Persecution Podcast 151: Turkey, Kenya, India and the Middle East
David shares prayer updates for Turkey, Kenya, India and the Middle East.
Turkish police recently arrested 14 suspects in connection with a plot to assassinate Pastor Emre Karaali of the Izmit Protestant Church. The suspects, two of whom were members of the church, intended to murder the pastor during a series of evangelistic outreach meetings. Police discovered that the suspects had collected personal information about the pastor as well as photos of other preachers who visited the church. Police responded quickly when they learned that the suspects had brought in someone from Diyarbakir, in eastern Turkey, to carry out the murder. During his four-year tenure at the church, Pastor Emre has been repeatedly threatened. However, he said, “We haven’t lost our confidence. On the contrary, we feel the Lord is with us because he didn’t allow this [assassination] to happen, and we will continue to do what the Lord asks.” Two VOM workers were able to spend time encouraging Emre just two weeks after the arrests. Praise God that Turkish authorities acted to protect Pastor Emre.
Gunmen attacked two Somali pastors on Thursday, Feb. 7, in Garissa, Kenya, wounding one and killing Pastor Abdi Welli. The pastors were leaving a bank when they were shot. Pastor Abdi leaves behind his wife, Helen, and three young sons. “He was a great, faithful believer who continued onward for the sake of the gospel in a very dangerous place,” said a VOM field worker. “Today, he gave his highest act of devotion to his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” Garissa is a violence-plagued city in northeastern Kenya, where Islamist terrorists have been targeting Christians and churches. Last July, terrorists killed 16 people in church bombings. Please pray for Pastor Abdi’s family and the other believers in this community, who are all affected by his death.
On Jan. 14, three Christian women were attacked by a mob in Tamsai village, near Mumbai, while they were washing clothes at a public well. The Hindu villagers apparently were irritated by Christian music that a woman’s 12-year-old daughter was listening to on a mobile phone. The villagers protested that Christian music should not be played within their hearing, and eventually a mob of 50 gathered near the homes of the Christian women and physically assaulted them. Hindu extremists of Tamsai have strongly opposed the use of Christian worship music during healing services in the past. But many Hindus in the area are still turning to Christ. Pray for the women who were attacked as well as other Christians throughout India who face similar threats daily.
Pray for a church planter supported by VOM. This man was paralyzed after being shot during an attack on him in Iraq.