Open Doors: Nigeria

Muslim Extremists Burn Church Building in Nigeria

“The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.”

– Psalm 9:9 [NIV]

Nigeria

On Sunday 31 August, Muslim extremists set fire to a Christ Apostolic Church building in the Baboko area of central Nigeria’s Kwara state.

The Rev. Samuel Ogowole said that local Muslims had complained that the church building was located near a mosque.

The church building was 500 metres from the Baboko mosque, but to appease the Muslim community the Kwara state government had offered church leaders 3 million naira (£14,000) and ordered the congregation to relocate. Church leaders rejected the order, saying they had spent nearly seven times that much to construct the church building.

Rev. Ogowole said that Muslims initially applied pressure on town planning authorities in 2005. “This ultimately resulted in a relocation notice asking us to relocate the church out of the area in seven days,” he said. “However, we objected to the relocation order. Our position was that relocating to another place would mean creating hardship for our members here, who would have to travel many kilometres in order to worship.”

Rev. Cornelius Fawenu, secretary of the Kwara state chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), told reporters he hopes the state government will intervene to prosecute the arsonists.

Source: Compass Direct

Prayer points:

  • Please pray for peace to prevail in Kwara state. Ask God to strengthen and protect his people there.
  • Pray that the church members would respond with love and forgiveness, not retaliation.
  • Pray that the perpetrators of this crime will be brought to justice and that the church will be adequately compensated.

Update:

Yesterday Open Doors was told that the health of Shi Weihan, the Christian bookstore owner and house church leader imprisoned in Beijing for the past few months, continues to deteriorate. Apparently he is now hardly recognisable to his closest friends. Please pray for him and his family. You can speak up on his behalf by going to www.opendoorsuk.org/advocacy

Thank you for praying with us.

John
Communications Team

Please feel free to forward this email to members of your church, friends and family,
because it is your prayer cover which supports and strengthens our work!

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Open Doors: Indian

Violence in Orissa claims many lives

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.”

– Matthew 5:9 [NIV]

India

A tide of anti-Christian violence has erupted in the eastern Indian state of Orissa, after suspected Maoists murdered Hindu leader, Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati, and four of his disciples on Saturday 23 August.

Over 3,000 police have been deployed but attacks on churches continue. Hundreds of Christians have fled their homes. The Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has described the violence as a “national disgrace”.

The number of suspected deaths has risen to 21 after a week of ongoing violence in Kandhamal district and other parts of Orissa. The Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC) reported that more than 114 anti-Christian attacks have taken place in various parts of the state.

GCIC President, Dr. Sajan K. George, stated: “The worst hit are the people in Kandhamal district, where more than 400 churches, 500 houses and many Christian institutions have been demolished. The people have fled to jungles for safety.”

A spokesman for the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India said Christians in Orissa were living in fear and anxiety. “The law enforcing agencies have not been able to contain the violent elements that are still at large,” he said. “The violent mobs are destroying churches, orphanages, hostels of children, convents of religious women and houses of Christian families. There appears a sense of helplessness among the Christian community that has borne the brunt of the communal frenzy created by some fundamentalist organizations.”

Christians account for less than a million of Orissa’s 37 million population.

Source: Compass Direct / BBC

Prayer points:

  • Please pray for peace to prevail in Orissa. Pray that God would raise up ‘peacemakers’, men and women who are able to positively influence the deteriorating relationship between the Christian and Hindu communities
  • Please pray for our Open Doors local coordinator, who was only able to escape Baliguda fractionally before the colony he lived in was torched by a Hindu mob
  • Pray that Open Doors’ ministry in the region will be able to continue.

Thank you for praying with us.

John
Communications Team

Please feel free to forward this email to members of your church, friends and family,
because it is your prayer cover which supports and strengthens our work!

Open Doors- Iran

IRANIAN MARTYR’S LIFE HONOURED IN FILM

Since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding.Colossians 1:9 [NIV]

Iran – Middle East

In December 1993, an Islamic judge in north of Iran condemned a zealous Christian convert from Islam, Mehdi Dibaj, to death. His crime was apostasy. Dibaj had already served ten years in prison.

Bishop Haik Hovsepian, the leader of Evangelical Christians in Iran, launched an international campaign for Dibaj’s sentence to be overturned. Haik’s campaign was successful, and Dibaj was released only a few days before his execution date.

However, in January 1994, Bishop Haik Hovsepian disappeared. 12 day later his body was found, it had been stabbed 26 times.

