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.

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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.

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.

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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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