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Reminder: Prayer call begins at 9pm for Andrew Brunson imprisoned in Turkey

 

 

On Sunday evening at 9m EST, we will be hosting a special prayer conference call to pray together for Andrew Brunson. In Turkey, it will be 4 am giving us the opportunity to pray before Andrew’s trial begins. JOIN US!

Time:
9 p.m. Eastern time
8 p.m. Central time
7 p.m. Mountain time
6 p.m. Pacific time
Call Number:  
712-775-7035
Access Code:
281207#

For those who may be subject to added charges for conference calls. Please download the app, it’s free!

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

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Prayer Conference for Pastor Andrew Brunson, tonight

hebrews-13-3-cover
Special Sunday call scheduled for Pastor Brunson (APRIL 15, 2018) 
Time:
9 p.m. Eastern time
8 p.m. Central time
7 p.m. Mountain time
6 p.m. Pacific time
Call Number:  
712-775-7035
Access Code:
281207#

more at link below

via Critical time for Pastor Andrew Brunson, what we can do

Critical time for Pastor Andrew Brunson, what we can do

Andrew Brunson imprisoned in Turkey

Andrew Brunson and his wife were originally from North Carolina. 23 years ago, they moved to Turkey’s third largest city where Andrew led the Izmir Resurrection Church with a congregation of about 25. The couple had raised their family of three children in Turkey and had applied for permanent residency. On Oct. 7, they were called to a local police station and never imagined there was anything to be worried about. They went to the police station thinking they were finally approved for residency.
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At the station, they were initially told to leave the country because Andrew was accused of receiving funds from abroad to fund missionary initiatives that Turkey claimed would endanger the security of the Country with their activities. Later, the Turkish press reported that the decree of expulsion for the Evangelical pastor had been transformed into arrest after a secret witness accused him of having ties with the Gulen Movement whom Turkey considers a terror organization. His wife was released on the Oct. 9, 2016, but Andrew spends 24 hours a day in a cell with limited human contact.
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Andrew has denied the charges, along with all who know him. He’s also lost 50 pounds since being incarcerated and hopes he won’t be forgotten.
His trial will be this coming Monday, April 16. Based on the charges, he could receive a prison sentence of 35 years.
His wife is asking Christians to please be in prayer for her dear husband.  Sharing her request again as we feel it’s important to join her at this critical moment.
“Today the Lord clearly showed me and another believer to pray for Andrew three times a day – morning, noon, evening. Like mealtimes. I have set the alarm on my phone. I would love for others to join this and pray for Andrew whenever you eat breakfast lunch and dinner – whatever time zone you are in!
As you pray three times a day… please pray that the cord around Andrew would be loosened/untied.
Although I don’t understand this completely, the Lord gave this very clearly so I am praying it by faith. Please join by faith that what we loose on earth is loosed in heaven. We are sooo grateful for you, our huge family in Christ.“ 
Please pray…….
— That God will bring Justice and vindication to our brother, Andrew, as Jesus promises in Luke 18.
— That truth will prevail in this case.
— That the judges will be impartial and honest. Not driven by a political agenda.
— That this trial will be open and international observers will be allowed to attend.
— That the Holy Spirit will give heavenly wisdom to Andrew’s attorneys and to Andrew himself.  That they will be able       to speak the truth that their enemies will not refute.
— That ultimately Andrew will be found not guilty and set free to rejoin his family.
— that Andrew’s family will experience comfort and the presence of Christ during this time of trial.
— That ultimately God’s will be done and he be glorified in this trial through our brother.
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I was reminded this morning that many are the afflictions of the righteous. But the Lord delivers him out of them all.  This marvelous promise is found in Psalm 34:19.  Let us pray this promise and other promises over our dear brother Andrew Brunson and his family. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.  James 5:16
To the extent that I am known, I want to be known as a servant and lover of Jesus Christ…. I have prayed for this land and its people for many years,… for God to pour out great blessing… In my weakness, I pray daily for strength and courage to persevere and remain faithful to my King until the end. My deepest thanks to my family around the world that is standing with and praying for me.
—Andrew Brunson
Please share this article with your pastors and all those who will pray with you. Ask your pastor to lead the congregation in prayer for Andrew during  this weekend’s church service.
On Sunday evening at 9m EST, we will be hosting a special prayer conference call to pray together for Andrew Brunson. In Turkey, it will be 4am giving us the opportunity to pray before Andrew’s trial begins. JOIN US! Call information below
In Christ,
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Blaine Scogin and the VOP team
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Blaine Scogin serves as Prayer Director for Persecution Watch and Voice of the Persecuted.

