Voice of the Martyrs Prayer Update for week of may 27th & 20th 2011

The Voice of the Martyrs USA: www.persecution.com

Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we may boldly say: “The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” Hebrews 13:5–6

China—Government Imposes New Regulations on “Illegal” House Churches—VOM Sources

Ephesians 3:10
to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places,

The pastors of some of China’s house churches are facing new restrictions, according to VOM workers. The pastors must provide police with weekly reports detailing their whereabouts and how many people attend their meetings. If pastors travel outside their city, they must report their plans, and they are restricted to short trips. If the pastors fail to report and police are unable to contact them, they are arrested. VOM workers say these regulations primarily target large house churches that organize under a specific name, advertise and meet publicly. House churches, which operate outside the official state church, are illegal under Chinese law. But because of the house church movement’s rapid growth in recent years, the government is struggling to deal with these churches. Pray for the house churches in China, especially those that have been targeted by these new regulations, and ask God to grant their leaders wisdom.

Chiapas—Evicted Christians to Return to Community—VOM Sources

1 Corinthians 4:10–12
We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are distinguished, but we are dishonored! To the present hour we both hunger and thirst, and we are poorly clothed, and beaten, and homeless. And we labor, working with our own hands. Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we endure;

Thirty-two Christians in Chiapas, Mexico, say they are ready to return to the community where their neighbors torched their homes and stole their livestock. The group fled the area in January 2010 after being forcibly evicted by a mob of 200. The Christians had been worshiping in a believer’s home for almost a year because the same mob had destroyed their church. Members of the community were unhappy that the Christians would not contribute to or participate in religious drinking festivals held in their town. The Christians filed a court case requesting compensation for their burned homes, but they have seen no progress since the government loaned them the use of a large home in another city. The 32 believers have decided they will return to their community on June 15, with or without government help. “It is time to go home,” they say, “and win the others to Christ, whatever the cost.” Pray for these Christians and others who have been run out of their communities because of their Christian faith.

Azerbaijan—Fines and “Preventative Talks” for Praise Church—Forum 18 News Service

Psalm 31
In You, O LORD, I put my trust;
Let me never be ashamed;
Deliver me in Your righteousness…

Two Christians from the Praise Church in the city of Sumgait were fined for attending an “illegal” meeting on Sunday, May 15. Elchin and Afar Pashaev were fined $190 under Azerbaijan’s Code of Administrative Offenses for attending a religious meeting at a location other than the Praise Church’s registered address. About 40 church members had gathered at the “Blue Lake” restaurant for their Sunday meeting, but it was interrupted by the police raid at about 11:30 a.m. “Police wrote down the names of all those present; then all were taken by bus to the police station,” a Christian told Forum 18 News. Only Elchin and his wife, Afar, were fined, but the Interior Ministry reported that police conducted “preventative talks” with other church members. In recent years, state control of religious activity has sharply increased in Azerbaijan. Amendments to the religion law in 2009 established penalties for religious activities not specifically authorized by the state. Pray for the church in Azerbaijan.

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

VOM-USA Prayer Update for May 20, 2011
On Thu. May 19 2011 at 08:45 AM Moderator wrote:

Colombia--Violence Intensifies in Colombia
VOM Sources

Romans 1:16

VOM workers are on high alert as violence continues to increase in Colombia. On the morning of May 12, a bomb exploded in Puerto Lleras, killing several policemen and injuring bystanders. In addition, FARC guerrillas have openly murdered individuals on town streets and burned buses throughout the region. The guerrillas have reportedly been conducting an internal purge, killing many of their own and accusing them of being traitors to the communist cause. VOM contacts believe some of those killed were secret Christians. "In all our ... years in Colombia, we have never seen it this unstable," said a VOM contact. "Yet we believe that this is also the most opportune time that we have ever seen for the gospel." The contact said he cannot come close to supplying all the Bibles being requested by those turning to the Lord. Pray for Christian workers in Colombia as they struggle to sustain their various ministry efforts amid the increasing violence. Pray that many within the communist movement will turn to Christ.

