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(Morning Star News) – A pastor in eastern Uganda and eight other Christians are missing two weeks after a Muslim mob attacked a church prayer meeting, locked the congregation in, beat several members and raped 15 women, sources said.
The approximately 90 Muslims broke into the evening prayer meeting of Katira Church of Uganda, in Katira village, Budaka District at about 8:30 p.m. on Jan. 15 and beat them with clubs and sticks, area sources said. Previously Muslims had only thrown stones at the roof of the church building to disrupt church services of the 500-member congregation, villagers said.
At the evening service, about 80 members were present, and among those who escaped before the doors were locked was a Christian who heard one of the assailants shout, “Away with the pastor who is converting our Muslims to Christianity,” a church leader said.
Pastor Moses Mutasa had been outside questioning some visitors unknown to the church when several others arrived shouting, “Away with the pastor,” and he fled, said the Rev. Musa Mukenye, who oversees several churches in the district’s Iki-iki County.
“We do not know what has happened to our pastor, Moses Mutasa,” Pastor Mukenye told a meeting of local officials, police and other security officers. “He might have been killed or has been kept hostage.”
The assailants locked about half of those in attendance inside the building, (more…)
DALLAS (Christian Examiner) – Christian leaders are pushing back against a Buzzfeed article that questioned HGTV stars Chip and Joanna Gaines for attending a church that opposes same-sex marriage. The Gaines are the hosts of HGTV’s highest-rated program, Fixer Upper.
The Nov. 29 story quickly was labeled a “hit piece” by critics, who questioned why it was newsworthy that a famous couple’s church holds to traditional beliefs that have been affirmed by Christians for 2,000 years.
The story carried the headline: “Chip And Joanna Gaines’ Church Is Firmly Against Same-Sex Marriage” and said in a subhead: “whether the Fixer Upper couple agrees is unclear.” It has been read more than 500,000 times.
Glenn T. Stanton, director of family formation studies at Focus on the Family, said such accusations should be answered “bluntly.” READ MORE
(Agenzia Fides) – “There is growing intolerance and hostility toward small Pentecostal Christian communities, that are not allowed to do what is guaranteed by constitutional guarantees”: says to Agenzia Fides Sajan K. George, president of the global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), recalling the recent episodes of violence suffered by Protestant Pentecostal Pastors.
On August 20, Pastor Roy of the “Sharon Fellowship Church Town” was pelted with stones by extremists in Kodungallur, in the state of Kerala. Pastor Roy explained that, over the last five years, during the Sunday liturgies there have always been tension due to the presence of fanatical Hindus militants who want to stop the celebrations.
In another recent incident, in Bangalore, Karnataka, on August 18, a 26-year-old evangelist Christian leader of the Thadou Christian Fellowship Church was attacked and punched by five men, after paying a visit to his friend to lead a prayer meeting.
According to the Pentecostal communities, these attacks are on the rise. Speaking to Fides, Sajan K. George said: “Pastors are not doing anything illegal, or causing problems of public order or security. It is the militants who carry out gratuitous violence on innocent Christians. It is up to the state to give an institutional response, to stop the violence, ensure the rule of law”.
India: 8th anniversary of worst incidence of Anti-Christian violence, Christians still waiting for justice
On August 25, 2008, nearly 200 villages in Kandhamal were attacked and forced 30,000 people to flee the East-Indian state of Odisha. 300 churches and approx. 5,600 houses were looted and burned to the ground. 2,000 people were reportedly forced to renounce their Christian faith and more than 10,000 children had their education disrupted. The violence against the Christian community in Kandhamal led to the death of about 100 Christians, although the government figures put the figure at 39.
Though incident reports were filed, police investigations were not thorough, cases prematurely closed and offenders not prosecuted. Earlier this month, the Supreme Court of India said the state needed to re-investigate 315 cases of communal violence from 2008.
“The minorities are as much children of the soil as the majority and the approach has been to ensure that nothing should be done, as might deprive the minorities of a sense of belonging, of a feeling of security, of a consciousness of equality and of the awareness that the conservation of their religion, culture, language and script as also the protection of their educational institutions is a fundamental right enshrined in the Constitution… it can, indeed, be said to be an index of the level of civilisation and catholicity of a nation as to how far their minorities feel secure and are not subject to any discrimination or suppression,” read that ruling.
