Pastor Zafar Recovers from a Heart Attack in Prison

Pastor Zafar Bhatti has been in prison since 2012 after being charged for sending text messages that offended certain people in the community. He was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2017. You can read the full story in our March/April 2020 Stand! magazine.

Pastor Zafar, a diabetic, suffers from eyesight problems and has had 2 minor heart attacks in 2019. He experienced another heart attack on 3rd September. Although he received swift medical attention and is now recovering, there are concerns for his physical and mental well-being.

Due to threats from fellow inmates, Zafar is presently being held under tight security. He is appealing against his sentence, but the hearings have been repeatedly delayed. However, his faith in Christ remains strong.

Please pray that Pastor Zafar will be proven innocent and released from prison. Pray for his safety whilst he remains in prison and that he will receive timely and proper medical treatment. Pray that God will care and provide for his wife Nawab Bibi, who has had to struggle to make ends meet to support herself and their children in the absence of Pastor Zafar.

Pray that the hearts of Pastor Zafar’s opposers will be radically transformed and they will witness God’s light shining through Pastor Zafar’s life and countenance. As he continues to faithfully express the love and goodness of Christ, may many others in Pakistan come to a point of repentance and salvation in Christ.

 

(Source & Photo Credit : VOMC)

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Charged for Homeschooling Kids


Pastor You Guanda, of Dianqian Church in Xiamen city, and his wife are facing possible charges for choosing to homeschool their own children instead of sending them to public school for education. The Dianqian Church’s worship services were disbanded last year and the church facility demolished earlier this year.

Pray for Pastor You and his family. Pray that God will protect them and give them the wisdom to handle the situation. Pray for strength and courage to weather the challenges they are facing now.

 

(Source : CBN News, Photo Credit : Internet)

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Indian Christians Facing Rising Threats

Christians in India are facing horrific levels of violence inspired by intolerance against Christianity. On August 21st, “Prasanna Kumar” (whose name has been changed for security reasons) was attacked and brutally beaten by 10 men for nearly 2 hours in Uttar Pradesh. He was accused of forcibly converting people to Christianity. The men pulled Pastor Kumar from his motorcycle and threw him to the ground, where they relentlessly kicked and beat him with wooden clubs.  They also promised to kill him if he ever returned to the village.

In another Indian state, Badaguda, Odisha state, followers of traditional tribal religions have blamed the prayers of Christians for driving away their gods. One village headman told a pastor, “When you pray, our gods leave us. So you must stop praying. We will not let you conduct prayers inside the village.” The Christians had to erect a temporary shelter for worship outside the village, but it was later destroyed and the church members beaten. These Christians were accused of “disturbing the peace” and threatened with arrest should they continue to gather for worship.

Pray for Pastor Kumar and many other Christians who are facing persecution because of their faith in Christ. Pray that they will receive both physical and emotional healing, and be strengthened in the Lord.

Pray that the Lord will strengthen and protect His followers as they rebuild their Christian communities, share their stories of faith, and encourage others who have experienced the trauma of persecution.

Pray against discrimination and intolerance towards Christians and that justice will prevail in every case where our brothers and sisters were falsely accused.

 

(Source & Photo Credit : VOMC)

#persecuted Church

Teen Girls Kidnapped & Forced to Marry

On April 28th, 14-year-old Christian girl, Maira Shahbaz, was abducted at gunpoint by Mohamad Nakash and his two accomplices while she was walking to her home near Faisalabad. She was then forced to convert to another faith and marry her abductor. The teen girl’s parents challenged the validity of the marriage. However, both the conversion and marriage was deemed as legal and Maira was ordered to remain with her abductor and “be a good wife”.  According to recent reports, Maira managed to escape her captor and is now in hiding somewhere in the Faisalabad area, along with her mother and siblings.

On July 22nd, 15-year-old Christian girl, Saneha Kinza Iqbal, was kidnapped on her way to church by Saeed Amanat, a 30-year-old married man with four children. Saeed is a security guard at a hospital in Faisalabad where Shaneha’s mother was admitted for treatment in June. During this time, he became familiar with the young girl, finding out where she lived. A neighbour reported seeing Saeed in a vehicle with Saneha. When confronted, the abductor’s father promised that Saneha would be returned to her family but he later reneged on that promise.

While Saneha’s fate is not known at this point, her family is concerned that she will be forcibly converted to another faith and married to her abductor, similar to the situations facing Maira and another young teen girl, Huma Younus.

Pray for Maira, Saneha, Huma, and other previously abducted Christian girls. Pray that God will mightily intervene by rendering His justice in each of their cases. Pray that He will also provide the much needed help and consolation to their distraught families.

Pray for divine protection and that God’s ministering angels will surround each of these girls, their loved ones, and all who courageously advocate on their behalf. Pray that His Holy Spirit’s conviction be upon the abductors, and all who encourage such crimes against vulnerable teen girls, bringing to light the seriousness of their wrongful actions so they will acknowledge their need for repentance and endeavour to do what is right.

Please share this prayer request.

 

(Source & Photo Credit : VOMC)

#persecuted Church

Young Man Set Free

Khamla was devastated when his wife left him. In his extreme sorrow, he had a strange encounter as he walked past a religious place of worship. After this encounter, he started acting strange. He became violently strong and unable to communicate.

His parents and the community were so desperate that they locked him in a cage. His parents made many animal sacrifices to the spirits and invited multiple witch doctors to help him, but nothing worked. Finally, they turned to the Christians, who sent believers to pray for Khamla every day. After a month of prayers, Khamla was completely healed and calm. He was then let out of the cage.

Because of this miraculous transformation, Khamla, his parents and siblings all gave their lives to Christ. Many others in the village also began to show an interest in Christianity. This worried village authorities who subsequently declared that only Khamla and his family could remain Christians, but no one else in the village could, and forbade Khamla and his family from leading others to Christ.

Pray that Khamla and his family will be anointed with divine wisdom to know what to do. Pray that they will grow in spiritual maturity and knowledge of the Word of God. Pray that their powerful testimonies will result in many other people receiving healing and transformation as they repent and receive salvation in Christ.

Pray that the Lord will break down all barriers, fears and misconceptions about Christianity and the gospel message, and the truth will set them free (John 8:32).

Do share this prayer request.

 

(Source & Photo Credit : VOM)

#persecuted Church

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