Persecution Podcast 168: Egypt, Azerbaijan, North Korea and Malaysia
David shares prayer updates for Egypt, Azerbaijan, North Korea and Malaysia.
Persecution in Egypt continues to increase at an alarming rate. Churches, stores owned by Christians and Christians’ homes were attacked in three villages in Menia city on Aug. 4, a VOM worker reports. In the city of Sohag, radical Muslims attacked another church and put the flag of al-Qaida on the building. Earlier in July, two Christians were killed in northern areas of the Sinai Peninsula. On July 18, two churches in Matai and Kom Hamada were attacked during a funeral procession for two Muslim Brotherhood members. Smaller churches in Arish have closed, and only one church is holding a weekly service for those who remain. In the Luxor province, the newly appointed head of police is suspected of intentionally failing to respond to an incident on July 5 in which four Christians were killed.
Pastor Zaur, who leads a small Baptist church in Aliabad, lost his wife, Nunuka, on July 21 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. Zaur Balaev and his congregation have been continually harassed by the local imam and authorities. In 2007, Pastor Zaur was arrested during a raid on a worship service in his home, and he spent nearly a year in a prison camp before being released. More recently, while Zaur was in Russia seeking treatment for his wife, his church was again raided and issued a large fine. Nunuka continued to struggle through surgeries and treatment, but on Sunday morning, July 21, she told Zaur, “I’m going to heaven, to be near God, so you don’t need to worry about me. Please continue to serve God.” Please pray that God will continue to comfort and sustain Pastor Zaur.
A VOM worker reports record launches of New Testaments into North Korea in July. For the month of July alone, 23,130 New Testaments were launched into North Korea. Through multiple launch points, workers are able to drop materials on areas that are largely unreached by the gospel. A chief of Security Vision informed VOM partners of a North Korean website threatening organizations that launch balloons. The VOM partners were asked to refrain from launching balloons, but they were able to launch again on July 11, releasing 2,000 New Testaments. On July 31, they launched a record 7,500 New Testaments, the largest number launched in 2013. Continue to pray for favorable launch conditions, and pray that these Scriptures will fall into the right hands in North Korea.
Pray for a VOM-supported ministry leader who reaches out to Malay Muslims. Evangelizing Muslim Malays is extremely difficult and strongly opposed.