Persecution Watch is a national prayer conference call to pray specifically for the persecuted Church. For the past 8 years, Blaine has faithfully led this national network of believers praying for the persecuted Church and the global harvest. The group normally meets via a free call-in service every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday night at 9pm EST. However, dedicated in their prayers for our persecuted brothers and sisters, there have been times when these prayer warriors have met every night for a month or more—lifting the persecuted up as the Lord leads. Often, they host callers from nations other than the United States.

We also encourage you to join the weekly prayer call to continue to pray together for those suffering for Christ.

Tuesday, Thursday. Saturday —Special Sunday call scheduled for Pastor Brunson (APRIL 15, 2018) 
Time:
9 p.m. Eastern time
8 p.m. Central time
7 p.m. Mountain time
6 p.m. Pacific time
Call Number:  
712-775-7035
Access Code:
281207#

For those who may be subject to added charges for conference calls. Please download the app, it’s free!

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

Please pray

Turkey to put Andrew Brunson on trial

A Turkish court approved an indictment against Black Mountain native Andrew Brunson, clearing the way for a trial on April 16, 2018 that could result in his being imprisoned in that country for up to 35 years.

On March 28, Sen. Thom Tillis announced that he met with imprisoned American pastor Andrew Brunson on March 26 at Buca Prison in Ismir, Turkey.

“Pastor Brunson is strengthened by his love for his family and his faith in God, but his health has deteriorated,” Tillis said in a statement. “He has lost 50 pounds and spends 24 hours a day in a cell with limited human contact.  He is attempting to visit a doctor this week, which involves him being handcuffed and transported with several armed guards. He fears the possibility that the American government accepts the indictment and forgets about him, which we will not allow to happen.

“There should be no mistake that Pastor Brunson is the victim of false accusations, and we call upon the Turkish authorities to honestly and transparently review his indictment. Pastor Brunson is being used as a political pawn by some elements of the Turkish government.” Read more

VOP Note: Andrew’s wife asks for continued prayers,

“Today the Lord clearly showed me and another believer to pray for Andrew three times a day – morning, noon, evening. Like mealtimes. I have set the alarm on my phone. I would love for others to join this and pray for Andrew whenever you eat breakfast lunch and dinner – whatever time zone you are in!
As you pray three times a day… please pray that the cord around Andrew would be loosened/untied.
Although I don’t understand this completely, the Lord gave this very clearly so I am praying it by faith. Please join by faith that what we loose on earth is loosed in heaven. We are sooo grateful for you, our huge family in Christ.

Hard-line Hindu Confesses to Attempted Murder of Pastor in Southern India, Police Say

Pastor Madira Koti Reddy recovering in hospital. (Morning Star News)

India (Morning Star News) – A hard-line Hindu has confessed to attempting to murder a pastor in southern India as the Christian leader was praying at night, according to police.

Pastor Madira Koti Reddy, who leads a house church in Rentachintala village, Guntur District in Andhra Pradesh state, on March 29 had gone to his room to study the Bible and pray at about 10 p.m. after eating dinner with his family, his wife told Morning Star News. Madira Shanti said she was in the backyard with their daughter doing dishes at the time.

At about 10:30 p.m., the assailant stealthily entered the house and went to the 55-year-old pastor’s room, where he slashed his arms and head with an axe, she said.

“I heard my husband screaming and ran into the house,” Shanti told Morning Star News.

With just one light bulb on, she couldn’t see the attacker clearly, but she followed him and saw him standing outside the house with the axe, she said.

“He looked to his right and left and quickly ran away,” Shanti said.

House church pastor Madira Koti Reddy was attacked with an axe. (Morning Star News)

Police Inspector Koteswara Rao was patrolling the area at around 11:30 p.m. when he got word about the attack from villagers and rushed to Pastor Koti Reddy’s house, where he found him bleeding profusely.

“I immediately took him to the government hospital nearby, but given the severity of his condition, shifted him to a private hospital in the neighboring town,” Rao told Morning Star News.

After questioning family members and neighbors, police took 11 suspects into custody, he said. Key eyewitnesses informed them that one suspect, Manne Shiva Narayana, also known as Shivayya, was seen walking outside the pastor’s house with an axe that night.

Officers searched his house, seized the axe and took him into custody, Rao said.

“He is a staunch devotee of Shiva,” one of the principle Hindu deities, the inspector said. “He confessed that he wanted to ‘finish’ the pastor that night. He said he was offended by the pastor’s routine of sharing the gospel in the village.”

