Voice of the Martyrs Prayer Watch

SOMALIA: Christian Convert Dragged from Home and Publicly Executed

Last month suspected al Shabaab militants murdered a woman professing the Christian faith. Sufia was at home with her parents when a group of armed men burst into her home. Leaving her parents untouched, the men grabbed Sufia, forcefully dragged her from the home at gunpoint, and then publicly shot her, firing into the on-looking crowd as friends and neighbours attempted to save her.

Immediately following the execution, Sufia’s killers fled the scene. Despite ongoing efforts by police to locate them, Sufia’s murderers remain at large.

According to al Shabaab, an al-Qaeda-linked terrorist network, all Somalis are born Muslims by default. Somalis found practising other religions are considered guilty of apostasy and should be put to death.

Source: International Christian Concern

Prayer Points

  • Pray the Lord will comfort Sufia’s shocked and grieving family. Pray they will they will trust wholeheartedly in Jesus Christ concerning the promise of His salvation, for Sufia and for themselves.
  • May the gunmen be found and brought to justice. But even more importantly, may these perpetrators repent of their wrongdoing and come to faith in our Lord.
  • Pray that the church in Somalia will continue to grow, despite the harsh persecution God’s children endure.

 

IRAN: Update on Pastor Serving Six-Year Prison Sentence

Iranian church leaders have requested intercession for Farshid Fathi, a believer from a Muslim background, who is serving a six-year prison sentence. He was injured on 17 April when revolutionary guards attacked a number of prisoners held in Evin prison, Tehran.

Farshid suffered a broken foot and toe after he intervened in the beating of another prisoner and a guard stamped on his foot. He was taken to hospital for treatment on 20 April as a day patient.

Farshid was arrested on 26 December 2010 along with a number of other Christian leaders. He has been subjected to periods of solitary confinement, intense interrogation and at times he has been denied communication with his family.

In March 2012 he was convicted on charges of anti-state political activity, charges that were derived from his leadership of a network of house fellowships. In June 2013 his appeal was rejected and the six-year sentence upheld.

Across Iran, at least 50 others are known to be in prison because of their Christian faith or activities.

Sources: Middle East Concern, Elam Ministries, Mohabat News

 

Prayer Points

  • Please pray for Farshid, together with others injured; may they be completely healed.
  • Pray Farshid, his fellow prisoners and their families may know the presence, peace and protection of Jesus each day; pray for their release.
  • Pray the guards and officials involved will love mercy, act justly, learn about Jesus and choose to follow Him.

Click here to write a letter of encouragement to Farshid and other Christians in prison for their faith

PAKISTAN: Christian Cleaner Shot for Refusing to Convert

A 22-year-old sweeper from Lahore was shot dead by a colleague after he refused to convert to Islam. The cleaner, known as Haroon, was shot in the head after refusing to give in to the repeated demands of a security guard at the Islamic bank where they both worked.

Release International partners say that the guard had reportedly been mocking Haroon daily for being a Christian. Then, last Wednesday, he struck up a conversation about religion again and this time became aggressive, insisting that Haroon convert to Islam. When Haroon said he was a follower of Christ, the guard pulled out a gun.

Police detained the man but did not register a case initially due to claims that Haroon had ‘committed suicide’. Only when local Christians staged a protest outside the police station was a case filed.

Release International partners say that police apathy towards attacks on Christians in Pakistan only encourages religious intolerance and further attacks, and have demanded a thorough investigation of Haroon’s death.

Source: Release International

Prayer Points

  • Pray that God’s peace and presence will be with Haroon’s family and that justice will be done. Pray that God will provide for them and protect them.
  • Pray that Pakistani officials, including the police, will take seriously their duty to protect all citizens, no matter what their religion.
  • Pray the Lord will strengthen and grow His church in Pakistan, despite the severe opposition.
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