Anti-Christian violence in Kandhamal is not uncommon and Christians in the district have been subject to hate campaigns by Hindu fundamentalists since the 1960s. The violence in 2008 was sparked by the killing of prominent Hindu and the media and police suggested a Maoist group could have been behind the death, however Hindu fundamentalists blamed the Christian community.
India’s Christian communities are tense as violence against them has been on the rise. Please pray for them.
HELP SAVE THE PERSECUTED
Together with your generous help, 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. Every day, we thank God that He is working through you to care for His children and to further His Kingdom! As you greatly bless 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:
2740 Third St
P.O. Box 122
Trenton, MI. 48183
(Voice of the Persecuted) In these troubled and unstable times, many feel as though threats loom around every corner. We’re bombarded with constant news of terrorist attacks or those which have been thwarted, war or the threat thereof, the refugee crisis, economic woes, intolerance disguised as tolerance, growing divisions among citizens in nearly every nation, increasing violence and hatred. It can be very difficult to deal with and extremely intimidating. But as Christians, it would be hard not to notice the push to remove God and His Word from society as a whole. The attacks against our faith in Christ and the rapid rise of Christian persecution, quite possibly by our friends and family members. How does one not become overwhelmed by the pressures of this world? What can we do as believers in Christ to keep from being crushed by the darkness closing in?
Put your focus back on Jesus, have faith. FEAR is a distraction to draw you away from him. Remember God’s promises. He is faithful and His Word will never come back void! To know where these attacks come from and why, STUDY God’s Word here and equip yourselves with courage.
Read scriptures that can guide and encourage you on topics relating to fear, such as fear and anxiety, fear of love, fear of the unknown and fear of death. Read verses from the Holy Bible about fear in relation to God, Jesus Christ, and the Christian faith.
Let us encourage one another come what may…Love wins! Below are Bible verses about fear to help you overcome. God bless you, dear brothers and sisters. May God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand, guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus, our Lord. AMEN
4 say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you.”
27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”
34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
1 But now, this is what the LORD says— he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley,I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
4 I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.
19 When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.
38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
1 The LORD is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid?
6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
6 The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?
7 For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.
11 You who fear him, trust in the LORD— he is their help and shield.
17 But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children—
1 Praise the LORD.Blessed are those who fear the LORD, who find great delight in his commands.
6 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
20 David also said to Solomon his son, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the LORD is finished.
3 When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. 4 In God, whose word I praise— in God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?
10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
13 For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.
4 “Do not be afraid; you will not be put to shame. Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated. You will forget the shame of your youth and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood.
28 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”
13 Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.
5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” 6 So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?”
13 Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14 But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats ; do not be frightened.”
18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
source Bible Study Tools
A team of politicians and human rights activists who toured Chhattisgarh has reported several cases of violence against Christians in the eastern Indian state.
“Christians live in an appalling situation in rural areas where local laws meant for their welfare and protection are used to harass and divide the people on the basis of religion,” said Kavita Krishnan, secretary of the All India Progressive Women’s Association, who was part of the team that included former lawmakers.
After touring Chhattisgarh June 8-11, the team released a report saying how the state government failed to help Christians in villages oppressed by Hindu nationalists.
Several villages in Baster district for example have against the spirit of the Indian Constitution restricted non-Hindus from residing or building places of worship in those villages, the report said.
Christians are even being prevented from using burial grounds in several villages, it said.
In Sirisguda village, Christians were not allowed to buy grocery from the government’not s public distribution system and were beaten up, the report said. After the attack, the ambulance was not allowed in the village and injured Christians allowed to get treatment in the district hospital.
Christians are also not allowed to use common water sources in villages and district officials insisting that Christians must convert to Hinduism or leave the village. “We have come across innumerable examples of Christians under pressure to change their religion, in gross violation of constitutional provisions,” Krishnan told ucanews.com READ MORE
(Voice of the Persecuted) [updated] Over 70 people including Christians were slaughtered celebrating Easter at a children’s park in Pakistan. Jamaat-ul-Ahrar has claimed responsibility for the attack admitting they targeted Pakistani Christians and threatened future attacks. The death toll in Brussel’s has risen to 35. Israel has warned it’s people to get out of Turkey. Syria and Iraq are on fire as is Africa. Maajid Nawaz addressed what needs to be understood in this report,
“… in the context of the global jihadist insurgency that is upon us: unprecedented in its scale, pluralistic in its leadership, fractured in its strategy, nevertheless inspiring in its central message, and popular enough in its appeal that it is able to move masses.”