Egypt--12 Killed in Religious Riots
Release International

Psalm 23

Seven Coptic Christians and five Muslims were killed during religious riots in the Imbaba district of Cairo on May 7-8. In addition to those killed, more than 230 people were injured and a church was gutted by fire. The violence broke out on Saturday evening after hard-line Salafi Muslims claimed the St. Mina Coptic Church was holding a woman against her will. Thousands of Muslims descended on the area, prompting Coptic residents to barricade the streets around the church. At about 7 p.m., attackers started throwing firebombs at Coptic-owned property, and Copts retaliated by throwing glass and stones. Police arrested 190 people in connection with the violence. Pray that Copts and moderate Muslims across Egypt will take a stand against further religious violence.

Arabian Peninsula--New Believer Avoids Forced Marriage
VOM Sources

2 Thessalonians 1:3–4

By God's grace, a new "secret" believer has avoided an arranged marriage with a Muslim man. In the tradition of her country, "Fatima's" father had selected a husband for her. She was worried about being forced to marry a man she didn't know, but Fatima's mentors encouraged her to pray for her husband-to-be rather than rebelling against her father. Recently, Fatima's family discovered that the man doesn't have a job, so the marriage will very likely be canceled. In Fatima's country, women must be completely covered in public, and they are often accompanied by a male family member. A woman cannot choose a spouse without her family's permission. Pray for Fatima. Another man could propose marriage, and she could be forced by her family to accept. Pray that Fatima will grow in faith before she faces further persecution.

© 2011 The Voice of the Martyrs


What is all of this May 21st 'end of the world' about?

Citing Bible, group insists Jesus is returning May 21
End-timers face ho-hums
Thursday, April 14, 2011 03:08 AM
By Meredith Heagney

Billy Wood, left, questions Darryl Keitt of Newark, N.J., about how the May 21 date of "judgment day" was calculated. Keitt explained his beliefs Downtown yesterday.

The doomsday group called Project Caravan passed through Columbus this week on their nationwide tour to talk about the second coming of Jesus and the end of the world.

Told that their days were numbered - 38, to be exact - the workers and walkers Downtown reacted without alarm.

They just kept on chatting, or waiting for a bus, or taking a smoke break, even as Darryl Keitt, 51, was doing his best to tell them that the end of the world will begin May 21.

As in, five weeks from Saturday.

Keitt, of Newark, N.J., is part of a group traveling the country in RVs, telling people that a complicated biblical code reveals the exact date of the second coming of Christ.

On that day, Keitt says, a great earthquake will roll across the Earth. The dead will be spit out of their tombs, and Jesus will arrive to take "the elect" with him to heaven. Everybody else will have a pretty bad five months to endure before the world officially ends on Oct. 21.

"All I know is I don't want to be here," Keitt said.

Keitt is traveling with a doomsday group called Project Caravan that is sponsored by the Christian broadcast ministry Family Radio, based in Oakland, Calif. So far, they've stopped Downtown and at Ohio State University, where the students were "friendly but arrogant," Keitt said.

The May 21 advocates, who leave for Indiana on Friday, have peppered the Internet and billboards across the country with their message. (Try typing "May 21" into a Google search, and see the top results.)

They seem to have stolen the thunder of other end-timers who claim the world will end in 2012, the year the Mayan calendar runs out.

"This comes up every so many years," said the Rev. Gary DeLashmutt, a pastor of Xenos Christian Fellowship, an evangelical church based in Westerville. He remembers a campaign in 1988 titled "88 Reasons Why Jesus Is Coming Back in 1988."

The Rev. Rich Nathan, pastor of Vineyard Church of Columbus, said people who claim the world is ending always manage to collect a following. An example he cited is a pastor named William Miller, who used the message in 1843 to get thousands of people to sell their homes and businesses.

"Everyone in history who has tried this before was wrong, so it would be best to approach the subject with a huge amount of humility," Nathan said.

Both pastors noted that Jesus says in the Gospel of Matthew that no one will know the day or the hour of the end, except for God himself.

Keitt's group claims there are many places in the Bible in which God gives clues that, put together, reveal the date.

The formula, boiled down, goes something like this: In the Book of Genesis, God tells Noah he will send the destructive flood in seven days. Then, in 2 Peter 3:8, the reader is told that, to God, "a day is like a thousand years."

The great flood is believed to have taken place in 4990 B.C., Keitt said. The year 2011 is 7,001 years after that, but you have to subtract one because "there was no year zero," he said.

The formula to get to the exact date of May 21 is even more convoluted.

