Voice of the Martyrs' prayer requests for March 8, 2005
CHINA (ASSIST News Service)
According to the China Aid Association (CAA), at least 10 foreign evangelical church leaders, including eight Americans, were detained and subsequently deported by the Chinese authorities. Late on the morning of February 24th, more than 100 Chinese security officers from five different government agencies raided an office building used as a temporary house-church leadership training site in Harbin. All foreigners were interrogated separately with interpreters of their respective languages. After a 13-hour detention and long interrogation, they were ordered to leave in three to five days. The Chinese house-church pastors were also detained and interrogated and then released after providing their home addresses, house-church affiliations and fingerprints. Meanwhile, CAA also learned that Pastor Zhuohua Cai, imprisoned in September 2004, was tortured into a "confession" with electric cattle prods by his interrogators.
Pray God will use this situation to draw Chinese government officials to Him. Pray Jesus will comfort Pastor Cai, reminding him that He forgave Peter, even after he had denied Him.
MEXICO (Compass Direct)
Although religious intolerance in the southern state of Chiapas has lessened in recent years, persecution of evangelical Christians still exists in small communities. In San Isidro Chejilte, community leaders have vowed to expel 34 evangelicals as soon as a law takes effect that will transfer private land ownership to community ownership. In another case, the town leaders of El Retiro have forbidden a growing congregation to construct any type of building to use as a church. After two years in exile, approximately 90 Indian evangelicals have been allowed to return to their homes in the town of 20 de Noviembre, but they found their properties were damaged.
Pray God will prevent the planned expulsion of the evangelicals in San Isidro Chejilte. Pray the 90 Indians who returned will have Jesus' spirit of forgiveness toward those who damaged their property. Pray the Holy Spirit will move powerfully in Chiapas, giving all who know Christ a desire for unity.
NIGERIA (Compass Direct)
On Friday, February 4th, Muslim militants attacked a Christian community in Adamawa state, Northern Nigeria, killing 36 people and displacing about 3,000 others. The surviving Christians have taken refuge in a village in a neighboring state. Alhaji Saleh Jatau, a Muslim, told Compass that the militants do not have the support of the Muslim community when they attack Christians. He said: "I am appealing that the government should act quickly to end this conflict. We have lived in peace with Christians."
Pray God will bring a spirit of peace to Adamawa state. Pray the government will use its authority bring just punishment to all Muslims who attack Christians. Pray the Holy Spirit will move in the hearts of Nigerian Muslims, giving them a desire to seek the peace that "surpasses all understanding" that only Christ can give (Philippians 4:7).
TURKEY (ASSIST News services)
An article in the Turkish Daily News says the country's Religious Affairs Directorate has prepared a sermon that will be read on March 11th, describing missionaries as the current embodiment of the Crusaders. The article, posted at www.turkishdailynews.com.tr, says: "Some powers, afraid of the incredible expansion of Islam, had formed crusading armies to wipe out Muslims.... These same powers are trying to sever our people's links to Islam because they see it as the biggest obstacle to their domination."
Pray God will use this sermon to spark a curiosity and hunger among Turkish Muslims to know who Jesus is, and many will come to know Him as a result. Pray against any plan Satan has to use this for his evil purposes. Pray missionaries will be emboldened to share the forgiving love of Jesus with those who have never heard the gospel. Pray Jesus will reveal Himself to Turkey's Religious Affairs Director just as He did to Paul on the road to Damascus.
Note: I forgot to post last week's list, so if you would like, you can go to The Wardrobe Door at read it here.