I received these recent persecution and prayer alerts from The Voice of the Martyrs Canada. Please take time to read each one. Pray for the loved ones of those who died for their faith and pray for those who are suffering for their faith. Visit each story’s link to find out more and to see what you can do to help. Each one of us can make a difference.
PAKISTAN: Woman Succumbs to Injuries from Church Bomb Attack
Source: VOM USA
A Christian woman who suffered serious injuries resulting from a bomb attack at her church has tragically passed away. Farah Javed died as a result of an infection on January 11th, almost 16 months after one of the deadliest attacks against Christians in the country’s history. The All Saints Church building in Peshawar was struck by two suicide bombers on September 22nd, 2013, leaving more than 80 dead and another 150 wounded. (For more information on this horrific attack, you can read a previous prayer report.)
Farah was permanently paralyzed as a result of the assault, and sadly battled many medical complications in the months leading up to her death. Farah’s mother and siblings are understandably having a difficult time, especially as the young woman’s father also recently passed away in March of 2014.
Let us bring this grieving family to God’s throne of grace, asking Him to grant His mercy in their time of need (Hebrews 4:16). While mourning the loss of Farah and her father, may they be confident in the salvation assured for both of these loved ones through Jesus’ death and resurrection. Please also remember the many other families who have lost dear loved ones during that heartless bomb attack, praying that they will continue to sense the Holy Spirit’s abiding presence. May others still struggling with physical or emotional wounds from that senseless tragedy experience full recovery. Finally, pray that the believers in Pakistan will continue with God’s Kingdom work, breaking through the darkness of sin and evil by shining His glorious heavenly light.
To learn more about Pakistan’s persecuted church, you can read our Country Report.
Two sisters who converted to Christianity were forced to flee their village recently after their brother threatened to kill them for leaving Islam. Before her conversion, “Nazli” felt that Allah was unfair and discriminated against women. When a Christian relative helped her to understand how just the true God is toward all of humanity, she willingly invited Jesus into her heart. Upon learning that Nazli had become a follower of Christ, the young woman’s brother beat her and threatened to have her killed. Nazli and her sister, whom she had led to Christ, were then forced to leave their village and find safe refuge elsewhere. They currently live in a VOM-sponsored safehouse, where they are receiving encouragement and further instruction in the Christian faith.
Traditionally, Christians have had few difficulties in Jordan, and even “quiet” evangelism has been allowed. However, there are followers of Christ in this country who have faced persecution from their families, employers and other members of society. With Islamist movements sweeping across the Middle East, Jordanian believers are concerned that similar developments may potentially occur within their own country.
What an amazing testimony of the Holy Spirit’s transforming work in the lives of Nazli and her sister! Ask the Lord to continue to comfort and encourage these two young Christian women, especially as they have been forced to leave their home, family and friends. May God bless them with the support of a strong Christian community; one that will warmly embrace them and help to nurture their growing faith. In turn, may these sisters be used powerfully as God’s agents of grace and love to others who are seeking to learn more about the Christian faith. Additionally, please remember the country of Jordan as a whole, praying that peace will reign within the homes and communities of this ancient land, and for the protection of all its people — including the great influx of refugees from Syria who themselves are seeking safety from the terror of severe persecution.
For more information on the trials some Christians have faced in Jordan, please visit the Jordan Country Report.
NIGER: Christian Community Targeted in Violent Raids
Sources: Release International, Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin, CBN
The minority Christian population in Niger was targeted in violent raids after a French satirical magazine depicted controversial images of Islam’s prophet Mohammed. Dozens of churches were burned down, along with numerous other Christian-owned buildings, including homes, schools and those used by organizations. At least 10 people were killed in the rioting, which centered around the capital city of Niamey and the southern city of Zinder, also extending to various towns across the country. Similar protests were held in several other nations, including Algeria, Senegal, Pakistan, Somalia and Sudan.
Many in Niger’s Christian communities have fled their homes and remain very fearful of further attack. There are reports that the homes belonging to Christians have been marked for destruction, and that mosque loudspeakers have broadcasted extremist sermons promoting jihad against the already victimized believers.
Pray that God will bring healing to the members of Niger’s traumatized Christian communities. Specifically, may all those who have been affected by this senseless violence experience the everlasting love of the Father, the comfort of a personal relationship with His Son Jesus, and the power of the Holy Spirit to continue living wholeheartedly for Him. Ask the Lord to lead and empower the country’s authorities so they will be used as instruments of His peace while providing needed protection to all of its citizens during this time of tremendous unrest. Please also request that He will use this tragic situation for His greater purposes by touching the hearts of those who have yet to receive His eternal salvation. In essence, may this trial not discourage the church in Niger, but rather be mightily used to further strengthen, refine and embolden all of the believers in this country so they will live in steadfast devotion to our Lord and, therefore, serve as vibrant testimonies of His amazing grace.
To post a prayer of love and support for our persecuted family in Niger, visit our Persecuted Church Prayer Wall.