Yesterday, Tammy Smith stood outside her High Street office smoking and squinting at Keitt's brochure. She chuckled darkly at the title, printed in all capital letters: THE END OF THE WORLD IS ALMOST HERE!

Smith said she's a Christian and doesn't mind hearing end-of-the-world prophecies. Still, she doubts that anyone will know before it happens.

Dedra Watkins, another Christian, was a little more perturbed. She was waiting for a bus at High and Broad streets when she encountered Keitt. She handed his literature to her 4-year-old sister, ordering her to throw it in the trash can.

"Nobody knows when God is coming," she said. "I'll be ready when he comes."


Heagney, Meredith. "Citing Bible, Group Insists Jesus Is Returning May 21 | The Columbus Dispatch." Central Ohio News, Sports, Arts & Classifieds | The Columbus Dispatch. 14 Apr. 2011. Web. 20 May 2011.


church or synagogue attendance

Gallup International indicates that 41% of American citizens report they regularly attend religious services, compared to 15% of French citizens, 10% of UK citizens, and 7.5% of Australian citizens. (Wikipedia)

Church or synagogue attendance by state (may 2, 2006)

Forty-two percent of Americans say they attend church or synagogue once a week or almost every week. The ranking by state:


Alabama 58%
Louisiana 58%
South Carolina 58%
Mississippi 57%
Utah 55%
Arkansas 55%
Nebraska 53%
North Carolina 53%
Tennessee 52%
Georgia 52%
Oklahoma 50%
Texas 49%
Kentucky 48%
Kansas 47%
West Virginia 46%
Indiana 46%
Missouri 46%
Iowa 46%
South Dakota 45%
Virginia 44%
Minnesota 44%
Delaware 43%
Wisconsin 43%
Idaho 43%
Pennsylvania 43%
North Dakota 43%
Ohio 43%
Illinois 42%
Michigan 42%
National average 42%
Maryland 41%
New Mexico 41%
Florida 39%
Connecticut 37%
Wyoming 36%
Arizona 35%
Colorado 35%
New Jersey 34%
Montana 34%
District of Columbia 33%
New York 33%
Oregon 32%
California 32%
Washington 32%
Maine 31%
Massachusetts 31%
Rhode Island 28%
Nevada 27%
Vermont 24%
New Hampshire 24%


In, a 2006 online Harris Poll of 2,010 U.S. adults (18 and older) found that only 26% of those surveyed attended religious services "every week or more often", 9% went "once or twice a month", 21% went "a few times a year", 3% went "once a year", 22% went "less than once a year", and 18% never attend religious services. An identical survey by Harris in 2003 found that only 26% of those surveyed attended religious services "every week or more often", 11% went "once or twice a month", 19% went "a few times a year", 4% went "once a year", 16% went "less than once a year", and 25% never attend religious services.

Various Sources:

The Gallup Organization

© Copyright 2006 Union-Tribune Publishing Co. • A Copley Newspaper Site


^ "How many people go regularly to weekly religious services?". Religious Tolerance website.
^ "'One in 10' attends church weekly". BBC News. April 3, 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-01.
^ NCLS releases latest estimates of church attendance, National Church Life Survey, Media release, February 28, 2004


Hollywood Prayer Network Newsletter (May 2011)


Dear HPN pray-ers,

Welcome to summer! It’s time for blockbuster films to be released, reruns to start on TV, and for the networks gear up for the new fall season. Let’s pray for the producers, creators, programmers, and distributors of these new films as the nation goes to the movie theatres this summer.


• Join us on Facebook!
• Keep praying for Justin Bieber and Pattie Mallette as they tour the world
• Praise God for all of the National Day of Prayer gatherings on May 5th
• Billy Ray Cyrus withdrew his divorce papers from wife Tish
• Thousands are becoming Christians because of the Bethany Hamilton story
• HPN is joining a national movement of prayer every night for one minute
• Pray for upcoming summer movies, the people involved, and the audiences
• As kids are spending their summer at the movies, let’s encourage them to pray
• Let’s pray for Johnny Depp and his heart as Pirates of the Caribbean opens
• Pray for the new leadership at MTV Networks and Viacom
• Ryan Seacrest has been listed as the fifth most influential man on Twitter
• Pray for God to use the people working in the world of media and technology
• Let’s pray for the inter-net to be available to anyone seeking truth
• Pray for The Waltons actress Mary McDonough
• How to vote for the films we like at the Box Office


• We are changing our facebook presence to the Hollywood Prayer Network Fan Page! Please click on the link and "like" us. Our other facebook presence will be deleted (HPN Net and our group pages) so don't forget to join our fan page!

