Persecution Podcast Episode 59
This week Dory discusses Pakistan, Ethiopia, and Somalia. This week’s speaker is Merv Knight.
Two men working in brick kiln in Pakistan.
Nations discussed for prayer:
- Pakistan’s only Christian cabinet member, Shahbaz Bhatti, was assassinated by gunmen on March 2, 2011. Pamphlets attributed to Al-Qaeda and a branch of the Pakistani Taliban were distributed at the scene of the ambush, warning that anyone who supports a repeal of Pakistan’s blasphemy law will be killed. Shahbaz was the only remaining government advocate for Christian Asia Bibi, who was sentenced to death last November under the blasphemy law. “The fanatic Muslims targeted Shahbaz Bhatti because he spoke boldly against the blasphemy law,” said a VOM staff member in Pakistan. Shahbaz was a committed Christian who stood for what he thought was right and trusted the Lord with his life. Pray for those who continue to support Asia Bibi and call for a repeal of the blasphemy law. Ask God to protect them and to strengthen their faith. Pray that the Pakistani government will not yield to extremist pressure and that it will repeal the blasphemy law.
- Muslims in Ethiopia’s southwestern city of Jimma burned two churches and the homes of a pastor and an evangelist on Wednesday, March 3. They also severely beat a Christian convert. In the Asendabo district of Jimma, a Muslim mob burned two churches and a pastor’s house after leaving their daily teaching at the mosque. Local police stood by and watched until federal police arrived to stop the violence. A second mob, in Jimma’s Dido district, left their mosque chanting “Allahu Akbar.” When the mob met Awel Abajebel, a Christian who had converted from Islam, they beat him so severely that he was thought to be dead. In a third attack that day, Muslims in the Kersa district burned the home of evangelist Isa Abagojam. More than 90 percent of the population of Jimma is Muslim. In some districts, Muslims chant “Allahu Akbar” in the evenings to warn Christian converts from Islam that they plan to kill them. A VOM contact reports that Muslims in nearly every district of the city are collecting funds to “protect their religion from the Christians.” Please pray for two Christian workers in the area who minister to more than 5,000 Muslim background believers, and pray for God’s protection of all Christians in Jimma.
- Members of the Islamic radical group al-Shabab killed a Christian convert in the Somali capital of Mogadishu on Jan. 26. The Islamists murdered Abdirahman Hussein Roble after accusing him of spying and committing fitna. Fitna is an Islamic term used derogatively to describe Christian evangelism among Muslims. Two eyewitnesses notified Abdirahman’s widow and relatives of his death on Feb. 9. Abdirahman, who became a Christian in 2009, was the father of two children. He is the 24th Christian to be killed by the Somali Islamists since 2009. On Jan. 29, another Christian convert escaped from a makeshift detention center run by al-Shabab. “Hassan” is the first Christian to ever escape from the group. He was abducted on Jan. 8 in the Afgoye district, west of Mogadishu, and repeatedly interrogated about his faith and ministry. Hassan escaped while his guards were attending evening prayer. Pray that all Somalis will resist the extremist nature of al-Shabab, and ask God to give Christians living there courage and boldness.
This week’s speaker is Merv Knight, Director of The Voice of the Martyrs Australia. He recently shared stories of the history of The Voice of the Martyrs USA.