Persecution Podcast 138: Indonesia, Iran, Tanzania, and Colombia
Todd and Dory share prayer updates for the countries of Indonesia, Iran, Tanzania, and Colombia.
Christians from the Yasmin church have been meeting along the street since being denied access to their church building.
The Taman Yasmin Indonesian Christian Church (GKI) in Bogor, West Java, was recently ordered to relocate to a neighborhood three miles from its current location. The church, which was forced to meet outdoors for years because of Islamic pressure, believes it would face strong opposition at the new site and has firmly rejected the order. It has instead called on officials to respect a 2010 Supreme Court ruling that reinstated the church’s building permit. Under pressure from local Muslims, authorities have closed nine “illegal” churches in Banda Aceh. Two weeks ago, the churches’ leaders were forced to sign statements agreeing to close their church buildings. Authorities have warned that they will continue to monitor these congregations to ensure that church activities are not resumed. Please pray for GKI and other churches in Indonesia as they struggle to worship God amid severe persecution.
On Oct. 15, an Assemblies of God pastor in Ahwaz, Iran, and three of the church’s ministers were each sentenced to one year in prison after being convicted of “converting to Christianity, inviting Muslims to convert, as well as propagating against the Islamic regime through promoting Evangelic Christianity.” Pastor Farhad Sabokrouh; his wife, Shahnaz Jeizan; Naser Zamen Dezfuli; and Davoud Alijani received the maximum penalty for the charges, and they may appeal the ruling. Pray that God will give peace and strength to these pastors as well as other imprisoned Christians still awaiting trial.
A Tanzanian teenager charged with desecrating a Quran has been blessed with the protection of two Christian prison guards. A VOM contact who visited 17-year-old Eva Abdullah this month said the female Christian guards promised to care for Eva and help keep her safe. Eva converted from Islam to Christianity three years ago and was subsequently disowned by her family. When a group of radicals couldn’t persuade her to deny her faith in Christ, they falsely accused her of desecrating a Quran. Although many Christian leaders were afraid to defend her, compassionate attorneys have taken her case. Pray for the continued protection of Eva and her Christian guards. Praise God for these two guards, who are a comfort to Eva as she awaits trial, and pray that Eva will continue to shine the light of Christ.
Pray for 25 widows supported through VOM’s Families of Martyrs fund. They and their families are provided food, utilities and fellowship with other believers.