“…in the month of March there have been jihadist attacks in eight different countries, and I’m not including the ongoing jihadist civil wars in Afghanistan or Syria, the similar one brewing in Libya, and smaller scale attacks and killings across the world. Turkey, Ivory Coast, Iraq, Mali, Nigeria, and Belgium have all fallen prey to this insurgency.
A jihadist guerrilla war is being waged against world order, and the international community is woefully unprepared to address the problem.”
Christians are slaughtered and kidnapped yet barely a whisper from the churches in the West. We have asked many American Christians to raise their voices but the majority remain silent. Not even a mention when 2 of our own were killed in the Brussel’s attack. What’s happening? Do you not know that silence condones evil? That it is evil?
Take a trip through social media posts and it will sicken you. Christians are more concerned with tearing each other apart and judging others, including Christians, than they are in saving people from the coming disaster. Then, those who watch and warn and are met with scoffers and disdain, too many wishing to ignore the “doom and gloom”. However, they’re quick to put out prayer requests when hardships or illness affects them. Is that wrong? Absolutely not! We should be willing to lift one another up. But how can we pray for the persecuted church when we have no willingness to share or even hear news of their persecutions? How can we come to their aid when we have no idea what they need?
Where are the calls for unity in the Body to defeat this evil in prayer? The persecuted are receiving visions to use the weapon of prayer against the dark forces coming against them. Do we doubt that reality because we have never had a divine vision? Even the Pope is calling for prayers for God’s hand to stop this evil. Prayer is our direct line to the Father. Yet the majority of the churches in the West are silent.
Our Brethren across the globe are suffering, dying and enduring torture, and we can’t even unite in prayer. It is one of the worst humanitarian crises the modern world is facing. But we are sound asleep as the bridesmaids in the parable of the Bridegroom. It’s sad and it’s shameful.
God did not command us to carry on as everything is normal. Jesus said it would be as in the day’s of Noah, people would be marrying, and celebrating as though nothing was wrong. Our own leader in America dances the tango in the face of evil while the world explodes in violence. Using the excuse, we can’t let them disrupt our life. My God, have mercy on us. Forgive us Father.
Dear brothers and sisters, Jesus knew man’s reaction to things unpleasant. He warned us in advance of the troubles we’d face, particularly as the Day of the Lord draws near. He warned us so we would not be caught off guard. That we could brace ourselves and stand firm, unable to be knocked off the foundation. He is with us, he makes us strong and we can handle anything when we are in Christ! When one in the Body suffers, we all suffer. But we can go through it with them as if a part of our own body has been injured. Jesus makes that possible!
Open your mouth, demand your church leaders address this. Unite in prayer. We are in a great spiritual battle with evil forces. There’s a reason God said, “Come out of her my people lest you go down with her.”
“For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the passion of her immorality, and the kings of the earth have committed acts of immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich by the wealth of her sensuality.” I heard another voice from heaven, saying, “Come out of her, my people, so that you will not participate in her sins and receive of her plagues; for her sins have piled up as high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.…
What are we doing? Instead of getting into the word of God we are trusting in man, some even trusting in horoscopes, mediums and evil spirits though we’ve been warned against it. Some call it entertainment so it doesn’t count. Who whispers these things in their ears? We find ourselves more concerned with offending those who are lost and worshiping false gods, than we are with saving the lost. Political correctness, the buzzword of the decade has effectively silenced the Body of Christ. Wake up! I recall a dream I had about many executions by hanging and being woke up with the words: “They will die in their sins.” But we are silent because we don’t want to offend? The One we’re offending is the One who may tell us, “I don’t know you.” Wake up sleeping bride.
The world is reeling like a drunkard. You would think that the body of Christ would be on it’s knees in prayer, not partying and carrying on like nothing is wrong. We can only warn, hope you listen and open your eyes. LORD, wake up Your Church! Church, listen to the LORD.
