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I received the following email update from Partners International today.  If you would like to create an account to receive their email updates, click here. 

Perhaps you have heard news of the atrocities happening to believers in the Indian state of Orissa. These people are some of the poorest in the world. They live in makeshift houses and are day laborers working the fields for rich landlords. Over the past several weeks, an estimated 17,000 of them have fled their villages for safety in the jungles. This is the second wave of attacks by Hindu radicals in the last year. But this time is far worse. Many homes were burned, an undetermined number of people were killed, and several hundred churches destroyed.

Radical Hindus are angry because Indians are turning to Christ. Violent mobs try to force the Christians to recant their faith and if they don’t, they are killed or forced out of their village and their homes destroyed.

Several of our ministry partners work in the very region where the worst atrocities are happening. One of them, Mr. P, travels throughout the state encouraging other church planters and community development workers. The attacks usually come during the night, so every evening about 5 p.m. he takes his wife and two young children to the jungle where they spend the night, returning after sunrise the next morning. He is sure that if they stayed at home, he and his family would be murdered. Just a few days ago, Mr. P phoned our ministry partner very shaken up saying, “Our neighboring family was brutally murdered last night and we are in terror every moment.”

Another ministry partner had just finished helping local Christians start a day-care center and school for 100 children who had not had an opportunity to attend school before. The school had only been open a month when on Sunday morning, September 7, a mob of more than 200 people entered the village and stopped the worship service. They kidnapped two school volunteers and marched them through town, kicking and beating them on the way. They took them to the panchayat (village council) and demanded to know why within six months 600 to 800 people had been baptized. (The deception told is that Christians bribe Hindus into converting to Christianity.) After lodging their complaint against the Christians, they released the volunteers. The mob returned to the day-care center and looted a month’s worth of food and supplies before burning it to the ground.

These two examples are mild compared to other atrocities, including rape and burning people alive. Would you please pray for believers in Orissa? In addition, we would like to help these believers financially. Will you help provide funds for them to purchase basic supplies? Our immediate goal is to help 500 families in the worst-hit district of Orissa at a cost of $500 per family.

These believers have chosen not to forsake Christ, and some have lost everything but their lives. Will you stand with them, maybe even take on one family, with your gift today?

Thank you for your care for our persecuted brothers and sisters in India and around the world.

Under His Wings,
Jon Lewis
President/CEO

Partners International
1117 E. Westview Court
Spokane, WA 99218 USA
(800) 966-5515
http://www.partnersintl.org/welcome/
http://www.harvestofhope.org/welcome/index.php

Partners International is a global ministry that works to create and grow
communities of Christian witness in partnership with God’s people in the least Christian regions of the world.

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Please pray for Pastor KhamLa Namheng, who, along with seven other pastors, was arrested in March 2008.  The group was entering Thailand from the Lao People’s Democratic Republic and was followed by Laos police; they were carrying two Bibles when they were searched.  Please pray for Pastor Namheng, Kham Chan Konekham, Siphone Namheng, Khamnath Namheng, Serth Naphok, Khou Phouphone, Thong Soun Namtam, and Houng Mokbooc, for their families, and for the police that arrested them; pray that God will glorify Himself in the suffering of these men, and that more people would come to know Him through Christ.  To learn more, or to write an encouraging letter to Pastor Namheng, visit Prisoner Alert’s website

I recently received the following email from International Christian Concern.  Please pray for the Christians who are being persecuted in Egypt, especially the Coptic farmer who is still missing; pray that God will strengthen their faith and that God will use their suffering to glorify His name in Egypt; please also pray for the persecutors, that they will find salvation in Christ.  Please also vist the ICC’s website for more information about persecution worldwide and how to receive the email updates

(July 15, 2008) The Washington-DC based human rights group, International Christian Concern (ICC) www.persecution.org has learned that a recent increase in attacks against Egypt’s Coptic Christians has prompted various Christian groups to organize demonstrations condemning fanatic Muslims engaging in these attacks and the officials of the Egyptian government who have failed to protect Christians against such attacks.

This spike in attacks has resulted in the death of four Christians, the destruction of several churches, the kidnapping of four Christians, and the ransacking of their properties:

•    Four Egyptian Christians were gunned down when a jewelry shop belonging to one of them was attacked by two masked men. No one has yet been arrested for this attack that took place on May 28, 2008.

