Saturday, February 6, 2010

New CEO at Voice of the Martyrs-Canada

International (MNN)-The Board of Directors of The Voice of the Martyrs-Canada has appointed Corey Odden to the position of Chief Executive Officer. Odden comes to VOMC after serving most recently as vice president for the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, following 10 years as Chief Financial Officer for The Voice of the Martyrs in the United States. During his time with VOM, Odden traveled extensively in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East in service to the persecuted church.
"I cannot thank God enough for bringing to us Corey Odden, who is, in my humble opinion, uniquely qualified to step into the C.E.O.'s office," said Rev. Peter Jardine, chairman of the Board of Directors. "We remain in God's hands, secure in the knowledge that He is guiding us, sustaining us and loving us through this difficult but rewarding work."

ALGERIA:Protestors block church service

Algeria (MNN)-On the day after Christmas, a congregation of nearly 350 people gathered for a church service and Christmas celebration at their new building in Tizi-Ouzou, Algeria. They found almost 50 of their Muslim neighbors barring the doors to block them from holding their service.
"The local Muslims were unhappy to have a church so close to their homes," said Todd Nettleton of Voice of the Martyrs. "The Christians called the police, and instead of allowing them to meet, the police sent the Christians home to try to negotiate with those who were protesting. In the end, the church was not allowed to hold their services."Nettleton said the police may have had sympathies with the protestors. Although separating the two groups can be an appropriate step in some situations, the end result on this occasion was that the Christians were unable to hold their church services."In the end, their religious freedom was definitely not protected," Nettleton concluded....

AZERBAIJAN and TAJIKISTAN:Deadline for re-registration passes...

Eastern Europe (MNN)--Oppressive new laws in Azerbaijan and Tajikistan required religious communities to re-register with the government by January 1, 2010 or face illegal status. As of December 16, only about 100 of Azerbaijan's 534 religious communities had been able to do so. Fewer than half of Tajikistan's religious communities re-registered.
According to Joel Griffith of Slavic Gospel Association, officials place obstructions in the paths of churches trying to re-register.
"They will find some technicality or basically any reason to deny registration. So even if some of the groups actually follow the law to the letter and meet the requirements, it just seems very arbitrary and capricious as to whether the officials will agree to register to not," he explained.
It's unclear how strictly the governments of the two nations will enforce their laws....


UN (ANS)--Though the United Nations did pass the Defamation of Religion Resolution for the fifth year in a row on Friday, December 18, support for the resolution has eroded significantly. Western countries are continuing to recognize that the resolution threatens freedom of speech, especially for Christians in Muslim majority nations. The resolution would criminalize actions or even words that offend a particular religion. The only religion specifically mentioned in the resolution, though its assumed to apply to any religion, is Islam. The Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) is the driving forced behind the Defamation of Religions Resolution and is already being used to silence minority religions....
Full Story.
Pray that support would continue to erode for the resolution as the tragic realities of its use are exposed.
Pray that efforts to utilize this resolution for evil would fail.

Bombing Attempt Puts Nigeria in Spotlight

Nigeria ( extremism in Nigeria has resulted in violence against Christians in northern Nigeria. Hundreds were killed in July when security forces clashed with members of the radical Islamic group Boko Haram. The Christian Association of Nigeria has said that "the incessant call for jihad in this country ... is becoming louder with the passing of each day."
Full Story.
that the Father would thwart and frustrate every effort of the Islamic extremist group Boko Haram to advance and exterminate the Church in Nigeria.
Pray that the Christians in Nigeria would be bold in their witness for the gospel in the face of persecution.

Persecution of Christians in Palestinian Authority

Palestinian Territory (Examiner)--Persecution of Christians continues in Gaza. One Christian man, Yusuf Khoury, was forced to flee Gaza after Hamas men attempted to capture him twice. After Hamas took over Gaza, the owner of the only Christian bookstore in the region was abducted and murdered. Christian stores and schools were firebombed. Unfortunately, the Western media largely ignores the plight of Christians in the Palestinian territory...
Full Story.
for the Father to grant strength and courage to the Christians living in Palestinian territories.
Pray that the church would be stirred to pray and act for this often forgotten body of believers.

The Arrest and Unknown Condition of a Christian Iranian in Mashhad

Iran (FCNN)--A Farsi News Network has reported that Iranian security officials broke into the home of a Christian woman in Mashhad on the morning of December 18th. The officials arrested the woman, Hamideh Najafi, after having thoroughly searched her home. Her location remains unknown. Security officers claim that officials seized some of Hamideh's belongings, including books, CDs, and hand painted portraits of Jesus Christ. The officers said that the existence of the painting could be enough to convict her in court...
Full Story.
Pray for Hamideh's safety and her witness for Christ.
Pray that Hamideh's husband would have success in locating his wife

New Believers Attacked by Family

When Soumil Dutta, Shreyas Das and Saaz Das decided to surrender their lives to Christ, their families turned on them.
Their attackers beat them in an attempt to intimidate them in to denying Christ, but the three young men remained steadfast.
After the beating and threats did not work at home, the relatives tracked down Gospel for Asia–supported pastor Dadra Thackeray. Since it was through his church that these new Christians heard about Jesus, they threatened Dadra with extortion, saying they would make him pay 100,000 rupees ($2,164 US) for each person who became a believer through his church....

