Don’t Stand in Silence
The 2014 International Day of Prayer for the persecuted Christians worldwide shall take place on Sunday 9th November, 2014. The nation of Syria has been adopted for the 2014 global prayers for persecuted Christians.
It would be recalled that Nigeria was adopted for the 2013 International Day of Prayer with the account of Christians massacred in Deeper Life Bible Church, Gombe, as the main feature. The 5 minute video, VICTORIA, was produced to commemorate the 2013 global prayers.
On Sunday 9th November, 2014, all Christian assemblies worldwide are expected to pray for persecuted Christians with particular emphases on Christians in Syria. Attention should also be focused on Nigerian Christians in the northern parts of the nation.
Please ensure that this information is brought to the attention of every church leader so that global supplication and intercession can rise to heaven against the forces of Satan afflicting believers in Jesus Christ.
Don’t Stand in Silence.
Prayer Alert: 2 Years On, Remembering Pastor Saeed Abedini
26 September 2014 marked the 2nd year anniversary of pastor Saeed Abedini’s imprisonment for his faith in Iran.
During a visit to Tehran, on 28 July 2012, pastor Abedini, 34, was detained by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and placed under house arrest for his Christian faith.
On 26 September 2012, Revolutionary Guard members raided pastor Abedini’s parent’s home and took him to an unknown location. 4 days later, pastor Abedini’s family was informed that he was in solitary confinement in the notorious Evin prison in Iran.
On 26 January 2013, pastor Abedini was handed an 8-year prison sentence for evangelizing and attempting to sway Iranian youth away from Islam.
“We are praying for a miracle. My hope is that, as thousands gather together on September 26, our governments and leaders will be reminded of the importance of religious freedom for all and continue to pressure Iran to secure Saeed’s release,” said Naghmeh Abedini, the pastor’s wife in a media report.
“The kids and I are longing to see Saeed returned home safely to us. The kids have been suffering for too long. Our family is ready. It is time,” she added.
- Pray for pastor Abedini’s release from prison;
- Pray for God’s protection over him;
- Pray for Jesus’ comforting presence upon pastor Abedini’s wife, Naghmeh, and their children;
- Pray for the release of all other Christians detained for their faith in Iran.
Pastor In Bhutan Sentenced To Prison For Accepting Funds For Ministry
THIMPHU, Bhutan (Morning Star News) – A court in Bhutan today sentenced pastor Tandin Wangyal to three years, 11 months in prison for receiving funds for ministry activities from a Christian organization.
The verdict from the court in Dorokha, Samtse District asserts the pastor received US$11,864 in funding from a foreign Christian organization to conduct trainings and spread Christianity in the Buddhist country, sources said.
Another pastor, M.B. Thapa (known as Lobzang) was sentenced to two years and four months for taking Wangyal to a village for a gathering for which he had not obtained prior permission, but he was entitled to pay a fine of US$1,678 “in lieu” of prison that enabled him to remain free.
Wangyal was convicted under Article 71 of the Civil Society Organization Act of Bhutan, which outlaws raising funds for activities “in contravention of the laws of the country” and without prior permission. The pastors were arrested in Khapdani village, Dorokha area in Samtse District, on March 5.
The pastor has 10 days to appeal, but in comments to Morning Star News hours before he was detained last night (Sept. 9), Wangyal said he had already filed an appeal in Samtse District Court and was hoping for bail.
“My case now dates back to the past records and findings on my laptop,” Wangyal. “I do not agree to the charges.”
Wangyal and his wife have three sons, ages 8, 5 and 2.
“I am worried about my wife and my three little sons,” he said. “Please pray for me and my family.”
The two pastors were apprehended after they had reached Khapdani village in Dorokha to attend a foundation-laying ceremony. The police confiscated Wangyal’s laptop hard disk, mobile phone and a movie projector.
Before winning release on bail on April 22, the two pastors were detained for 49 days without formal charges. The evening of March 4, they had spoken at the ground-breaking ceremony for a new house at the invitation of another Christian in Khapdani. They were planning to hold a three-day seminar in the village the next day that included screening of a film, but as they were trying to transport a child who was ill to a hospital, police arrested them.
The Civil Society Organization Act puts restrictions on collections, stipulating that “No person shall collect or ask for any contribution or charity to aid or help any activity, which is in contravention with the laws of the Country, and a collection in a public place must not be conducted unless the promoters of the collection hold a public collections certificate from the Authority and the collection is conducted in accordance with this Act.”
At the United Nations Human Rights Council’s recent Universal Periodic Review of the Buddhist nation in Geneva, Switzerland, the United States and other nations urged the tiny kingdom to protect religious freedom by allowing people to freely practice their faith and by granting all religious groups equal opportunity to obtain legal status.
Among other international rights groups submitting reports, U.S.-based Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) called on Bhutan to address various religious freedom concerns. ADF noted that Bhutan has enacted several laws restricting fundamental rights of its citizens, freedom of association and freedom of religion and belief of individuals.
Wangyal had refuted Home and Cultural Affairs Minister Damcho Dorji’s statement to Business Bhutan newspaper that religion was not a factor in the arrests, saying, “All this time they have denied that it was a faith-based arrest, but everything since day one has revolved around faith.”
Thapa (Lobzang) said he was grieving for his friend and colleague.
“I was sentenced to less than three years, which was bailable,” he told Morning Star News. “I paid the money against the prison term and will return home tomorrow.”
Christians are generally allowed to meet in homes or private halls to worship but face obstacles and persecution in trying to do so. Bhutan has numerous Buddhist monasteries and a few Hindu temples, but no church building.
The miniscule Christian community remained underground until 2008. Bhutan transitioned to a constitutional democratic monarchy in 2008 after a century of absolute monarchy.
Source: Morning Star News
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