• Keep praying for Justin Bieber and Pattie Mallette as they tour the world with Justin’s show. He has been getting some rough press and we want to ask the Lord to give them wisdom, strength, favor and a deeper love for Him, regardless of their circumstances. As for prayer, our motto is: Never Give Up, Never Surrender! Check out more details and see a new video from Pattie!


• There were National Day of Prayer gatherings all over the country on May 5th and a few of them were led by HPN members and industry professionals. HPN’s Minneapolis member, Marcy Grams prayed for the Media in Minnesota, Our Atlanta HPN Local Chapter Director, Cassandra Hollis not only prayed for the media this year at their State Capitol, but she and the whole HPN Chapter have already been invited to pray next year at the City of Roswell, GA gathering. And our local Hollywood/LA event at Bel Air Presbyterian Church was awesome. One of our prayer leaders was Pat Boone, who served on the committee to get the National Day of Prayer recognized as a national holiday, in the 1980s. There were reports from all over the country that our nation was praying and celebrating!

• In March, Billy Ray Cyrus withdrew his divorce papers in an attempt to reconcile with is wife, Tish. Let’s praise God that they are now committed to making it work and ask Him to give them strength, wisdom and a renewed love for one another. We praise God for protecting marriages and we ask that Billy Ray, Tish and Miley Cyrus will grow in their love and support for one another and in their love for the Lord.

• The people involved in the Bethany Hamilton story are praising God for the great response to the message of their film Soul Surfer. They’ve offered people a chance to learn more about God on the website: soulsurfer.com and there have been almost 100,000 visitors since April 1st. Over 10,000 people have indicated decisions for Christ. Praise God that Bethany’s story can lead others to know God.

• HPN is seeing an answer to our prayers as more and more people are feeling a desire to pray, to connect with prayer groups and to spend more time with God and talking to Him. We are excited to learn about a new movement of prayer in our country where we have been asked to stop whatever we’re doing and spend one minute every evening at 9:00 PM Eastern Time, (8:00 PM Central) (7:00 PM Mountain) (6:00 PM Pacific) and pray for our country. As HPN members, let’s especially pray for the arts/entertainment/media professionals. Our prayers are the most powerful asset we have. If you want to join the growing number of “one minute pray-ers” every evening, just set your clocks and pray for a minute!


• Pray for the upcoming summer movies, the people involved in them and for the audiences going to see them. May we all seek God’s wisdom in the creation of, participation in and viewing of entertainment. For the list of summer films (which start coming out this Memorial Day Week-end) click HERE.

• As kids are spending their summer at the movies, let’s encourage them to pray for the stars they’re paying to see. Let’s also challenge children and youth pastors and parents to uphold these prayers as a priority. Print out HPN’s monthly KIDS and TEENS prayer calendars and even pray for these people as a family. Click HERE.

• As Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides opens onhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif May 20th, let’s pray for Johnny Depp and his heart. He is one of the most popular actors across the globe and yet we want to see him focus on his spiritual journey and his relationship with God. May he fall madly in love with his Creator and author of his faith. For more info on Johnny click HERE to our HPN Target Redemption page giving you more insight into the man.

• Pray for the new leadership at MTV Networks, since Judy McGrath is stepping down as the chairman and CEO and no successor has been named yet. MTV is run by it’s parent company, Viacom Inc. Let’s ask the Lord to guide the decision-makers so that they will select a person chosen by the Lord; a person of integrity, creativity and honesty and maybe even faith! Viacom, which owns MTV Networks, is a powerful global media company, which touches the whole world.

• Ryan Seacrest has been listed as the fifth most influential man on Twitter by the New York Times. He is both an on-screen phenomena and a successful behind the scenes producer of Reality shows, such as The Kardashians. Please pray that God will send Ryan some solid Christian friends, and that He will lead Ryan into a place of trusting Him for all of his decisions. http://ryanseacrest.com/2011/03/28/ryan-seacrest-named-5th-most-influential-person-on-twitter-by-n-y-times/

• Pray for God to use the people working in the world of media and technology to use it for the good of man and for God’s glory. It’s a medium to ask questions, to teach and to inform, not to give answers. There are an unlimited number of ways that films, TV shows, music, the inter-net and even video games can help people, inspire them and give them hope. The product doesn’t have to be labeled “Christian,” just like a sunset doesn’t have a Bible verse at the bottom of it. As C.S. Lewis said, ”We don’t need more Christian writers, we need more writers who are Christian.”

