VOM Prayer Update 100711

VOM-USA Prayer Update for October 7, 2011

The Voice of the Martyrs USA: www.persecution.com

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Ephesians 6:10

Laos—Officials Seize Church Buildings—VOM Contacts, ASSIST News Service, Compass Direct News

Proverbs 18:10
The name of the LORD is a strong tower;
The righteous run to it and are safe.

Authorities in Laos seized a church building on Sept. 14 because the church had not applied for a building permit, according to Compass Direct News. The Christians chose not to apply for a permit because applications are routinely denied, draw unwanted attention and often undermine any chance of building. The Christians now meet in houses, and they are planning to contest the church seizure through a local petition drive. In a separate incident, 10 Christians were recently evicted from temporary shelters they had built on their rice paddies. Authorities told the Christian families they could return to their homes or rice paddies if they would give up their Christian faith, but they refused. VOM is helping these Christians as they discuss relocating to another village. Please pray for Christians in Laos, who experience ongoing persecution through government pressure.

Pakistan—Christian Student Expelled for Misspelling a Word—Compass Direct News

Deuteronomy 31:6
Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”

An eighth-grade Pakistani student was expelled from school and her family forced to relocate after the student misspelled an Urdu word, leading to accusations of blasphemy. On Sept. 22, Faryal Bhatti misspelled a word while answering a question about a poem praising the prophet Muhammad. When Bhatti’s teacher saw the mistake, she scolded and beat the 13-year-old girl. The next day, male students as well as school and Muslim representatives staged a demonstration. Although the girl and her mother apologized, the school expelled the girl. “The military swung into action soon after protests broke out calling for a blasphemy case against the teenager,” a Christian lawyer told Compass Direct News. “They bundled the family in an ambulance and took them away before the situation could turn violent.” Pray for God’s protection of Bhatti and her family during this time.

Iran—Pastor Awaits Written Verdict—Compass Direct News, Present Truth Ministries, ASSIST News Service

2 Corinthians 4:11
For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.

Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani awaits the written verdict from last week’s lower-court review of his apostasy conviction and death sentence. Before each hearing, judges demanded that Nadarkhani recant his faith and return to Islam. The pastor refused each time. In recent days, conflicting information has been circulated by Iran’s unofficial FARS News Agency suggesting that Pastor Nadarkhani was found guilty of rape rather than apostasy and that he has been charged with additional “security related” crimes. Jason DeMars of Present Truth Ministries told ASSIST News Service that the report circulated by FARS is inaccurate. “They were definitely told that by the government,” he said, “but [the verdict] doesn’t say rape. It’s a lie to portray their government in a better light to their citizens.” Within the past week, pastor Nadarkhani’s case has gained the attention of the U.S. State Department and high-profile media personalities. Iranian law states that courts must issue a verdict within a week of a hearing. Please continue to pray for Pastor Nadarkhani and his family as well as all Christians in Iran.

-posted by T.A.

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