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.

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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.


VOMC Prayer Alert: Pray for God’s perfect peace to calm the distraught hearts of the kidnapped girls and their families

nigerian mothersIt has recently been reported that the northeastern Nigerian town of Chibok (in Borno state) has been seized by Boko Haram militants. Since the group’s abduction of more than 200 schoolgirls in April of 2014, this mainly Christian town has been frequently mentioned in international news headlines. Boko Haram has also repeatedly targeted the villages surrounding Chibok in recent months in its fight to create an Islamic state within Nigeria.

Borno state senator Ali Ndume reported that security forces posted in Chibok ran from the area during the attack as they were greatly outnumbered by the insurgents. A vigilante who was present at the time, in his effort to assist with the defense of the town, now serves as an eye witness of the scene. “You couldn’t count (the militants) because there were so many,” he testifies. “All the security and the soldiers ran away and left us on our own. They didn’t shoot at them, they just ran. All the ammunition we had was finished, so there was no way we could attempt to hold the area.”

Since the kidnapping of the schoolgirls, much concern has been raised over the fact that the area is not well protected. As a result, thousands of Chibok residents have fled their hometown community, hoping to find safety in other parts of the country.

Let us pray for God’s perfect peace to calm the distraught hearts of the kidnapped girls and their families, as well as those of their once close-knit Chibok community (Philippians 4:7).

The Voice of the Martyrs Canada

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VOM Australia Persecution Alert: India… Tensions erupting in Chhattisgarh’s southern Bastar district

13 Nov 2014

INDIA: Tensions Erupt in Bastar District

vomc india

Tensions are erupting in Chhattisgarh’s southern Bastar district as violent persecution with impunity becomes prevalent.

At least 50 villages have banned all non-Hindu religious practice. In many places Christians are being denied food rations and access to water. Churches are being attacked and Christians assaulted without the authorities intervening, which guarantees that the situation will escalate.

Officials in Madota invited Christians to meet with them for mediation on 25 October. The Christians attended but nobody else did. Then, in the evening, a truck arrived with 50 Hindu militants who attacked the defenceless Christians with knives, swords and axes.  Fifteen believers were wounded and 12 required hospitalisation for serious injuries. Many Christians have fled. Impunity is almost inevitable.

Source: Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin

 

Prayer Points

  • Pray the Lord will protect and provide for believers; ask Him to give them the resolve to continue to follow and serve Him in spite of the severe opposition. Intercede for those who are injured.
  • Pray the Lord will stir those in authority to act justly and seek peace for all citizens.
  • Pray the believers will be able to love and forgive their attackers and by doing so act as a compelling witness for the love, strength and authority of Jesus Christ.

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INDIA: Church Attacked, Pastor Assaulted in Uttar Pradesh

VOM NZ Persecution Alert: Vietnam

17Vietnamese police employed thugs to ransack a church center and drag away nine Christians, who were then charged with not having proper ID papers – documents officials had confiscated from them in previous raids. The unregistered Mennonite Church led by Pastor Quang has been regularly attacked by police and gangs since June.

Pastor Quang and other church leaders issued an emergency, worldwide appeal following Wednesday night’s attack.

(Here are two excerpts from that appeal)

“They send gangs and thugs, strangers, masked people, and police of various units to harass and arrest us during the day and the night, when we worship, when we pray, when we have Bible study, when we have children’s classes, when we eat together, when we have school ceremonies” “We hope that members of our faith community everywhere will pray for our Mennonite church in Binh Duong at this time” they conclude. (Source: Morning Star, Release International, photo Vom USA)

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Bos News Life: NEWS ALERT: Iran House Church Christian Released From Prison

NEWS ALERT: Iran House Church Christian Released From Prison

Monday, November 17, 2014 (11:19 pm)

By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent BosNewsLife

christiansIranTEHRAN, IRAN (BosNewsLife)– A Christian involved in an underground house church in Iran has been granted “conditional release” from prison, but Iranian Christians remain concerned about a fellow believer serving a five-year-sentence, supporters told BosNewsLife Monday, November 17.

Homayoun Shokouhi was freed last week, November 10, though Iranian Christians said they “request prayer” for another Christian, Masoud Rezai, who was reportedly summoned on November 9 to start his five-year sentence in an Iranian jail.

Shokouhi, his wife Fariba and son Nima were among eight people detained in southern Shiraz city in 2012 when their house church was raided by security forces, Christians said.

In June 2012 the eight believers were found guilty of “attending a house-church, spreading Christianity, having contact with foreign ministries, propaganda against the regime and disrupting national security,” explained Middle East Concern (MEC), a group assisting the Christians with advocacy.

Homayoun and three others were sentenced to 3 years and 8 months’ imprisonment; one of the others, Mohammad-Reza, was released conditionally in May this year.

FAMILY APPLICATION

However after “an application of his family to the Shiraz court”, Homayoun was also released “conditionally…after serving two years and eight months of his sentence in Adel-Abad prison,” MEC told BosNewsLife.

The exact conditions were not immediately known, but their release raised hope for Mojtaba Hosseini and Vahid Hakkani Kourosh who remained jailed Monday, November 17.

Yet, Christians raised concern over the plight of Rezai who was among nine members of the evangelical ‘Church of Iran’ movement detained in Shiraz city in October 2012 when their prayer meeting was raided.

On November 9 he was “called to Adel Abad prison [in] Shiraz to serve his sentence of five years,”MEC said.

Two other ‘Church of Iran’ Christians, Eskandar Rezai and Bijan Farokhpour Haghighi, were expected to be summoned soon to serve their prison terms of one and three years respectively, according to Iranians familiar with the case.

PRAYERS URGED

They said they had urged prayers that “Eskandar and Bijan will know the Lord’s presence and support as they wait to be summoned to serve their prison sentences.”

Besides them, church members Mohammad Roghangir was sentenced to six years in prison, Mehdi Ameruni to three years and Shahin Lahouti and Suroush Saraie to two and half years imprisonment. Charges against Roxana Forghi were dropped while Shahin Lahouti was released from prison in December 2013, trial observers said.

While devoted Iranian Christians “give thanks [to God] for Homayoun’s release, they request…prayers that [he] will know physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual healing,” MEC said, referring to apparent prison mistreatment, at a time when “he and his family come together”.

In statements released by MEC, Iranian Christians also said they were praying that “Masoud and all other believers imprisoned in Shiraz will know the Lord’s presence, comfort and strength, and that they will be released soon.”

Additionally, they hope that “all prisoners in Iran will be treated with respect and dignity, as beings created in the image of God” and that “officials involved will love mercy, act justly, learn about Jesus and choose to follow Him.”

Iranian authorities have expressed concern about the apparent spread of evangelical Christianity, with house churches spreading throughout the strictly Islamic nation, despite reported prosecution.