Persecution Podcast 135: Iran, Tanzania, China, and Lebanon
Dory and David share prayer updates for the countries of Iran, Tanzania, China, and Lebanon.
A VOM partner reported last week that a dear friend and important Christian leader in Iran has died after a long illness. “Glory be to God because [my friend] is now in His arms and without pain,” wrote the VOM partner. The man who died leaves behind a wife of just a few years. “Please pray for us,” the VOM partner asked, “because he was our best friend, confidant and co-worker. I have personally known him for almost eight years, and for all of us it’s very difficult. In Iran, church is more of a family than a place we meet, and we really feel that we have lost our brother. His place is so empty without him.” Praise God for this man’s life, and thank God for the people he touched through his work for Christ. Please lift up the Christian leader’s wife, our partner in Iran and all believers who share Christ in Iran.
Extremists in Tunduru District in southwestern Tanzania burned the homes and livestock of several Christians on Sept. 17. One home was burned to the ground, but bystanders managed to save five others from complete destruction by dousing them with water. The Muslim extremists also burned more than 60 pigs belonging to Christians. In another recent incident in the region, the cars of a Pentecostal pastor and another believer were burned on the night of Sept. 25. “It’s unfortunate to say that even though all these incidents were duly reported to the nearby police stations, no one has been arrested so far,” a VOM contact said. He explained that 80 percent of the region is Muslim. “Please do pray with us against this demonic spirit of attacks on Christians and their properties!” he added.
Believers at Beijing’s Shouwang Church in China are full of joy despite 17 months of outdoor worship and continual arrests. The believers have been meeting outdoors ever since the government began blocking their efforts to rent or purchase worship space. During their 38th worship service of the year, 22 believers were arrested. Ten were quickly released, but the others were detained at a local police station until afternoon. Shouwang Church has submitted an application for an official administrative review in response to the harassment and continual arrests by authorities. Please pray that the administrative review will recognize the persecution these believers face and help prompt more freedoms in China. Pray that God will use the faithfulness of the believers at Shouwang Church to draw others to himself.
Pray for a bold evangelist who works among radical Muslims. Pray for his family and for fruitful outreach work.