Prayer Alert VOM Aus: VIETNAM: No Sanctuary for Degar Christians

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VIETNAM: No Sanctuary for Degar Christians

The Degar, or Montagnards, are collectively the indigenous tribal people of Vietnam. Today a remnant still survives in the Central Highlands, although systematic repression and violent persecution at the hands of the Communist regime in Hanoi threatens their existence.

Hanoi deems Degar Christianity a “reactionary” and “evil” religion. Those refusing to renounce their faith may expect prison and torture. Many have fled into Cambodia, which rejects them as illegal migrants and repatriates them at Vietnam’s request.

On 11 September the Cambodian government gave the UN refugee agency in Phnom Penh three months to repatriate some 200 Degar Christians or Cambodian security forces will do it themselves.

Vietnam has indicated that it is “ready to receive” the Montagnards and has assured the UNHCR that “it will not discriminate against or punish them.” But as noted by the deputy director of Human Rights Watch’s Asia division, Phil Robertson, Vietnam’s assurances cannot be trusted, for Degar believers have been lured back before only to be arrested and tortured on arrival.

Source: Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin

Prayer Points

  • Pray the Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen will protect the Degar Christian refugees.
  • Pray Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang will end the repression and violent persecution of Vietnam’s indigenous Degar Christians and that this crisis will shine a spotlight on Vietnam’s critical decline in religious freedom.
  • Pray the Lord will intervene for the Degar church; may they know His presence, comfort, provision and protection.

mapa vietnam

Alert from China Aid: Gao Zhisheng kidnapped again

Gao Zhisheng kidnapped again following release of experiences, torture details

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Gao Zhisheng

(Photo: China Aid)

China Aid
By Rachel Ritchie

(Yulin, Shaanxi—Sept. 24, 2015) China Aid just learned the human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng, who authorized the release of details concerning his torture in a Chinese prison yesterday, has been kidnapped, as he predicted would happen.

Sources say Public Security Bureau officers arrived at Gao’s home at approximately 1 p.m. and began frantically searching for Gao.

Gao previously told China Aid that he expected to be detained again after the release of his interviews with China Aid and the Associated Press and that he was prepared to be disappeared in to police custody.

He told China Aid founder and president, Bob Fu, that he was also prepared to be tortured again, because “torture can’t truly hurt” him anymore—that the Chinese dictators will be hurt the most by their actions. Gao added that he does not hate his persecutors.

China Aid calls for President Obama to immediately and resolutely press Chinese President Xi Jinping about Gao’s and call for his unconditional and immediate release.

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VOM Mexico asks that you lift Brother Gao in your prayers, for his physical, mental and spiritual health… and that his faith remain as strong as it is today. Also keep in prayer those government funtionaries responsible for his constant surveillance and abuse.

VOM Korea: What Happens When A Christian Is Imprisoned?

What Happens When A Christian Is Imprisoned?

wurmbrand, man and his workPost by Pastor Tim – Some years back North Korea separated imprisoned Christians from the rest of the concentration camp population.  Why?  Because in the midst of their own suffering, imprisoned Christians were a witness to others, and more and more prisoners came to faith in Jesus Christ!  Pastor Foley wrote about one such North Korean prison story – if you haven’t read it yet, it is worth your time.

I was reminded by this as I read Richard Wurmbrand: The Man and His Work, by Merv Knight, co-founder of Voice of the Martyrs Australia. He told the story of Nikolai Khamara who died because of being tortured in prison.  He had been tortured in severe and horrifying ways, which included burns, wounds, bruises and having his tongue cut out.  In the book Extreme Devotion, it is recorded that when threatened with having his tongue cut out Khamara replied,

Praise the Lord Jesus Christ.  There, I have said the highest words that can be said.  And if you wish, you can now cut out my tongue (Extreme Devotion, Day 264).

But what was most amazing to me was not the fact that Khamara suffered and died for the cause of Christ, but that he was originally arrested and imprisoned for robbery.  Khamara was not a Christian . . . he was a thief.  In his own words he said “I am a lost man.”  But while he was serving a 10 year prison sentence for his crimes, he was surrounded by Christians imprisoned for their faith.

