Voice of the Martyrs Prayer Watch

SUDAN: Meriam Ibrahim freed again

Meriam Ibrahim, the Sudanese mother imprisoned for six months and released from death-row charges for apostasy, was released for the second time last Thursday night.

She had been re-arrested less than 24 hours after being freed by the court, after being driven to the airport in a US Embassy car with her family.    

Ibrahim, along with her family, was hoping to travel to the US via South Sudan – which gained its independence from Sudan in 2011 – as there are no direct flights.

This time, she was released from police custody, and is currently in the US embassy with her family, said Ibrahim’s lawyer, Mohaned Mustafa.

Ibrahim was released on the condition that she remains in Sudan. She told BBC Arabic that her ‘future is in the hands of God’, and that she just wants to spend time with her young family.   

Ibrahim, who until 23 June faced a death sentence for leaving Islam, was freed when the court threw out the charges. She, her husband and two children attempted to board a plane on 24 June in Khartoum, only to be detained as Sudanese authorities scrutinised their travel documents.

Despite the emergency travel documents issued by the South Sudanese authorities being confirmed as genuine, Sudanese officials have accused her of forging the travel documents.

A Sudanese foreign ministry official, Abdullahi Alzareg, told the BBC that Ibrahim is Sudanese and should not have been using another country’s travel document, stamped with a US visa.

Source: World Watch Monitor

Prayer Points

  • Thank the Lord for Meriam’s release into the safety of the US embassy and pray for a favourable outcome so she and her family can leave the country.
  • Thank the Lord for her continued faithfulness.
  • Ask God to use her testimony to encourage the faith of other believers in Sudan and around the world. 
 

INDONESIA: Churches Attacked In Yogyakarta

On 29 May Islamic militants attacked a prayer meeting in the home of Julius Felicianus (52) attended by members of the St Francis Agung Banteng Church. Dressed in robes and armed with knives, the attackers claimed to be loyal to the cleric Jafar Umar Thalib, the former commander of Laskar Jihad.

Six of the believers, including women and a child (8) who was electrocuted, had to be taken to hospital. Julius Felicianus’ own neighbours were amongst the attackers. They have threatened to return if Christian worship ever takes place in that house again.

On Sunday 1 June a Protestant church was attacked in the same area. Fortunately, the service had been short and the congregation had already left. The attackers had to content themselves with stoning the property and smashing all the stained glass windows. Police were present but did not intervene.

This was the third time the El Shaddai Pentecostal Church had been attacked since construction began in 2012, before the local authorities sealed the building. Each time the believers have re-opened the church for worship they have faced violence. The fellowship has existed since 1990. The Islamic Jihad Front (FJI), one of the groups involved in the attack, claims to be fighting against ‘Christianisation’. 

 Source: Evangelical Alliance in Australia Religious Liberty Prayer Blog

Prayer Points

  • Pray these believers will be given the strength to persevere in their faith and not give up meeting together.
  • Ask the Lord to help the believers to forgive their enemies and reach out to them with courage and in love.
  • Pray the Lord will grant those who have been injured a full and complete recovery.

 

NIGERIA: “Scores” Massacred, Churches Burned to the Ground in Latest Attack

Armed Islamic militants have killed “scores” of worshippers and civilians and burned down four churches in raids on two villages in Nigeria’s northeast. Nigerian military and law enforcement personnel have neither confirmed the attacks nor announced an official death toll.

On Sunday, armed militants suspected to belong to the radical Islamic insurgency, Boko Haram, “sprayed gunfire at worshippers and torched four churches” in Kwada, “a village just miles from the town where more than 200 schoolgirls were kidnapped,” according to the Associated Press.

Reports have identified three of the four destroyed churches as the Protestant Church of Christ in Nigeria, the Pentecostal Deeper Life Bible Church and the Church of the Brethren, or EYN church.

In speaking with the AP, Millam Yahi, a member of the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF), “the attackers went on to neighbouring Kautikari, where they gunned down villagers and burned down homes.”

Spokesman Gideon Jubrin has stated that police have not confirmed the attack “because bad communications have kept them from reaching the nearest security post at Chibok.” However, a Chibok resident told Agence France-Presse that, in response to distress calls from Kwada villagers, security personnel “just went and got a hiding place in the bush.” That allegation has yet to be confirmed.

Source: International Christian Concern

Prayer Points

  • Commit to the Lord those who are suffering loss of loved ones and loss of property and also those who are suffering from physical injury.
  • Pray the Lord will bring an end to the violence and bloodshed in Nigeria and somehow in His perfect timing and purposes use this present suffering for good.
  • Ask Him to strengthen and direct government authorities, police and military personnel in their fight against Boko Haram.
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