Persecution Podcast 157: Egypt, Mali, the West Bank, the Philippines and New Hebrides
David shares prayer updates for Egypt, Mali, the West Bank and the Philippines. Afterward, a VOM worker shares the biography of John Gibson Paton.
At least seven people were killed in Cairo on April 7–8 as clashes resumed between Muslims and Christians in the worst sectarian violence in months. Four Christians and a Muslim were killed on Sunday, April 7, and fighting erupted again the next day, following funerals for those killed. Muslims fired birdshot and threw rocks and firebombs at Coptic Christians who were holding an anti-government protest near Cairo’s main Coptic cathedral. When Christians barricaded themselves inside the cathedral, the church itself came under attack. Police fired tear gas at the mob and also at Christians inside the church grounds. At least 101 people were injured during the two days of violence. A Christian named Helal Saber was walking in the area when Muslims stopped him and asked if he was a Muslim or a Christian. When he said he was a Christian, they poured fuel on him and set him on fire. Helal died of his injuries on April 12.
Though Mali is ravaged by civil war, life and work continue in the southern part of the country, a VOM worker reports. Several safe houses in the region continue to shelter groups of former Muslims who were threatened by their Muslim families. The Christian converts cultivate nearby farmland and continue to grow in faith through daily prayers, group classes and individual Bible study. When Christians fled from Islamist militants in the north, most left their possessions, including their Bibles, behind. VOM workers have been able to provide several of them with Bibles and are meeting with a group of homeless women for Bible study.
A young Muslim man in the West Bank who tried to convert a foreign friend to Islam, ended up giving his life to Christ. Frustrated by his inability to answer his foreign friend’s questions about Islam, 24-year-old Mahmoud asked God to show him the truth. Mahmoud said the Lord revealed himself in a vision, and he then accepted Jesus as his Savior. When Mahmoud told his best friend what he was studying in the Bible, he, too, came to know Christ. They shared their new faith with a third friend, who also became a Christian, and the three of them began to study the Bible together. The young men were baptized by a VOM partner organization, which continues to help them grow in their faith. Pray that these three men will grow to become leaders who can reach their area for Christ.
Pray for 26 pastors and Christian leaders in Muslim-controlled areas of Mindanao who received motorbikes through VOM. Each of them continues to serve despite persecution. The motorcycles will help them reach believers in different villages in Mindanao.