Please pray for our Christian brothers and sisters in Syria who are coming under increasing pressure from Islamic State (IS) militants.
Hundreds of families have fled the Christian town of Sadad after IS captured nearby Al-Qaryatain and abducted 230 of its residents, including at least 60 Christians. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said those abducted were on an IS ‘wanted’ list for ‘collaborating with the regime’, which could mean their lives are in danger. Some reports suggest some Christians have since been released.
Many of the Christians abducted from Al-Qaryatain on August 6 had sought refuge in the town after fleeing from Aleppo in the north. IS militants also launched an attack on the Assyrian village of Hawwarin, causing about 2,000 Assyrian Christians to flee.
In February, IS kidnapped up to 220 Assyrian Christians in the north-eastern province of Hassaka (Prayer Alert, February 25). Only a few have been released. Christians in IS-held territories have been confronted with stark choices: convert to Islam, flee or die.
- Please pray that God will protect and deliver to safety those abducted by IS.
- Pray that He will comfort and provide for those who have had to flee their homes.
- Pray for an end to the bloodshed in Syria and across the Middle East.
(Sources: Associated Press, Middle East Concern)
Lawyers for South Sudanese pastors Yat Michael and Peter Reith have launched a fresh appeal, this time with Sudan’s Attorney General, against a travel ban imposed on the pair after their release from custody on August 5. The pastors, who were acquitted of serious charges (Prayer Alert, August 6), have been prevented from leaving Sudan. It appears that prosecution lawyers did not follow the correct judicial process in filing for the ban in court. Pray that our brothers will be allowed to leave Sudan and rebuild their lives. (Source: Christian Solidarity Worldwide)
Thank God for the release of Huang Yizi, pastor of Fengwu Church in Pingyang, Zhejiang, China, after he served a one-sentence for protesting against the ongoing church demolition and cross-removal campaign by officials (Prayer Alert, March 27). Pastor Huang was reported to look ‘weak’ on his release: his church’s cross remains at risk of removal. (Source: China Aid)