Pastor Harassed by His Landlord

Duval Banerjee, a Gospel for Asia–supported pastor, is facing some difficulties with his landlord.
After Sunday worship on January 24, Duval's landlord suddenly asked him to stop holding worship services in his family's home.The house owner also told Duval that his rent would be increasing. He even locked Duval and his family out of their bathroom.This is causing extreme difficulties for Duval and his wife, Prasela....
Picture Left:CFA Stock Photo:It is common in Asia for a missionary's home to double as a place of worship

Forced Islamization of Christian Girls Supported by Egyptian State

Egypt (AINA)--A Christian TV channel that broadcasts intro Egypt has helped to expose the "phenomenon of abduction, rape and forced Islamization of Christian girls in Egypt." Many women who have been victims of these crimes shared their testimonies when the program aired in November. One of the testimonies shared was that of a 16-year-old girl who was abducted at the age of 12 on her way to school. She reported being taken into a room a raped by five men on the first night of her abduction. Over the next month, she said that over 50 men had raped her. When she was finally found by her father and brought back home to report the crime, she was beaten by security officers and ordered to claim that she ran away from home. The girl sobbed during her testimony, saying, "Until today they have done nothing about it and will not do anything because I am a Christian."
Full Story.
Pray that the Father would continue to bring comfort and complete healing to the victims of these crimes.
Pray that the Father would see that justice is achieved in each of these cases.

Indonesian Churches Demolished by Mob

Indonesia (ICC)--International Christian Concern has learned that two church buildings were destroyed by Muslim mobs in December. The first church was attacked on December 17th by a mob of over 1000 Muslim men, women and children who threw rocks at the church and then proceeded to ignite the church building using kerosene. Previously, on December 6th, an Indonesian news source reported that a crowd "destroyed tiles, removed the windows, and then burned the church." Fortunately, no one was injured in either of the attacks....
Full Story.
Pray for the body of believers in Indonesia to take a stand for Jesus in the midst of rising persecution.
Pray that the Father would begin to draw Muslims in the region to Himself.

Israel's Messianic Jews Wary of Stepped-Up Persecution

Israel (ReligionNewsService)Last year, a teenage boy was nearly killed when an Orthodox Jew placed a bomb disguised as a holiday gift basket in the stairwell of a Messianic Jewish family in Israel. The attack left then 15-year-old Ami with shrapnel wounds and burns over most of his body. Teitel, the attacker, confessed to leaving the package there because he knew the family believed in Jesus as the Messiah. Now, members of the community are concerned that this kind of persecution may continue to intensify as it has in recent years due to the growing activity and confidence of anti-missionary groups who routinely hold protests outside of Messianic places of worship....
Full Story.
that Ami and his family would find justice as well as mercy for their attacker.
Pray that the number of Messianic believers in Israel would continue to grow in spite of persecution and draw Israel to the truth of their Messiah.

Missionary Injured in Accident

Gospel for Asia–supported missionary Chandra Pavi was injured in an accident January 28. Chandra remains hospitalized for his injuries.The accident occurred when Chandra, who was riding a motorbike, collided with a tractor.
Chandra was unconscious after the accident, but some people who saw what happened loaded him in a car and took him to the nearest hospital...

Books headed to Nepal in 2010

Nepal (MNN)-In the year 2009, Christian Resources International shipped almost 200,000 Bibles and Christian literature to pastors in parts of the world where such materials are difficult to obtain. CRI's Fred Palmerton is excited about the needs the ministry will meet in 2010."We are just so grateful for the ending year and all the ministry that we were able to accomplish, and finding out that the needs didn't go away; [they're] still great," he said. "I'm looking forward to 2010. It's going to be an exciting year at the ministry, and God blessed us mightily"...
Picture Left:Courtesy of CRI

2010 starts with replacements, renewed passion and rebirth

India-Audio Scripture units were the last 50 units available for distribution via Audio Scripture Ministries in India.The units were being sent to an office that was last on the distribution list and had been eagerly awaiting the arrival of the units, but they never arrived. JP Sundararajan with ASM explains: "Essentially the units were stolen en route and replaced with a copy of an old Bible and some old medicine bottles etc. Somebody just swapped packages"....