•    On May 31, sixty well-armed Muslims assaulted the historic Abu Fana monastery near Minya. Besides causing damage to the property of the 4th century monastery, the fundamentalist Muslims kidnapped three monks and one Coptic farmer during the attack. The monks were tortured and pressured to convert to Islam. They refused and were eventually released, but the Coptic farmer is still missing.

•    On June 20, Muslim fundamentalists carried out large scale attacks on Christians in the village of al-Nazla. Cars, homes and businesses belonging to Coptic Christians were ransacked and the windows of a Coptic church shattered. The attack was the result of a rumor circulating that a Christian woman who converted to Islam was abducted by her Christian family.

This rise in attacks against Christians in Egypt is being fueled by the growth of the radical Wahhabi Islam propagated by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Wahhabi Islam is highly intolerant towards Christians and other minorities and encourages violence against them.

Though the attacks against Christians are perpetrated by fanatic Muslims, the officials of the government of Egypt have at times failed to prevent the attacks when they could. In most cases, after the attacks occur, the police fail to bring the perpetrators to justice. The perpetrators are therefore encouraged to carry out further attacks with impunity.

Enraged over the widespread attacks and the failure of the Egyptian government to protect its Christian minority, various Christian organizations are planning to hold demonstrations in Washington, D.C. and New York City. International Christian Union and American Coptic Association are organizing a demonstration in Washington, D.C., which will be held in front of the White House on Wednesday, July 16 from 12 :00 pm to 4:00 pm. Another demonstration, being organized by the Voice of the Copts in New York City, will be held in front of the United Nations and Egyptian Consulate in New York on Wednesday, July 23 at 12:00 pm.

ICC’s Regional Manager for Africa, Darara Gubo, said, “Egypt has an international obligation to protect its Christian minority against attacks by fanatic Muslims. Egyptian authorities must carry out their obligations by prosecuting the perpetrators of such attacks.”

ICC calls upon those concerned about religious freedom for Egypt’s Christian minority to join the rallies in Washington, D.C. and New York City. By attending these rallies Christians will get the opportunity to highlight the plight of their brothers and sisters in Egypt.

You can also call the Egyptian embassy in your country. Please politely ask the Egyptian embassy officials to protect Christians against attacks.

Egyp tian Embassies

Country       Phone   Fax
  Email
USA
  202-895-5400    202-244-4319   Embassy@egyptembassy.net
Canada
  613-234-4931    (613) 234-4398   egyptemb@sympatico.ca, egypt4931@rogers.com
UK
  020-7499-2401 / 499 3304    020-7491-1542   info@egpressoffice.com
Australia
  (61 2) 9281-4844    612-9281-4344   info@egypt.org.au
Germany
  030-477-5470    030-477-1049   Embassy@egyptian-embassy.de

There have been fresh attacks against Christians in India – the latest in a series of incidents highlighting the pressures facing Christians from Hindu militants.Reports have come in that two attacks took place yesterday (June 12) in Andhra Pradesh. Hindu militants, allegedly from the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party), attacked a group of pastors holding a conference.The pastors had gathered in Badrachalam in premises rented out to them by the Temple.During a morning prayer time, extremists attacked the pastors. But instead of arresting the militants, the police arrested 15 Christian pastors, who are now on bail.
The same day, in Hyderabad, a pastor and another man were attacked by Hindu activists, who accused them of forcing Hindus to convert to Christianity.Pastor John Mohan has been threatened by extremists to stop preaching Christianity in the area. On June 12 they accused him along with another man of forcing people to become Christians. The irony is that the co-accused is not even a Christian. He is a vehicle inspector who refuses to take bribes to illegally certify that vehicles are safe for use. Observers believe the charge of forced conversion was levelled against him to remove him from his position. The man, Ramesh Babu, is a friend of the pastor. When extremists confronted the pastor and the vehicle inspector, they blocked the road to prevent police dispersing them. They are demanding a halt to all Christian activities in the area and the suspension of the vehicle inspector.On June 1 militants burst into a morning church service in Chhattisgarh state. They destroyed furniture and accused the congregation of forcing Hindus to convert to Christianity. They threatened them to stop worshipping Christ. On May 27, militants beat a pastor with iron rods on his way home from a prayer meeting. They accused him of forcing Hindus to convert to Christianity. The day before (May 26) militants demolished a thatched church in Andhra Pradesh.Last Christmas, militants killed four Christians and burned 730 homes and 95 churches in Orissa.‘The dreadful list of attacks against Christians goes on,‘ says Andy Dipper, CEO of Release International, which supports the persecuted Church. ‘Our partners in India report murder, destruction and intimidation of Christians. And making matters worse is the growing number of states passing anti-conversion laws.‘Ostensibly to prevent forced conversion, these have become an extremists’ charter, and are being used to try to silence Christian witness. Please pray for our brothers and sisters in India.’ To read this article in it’s original format click here

