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Boko Haram Suspected in Killing of at Least 29 People, Most Christians, in Nigeria

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Three attacks in 10 days after terrorists lose territory in northeast.

(Morning Star News) – Islamic extremist attacks in Nigeria’s Adamawa state in the past 10 days have killed at least 29 people after weeks of Boko Haram rebels losing ground to government forces in the northeast, sources said.

Suspected Boko Haram members on Friday (May 22) slaughtered 10 Christians with machetes in Pambula-Kwamda, a Christian community in Adamawa’s Madagali Local government Area (LGA). Area residents told Morning Star News members of the Islamic extremist rebel group attacked at 4 a.m.

“They destroyed the telephone mast first before invading our community – this was to prevent us from telephoning and requesting help,” said an area pastor who requested anonymity for fear of being hunted down by the terrorists. “They killed 10 members of our church [Church of the Brethren in Nigeria, or EYN] using machetes and then slaughtering them.”

Maina Ularamu, council chairman of the Madagali LGA, confirmed the 10 hacking deaths in a statement to journalists on Monday (May 25), saying reports had reached him only that day due to insecurity in the area and communications difficulties caused by Boko Haram.

Boko Haram was suspected in a suicide bombing of the Christian community of Garkida, Gombi LGA in Adamawa state, on May 19 that killed nine people and a shooting attack on May 16 in Wagga, Madagali LGA, that took the lives of 10 Christians, sources said. The violence was seen as a gesture by Boko Haram to reclaim territory lost to the Nigerian military.

“The attacks killed 19 people in Garkida and Madagali,” said the Rev. Samuel Dante Dali, president of the EYN. “The bombing signals a renewal of violence by the Islamist insurgent group Boko Haram at a time when Nigerian authorities are claiming victory in many parts of the northeast.”

Church leaders in the Garkida area confirmed reports of a Boko Haram suicide bombing at the town market on May 19 at about 2 p.m. Lami Aboki of the EYN Church in Garkida told Morning Star News the attack has deeply unsettled Christians.

“I can’t eat or sleep as the gory sight of the dead bodies keeps haunting me,” Aboki said. “I am leaving this town. We have just returned thinking the place is safe, but from what we have seen, the terrorists are bent on returning here.”

She said the bomb exploded where vegetable sellers, most of them Christians, were stationed.

“It was at this particular spot that the bomb exploded,” she told Morning Star News.

Jerry Kundisi, a Christian legislator from the area, said information from townspeople also indicated that nine persons were killed. Kundisi, an EYN member, said the area is still dangerous in spite of military claims of pushing out Boko Haram.

In Wagga town, Madagali LGA, Boko Haram insurgents invaded on May 16 and killed 10 members of the EYN, church leaders said. Area Christian resident Timothy Wagra told Morning Star News that the Boko Haram members attacked at about midnight while the villagers were sleeping.

“The Boko Haram gunmen started shooting sporadically, and at the end of the attack, 10 Christians were killed in the town,” he said, adding that many others were displaced by the attack.

Maina Ularamu, council chairman of the Madagali Local Council, confirmed the attack in a press statement, saying “at least 10” people were killed. The Adamawa State Police Command confirmed both attacks in separate statements. Command spokesman Othman Abubakar said police were investigating.

EYN President Dali stated at the EYN annual congress earlier this month that since Boko Haram accelerated violence in 2009 in its bid to impose Islamic law (sharia) on Nigeria, the denomination has lost 1,390 local church branches out of a total of 2,280.

“In all 1,674 worship centers were completely destroyed,” he said.

He reported that Boko Haram violence had displaced well over 700,000 EYN members.

After the EYN congress in Jos on May 5-8, Stanley J. Noffsinger, general secretary of the Church of the Brethren-USA, said “the attendees had a sort of shocked expression on their faces. The proceedings were constantly being interrupted by announcements of tragedy – news of a pastor being killed or abducted, or a village being overrun by the terrorist group Boko Haram.”

Dali said that because of the Nigerian government’s refusal to assist the denomination and its membership, EYN had established a Disaster Management Team to minister to suffering members.

