Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin | RLPB 363

Source:  http://rlprayerbulletin.blogspot.com

Date:  June 29, 2016

JUNE 2016 ROUND-UP - this month we prayed concerning ...

VIETNAM (RLPB 359), where the ruling Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) deems 
Christianity a problem and a threat to be managed by means of repression and 
persecution. Pastors, activists, bloggers and lawyers who speak out against 
CPV abuses are beaten and threatened; others are imprisoned. We prayed 
specifically for imprisoned Protestant Pastor Nguyen Cong Chinh (45) and his 
wife Mrs Tran Thi Hong, as well as imprisoned Protestant human rights lawyer 
Nguyen Van Dai and his wife Mrs Vu Minh Khanh - four courageous religious 
liberty advocates. For more details see Religious Liberty Monitoring (June 
2016).  

SUDAN (RLPB 360), where the Arab Islamist Government of Sudan (GoS) has plans 
to starve the Christian Nuba in what is their second genocide in a 
generation. With rains closing the roads and the GoS banning all delivery of 
humanitarian aid after yet another season of aerial bombardment, the Nuba are 
entering yet another season of food insecurity. May the LORD of all mercy and 
all power, provide the Nuba with all their needs. We also prayed for 
imprisoned Nuba pastors, the Reverends Hassan Abdelrahim Tawor and Kwa 
Shamaal. Pray Psalm 10 for Sudan.  

NIGERIA (RLPB 361), where church leaders fear that two bills presently under 
consideration in the federal parliament, if passed, will further the 
Islamisation of Nigeria. One bill would establish grazing reserves for the 
Fulani, thereby facilitating Fulani expansion deep into the south, while the 
other bill would expand the scope and jurisdiction of Nigeria's Islamic 
Sharia courts. 'Christians must speak up,' urged Christian commentator Nnamdi 
Okosieme. 'They must shout and they must go down on their knees and pray away 
the looming danger.' Amen!  

CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC (RLPB 362), where clashes between local residents 
and rebel-backed Fulani Muslims have unsettled the north-west; tit-for-tat 
religious clashes have escalated in the capital, Bangui; and the occultic 
Lord's Resistance Army is rising in the east. The Church is appealing for 
calm and for help.  

'May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble! May the name of the God of 
Jacob protect you! May he send you help from the sanctuary and give you 
support from Zion!' (Psalm 20:1,2 ESV)  


JUNE ROUND-UP - also this month . . .

*CHINA: UPDATE ON YANG MAODONG

Yang Maodong (also known by his pen-name Guo Feixiong) is a Christian human 
rights lawyer on hunger strike in prison in China. For the full background 
see RLPB 356 (11 May). Despite having lost about one-third of his body 
weight, Yang Maodong is refusing to end his hunger strike. Lawyer Zhang 
Lei saw Yang Maodong on 20 June and reported that he looked very weak. 
Gravely concerned for his health, advocates are appealing for Yang Maodong to 
be transferred to a different prison. Please pray that God will intervene to 
have Yang Maodong transferred to a safe environment and ultimately be 
acquitted and released.  

* EGYPT: ENFORCING DHIMMITUDE

ALEXANDRIA (north): After Friday prayers on 17 June a mob comprising hundreds 
of Muslims emerged from the mosque in Qaryat Al Bayda, 15km south of 
Alexandria, determined to prevent the construction of a church in their 
village. (There is no church in Al Bayda.) Naeem Aziz, who owns the building, 
insists he is merely building a house for his son - a visit from a local 
priest triggered rumours the building would be used as a church. In the 
ensuing pogrom, construction materials were destroyed, a number of Christians 
were beaten and some ten homes belonging to Copts were looted. The Coptic 
priest in the neighbouring village heard what was happening and rushed to the 
scene, only to be ambushed and attacked en route. Fortunately for him, some 
friendly Muslims intervened to save him. When the police eventually arrived 
at the property they arrested six Muslims (who were released almost 
immediately) and six Christians, including Naeem Aziz and his brother. 
Detained overnight, the Christians were released on bail the following day 
after being charged with holding prayers without permission and building 
without a permit. They will doubtless be forced to choose between 
'reconciliation' or a trial. Either way, there will be no justice.  