Since then several other Christians have been brutally tortured and put to death. Today, Iran is a theocratic republic of 69 million people. Many Christians are trying to leave the country because of local community pressure. They lose their jobs, cannot have higher education, cannot get married, and face persecution of many kinds. The government uses this pressure to weaken the Church which has existed in Iran since biblical times.

Please pray…

  • For Micah, an Iranian believer. Please pray for his well being and that of his family. He has already spent time in prison but now faces another trial and an uncertain future.
  • For the leaders of house churches and cellgroups who have great responsibility but are often new converts themselves with little experience.
  • For all the people who are involved in literature distribution and seek to overcome huge risks to ensure others can read the Word of God.

Thank you for praying with us.

John
Communications Team

open doors

 

I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day.

– 2 Tim 1 v12 [NIV]

PASTOR ATTACKED WITH IRON RODS!


The pastor of Good Shepherd   Community Church was recently attacked and beaten with iron rods by militants in the western Indian state of Rajasthan. Pastor Reginald Howell was praying with a group of sick people when armed militants showed up at the meeting and beat him on the back with iron rods.
Following the attack, the pastor went to a hospital to seek treatment but the doctors refused to treat him for fear of reprisal attacks by the Hindu militants. At the same time, the police refused to file a report about the incident and instead told the pastor to leave the state and return to his home city. Rajasthan is known for its intolerance towards non-Hindus. Christians represent only 0.11% of the population in Rajasthan, where the majority is Hindu.

[Source Asia News]

Please Pray:

  that the Lord will strengthen Pastor Reginald and his congregation as a result of this attack

  that the Christian minority in Rajasthan will be protected from militant groups who are trying to restrict religious freedom

Urgent prayer request: Bangladesh cyclone


Please pray for the people of Bangladesh in the wake of Cyclone Sidr. 5,000 people are dead or reported missing. Please pray for Open Doors teams working with local partners the region, as they assess the situation and coordinate distribution of relief and rehabilitation…

Click here for full details

Thank you for praying with us.Every blessing

John
Communications Team

My week, My week end

Well I should be at church but instead Im at home loaded with the cold and a sore chest , bear has been sick . vomiting and a high temperature,off school from Wednesday -glad I only have a cold I really hate been sick .

I have youth fellowship tonight – we dont have enough leaders to not go – If I dont go then no youth fellowship and I promised hot chocolate tonight so how can I let them down. Think last week went well -I was doing a talk on the persecuted church and we agreed to collect some money to buy some children’s bible , the idea is that every member and leader buys one and try to encourage other family members to donate as well. Just like how people died and were persecuted in the 16th century to have the right to have a bible that they could read in their own language that fight has not been won for those living in India, China and many other countries. Course lots of surfin to find out info- so much persecution going on in the world , past and present and no doubt future. We talked about persecution during biblical times , the holocaust and the persecution of those first protestants who died to break free from the Roman catholic church – one thing I do find upsetting is why oh why do those who have persecution or have persecuted in their history not learn and either continue or then begin to behave in the same way .I believe that often things are done in the name of religion when they often have a political agenda and a fear of letting go of power.

Anyway I will have to sit in a corner away from everyone or everyone will have it next week.

It didnt help last night that I took my eldest kids and friends to an MCR concert and we got soaked before hand. Took me hours to warm up later. Now bad language doest normanlly offend me – as long as they leave God out of it – I know alot of young people use it just as part of their speech without giving it any thought of the actual meaning , Im even not naive to think that my own eldest two may not speak the way they do at home when they are with their friends no matter how I have tried to bring them up. And I try to be like Jesus and not let it form a barrier between me and who ever uses it.Ad I hold my hand up that in anger I have let word slip which are not words of a Christian.
But My chemical romance in concert is truly cringe worthy not the just language but the way its used – real crude . Some people did have their younger kids with them. When Dd was that age I took her to West life – who are lovely.

Such a shame cause the lighting was fab, the pyrotechnics’s, the music , the beat and the lead singers voice – I do like lively -lol , just the language spoilt it anD the way it was used to get an reaction from the crowd- which worked.

Dh home on Tuesday so we will all be glad and he will be glad to hear that when my heating packed up when it minus 2 here that my Dad came out when he wasnt well with the cold and fixed it , so thanks Dad for fixing the heating and sharing your cold.

No one can say hes not generous-lol