Persecution Podcast 185: Pakistan, Iran, Kenya, India, Nepal and Egypt
David shares prayer updates for Pakistan, Iran, Kenya, India, Nepal and Egypt.
Pakistan: Pray for Asia Bibi’s Upcoming Appeal Hearing
Asia Bibi’s death-sentence appeal has again been delayed, this time because a prosecutor failed to appear for the March 26 hearing. A new appeal hearing has been scheduled for April 14. This is the third court hearing that has been delayed because of an absence. Hearings scheduled for Feb. 14 and March 17 were postponed because one of two presiding judges was absent each day. Pakistani law requires that two judges be present for all court proceedings in death penalty cases. Asia Bibi was arrested in June 2009 as a result of an argument with Muslim co-workers in which she defended her Christian faith. She was subsequently convicted of blasphemy and sentenced to death. Her lawyers filed an immediate appeal, but a variety of political and religious pressures have prevented the courts from hearing her case. Sign the petition to release Asia Bibi here.
Iran: Pray for Jailed Pastor after Bible Seized
Iranian authorities recently confiscated a Bible and several Christian books from Pastor Behnam Irani, who is serving a five-year sentence on two separate convictions of “crimes against national security.” Prisoners are supposed to be allowed religious materials in their cell, regardless of their religion. The pastor is currently recovering from a February 2014 abdominal surgery. Write an encouraging letter to Pastor Behnam Irani here.
Kenya: Pray for Pastor Philip’s Family
Three unidentified, armed men attacked the Joy of Christ Church near Mombasa on Sunday, March 23, killing Pastor Philip Msasa and five others. The gunmen entered the church during Sunday morning service and opened fire on worshipers. In addition to the six believers who were killed, 15 others, including some children, were hospitalized with gunshot wounds. The men attempted to attack the nearby Redeemed Gospel Church after their attack on the Joy of Christ Church, but security guards prevented them from entering the church compound. Authorities have questioned at least 100 suspects, but no arrests have been made.
India: Praise God for Jailed Believer Who Led 14 to Christ
Vani, a 30-year-old widow, spent 15 days in jail after being charged with kidnapping and forcing a child to convert to Christianity. During her two-week stay, she witnessed to more than 70 women, 14 of whom became Christians. Vani was charged in connection with an incident in early February, when she helped a teenager and introduced her to some other believers. Vani was arrested after the girl’s parents reported her to police. While Vani was in jail, the jailer encouraged her to share the gospel and pray for the other women because he had seen dramatic change in those who accepted Christ. Vani has been released from jail and is now interested in continuing prison ministry.
Nepal: Pray for Pastor Beaten for Sharing Gospel
Pastor Mohan Limbu was recently chased out of a village and beaten by local Hindus who were angry that he was distributing Bibles. Two of his ribs were broken in the attack, and his motorbike was also stolen. In addition, the pastor was charged with giving Hindus money to convert to Christianity.
Egypt: Pray for Christian Man Beaten and Arrested
Kamel Saleh Gad Elrab, 67, was severely beaten by Muslim neighbors after he filed a complaint against them for trying to have him evicted from his property. A group of seven armed men came to Kamel’s house, stripped him of his clothes and beat him severely, breaking both of his legs. Kamel was taken to the hospital, and when police arrived they handcuffed him to the hospital bed and placed him under arrest. Egyptian police commonly arrest Christians even when they are the victims of a crime.