MINYA (south): On 20 May a mob of some 300 Muslims in Minya, Upper Egypt, set 
out to punish, expel or kill a Christian Coptic man rumoured to be in a 
relationship with a Muslim woman, which  they both deny. Unable to find him 
(as he had fled) they seized his elderly mother, whom they stripped naked and 
violently dragged through the town. Numerous Coptic homes and businesses were 
looted and torched in the pogrom. This was not IS or al-Qaeda; this was 
Islam, this is dhimmitude. The victim, Ms Thabet, later released a statement 
in which she declared, 'I forgive them.' That is Christianity; that is 
amazing grace. Now the authorities should do what they are expected to do: 
guarantee security and pursue justice.  

Please pray for the Church in Egypt.

* IRAN: UPDATE ON MARYAM

An urgent prayer request was added to the end of RLPB 359 (1 June) for 
Iranian Christian prisoner, Maryam (Naseem) Naghash-Zargaran (36). Seriously 
ill, Maryam had commenced a hunger strike to protest the authority's refusal 
to allow her medical treatment. When Maryam was hospitalised on 6 June (on a 
large bond) we thanked God for his grace in answering the prayers of many. On 
19 June the court ordered Maryam to return to prison. With Maryam still weak, 
unwell and receiving treatment, her family applied for an extension to her 
medical leave. The court refused and on 27 June Maryam was escorted back to 
Evin Prison. Pray that the Lord will uphold Maryam and intervene to bring 
justice and liberty.   

* LEBANON: SYRIAN WAR HITS CHRISTIAN VILLAGE 

At around 4:30am on Monday 27 June four suicide bombers were making their way 
through the predominantly Christian village of Al-Qaa in Lebanon's Bekaa 
Valley. They were discovered by a local resident who shot one of them. The 
wounded terrorist triggered his explosive vest, after which the three other 
suicide bombers detonated themselves at intervals as soldiers and others 
arrived at the scene. The bombings, which killed five and wounded 15, 
occurred about 150m from a Lebanese customs border point on the road linking 
the Bekaa valley to the strategic Syrian town of al-Qusayr. That evening, as 
family members gathered outside St Elias Church to mourn the victims, two men 
on a motorcycle threw a grenade at the group before detonating suicide vests, 
wounding up to 20 people. This was pure punishment against the Christian 
community. While no group has claimed responsibility, Hezbollah-owned news 
agency Al-Manar blamed the Islamic State although this is far from certain as 
numerous 'rebel' groups are active in the Qalamoun Mountains along the 
Lebanese-Syrian border. Lebanese Prime Minister Tammam Salam expressed his 
fear that this could be the start of a new wave of terrorist operations 
inside Lebanon. Pray for the Church in Lebanon.  

* NEPAL: NEW ANTI-CONVERSION LAW CLAIMS FIRST VICTIMS

Eight Christians were arrested in Dolakha District, 130km east of Kathmandu, 
on 9 June after being accused of converting others to Christianity. Amongst 
those arrested were the Christian principals of Mount Valley Boarding School 
and Modern Nepal School, as well as some of the staff of Teach for Nepal, a 
Christian volunteer organisation. They were arrested for handing out the book 
'A Great Story' to 885 students. The Federation National Christian Nepal 
appealed directly to the Minister for Home Affairs, Shakti Bahadur Basnet, 
and on 17 June the seven men and one woman were released. Whilst the Church 
gives thanks for this mercy, the local politicians who reported the 'offence' 
to police are pressing for charges to be laid on the grounds that Article 26 
(3) of the 2015 Nepalese Constitution (passed in September 2015) prohibits 
missionary activity. [See RLPB 321 (Aug 2015).]  

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