The Christians of Nigeria, Pakistan and Belarus need our prayers to stand, for encouragement, and strength;
VOM-USA Prayer Update for May 6, 2011
The Voice of the Martyrs USA: www.persecution.comGive ear to my words, O LORD / Consider my meditation. / Give heed to the voice of my cry, / My King and my God, / For to You I will pray. / My voice You shall hear in the morning, O LORD; / In the morning I will direct it to You, / And I will look up. Psalm 5:1–3
Nigeria—Non-Muslims Targeted After Presidential Election—VOM Sources
- Psalm 42:5
- Why are you cast down, O my soul?
And why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him
For the help of His countenance.
Violent protests broke out across Nigeria’s Muslim northern region on April 18 after the overwhelming election victory of President Goodluck Jonathan, a Christian from the South. Angry crowds burned churches as well as homes and cars belonging to non-Hausa/Fulani (non-Muslim) residents. The homes of traditional Muslim leaders who supported non-Muslim political candidates were also targeted. More than 500 people have been killed and more than 150 churches burned. VOM workers in Nigeria are collecting reports on the destruction and assessing how to help. They are already responding to medical needs — meeting victims in hospitals, helping them get care and paying medical bills. The VOM team is also providing food and other relief to those who were displaced. “The church leaders in Nigeria did not know how to confront this massive destruction of churches and properties,” wrote Isaac, a VOM worker. “Please join hands in praying for the church in Nigeria.”
Pakistan—Christians Held on Blasphemy Charges—Release International
- Psalm 27:14
- Wait on the LORD;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the LORD!
Two Christians from Punjab have been charged under Pakistan’s blasphemy laws and are being held at an undisclosed location. Pastor Mushtaq Gill and his son, Farrukh, were initially released by police after being accused of burning a Quran. But they were quickly placed in protective custody when a mob angry at their release began attacking Christians’ homes in Aziz Colony, Gujranwala, on April 15. The attacks prompted hundreds of Christians in the area to flee their homes, fearing a repeat of the August 2009 attacks in Gojra. Seven Christians were killed in the Gojra riot, which was also prompted by blasphemy allegations. Pastor Mushtaq is a teacher at the Christian Technical Training Centre of Gujranwala, and Farrukh works for a bank. The men were accused of blasphemy about four months ago when burned pages of a Quran were found near their house. However, they were formally charged with blasphemy only after the recent anti-Christian riots in Aziz Colony. The situation in the area remains tense. Pray that the case against Pastor Mushtaq and his son will be proven false and that no further violence will occur.
Belarus—Pastor Charged After Church Raid—Forum 18 News
- 1 Timothy 2:1–2
- Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.
On Feb. 13, police raided a Baptist church in Gomel, Belarus, and charged the pastor with “holding an unauthorized religious service.” The pastor, Nikolai Varushin, faces a fine of up to $345 if found guilty. The police major in charge of the raid said police had received repeated complaints about the church from nearby residents. Police officers filmed the worship service and confiscated CDs, audio cassettes of sermons and religious literature. In January 2008, Pastor Varushin was fined for leading an unregistered religious organization. Pray that the congregation will remain steadfast in faith as they undergo this trial.
Let’s keep praying.
posted by T.A.