1. UZBEKISTAN: There seems to be a campaign against churches going on – even fully registered ones. Assistant Pastor ‘ARTUR’ and two church members were given 15-day prison sentences, and five other members received hefty fines, after police raided their church. Christian literature was destroyed, the church building sealed and the electricity cut off. Pray for Christians throughout Uzbekistan who are suffering church raids, arrests and fines.
2. CHINA: GAO ZHISHENG has disappeared again, just days after security officials apparently freed him in April, at the end of a 13-month detention. He was allowed to return home to Beijing and visit his in-laws (his wife and family are in the US); but 4 police officers stayed with him at all times. Ask God to strengthen and protect Gao and his family. Pray that the Chinese authorities will respond to international pressure to release him for good.
Pastor WANG DAO, detained May 9, has chosen life imprisonment, rather than exile. He longs to rejoin his fellow church members, and urges them to meet boldly and faithfully while he is isolated from them. Pray for him, his wife, and fellow Christians.
Give thanks that Pastor DOU SHAOWEN was given an early release from prison. Last June he was sentenced to 1-year of ‘re-education’ in a hard labour camp—extreme conditions—forced to work 18 hours a day, and sleeping in a room with over 70 other prisoners. Ask the Lord to heal his body, soul, and spirit. Pray that he will remain steadfast in the faith.
Please remember the five Church leaders jailed in November 2009: Pastors WANG XIAOGUANG and YANG RONGLI, and leaders ZHANG HUAMEI, YANG XUAN, and YANG CAIZHEN. They were sentenced to from 3 to 7 years in prison.
3. INDIA: Pray for Christians in Madhya Pradesh state. Hindu nationalist organizations have declared their intentions to rid the district of all Christian influence. They want to drive away all Christian pastors, evangelists and foreign aid workers, and force people to return to Hinduism by making them attend “re-conversion” rallies.
BIHAR STATE: Evangelist RAVI MURMU (32), from the Brethren church, was brutally murdered after he had helped screen the Jesus Film. Ask God to comfort and bless his widow, RINKU, & their 8-year-old daughter CELESTY. Ravi’s brother says, “The peace of God still reigns in this house and in this family.” Pray for protection for all Christians.
ORISSA: Continue to pray for Orissa Christians, who suffered widespread anti Christian violence in 2008. Many Christians are still homeless. Pray that the Indian government will step up its efforts to restore these people to their homes—they have suffered so much.
MADHYA PRADESH STATE: Pray for Pastor RUJHIYA (36), and for his wife and three young children. After he was attacked by a mob, and detained and threatened by police, he and his family went into hiding. “My wife and children say that we are ready to face whatever comes our way…we will not renounce our faith.” Indian Christian leaders believe that a major onslaught against Christians is in the offing. Please pray.
4. ISRAEL: Ask God to protect Palestinian Christians living in Jerusalem. May God grant them continued joy and boldness in their witness. Praise God, the Church is growing throughout the Middle East, even in spite of increasing political tensions in the region.
5. IRAQ: Pray for wisdom and safety for Believers. Muslim extremists are warning Christians to leave the country immediately or risk violent death. Despite the threats, Christians continue to meet in secret, praising God. Though many have fled, the Church is growing.
6. NIGERIA: The Nigerian Church faces continuing violence. Christians need grace to forgive, and love to reach out to their persecutors. Pray for the grieving family and friends of murdered Pastor ISHAKU and wife SELINA. Pray for safety for Christian Ministry workers. Pray that the funds SRO has sent to Jos will be used wisely to help those in greatest need.
7. IRAN: The Church is growing by leaps and bounds, in spite of the increasing number of arrests and imprisonment of Believers. Pray that the many new Believers will receive the discipleship they need to grow in Christ. Thank God for the international Christians who provide Bibles & teaching materials to the Church—and who help imprisoned Christians & their families. Pray for needed funds.
Pray for DANIEL SHARHI (19) who was arrested and then released on bail. Pray that all charges against him will be dropped. Thank God that MARYAM ROSTAMPOUR and MARZIEH AMIRIZADEH have been acquitted of all charges by the Iranian judicial authorities. However, they were warned that any future Christian activity in Iran will be dealt with seriously. The two have now left Iran, and are safe in another country.
