to the Supreme Court. Read More

MORE WAITING by Gary Bertnick

Countless others with expectations

As the trillions of stars beyond eye sight

Many so restless

In nations filled, struggling, tired and bored

Blown about by dry desert winds as sand,

They often stand alone in frustration

Stare at the setting sun

And wonder if it mirrors their own personal life;

Oh, the common human dilemma-

“Without God and without hope”

In this world of “Self” and fear and lust, pride and greed and confusion!

Yet, the fire of Israel’s Messiah, His Holy Spirit zeal burns powerfully

A holy fire of Love

Peacefully tempered, displayed with greatest Wisdom from Heaven;

All footsteps divinely ordered

Even those many knowingly established by their Lord of Truth.

Today a shout from Heaven shakes the Earth

And all that are on it-

Nothing by chance, luck a foolish notion;

There are no random circumstances!

Blazing eyes gaze within a Royal Robe of Compassion

Each soul seen as precious

Every human life of great value

“More than many sparrows”,

The death of the wicked not a delight of the Lord

But met with sadness at the eternal loss;

Male and female, young and old

Rich and poor, near and far away

All longed for, yearned to draw closer to Kingdom reality.

Their cost greater than all gold

Their price more than all silver

Highly valued gems and diamond stones as gravel compared to what God has “spent”!

The God of Love moves always among us,

Angels of power as well

Disciples of the Master walk in faithfulness

Selfless men and women discerned as true

Who know the price of salvation

Who carry their cross daily;

The weight of eternity for mankind upon our Savior’s shoulders

Carried daily for us all,

The billions seen or unseen far beyond digital screens

Each one with a flame of foreknowledge hanging over their heads;

We bow in prayerful honor,

Seek only good, pray only for peace

Then pick up our Sword of Truth

With Holy Spirit power of Living Words

And wage a Holy War for this our lost generation!

The Book of Calling

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