Remember Jesus said:
But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come. It’s like a man going away: He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with their assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch.
Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back—whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch!’
HELP PERSECUTED CHRISTIANS
Together with your generous help, 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.
Every day, we thank God that He is working through you to care for His children and to further His Kingdom! As you greatly bless 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:
2740 Third St
P.O. Box 122
Trenton, MI. 48183
(Voice of the Persecuted) Many are reflecting on the past year and considering resolutions to become a better person. They plan to eliminate bad habits, gain confidence, relieve stress, or other reasons to help themselves make changes towards success. Too often, these actions of solving our issues with “I will” or “I can” gets left by the wayside in the short span of 30 days, if at all. Our good intentions end up turning to failure and frustration.
Do we believe without a doubt that God desires to lead and direct our lives? Will we allow Him to guide and work through us in His will?
“For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:11-13
As Christians, we believe our destiny is preplanned by God in agape love.
What will be our response to Him in the new year?
“Teach us to order our days that we might present to you a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12
We stand at a critical moment in history. Daily reports of terrorism, chaos and the threat of world war. The current refugee crisis now a global problem — one whose scale and severity is unmatched since World War II. An exodus of biblical proportions as believers from the Middle East and Africa, attempt to escape violence in lands where Christianity began. Anti-Christian sentiment increases globally, while we witness the persecution of believers as never seen before.
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. Romans 8:14-18
Father, we are at a crossroads. Across the globe persecution and suffering increases for Your faithful. The wearing down of the Saints has begun. Darkness grows around us seeking to destroy your sons and daughters. We ask in Jesus mighty name, please guide us and give us mercy and Your protection. Soften hearts of leaders, open eyes and send caring hearts and hands. Give a spirit of Hope to those suffering. Give us strength and courage. Your Saints are calling out to you from Africa, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Thailand and beyond. Father God, send them love and comfort.
We, who are free to eat and sleep, write, speak, and travel as we please—We, who are blessed to work and worship without discrimination or persecution—Let us use our freedom to make a difference in the lives of the suffering members in the Body of Christ.
There is a danger, a trap set by the enemy to prevent us from achieving this goal. Many are tempted to say, “It’s too much”, “the crisis is too great”, “I want to help, but I feel helpless”. “I don’t know what to pray.”
Stop! Push away whispers of the enemy!
Let’s not perpetuate the misery by withholding our own contribution. As members of one Body in Christ, let us follow the Lord’s command to love one another.
What does all this mean for those of us in the Body who are not facing persecution? It means we must work together, hand in hand, to care for our brothers and sisters who suffer immensely in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Have Hope, don’t lose your blessed Hope. Our hope is in the Lord, not the world. He tells us, I AM the ALPHA and the OMEGA. Let us keep our focus solely on HIM.
We declare the year of 2016 as ‘The Year of HOPE’. Almighty Father, keep us and strengthen our faith. Help Your church endure the storms and trials of this world. Hold us in Your right hand and guide us to be your hands and feet. Give us Your heart for the persecuted and the world. Keep us on the path for Your Kingdom purposes. Protect us from the evil schemes of the enemy. Protect our families and supply our needs. Draw near to us as we seek Your face. As this new year begins, we will reflect on Your Word and promises. We will remember that we can do all things in Christ who strengthens us; knowing nothing is impossible for You. We give all praise to You in the highest and give You all the glory, now and forever. In the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord—let the Year of HOPE begin. Amen
In today’s communication with our Nigerian brethren.
“We in the camp always pray for you, our friends and well-wishers in 2015. We thank you for all your blessings and all the support from our benefactors.” In English they sang, ‘We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year’. All believers we have helped this year send their love, gratitude and prayers for making it possible for this mission to care for them. They ask God to bless you greatly.
All of us at Voice of the Persecuted wish you a very Blessed and Happy New Year. Thank you for your prayers, encouragement and supporting this mission to bless our persecuted family. We ask that you pray for the mission, that God continues to advance and guide us to help many more in 2016. We are excited to see where God will take us, together, to serve His Persecuted Church.
To our persecuted family, stay strong and we love you! May we all allow God to guide our lives and work through us in the new year!
May the Grace and Peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.