PRISONER: Please pray for Pastor BAHNAM IRANI. His recent arrest and detention appears to be a continuation of a calculated and determined attempt to immobilize the Iranian House Church movement. A number of House Church Leaders have asked us to pray for Christians in Iran—especially for those Believers from a Muslim background.
8. ERITREA: Praise God for the steadfast faith of SENAIT (28) who has died in prison, from anaemia and malaria. Officials had offered her freedom and medical attention if she would recant her Christian beliefs, but she refused. She was one of 16 Christian students arrested in ’08 and imprisoned in metal shipping containers. May God comfort her family & friends.
Several groups of Christians have been arrested since January—a group of 25 in April; a pregnant woman among them. When this woman’s uncle went to ask for her release he was also arrested. Pray for imprisoned Believers and their families & friends. May they know God's strength, love and grace to endure and be a witness for Christ.
9. VIETNAM - PRISONER ALERT: Please remember Pastor Y WO NIE - imprisoned since 2004. He received a 9-year sentence. His family has not been able to visit him.
10. SAUDI ARABIA: Pray for Believers like HAMOUD. After courageously sharing his testimony on a website, he was promptly arrested. During imprisonment he was subjected to sleep deprivation, prolonged solitary confinement and a continuous barrage of physical and mental torture. He has since been released; but is under strict orders not to leave Saudi Arabia or to appear on the media.
Pray for AMIRA (in her 20s)—she wants to follow the Lord Jesus but her parents want her to marry a devout Muslim. Pray that she will find a solution. Martyrdom is a real prospect which young Saudi converts know they may be called to face.
11. PUNJAB: Several Christians were assaulted by Hindu nationalists for protesting the display of 'blasphemous' banners showing Jesus smoking & drinking. Thank God that He protected teacher CHRISTOPHER MORRIS and his daughter DAISY. When nationalists doused them with gasoline and tried to set them on fire, they failed because the matches were damp.
Thank God for the powerful witness of Pastor KHALIQ BARKAT, whose church was destroyed in an extremist attack last year but has now been rebuilt. The Pastor forgives those who attacked his community—and prays for them. May God bless and keep him!
12. MOROCCO: Authorities have recently deported scores of ex-patriot Christians. Pray for a change of heart for those officials who issue these deportation orders.
Pray for the 30 orphans from VILLAGE OF HOPE Children's Home, deeply traumatized by the sudden departure of their care-givers, who were deported in March. Pray, too, for the deported Christians, who had only a few hours' notice before they had to leave. May they all be reunited soon.
13. SOMALIA: Pray for the relatives & friends of murdered Church leader MADOBE ABDI. Also pray for the wife and ten children of MU'AWIYE HILOWLE ALI, who was shot and killed by Al Shabaab militia outside his home. The Muslim extremist group appears determined to rid Somalia of all Christians. The Church is hard-pressed on all sides.
14. PAKISTAN: Continue to pray for SANDAL BIBI and her father, who were acquitted of blasphemy last year and released after 14 months in jail. Thank God, again, for justice in this case. May He continue to watch over them, and over His Church in Pakistan.
Because brothers SHAFIQUE and NAVEED (17) refused the local Muslims' calls for them to convert to Islam, their family has been forced to relocate, for safety reasons. Since then Naveed has been afraid to leave the house. Pray for protection & peace of heart.
Pray for MARWAT MASIH (29), a Christian barber who was brutally assaulted by eight Muslim men last month. Ask God to heal his grievous emotional and physical injuries. Pray that his attackers will be brought to justice. Pray that he and his family will continue to trust in the Lord to guide and protect them.
15. CONGO: The UN plans to begin withdrawal of their peacekeepers from the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2 months' time. There are concerns for the Congo's eastern region because of increasing rebel violence there. However, in these times of uncertainty & upheaval, thousands are turning for refuge to the Lord. Praise God! Keep praying for Congo.
16. EGYPT: Mohammed Ahmed HEGAZY (27), branded as an ‘apostate’ for leaving Islam, is 'devastated' by the Court’s decision to suspend his legal battle to change his religion on his identity card. He is living in hiding, having suffered severe persecution since becoming a Christian in 1998, including imprisonment. Pray for God to comfort him and his family as they share in Christ’s sufferings (wife KATARINA and 2 young children).