“The EYN church leadership has taken her destiny in its hands to forge ahead to reposition, rebuild, and transform the church for the future while providing leadership on the path of its vision, infusing confidence engendered by unshaken belief and faith in the work encouraging the congregation,” Dali said.

The church council resolved to construct rescue centers, called Brethren villages, in Nasarawa and Taraba states to resettle displaced church members. The council plans to include schools and hospitals at the centers.

In spite of the agony church members have been facing in Nigeria, the EYN leadership said its churches will continue to uphold peace among its basic principles.

“The peace heritage of the church is still the only way consistent with the gospel that we uphold,” Dali said.

EYN leaders urged the Nigerian government to sustain the fight against terrorism and insurgency, “ensure the rescue of the abducted Chibok girls as well as other abducted citizens,” and release funds meant for the support of victims of terror attacks for their safe resettlement.

The depletion of EYN pastors by Boko Haram terrorists has forced the church leadership to recruit and ordain new church leaders, the Rev. Daniel Mbaya of the EYN told Morning Star News.

“Because so many of the churches of EYN have been damaged or destroyed, this year’s Majalisa[congress] conducted an ordination service for new pastors,” he said. “The current ordained ministers gathered around the candidates, laying hands on them and commissioning them for the work ahead. All this is part of the EYN and Church of the Brethren plan to strengthen the church in Nigeria.”

While Boko Haram (translated as “Western education is a sin”) is the moniker residents of Maiduguri, Borno state gave the insurgents, the group calls itself the Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati walJihad, translated as “The Congregation of the People of Tradition for Proselytism and Jihad.” It has ties to Al Qaeda, and the United States designated it as a Foreign Terrorist Organization in November 2013.

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.

Voice of the Persecuted Project 133 Nigeria

Aiding Christians suffering persecution

Together with your generous support, we can reach the goal to alleviate horrific suffering. In darkness and desperation, let us serve in love, with open arms and giving hands to provide light and hope.

HELP SAVE THE PERSECUTED

Everyday, we thank God that He is working through you to care for His children and further His Kingdom! As you have greatly blessed others, may God continue to bless you. Thank you so much for your support. We couldn’t do it without you!

You may also send your gift to:

Voice of the Persecuted
2740 Third St
P.O. Box 122
Trenton, MI. 48183

 

Marine Court-Martialed for Displaying Bible Verse

A U.S. Marine has been convicted at a court-martial for displaying a Bible verse. Now her case is being appealed to the military’s highest court.

When Lance Cpl. Monifa Sterling has was stationed at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, she posted Isaiah 54:17, which reads, “No weapon formed against you shall prosper.”

PAKISTAN: Blasphemy accusation enrages Muslim mob to destroy Christian homes and burn Church

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Enraged Muslim mob attacks Pakistani Christian village (2013)

(Voice of the Persecuted) The Christian area of Sanda/Glushan Ravi, in the oldest area of Lahore was attacked by a violent mob on Sunday, May 24 following another case of alleged blasphemy. Police arrested a Christian man, Humayun Faisal Masih after local Muslims accused him of allegedly desecrating pages of the Quran and a violent mob gathered in the Christian community. A blasphemy case has been registered under Article 295-b of the Pakistani Penal Code. Before his arrest, the mob wanted to burn him alive, said residents.

Some claim after the media shared alarming and exaggerated reports, Christian families fled their homes when alerted that a large mob was heading towards their community. Others claim a religious leader instigated the violence at a Mosque. The mob ransacked and looted several houses burning furniture and other household belongings. They set out to burn a local church, but were stopped by the police. Some of the culprits hurled stones at the officers, injuring six.

A local priest claimed the accused, was burning a newspaper with holy verses. Villagers described Masih as mentally unstable and not understanding of the seriousness in the matter.

Authorities claim that a large force of police have been deployed to the area to keep things under control.