Shiva Narayana has deep-seated hatred toward Christianity, Rao said. Though police found no affiliation with any Hindu extremist groups, Shiva Narayana confessed that it was ‘hate’ that drove him to attack the pastor, the police officer said.

Villagers who requested anonymity told Morning Star News that Shiva Narayana is a self-proclaimed Shaiva Sadhu, a Hindu “holy person” identified by orange dress like that of Hindu ascetics known as Aghori. They said he is 34 and single.

He frequently travels to the Mallikarjuna Jyothirlinga temple, dedicated to the Hindu deity Shiva and wife Parvati, in Srisailam, about 250 kilometers (155 miles) from Rentachintala, villagers said.

“He is very well known in his circles there,” one said.

Pastor Koti Reddy’s son-in-law, John Paul, told Morning Star News that the pastor spoke a few times to the family about the Shaiva Sadhu getting the pastor into religious arguments on faith, and that he requested the family pray for him.

“He was in trouble a couple of times because of boldness in professing Christianity,” he said. “He was several times confronted by people who opposed him distributing gospel tracts, but he never stopped.”

The pastor’s wife said he would write biblical verses on the walls of people’s houses, and that if people objected, he would stop and go away. Inspector Rao said police went to all the places in the village the pastor would visit in a day, and “nobody expressed opposition to the biblical verses on their walls, since this area is mainly dominated by Hindus converted to Roman Catholicism.”

Rao said that, in the jail cell, Shiva Narayana immediately objected to the picture of a cross that an inmate had drawn long ago and asked officers to transfer him to another cell.

“We were able to observe in the Shaiva Sadhu high levels of intolerance,” Rao said. “He did not want to be even physically present in a room where a cross is drawn on the wall.”

Shiva Narayana was charged with attempted murder, punishable by imprisonment of up to 10 years and a fine, with the possibility of imprisonment for life.

Loss of Blood

Pastor Koti Reddy was unconscious when he was brought to the hospital, Dr. Sudheer Bhargava Reddy told Morning Star News.

“If he had been brought in 30 minutes later, we would not have been able to save him,” he said.

At least twelve units of blood were intravenously transfused into Pastor Koti Reddy’s body, Bhargava Reddy told Morning Star News.

“The loss of blood was excessive,” he said. “We first attended to the cuts, and there was urgent need for blood transfusion. He is responding well to the treatment, and as the blood clots clear up, we are operating on him.”

Surgery on Friday (April 6) to repair the pastor’s right arm was successful, and the same operation, involving plates and screws, will take place this week on his left arm, Bhargava Reddy told Morning Star News.

“It would take at least 45 days for the patient to move his hand, and in order to be able to use his hand very well, he needs to rest for at least 75 days,” he said.

He said that a CAT scan shows no major damage to the pastor’s head, and that his frequent headaches can be minimized with medicines and rest.

Pastor Koti Reddy’s wife said God allowed him to live.

“God did not let the blows be very hard and heavy,” she said. “God lifted him up and held him in His hands safe. This attack is only to bring glory to God.”

The couple’s children were deeply disturbed to see their father’s condition at the hospital, Shanti said.

“I am trying to be strong for them,” she said.

The member of the Legislative Assembly from Guntur West, Phillip C. Tocher, visited the pastor and his family in the hospital on Tuesday (April 3). After doctors briefed him on the pastor’s condition, he told the family that the ruling Telugu Desam Party would pay all the expenses for treatment, they said.

Evil Spirits

Originally from Giddalur in Prakasam District, Pastor Koti Reddy moved to Rentachintala village 20 years ago with his wife and children, where he now leads a house church.

“My husband comes from a Hindu family whose house was less a home to live in than like a temple or a dwelling place for Hindu deities and devotees,” Shanti said. “Their family would host several pujas [prayer rituals] and yaagas [ritual offerings] every year, and he was totally involved in idol worship.”

When ill in his youth, he was subject to a shaman’s “tricks,” she said, but he was completely healed after receiving prayer at a Christian church service. Having been freed of evil spirits, she said, he devoted himself completely to Christ, and “it was then through a pastor my parents fixed my marriage with him.”

The couple moved from Krishna District to Rentachintala village after Pastor Koti Reddy told his wife that God was calling him to serve there, she said.

“He saw Rentachintala in a vision God gave him when he prayed about his calling,” she said. “The village was exactly how he described it to me.”

The pastor bicycled around the village sharing the gospel, she said.

“He distributes gospel tracts, and if people show interest, he would have deeper discussions with them, and pray with them even on the road,” Shanti said.