• Let’s pray for the inter-net to be available to anyone seeking truth. One creative use of technology that HPN was introduced to is Bible Glo. This is a site that allows visitors who want to become more familiar with the Bible in a practical way to explore. They are creatively able to go through the Bible electronically by topic, geography, or any way they may desire. Check out our friend's new website to look at the Bible in a new way: http://globible.com/aninteractivebible/


• “I have been praying for The Waltons actress Mary McDonough since I started reading her book. She's been beaten up, kind of the same way I was, where GOD is concerned, as well as struggling with her self-image. I see someone like I was, who is searching for answers but only being misled. As she searches for love and guidance in the metaphysical instead of Jesus, I feel her pain and know GOD wants to use her in such an amazing way! He wants to hold her in His arms and love on her to make up for the mistreatment of the past.” Jody Let’s pray for Mary McDonough.

• As we get into the Summer blockbuster season, let’s pray for the film viewers, specifically that they will not support mass boycotts, which just make more people want to go to the controversial movies. Instead pray that they would use wisdom to personally choose what they will and will not watch. This will impact the box office in a real way and not cause unnecessary hype over controversial films that could otherwise just disappear unnoticed. For more insight into the issue read Chuck Hayes article.

• Are you connected with one of our Local Chapters? If not, check out our list of 57 national and international HPN Local Chapters HERE.


• Great events and gatherings are always happening in Hollywood for the Christian community. Check them out HERE.

• Women: Take a short term missions trip in September and it will change your life! Click HERE to see how you can serve some of the AIDS orphans in Kenya through Discover The World ministries.

Thanks so much for praying with us. Have a wonderful Memorial Day, be sure to get your friends and family to pray for the entertainment industry, and we’ll be back in June.

In Him,
Karen and Caren

Could it be that people actually want to see movies of tragedy, doom and gloom more than movies with happy endings? Check out this article and comment with your thoughts about this issue.

“There are many things that are essential to arriving at true peace of mind, and one of the most important is faith, which cannot be acquired without prayer.” John Wooden

For more quotes from Coach John Wooden, click HERE.

VERSE OF THE MONTH (For industry Christian professionals):
"We ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love all of you have for one another is increasing. Therefore, among God’s churches we boast abhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifout your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring." 2 Thessalonians 1:3 - 4

A REMINDER: Sign up with your Ralphs Card to donate money to HPN and you'll get up to 4% of your grocery bills back! Click HERE to find out how to support HPN and get ahead!

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© Copyright 2007 Hollywood Prayer Network


Voice of the Martyrs Prayer Update for week of may 13 and 6, 2011

VOM-USA Prayer Update for May 13, 2011
The Voice of the Martyrs USA: www.persecution.com

Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man’s all. Ecclesiastes 12:13

Iran—Three Believers Released; Pastor Still Incarcerated—VOM Sources

Romans 7:4
Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another—to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God.

Three Iranian believers were set free on Saturday, April 30, 2011 after 238 days in prison. A fourth believer who was arrested at the same time remains in custody. Arash Kermanjani and his wife, Arezou Teimouri, were at the home of Pastor Vahik Abrahamian and his wife, Sonia, when they were arrested together on Sept. 4, 2010. The four were taken before a judge on April 28, and they and their lawyers were asked to present their cases. Two days after the hearing, the judge unexpectedly ordered the release of Arash Kermanjani, Arezou Teimouri and Sonia Keshish-Avanesian, the wife of Pastor Vahik. Sonia does not know why her husband was not freed at the same time, and she is extremely worried about him. Though free, they may be called before a judge and re-imprisoned at any time. Please pray for Pastor Vahik, who remains in prison, and his wife, Sonia. Pray he will be released soon, and that all four will make wise decisions about their future. Pray for their church body in Iran.

Laos—Christians Brutalized and Killed—VOM Canada

Colossians 3:15
And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.