Muslims attack a Christian community in Indonesia. Four Christians are left dead. One was a six year old girl, another her grandmother. 120 homes were set on fire, as well as the village school, three churches and 15 hectares of crops. Pray for the families of those who were killed in Horale – and for the speedy recovery of the injured. Ask God to give them all the grace to forgive. Pray that the Indonesian authorities would take a tougher line on Islamist hardliners who seem increasingly intolerant of the Christian community. For this information in it’s original context visit release international.

The following prayer request is from the Partners International prayer calendar; it can be viewed online or ordered through the mail by subscribing to Partners. 

New Initiative partner Tibetan Mission Church has a heart to reach out to the Tibetans living in northwest China.  Ask God to raise up more believers to take the Good News to these nomadic peoples. 

Release International posted this story entitled “starved and beaten for their faith-former prisoners in Vietnam tell of brutality behind bars”

“Paul” and “Stephen” (names changed to protect their identity) are Christians from the minority Hmong tribe in Vietnam. It was found that found that some of the harshest persecution in Vietnam is reserved for the ethnic Hmong people, who sided with the United States in the Vietnam War. The authorities regard evangelical Christianity as an American export intended to undermine the communist revolution. Stephen was jailed for three years, leaving his wife to work the fields and bring up their 7 children on her own. His brother was also murdered for telling other about Christ. His brother wouldn’t deny Christ, so the authorities beat him till he died. Stephen would spend his days in prison breaking rocks and if he did not make quota they would beat him. Before being imprisoned both men were asked to sign a document saying if they renounced Christ they would be set free. They both refused. Stephen says, ” Inever denied Jesus. Never. I believe that even if I die I will still put my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord never, never left me. Every day, when I breathe the air, I trust in the Lord.” Paul’s response to the document was this “even if you nail me like Jesus Christ to the cross I will still not deny him. You can do to me exactly like Jesus Christ and I will still be happy.” Paul was imprisoned for 10 years for spreading the Truth that is Christ. Paul thought, “Sometimes I thought I would die, but after that the Lord give me more strength so I could complete the course. That’s why after a few years, they didn’t beat me anymore.” Both prisoners were starved and malnourished while in prison given only rice and little vegetables.On one occasion Paul was so hungry he picked up and ate a frog, he knew the insides of the frog were poisonous but he ate them anyways.

Both men are out of prison but still continue to share Jesus.”I am never frightened about what will happen in the future for me,” says Paul, “because I understand that the Lord is with me and many, many people around the world are praying for me.”

Please pray for Paul and Stephen that their lives would bring others to Christ and that we too, will have never drifting faith.

This prayer request is from the Partners International prayer calendar, which may be viewed online or ordered through the mail

Praise God that refugee status was granted for our Middle East Area Director’s assistant!  Continue to pray for our Middle East Area Director to be granted residency in the country where he lives. 

International Christian Concern releases a yearly report on the ten countries most guilty of persecuting Christians.  Please read it, pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ, and pray for those persecuting them. 

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven.” (Matt. 43-45, ESV)

Please pray for Alimujiang Yimiti, a Christian who has been imprisoned in China since January 2008.  We have posted a few stories about him already (China Persecutes Uyghur Christian, May 28; More Arrests in China, May 4; China: Unrest Raises Fears of Execution of Christian, April 14).  The accusations against him are “subversion of the national government and endangering national security”, for which he could be executed.  Please pray that justice will be done for him and other Christians imprisoned in China, that many would come to know and love Christ through the suffering of His people. and that God would change the government and people of China for His glory.  To learn more about Alimujiang Yimiti or to write him an encouraging letter, please visit Prisoner Alert

Source:  Prisoner Alert