Pakistan is a democratic nation. It is a signatory to the universally accepted Charter of Human Rights. Its constitution guarantees its people the right to choose and the freedom of worship. But in spite of this,

  • 1982, President Zia-ul-Haq introduced section 295B to the Pakistan Penal Code, which has a punishment of life in prison for “defiling the Quran”.
  • 1984, President Zia ul-Haq introduced the Hudood (Punishment) Ordinances  which “define crimes against Islam” and “enforce punishment for those who commit such crimes”. In hudood cases, the testimony of a non-Muslim is considered to be worth half that of a Muslim.
  • 1986, Extremists pressured General Zia-ul-Haq to add 295-C for “use of derogatory remarks in respect of the Holy Prophet.  A detrimental turning point for religious minorities.
  • 1990, the Federal Shariat Court ruled that the penalty should be a mandatory death sentence, with no right to a reprieve or pardon. Known as the blasphemy law, section 295C of the Pakistan Penal Code 1860 states that any person who ‘by words, either spoken or written, or by visible representations, or by any imputation, innuendo, or insinuation, directly or indirectly’ defiles the name of the Prophet Mohammad or other holy personages, is liable for blasphemy. In addition to a fine, he shall be punished with the death sentence or life imprisonment. And that only a Muslim Judge may hear the case under this section of the law (Section 295-C).
  • 1990-91 In Oct. 1990, the Federal Shariat Court struck down the option of life imprisonment and made the death penalty obligatory, along with a high fine. Also, the expression wilfully or intentionally in the text of the law is absent, making it suspicious for the reason that “will” or “intention” is an essential part of human behavior in the context of identifying a criminal offence. Thus under section 295-C, the law is required to punish the “unintentional” offence equally as in the case of an “intentional” offense, without justification. (The FSC ruled that, if the President did not take action to amend the law before 30 April 1991, theny 295-C would stand amended by its ruling.)
  • 1990, Promptly after the FSC’s ruling in 1990, Bishop Dani L. Tasleem filed an appeal in the Supreme Court of Pakistan, which has the power to overrule the FSC. In April 2009, the Shariat Appellate Bench of the Supreme Court considered the appeal. Deputy Attorney-General Agha Tariq Mehmood, who represented the federal government, said that the Shariat Appellate Bench dismissed the appeal because the appellant did not pursue it. The appellant did not present any argument on the appeal because the appellant, according to reports, was no longer alive.
  • 2010, Salman Taseer, then governor of Punjab, said Pakistan’s blasphemy laws were being misused to persecute religious minorities. He also called for the release of Asia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian woman who he claimed was wrongly convicted and sentenced to death for violating the blasphemy laws. Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari and senior government officials indicated Bibi would be pardoned if the courts rejected her appeal. Another government official announced plans for a committee to consider changes to the blasphemy laws.
  • 2011, On January 4, a security guard killed Taseer with more than 20 bullets in broad daylight at an upscale Islamabad shopping plaza. Pakistan’s religious right hailed the killer as a hero. Religious leaders demanded the government promise not to change the blasphemy laws. Prime Minister of Pakistan Yousuf Raza Gilani once again said that there would be no amendments to the blasphemy law.

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Those accused endure persecution in the form of harassment, threats, attacks, death contracts and assassination attempts. Scores have been murdered. Most accused of blasphemy are often arrested immediately, denied bail and placed in solitary confinement for their protection from other inmates and guards. Authorities justify this treatment to prevent mob violence. Often, arrests are made without evidence to confirm the accusations. In cases of blasphemy, police, lawyers, and judges may also be pressured or threatened, making it harder or next to impossible for the accused to have a fair trial. Many are killed before their respective trials. Those who are acquitted of blasphemy usually go into hiding or leave Pakistan, due to the threat of being assassinated by extremists.

Bishop John Joseph, was a Roman Catholic Bishop of Faisalabad known by Pakistani Christians as a fearless defender of the faith.  He claimed the blasphemy laws were not only misused to make life unbearable for Christians, but directly responsible for dividing the Christian and Muslim citizens instigating discrimination, mistrust and hatred.  In 1998, he shot himself as desperate effort that he hoped would finally end the atrocities being committed against the Christian community.

Before his death he wrote: “I shall count myself extremely fortunate if in this mission of breaking the barriers, our Lord accepts the sacrifice of my blood for the benefit of his people.”