Merv Knight recounted what happened to him while in prison.  He said,

Khamara watched the Christians and wondered what kind of beings they were.  They were men, but they would show joy despite their suffering and would sing in very dark hours.  When they had a piece of bread, they shared it with someone who had none.  Their faces would shine as they spoke to someone whom Khamara could not see. (pg. 18)

Through the witness of these Christians, and the realization that he was a lost man, Khamara gave his life to Christ in a prison cell.  Khamara’s life was forever changed because of the witness of those Christians who were imprisoned for their faith.

Whether it’s the more recent stories of North Korean Christians in concentration camps, or the documented stories of Christians imprisoned under the Soviet Union . . . one thing seems to always be the same – even in the worst places, Christians are sharing the gospel and Jesus is redeeming lives.

Not even prison camps or concentration camps can change that.

PTL: VOMC / VOM Australia / VOM USA: Upcoming Release of Christian Bookstore Worker!

Upcoming Release of Christian Bookstore Worker!

Wenxi Li

Former bookstore employee, Wenxi Li, is currently scheduled for release from a Shanxi province prison on December 18th. Wenxi, who is from Beijing, had travelled to Shanxi province to help local Christians open a new bookstore. Police raided the new business and confiscated hundreds of books. On December 19, 2012, Wenxi was asked to come to the police station in order to retrieve the $6,000 worth of books that had been seized by authorities. Upon his arrival, he was immediately arrested and sent to prison. The bookstore worker was later denied bail and then sentenced to two years in prison on June 17, 2013. VOMC’s initial report, which provides more details of his arrest, can be found here.

Wenxi’s family is cautiously optimistic that he will be released on schedule. Although since being transferred a few months ago to the prison where he’s currently being detained, he has received better overall treatment and was even permitted to make sporadic five-minute calls to members of the family. His wife, Cai Hong Li, reports that he sounds encouraged and is in good health. She is also thankful that while in prison, Wenxi was able to share the Gospel with other inmates and, as a result, several have become Christians.

Though Cai Hong hopes her husband will take some time to rest after his return home, she told VOM staff that he is passionate about the bookstore ministry and will likely want to return to this work as soon as he is released. She then asked for prayer for his forthcoming release and, additionally, for the improvement of her health as Wenxi’s imprisonment has been very difficult on their family.

How encouraging to receive this news of Wenxi’s soon-approaching release from prison! May there be no delay of schedule concerning his release, so he can be reunited with his family in time for Christmas…a gift they will most certainly treasure this season. May the transition go smoothly, bringing needed healing and restoration to each member of his family after the ordeal they’ve all experienced. Let us also pray for Wenxi’s friend and bookstore co-worker, Lacheng Ren, and others who are imprisoned in China for their faith. Ask the Lord to mediate on their behalf as well, while caring for them and their families throughout the legal processes. In the meantime, as in the case of Wenxi, may they have opportunities to lead many to Christ.

VOM Australia / Nigeria: A Young Child’s Terrible Encounter with Boko Haram

VOM Australia / Nigeria Prayer Alert 11 Dec 2014

NIGERIA: A Young Child’s Terrible Encounter with Boko Haram

vomc NigeriaAfter a brutal attack on Christian worshippers on Sunday 22 November in Attagara, Hassan was running back home holding his ‘Children’s Bible’ when three Islamic insurgents grabbed him and sat him down.

According to an eye witness, one of the insurgents wanted to take the Children’s Bible from Hassan’s hand but the little boy refused. The Muslim insurgent snatched the Bible by force and threw it into a nearby burning fire. Hassan ran to where the fire was to rescue his Bible.

While he was struggling with a stick to remove his Bible from the fire, an insurgent hit three-year-old Hassan on the head with the butt of an AK47 and pushed the little child into the fire. Not satisfied, he proceed to step on Hassan’s head and pressed the head of the child into the fire, all the while railing curses and abuses on the boy and calling him ‘stubborn infidel.’

nigeria boyThe heartless Muslim left Hassan and walked away.

