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In the darkness of night, Christ was born to bring hope and light into the world. He did what no other could accomplish; salvation to all who believe, love and follow Him. Joy to the world, no other gift can compare!
This Christmas, let us reflect not on the trials, but on all God’s blessings in our lives. Let us thank the Lord for His faithfulness to bring hope to the afflicted, to bind up the brokenhearted, liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners. We thank God for comforting all who mourn, giving them strength and peace. For the ability to praise in the midst of trials, He goes with us in every storm.
As we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, please take a moment to remember and pray for those who are suffering for their faith in Jesus. All over the world, persecuted believers are worshiping God for the greatest gift ever given to mankind, salvation through Christ alone. They’re counting their suffering as worthy to be in Him as part of the Body of Christ.
To all our persecuted brothers and sisters, our advocates and workers in the field, supporters and friends of Voice of the Persecuted, Rejoice! In the name of the Lord, Rejoice! Christ is King and Savior of the world. May Peace be your gift at Christmas and your blessing all through the year. We thank you for standing with us in the ministry!
God bless you,
From the Voice of the Persecuted (VOP) Team
Inspiring Bible Verses for Thanksgiving
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!
I will give to the Lord the thanks due to his righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the Lord, the Most High.
Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.
Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and perform your vows to the Most High,
And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.
Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!
Scripture Quotes on Being Thankful
But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere.
What shall I render to the Lord for all his benefits to me?
They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.
And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Oh, how abundant is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you and worked for those who take refuge in you, in the sight of the children of mankind!
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits,
For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.
What the Bible Says About Giving Thanks
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!
Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”
I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify him with thanksgiving.
Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people,
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
What is your favorite Bible verse for Thanksgiving? Share it in the comments below and encourage others in our community!
To all our brothers and sisters, we thank God for you! May the Lord provide all your needs, strengthen, bless and keep you.
The Voice of the Persecuted (VOP) and Persecution Watch Teams
(Voice of the Persecuted) Speaking at a church during a prayer service for Asia Bibi in the Netherlands, her lawyer, Saif-ul-Mulook, described his last visit with her at the Multan women’s prison on Oct. 10th, 2018. Pakistan’s Supreme Court had just heard her death sentence appeal but the judges delayed the announcement of ruling in Bibi’s case. Saif-ul-Malook said he was amazed by her wonderful mood, how happy she was and that she showed no signs of depression. Asia shared with him about a dream she had two days earlier (Oct. 8th), the same day the court hearing was taking place.
“Sir, I saw in the dream that all the prison doors were opened and I worried the if the jail superintendent comes, then she’ll be very furious. Sir from my dream, I’m very, very certain that my appeal is going to be accepted and I’m going to be free. I have such a firm faith in God that I have strong feeling that nobody can hurt me.”
Then she told him not to worry for he too would be provided the same protection.
He announced at the church service, “I have never seen a stronger woman in my life, or read in any book story. Who is behind the bars for more than 9 nine years leaving behind two daughters, one [with mental disabilities] and still, to be so strong. I tell her many times, if I was in prison in your place, I could have broken in 6 months and might have decided to commit suicide.”
Mulook, who is also a Muslim, could also be called one of the bravest of Pakistani men. Prior to taking Asia’s case, Mulook’s was targeted when he was the special prosecutor in the high-profile murder case of Punjab governor Salman Taseer. The governor was shot and killed by his own bodyguard, Mumtaz Qadri, in 2011. Qadri killed Taseer over his call for blasphemy law reform and his support of Asia Bibi. Islamists called Qadri a hero. Mulook was the only lawyer willing to prosecute the former police bodyguard who was convicted and sentenced to death by execution. Tens of thousands called for Bibi’s death when Qadri was sentenced, then again after his execution. Many were to fearful to take Asia as their client. When Mulook chose to defend her, other attorney’s told him, “You have hammered the last nail into your coffin”. His colleagues and even friends shunned him. “We don’t go out to meet relatives or friends. They don’t come here to meet us.”he told the AFP.
Already condemned when he successfully prosecuted Qadri, he thought it cowardly to give up on Asia. “I said to myself, look, you have already done the damage. It is time to stand up for this poor woman.”
Due to recent death threats, Saif-ul-Malook fled to the Netherlands. The Dutch Foreign Ministry made an official offer to him to join a special program for the human rights activists under pressure in their home countries. Reports claim the Pakistani attorney has not yet filed an asylum application to stay permanently in the country.
Asia and her family were taken to an undisclosed location and under the protection of police and Pakistan’s military. Multiple countries have offered asylum to Asia. However, her husband had requested for asylum in Canada, the U.K. or the USA.
Today, the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed to the AFP that his government was in discussions with Pakistan about granting her asylum and bringing her to Canada.
“There is a delicate domestic context that we respect which is why I don’t want to say any more about that, but I will remind people Canada is a welcoming country,” Trudeau said.
Canada’s opposition Conservative Party supports this decision and has urged Mr Trudeau to “use every mechanism at his disposal to offer the Bibi family asylum”.
It was a joy to hear this news as we prayed for Trudeau and his government on yesterday’s Prayer Conference Call event. We also prayed for the continuation of persecuted Christians to be granted asylum in the country. We’d like to recognize Canada for welcoming many of these Christians in the last decade, and to acknowledge the Canadian churches along with their members who have stepped up to sponsor these families. May the Lord continue to bless them.
Video of Saif-ul-Malook at prayer service shared on the social media service Facebook.
Our second IDOP 2018 Prayer Conference call is scheduled on Sunday, November 11, 2018. Mark your calendars. View call information, call in number, access code and free app details at this link.
Meet you on the call!
Please view the Call Event details and download the flyer at this link. You will also find international call number and free call app at the link.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday acquitted Asia Bibi, a Christian woman condemned to death on blasphemy charges after accepting her 2015 appeal against her sentence.
“The judgement of the high court and that of the trial court is reversed,” Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar said, reading out the verdict. He added that Asia Bibi should be set free if she is not wanted in any other case.
“Her conviction is set aside and she is to be relieved forthwith if not required in other charges,” the judgement read. (Dawn)
All glory to GOD in the Highest!
We congratulate to Pakistan for their courage!
Christian News – Be encouraged! The Bible was by far the most read book in 2017 in the Philippines. This is stated in a recent survey by the National Book Development Board, a government body. According to the results of the survey, examined by Agenzia Fides, despite the growing secularization in the country with a large Catholic majority, 72% of the population still reads the Sacred Scripture.
Bishop Arturo Bastes of Sorsogon, who for years presided over the Episcopal Commission for the biblical apostolate, welcomed the results of the survey and told Fides that “it is good news that the Bible remains a very read book in our country”. The Bishop reports that “in the last 10 years 10 million copies of the Bible have been distributed to the Filipino families”.
“Despite the frequent use of social media and modern means, Filipinos do not forget to read the Bible as a source of comfort and inspiration to face the challenges of the present: not only Catholics, but also the faithful of other Christian denominations read the Bible to start their day”, says to Fides Jayson Marco Caesar Leones, assistant at the Centro Escolar of Manila University.
“I remember a song that speaks of the importance of reading the Bible and says: take the Bible, open it, read it, understand it, it is the source of our hope, the Filipinos, known to be resilient in times of calamity and disaster, by reading and listening to the Word of God in the Holy Scriptures, gain strength and courage to be ready to face the storms of life”, says Leones, a Catholic layman.
The National Book Development Board had already promoted a similar survey in 2012 and at the time 58% of those interviewed said that the Bible was the most read book. The Philippines has a population of 110 million, 80% Catholics, divided into 86 dioceses. (Agenzia Fides)