Several Christians were recently attacked and killed in Xiengkhouang province, Laos. On April 15, troops from the Lao People’s Army encountered a group of Hmong Christians. All of the believers’ Bibles were confiscated, before the troops repeatedly raped four of the women, then shot and killed them. Their husbands and children were beaten, tied up and forced to witness the gruesome killings. At last report, the whereabouts of the surviving believers were unknown.
This incident and other recent reports indicate a disturbing increase of repression against Christians in the country. Pray for comfort for all those mourning the loss of the four Christian women. Pray for the peace and strength of Christ to reign in the hearts and minds of Laotian Christians under pressure for their faith.

India—Christians in India Facing Widespread Persecution—International Christian Concern

Acts 20:28
Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.

There have been several accounts of recent persecution of Christians in India. On April 17, Hindu extremists burned down Grace Good News Vision Church. The church’s pastor was reportedly forced by police on March 24 to give a statement that he would no longer hold church services, to which he did not adhere. On April 6, Hindu extremists burned Pastor Prakash Siddi’s farm after he refused to stop leading worship meetings. Allegedly, the pastor was told by police not to file a complaint or he would likely risk retaliation by the extremists. On April 22, fifteen extremists stormed a Good Friday service at Calvary Bethel Church in Nandi Tavere village. The attackers tore up the worshippers’ Bibles and chased them from the building. The church’s pastor, Pastor Nayak, was arrested and later signed a statement agreeing to refrain from leading church services. Pray that pastors of small congregations like these would remain faithful to God and set good examples for others in the midst of trying circumstances.

Add the PrisonerAlert.com application on Facebook by visiting http://apps.facebook.com/prisoneralert/
Download the iOS application on the iTunes Store by visiting http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/prayer-calendar/id432550884?mt=8

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

VOM-USA Prayer Update for May 6, 2011
On Thu. May 05 2011 at 12:11 PM Moderator wrote:

Nigeria--Non-Muslims Targeted After Presidential Election
VOM Sources

Psalm 42:5

Violent protests broke out across Nigeria's Muslim northern region on April 18 after the overwhelming election victory of President Goodluck Jonathan, a Christian from the South. Angry crowds burned churches as well as homes and cars belonging to non-Hausa/Fulani (non-Muslim) residents. The homes of traditional Muslim leaders who supported non-Muslim political candidates were also targeted. More than 500 people have been killed and more than 150 churches burned. VOM workers in Nigeria are collecting reports on the destruction and assessing how to help. They are already responding to medical needs — meeting victims in hospitals, helping them get care and paying medical bills. The VOM team is also providing food and other relief to those who were displaced. "The church leaders in Nigeria did not know how to confront this massive destruction of churches and properties," wrote Isaac, a VOM worker. "Please join hands in praying for the church in Nigeria."

Pakistan--Christians Held on Blasphemy Charges
Release International

Psalm 27:14

Two Christians from Punjab have been charged under Pakistan's blasphemy laws and are being held at an undisclosed location. Pastor Mushtaq Gill and his son, Farrukh, were initially released by police after being accused of burning a Quran. But they were quickly placed in protective custody when a mob angry at their release began attacking Christians' homes in Aziz Colony, Gujranwala, on April 15. The attacks prompted hundreds of Christians in the area to flee their homes, fearing a repeat of the August 2009 attacks in Gojra. Seven Christians were killed in the Gojra riot, which was also prompted by blasphemy allegations. Pastor Mushtaq is a teacher at the Christian Technical Training Centre of Gujranwala, and Farrukh works for a bank. The men were accused of blasphemy about four months ago when burned pages of a Quran were found near their house. However, they were formally charged with blasphemy only after the recent anti-Christian riots in Aziz Colony. The situation in the area remains tense. Pray that the case against Pastor Mushtaq and his son will be proven false and that no further violence will occur.

Belarus--Pastor Charged After Church Raid
Forum 18 News

1 Timothy 2:1-2

On Feb. 13, police raided a Baptist church in Gomel, Belarus, and charged the pastor with "holding an unauthorized religious service." The pastor, Nikolai Varushin, faces a fine of up to $345 if found guilty. The police major in charge of the raid said police had received repeated complaints about the church from nearby residents. Police officers filmed the worship service and confiscated CDs, audio cassettes of sermons and religious literature. In January 2008, Pastor Varushin was fined for leading an unregistered religious organization. Pray that the congregation will remain steadfast in faith as they undergo this trial.

© 2011 The Voice of the Martyrs