It’s been nearly 20 years since the Bishop’s death, but injustice has continued. Radicalization has caused a chasm between the faiths to widen. Today, religious minorities are more endangered by the blasphemy law than they were in 1998. We have heard Pakistani Christians and Muslims say that they no longer recognize their own country and greatly fear for the country’s future. Deplorably, those who speak out against the abuses do so with great risk to their lives.  Some have been murdered including prominent figures who opposed blasphemy laws such as Salman Taseer, the former governor of Punjab, and Shahbaz Bhatti, the Federal Minister for Minorities.

This law clearly discriminates against religious minorities. It is frequently used unjustly to settle unrelated personal/political disputes, or for revenge. It also gives extremists cause to instigate violence and unleash terror, mainly with impunity. Innocents have been brutally murdered. Such is the case of a Christian man and his pregnant wife who were falsely accused of burning a Quran, last November.  Incited by the blasphemy accusation, an enraged mob horrifically beat then burned the couple to death in a brick kiln oven. The international community expressed great shock and outrage upon hearing of the gruesome murder.

VOP along with a multitude across the globe called on the Pakistani government for justice. Now, what is being called a step towards justice, over 100 people have been indicted for the murder. Three imams (religious leaders) of local mosques, the owner of the brick kiln and three other men, have been accused of inciting the mob.

Unverified reports are claiming at least 40 people have been placed under arrest and 500 others charged in last Sunday’s mob violence.

In the well-known case of Asia Bibi, mother of five, sentenced to death and sitting in a cell for 5 years. Asia claims she has been falsely accused of blasphemy. Following the infamous blasphemy case involving young Rimsha Masih, over 400 Christian families were forced to flee Mehrabad. Though the mentally-challenged girl was acquitted after it was found that a local cleric who accused the teenager of burning pages of the Koran, but later accused of fabricating evidence to cause resentment against the Christians. He was acquited when the prosecution ruled there was not sufficient evidence to convict the cleric. The case against Rimsha was soon dropped. Producing the outcome, the Imam sought in his scheme, the residents of her former neighborhood were terrorized and forced to leave. Rimsha and her family were eventually granted asylum in another country to protect their lives.

In early 2013, more than a hundred houses were burned down in the Christian neighborhood of Joseph colony in Lahore, after a Christian was accused of blasphemy.  These are only a short list of blasphemy charges brought against Christians, there are many others.

Christians and other religious minorities in Pakistan have faced discrimination and persecution for too long. It is extremely stressful for them to live in constant fear of being attacked at any moment. Much change is still needed pertaining to Pakistan’s Blasphemy law and equality for religious minorities. And as we see in this new case and the attack it has brought on, those inciting violence, religious or otherwise, should be held accountable and brought to justice. A ‘No Tolerance’ policy with the promise of assured legal action and punishment should be immediately implemented. Religious leaders must do more to promote harmony between Pakistani citizens, no matter their faith. This may be the only way to stop further attacks on innocent minorities who want nothing more than to coexist with their Muslim neighbors and live in peace.

The global community must speak out against this violence and abuse of human rights in Pakistan. We must call on the Pakistani government to protect minorities, repeal or amend this currently dangerous law. And for the immediate release of all those being held and imprisoned for blasphemy. We call on world governments to refrain from sending financial aid until Pakistan shows it is committed to protecting minorities.

Please pray for Pakistan. Too many, including Christians are unaware of what’s happening to our Pakistani brothers and sisters. Stand with them, be their VOICE and do not be discouraged. In Christ, we can make a difference!

Voice of the Persecuted is working to help and encourage extremely persecuted Christians living in Pakistan. They need our help to seek asylum for the protection of their lives and that of their families. Providing them a ‘safe place’, basic needs, emergency medical care and education for their children is extremely important. Converts and their families are often persecuted, which forces them underground with little means to care their families, they too need our love and understanding.

Together with your generous support, we can reach the goal to alleviate horrific suffering. In darkness and desperation, let us serve in love, with open arms and giving hands to provide light and hope.

HELP SAVE THE PERSECUTED

Everyday, we thank God that He is working through you to care for His children and further His Kingdom! As you have greatly blessed others, may God continue to bless you. Thank you so much for your support. We couldn’t do it without you!

You may also send your gift to:

Voice of the Persecuted
2740 Third St
P.O. Box 122
Trenton, MI. 48183


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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

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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

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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 

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.

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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

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