Pastors Su Tianfu and Yang Hua were refused a hearing to contest a £800,000 fine against Huoshi Church in Guizhou, for receiving ‘illegal income’ through members’ giving. Yang is in jail for ‘divulging state secrets’; Su faces the same charge.
Chinese officials barred Pastor Wang Yi from travelling to Hong Kong to attend a Christian training conference in September. Pray that God will make a way for Chinese Christians to attend such gatherings: travel restrictions are tightening.
Ask God to protect Christians in Jiangsu province who have been investigated over their connections to churches overseas.
Members of a house church in Ezhou, Hubei province, were recently beaten by government-hired thugs. The church has been meeting outdoors since January when officials confiscated its chairs.
Churches in Henan were forbidden to organise young people’s summer camps. State approved churches there now have to seek approval for all large-scale religious activities.
In Wenzhou, Zhejiang province, children have been banned from attending church and congregations ordered to cancel all activities involving teenagers.
In Guangzhou, Guangdong province, police visited members of unregistered churches in their homes to warn them not to attend worship services. Pray for wisdom for these Christians.
Chinese officials recently launched a crackdown on churches across the country, banning worship in unregistered churches and trying to stop Christianity being taught to children. Pray that our family in China will remain steadfast in their faith.
Pray for the release of Pastor ‘Bulus’, a Christian Fulani who turned his back on Islam. Angered by his conversion, his family made false accusations of theft against him, which landed him in jail.
Pray that peace will be restored to Jos, capital of central Plateau state, after inter-religious violence broke out in September. Conflict between Christian Igbo and Hausa Muslims in south-east Nigeria reportedly inspired attacks on Christians in Jos.
Pray for wisdom and firm resolve for the Government in restoring peace to Nigeria’s Middle Belt where mainly Muslim Hausa-Fulani herdsmen regularly attack Christians.
Ask God to bind up Nigeria’s broken-hearted. Elizabeth Tumba lost everything when Boko Haram destroyed her home and murdered her husband. The family are receiving support from a Release associate ministry.
Pray for Nadeem Masih, 24, from Gujrat, Punjab, who has been sentenced to death for ‘blasphemy’ after being convicted of sending messages defaming Islam’s prophet, Mohammad. His friends say he has been falsely accused.
‘Simon’, a teenager from Punjab who scraped together a living by recycling discarded objects, was attacked, tortured and arrested after a fellow recycler who bore him a grudge made false accusations of ‘blasphemy’ against him. Pray for Simon’s release and his protection.
Ask the Holy Spirit to touch the hearts of Sharoon’s classmates, their parents and teachers, and all in the community affected by his death. Pray that they will reject extremism and intolerance.
Sharoon Masih, 17, was killed on his second day at secondary school – apparently after classmates objected to him drinking from a glass used by Muslim students. Sharoon was the only Christian in his class. Ask God to comfort his family.
Pray for justice for 18-year-old ‘Alian’ from Punjab who suffered a brutal sexual assault. Local police were reluctant to investigate and allegedly tried to pressure Alian and his family to drop the case.
Ask God to sustain and strengthen His people in Pakistan, amid severe persecution and relentless discrimination. Pray in faith that Pakistan will start to champion and uphold religious liberties.
Please continue to pray for President Isaias Afewerki, that God will touch his heart and bring him to repentance. He is originally from Eritrea’s mainly Christian highlands.
The church in Eritrea has been under intense pressure since 2002. Pray that God will multiply His people in this East African nation, and raise up strong and wise leaders for them.
Ask God to give a fresh revelation of His unfailing love and faithfulness to the many prisoners of faith being held in inhumane conditions in Eritrea’s prisons. One of the prisoners arrested in May, Fikadu Debesay from Adi Quala, has already died in custody.
There are now an estimated 400 prisoners of faith in Eritrea. Numbers have increased sharply in recent months, due to a crackdown on churches which began in May. More than 50 children were left without one or more parents as a result of mass arrests.
Praise God for the way that persecuted Christians like gospel singer Helen Berhane who have fled from Eritrea are using their testimony to spread awareness of persecution and challenge the Western church to greater boldness in spreading the good news.
On the International Day of Prayer (IDOP) for the persecuted church, let’s pray that our precious brothers and sisters in Eritrea and around the world will be comforted and encouraged to know they are becoming more like Jesus by sharing in His suffering.
Pray for improved relations between Christians and Muslims in Ezbat El-Sheikh Nageim village in Minya. Muslims rioted after two Christians were accused of ‘insulting Islam’ in social media comments about a bus attack in which 28 Copts died.