Hassan survived the attack but was badly burned (scroll down to view image of Hassan).

Source: Voice of the Christian Martyrs Nigeria

Prayer Points

  • On behalf of Hassan and others like him who have suffered at the hands of Boko Haram, cry out to the Lord to bring justice to an unjust world; ask Him to protect and preserve His people (Psalm 140).
  • Pray the Lord will bless this young child with a strong faith, endurance and an unquenchable desire to love and serve the Lord all his life.
  • Pray the Lord will completely heal this young child, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Related Content

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NIGERIA: 48 Students Dead as Bomb Explodes during Assembly

NIGERIA: Christian villages attacked

VOMC Special Prayer Alert: India… Madhya Pradesh province

The Voice of the Martyrs (Canada)

 vomc indiaEight Christians in India have been imprisoned following a brutal attack in which a pastor and seven members of his congregation were stripped naked, whipped with belts, and punched before being arrested by local police.

On November 4th, Reverend Rana had just begun a meeting with members of Bethel Pentecostal Church in Madhya Pradesh province to prepare for a prayer service when a mob of local Hindu radicals, known as the Bajrang Dal, stormed abruptly into the meeting. Following the mob’s brutal attack, police arrived on the scene and surprisingly arrested the eight victimized Christians.

It is reported that the arrested believers have been imprisoned under India’s anti-conversion laws. These laws mandate that anyone wanting to convert from Hinduism (or trying to convert a Hindu) must seek permission from the government, providing a 30-day advance notice.

Please pray for these suffering brothers and sisters in Christ. Ask God to encourage and strengthen Reverend Rana and his faithful congregants, reminding them that it is a privilege to face such opposition since Jesus Himself was also persecuted (John 15:20).

Prayer Alert: VIETNAM: Bible College Attacked for Seventh Time

VIETNAM: Bible College Attacked for Seventh Time

Sources: VOM Canada Ministry Partners, VOM Australia

Mennonite Bible College after the attack.

On November 2nd, Pastor Nguyen Hong Quang was leading his Bible college church in southern Vietnam when nearly 300 perpetrators began throwing stones and other objects at the church. This most recent attack damaged areas of the building that had just been repaired after previous similar incidences of violence.

“We had to cover the front of the church with timber to protect us from rubber bullets, rocks and rotten eggs,” says Pastor Nguyen, following this recent attack on the Mennonite Bible School in Binh Duong province. Still in shock from the mayhem caused by the perpetrators, some of the church members were also followed home and physically assaulted.

In June of this year, police, government officials and hired thugs broke down the gate of the college and began ransacking the buildings. Both male and female students, as well as their pastoral instructors, were rounded up and beaten. (For more information on the incident, click here.There is also a video clip online, featuring an interview with Pastor Nguyen Hong Quang that took place a few years ago.)

Since the initial June attack, those affiliated with the college have suffered from repeated arrests and other difficulties resulting from the main water and electricity supplies having been cut off. In addition, Pastor Nguyen often receives calls from strangers threatening to bomb the school if it’s not removed from the area. (For more information on the difficulties facing Pastor Nguyen and other believers in Vietnam, go to our online country report.)

Ask the Lord to give Pastor Nguyen and the students of this Bible college the ability to unconditionally love their enemies as our Lord has instructed (Matthew 5:44). Despite the repeated violence and senseless damage of their facility’s buildings and property, may these men and women be greatly encouraged over the fact that no one can ever rob them of their love for Jesus and the lasting spiritual investments they are making through the study of God’s infallible Word. For in the process, they are laying up treasures in heaven, rather than here on this earth where material things corrode and thieves break in and steal (Matthew 6:20). Also pray that God’s divine protection and supernatural power will enable His people in Vietnam to persevere and overcome the enemy’s strategies so that the light of the Gospel will banish the realm of darkness over this Communist nation.