The pastor habitually began his days at 5 a.m. and would spend at least three hours in the morning on his knees worshipping the Lord, she said.

“In my 25 years of marriage, I had never seen him picking fights or arguing with anyone,” she said. “As our boys grew up, several times when they would get into fights with their friends, and their parents came to complain, he would accept that it was his sons who were wrong.”

The family requested prayer for healing for the pastor and strength for them.

The hostile tone of the National Democratic Alliance government, led by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, against non-Hindus, has emboldened Hindu extremists in several parts of the country to attack Christians since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took power in May 2014, religious rights advocates say.

Concerns Grow over Iranian Christian Prisoner’s Health Condition

Mohabat News — Iranian Christian prisoner, Mr. Naser Navard-Goltapeh’s family have expressed their growing concern over his health as he is suffering from a severe case of gum infection which requires immediate medical attention.

One of his family members told Article 18 ministries in an interview, “if he does not receive immediate medical attention we are afraid he might lose all of his teeth.”

Mr. Navard-Goltapeh was admitted to the notorious Evin prison on January 20, 2018 to serve his 10 year sentence and is currently being held in ward 8 of the prison.

Mr. Navard-Goltapeh was arrested on June 24, 2016 in a private gathering with three believers from Azerbaijan. The Azerbaijani believers arrested were identified as Eldar Gurbanov, Yusif Farhadov and Bahram Nasibov, members of the “Word of Life” church in Baku, Azerbaijan’s capital. All those arrested were held in solitary confinement for two months as they went through intense interrogation. They were all eventually convicted in court for “illegal gathering and collusion against the Islamic regime through evangelism”.

All four Christians, including Naser Navard-Goltapeh, were temporarily released on a heavy bail (approx. 35,000 USD) after four months in jail. All three Azerbaijani Christians forfeited their bail and returned to their own country, Azerbaijan, immediately after their release.

Naser Navard-Goltapeh, however, stayed in Iran and waited to appear in court where he was found guilty in branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court.

Judge Mashallah Ahmadzadeh sentenced him to 10 years in prison for “Action against national security and establishing house churches”. The judge based his ruling on evidences produced by the Ministry of Intelligence. None of the referenced evidence was presented during the court session or given to Mr. Navard-Goltapeh’s attorney to review.

Mr. Navard-Goltapeh appealed the sentence. However, an appeals court upheld the 10 year term on November 12, 2017, making it final./ FARSI

Iranian Christian Convert Denied Bail in Court

Mohabat News — Iranian judicial authorities denied Iranian Christian, Hadi Asgari, temporary release on bail, ordering him to be kept in the infamous Evin prison until his appeals court hearing.

Asgari’s family made every effort in their ability to secure his temporary release before Norouz (Persian New Year). However, Iranian authorities postponed any review of his case to 20 days after the Persian new year. He has been held in jail for 19 months without leave.

Asgari’s family had to overcome financial challenges in order to gather enough resources to post bail for their loved one’s release. Now that they have enough to post the bail, authorities hinder his temporary release.

Spokesperson for Article 18 ministries, Kiarash Aalipour told Mohabat News, “Previously, Hadi’s family did not have sufficient financial ability to post the heavy bail required for his release. Now that they have pulled their resources together and have their finances ready the judge brings various excuses to postpone his release on bail.” His family had hoped he would be temporarily released until he is called to the appeals court where he hopes his 10 year sentences will be re-considered.

Hadi Asgari was tried in branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran on July 3, 2017. He was found guilty of threatening national security through evangelism and sentenced to 10 years in prison. Additionally, after serving the 10 year term in prison, he will be banned from leaving the country for 2 years.

Another Christian convert arrested at the same time as Hadi Asgari is Amin Afshar Naderi who was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Both these Christians prisoners went on a hunger strike to protest unfair handling of their cases. Naderi is currently released on bail.

During the raid to arrest Naderi and Asgari, 13 more Christians were arrested in a gathering in a garden in Firuzkuh in August 2016. While investigation of their case was still underway, Naderi and Asgari spent 82 days in solitary confinement in the notorious 209 ward of Evin prison. Later they were transferred to ward 4 of the prison.

It is common for political prisoners and prisoners of conscience to be released on bail before the Persian new year. This year also many political and religious prisoners were released on bail but Hadi Asgari was not allowed to post bail for his release to celebrate the new year with his family.

The Islamic regime of Iran is regularly criticized for violating religious rights of its citizens, especially Christian converts and Baha’is. Christian converts have been facing continuous persecution from the government since the Islamic Revolution of 1979./FARSI

 

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