Persecution Podcast 142: Pakistan, Sudan, Nigeria and Laos
David shares prayer updates for the countries of Pakistan, Sudan, Nigeria and Laos. Following afterward is a recording of a VOM worker who challenges his listeners to be missionaries for Jesus Christ.
These children in Pakistan read Jesus: He Lived Among Us, a picture book that shares the account of the life of Jesus Christ.
The blasphemy case against Christian teenager Rimsha Bibi was dismissed last week by the High Court in Islamabad. Rimsha, a 14-year-old with an apparent learning disability, had been accused of burning pages of the Quran. After her arrest, however, a Muslim cleric from her neighborhood was accused of fabricating evidence against her in an attempt to drive Christians out of the area. The cleric himself was then charged with blasphemy. In dismissing the case against Rimsha, Chief Justice Iqbal Hameed-ur Rehman cited a lack of witnesses and warned against making blasphemy accusations lightly. Although the charges against Rimsha have been dismissed, there are still concerns for her safety. Other Pakistani Christians have been murdered after their release from prison, and Rimsha and her family are now living in an undisclosed location. Pray for the protection and restoration of Rimsha and her family. Pray that this case will help bring about positive change in Pakistan’s blasphemy laws, which are often misused against Christians.
Thousands of Sudanese Christian refugees face a severe food shortage in the disputed border area of Abyei as Sudan and South Sudan debate its status. In addition, the Islamist regime in Khartoum continues its attacks against the non-Muslim and non-Arab residents in southern Sudan, which includes Abyei, South Kordofan and Blue Nile. The Sudanese government wants the region’s oil and water resources but not the “infidels” and “blacks” who live there. In recent weeks, the government has increased its aerial bombardment of Christian towns in southern Sudan, and famine is spreading. Pray for Christians in southern Sudan.
At least 11 people were killed on Sunday, Nov. 25, when suicide bombers attacked a church inside the Jaji Military Cantonment in the northern state of Kaduna. Suspected Islamists drove a bus packed with explosives into the St. Andrew’s Military Church during a service, causing a large explosion. Although the initial explosion apparently caused no casualties, a second car bomb was detonated just outside the building about 10 minutes later, after church members had gathered around the site of the first explosion. In addition to the 11 killed, 30 people were injured, many of them seriously. No group has claimed responsibility for the bombing, but the Islamic extremist group Boko Haram is suspected in the attack. On Nov. 24, Nigeria’s army offered 290 million naira ($1.8 million) for information leading to the capture of 19 leaders of Boko Haram. The group, which is intent on overthrowing the government and enforcing Sharia, or Islamic law, throughout Nigeria, frequently targets Christians. Continue to pray for Nigerian Christians. Pray that their faith will remain strong and that they will respond in a Godly way to the continual violence.
Pray for the pastors and evangelists who received VOM-provided motorbikes and bicycles. Pray that they will be able to expand their ministries and reach out to villages where there is no pastor.