Voice of the Martyrs Prayer Watch – May

PAKISTAN: Some 700 Christian Girls Stolen/Trafficked Annually

The Movement for Solidarity and Peace (MSP) in Pakistan has released a report entitled ‘Forced Marriages & Forced Conversions in the Christian Community of Pakistan’ (published April 2014). According to this report, around 1000 minority girls – some 300 Hindus and 700 Christians – are forced to marry Muslim men in Pakistan every year.

Furthermore, the MSP acknowledged that this is just the tip of the iceberg, as most cases either go unreported or fail to progress.

According to MSP, the forced marriages follow a distinct pattern: a Christian girl aged between 12 and 25 is abducted, ‘converted’ and married to the abductor or a third party. The victim’s family files a report with the police, accusing the abductor. The abductor files a report with the police accusing the Christian family. The case goes to court where the girl – who normally remains in the custody of her abductors – is asked to testify whether or not she left home, converted and was married of her own free will. When the girl testifies that she acted of her own free will (making a false testimony to protect her family) the case is settled. These girls are subjected to violence, rape, forced prostitution, trafficking and sale. The same pattern exists in Egypt where Coptic girls are routinely abducted, ‘converted’ and married to Muslim men.

This is human trafficking across religious lines. Such large scale systematic abuse could not endure without the tacit consent and overt co-operation of Islamic clerics, law enforcement officers and government officials.

Source: Assist New Service, Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin

Prayer Points

  • Ask the Lord to intervene in the lives of those young women to deliver them from their captors.
  • Pray the Lord will raise up leaders in Pakistan and Egypt to act justly to bring about change in attitudes and judicial process.
  • Ask the Lord to pour out His Holy Spirit into these nations to make Himself known to many and bring about true and everlasting peace.

NIGERIA: Boko Haram Conducts Follow-Up Kidnapping to Mass-Abduction of 243

Boko Haram is suspected in the abduction of eight girls from a small village in Northern Nigeria’s Borno State.

According to eyewitness accounts, a large number of suspected armed Boko Haram militants entered Warabe village in Gwoza, Borno State, Monday night. After firing their weapons into the air to announce their presence, the armed men reportedly proceeded to loot villagers’ cattle and other property, kidnap eight girls between the ages of 12 and 15, and allegedly killed five villagers who attempted to stop them. The abducted girls and stolen goods were then loaded into the backs of military-grade trucks which, according to eyewitnesses, were camouflaged in imitation of the Nigerian army.

The attack occurred just hours following the release of a video featuring Boko Haram’s leader, Abubakar Shekau, claiming the group’s responsibility for the mass-kidnapping of 243 schoolgirls, as reported by the parents of those abducted. In the video, Shekau also declared his intention to sell the girls into domestic and sexual servitude, saying, “There is a market for selling humans. Allah says I should sell. He commands me to sell. I will sell women,” according to a CNN translation.

Source: International Christian Concern

Prayer Points

  • Pray these girls will be rescued and reunited with their families. Pray the Lord will protect them and strengthen them during this time of torment.
  • Ask the Lord to frustrate the plans of those who are responsible, put a stop to their evil schemes and bring them to justice.
  • Pray the Lord will dismantle Boko Haram entirely and put an end to the violence.

BAHRAIN: Child Beaten for Her Faith

A 10-year-old girl was badly beaten recently by her mother and uncle after she told them she believed in Jesus. The girl’s father has been a believer for several years and is open with his family about his faith.

During a recent conversation with her mother and uncle, the girl was asked what she believed. This was her reply: “I believe what my dad believes. I believe in Jesus.”

The child’s mother and uncle immediately began to beat her, leaving her badly bruised. Despite the beating, the girl and her father remain committed to following Christ.

Source: VOM USA

Prayer Points

  • Ask God to grant physical and emotional healing to this young girl as she recovers from the ordeal. May her faith grow stronger each day.
  • Thank the Lord that her father is also a believer, and pray that he will be a source of comfort and strength for his daughter as she follows Jesus.
  • Pray for the girl’s mother and uncle, may they also come to accept Christ as their Saviour and Lord.
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