VOM–USA Prayer Update for January 22, 2010

The Voice of the Martyrs USA: www.persecution.com
“Work without prayer is atheism; and prayer without work is presumption.” R W Dale
Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. James 5:16

MALAYSIA — Churches Firebombed — The Associated Press

Psalm 91:4
He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler.

Seven churches have been attacked in Malaysia following a court decision that allows Christians to use “Allah” when referring to God, according to The Associated Press (AP). The attacks began on Jan. 8 and 9, when four churches were hit with firebombs. On Sunday, Jan. 10, three churches were firebombed. Despite the attacks, thousands of Christians attended services and prayed for unity and an end to the attacks. The attacks followed a Dec. 31 High Court decision overturning a government ban prohibiting non-Muslims from using the word “Allah” in prayers and literature. The court had ruled on a petition by Malaysia's Roman Catholic Church, whose main publication, the Herald, uses the word “Allah” in its Malay-language edition. The government has appealed the verdict. Pray that believers will show grace and love toward the attackers and that their testimonies will draw nonbelievers into fellowship with Christ.

ALGERIA — UPDATE: Church Burned — VOM Contacts

Acts 4:29–31
Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus.” And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.

On Jan. 10, Muslim extremists set fire to Tafath church in Tizi Ouzou, Algeria, damaging church property, according to The Voice of the Martyrs contacts. The Tafath church has been threatened since December, when extremists disrupted a Christmas celebration. “As Christians continued to come for worship to this church despite the increasing intimidation, the Muslim extremists decided to burn the church,” VOM contacts said. A few days before the attack, extremists broke into the church and stole valuable electronic equipment. On Dec. 26, about 20 Muslim extremists tried to prevent members of Tafath church from holding a service. Extremists confronted believers and barred them from entering the building. “This land is the land of Islam! Go pray somewhere else,” some of the protestors reportedly said. The Voice of the Martyrs encourages you to pray for this congregation and especially their pastor, Mustafa Krierch, and his family. Pray that God will protect these Algerian believers and that their courageous testimony will draw nonbelievers to Christ.

IRAQ — Elderly Christian Killed — VOM Canada / Asia News

Romans 8:34–36
Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: “ For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”

On Jan. 11, Hikmat Sleiman, a 75-year-old Christian man, was shot to death by unknown assailants in Mosul, Iraq, according to VOM Canada and Asia News. Sleiman had just returned home from closing his grocery shop when a group of assailants opened fire, killing him instantly. Local Christians see his murder and a string of other recent attacks against believers as evidence of “ethnic cleansing” designed to force Christians from the area. Some believe Muslim extremists are targeting shopkeepers in an effort to wipe out the Christian community’s economic activity and drive believers from the area. Pray for comfort for those mourning the loss of Hikmat Sleiman. Pray that his attackers will come to know the Lord as their Savior. Pray that Christians in Mosul will be filled with Christ’s peace during in these difficult times.

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Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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