These were first from: http://www.vom.com.au
EGYPT: How Libya’s Martyrs are Witnessing
The brutal execution of 21 Christians in Libya has sparked a feeling of unity and opportunity for Egyptian Christians.
As the country mourns the loss of 21 Coptic Christians, 13 from the same village, it has provided an opportunity to testify of the faith for which these men were killed. More than 1.65 million copies of a tract inspired by the incident have been distributed in one week.
The tract contains biblical quotations about the promise of blessing amid suffering, alongside a poignant poem in colloquial Arabic:
Who fears the other?
The row in orange, watching paradise open?
Or the row in black, with minds evil and broken? The Bible Society distributed the tract through Egypt’s churches.
Sources: International Christian Concern, Christianity Today
- Praise God for the lives of the 21 Christian men and their faithful love for Christ.
- Continue to pray for the families of these men, may they rest in the knowledge that the Lord hears their cries and is upholding them during their time of grief.
- Pray that the Scripture tracts created will mightily proclaim Christ’s name and draw many to Him.
SYRIA: Nineteen Assyrians Released by Islamic State, Hundreds Remain Captured
Nineteen Assyrians who were captured from the Syrian village of Tel Goran have been released by Islamic State (IS) and have arrived safely at St Mary’s Church in Hasaka, Syria.
According to the Assyrian International News Agency, negotiations for their release had been ongoing for three days and were mediated by local Arab tribal leaders.
‘Of the 19 that were released, 17 were women and 2 were men,’ said a spokesperson for AINA. But not all who were captured from Tel Goran were released. One of the hostages, an elderly woman, said that IS did not release her son and two other men who were guarding the village.
IS also refused to release a six-year-old girl. According to reports from the released hostages, Islamic State said it plans to use the girl as a bargaining chip. The girl’s mother was released but would not leave her daughter behind and stayed with her.
The spokesman told the ASSIST News Service, ‘The hostages looked tired and dishevelled but were otherwise unharmed.’
According to AINA, the number of Assyrians captured by Islamic State is between 262 and 373. According to Assyrian leaders, negotiations for the release of the remainder of the hostages are ongoing.
Sources: Assist News Service
- Thank the Lord for the release of these hostages; pray He will help them to overcome their ordeal.
- Pray for the many that remain; pray they will be sustained by the Lord. Ask Him to give them a peace in their heart in spite of their circumstances as well as a willingness to trust in Him completely. Pray for their protection and release.
- Ask God to frustrate the plans of Islamic State; pray their evil schemes become their undoing. Pray many will be drawn to the Lord by the Christian witness of the captives.
SUDAN: Two South Sudanese Pastors Imprisoned
Two pastors from South Sudan, Pastor Yat Michael and Pastor Peter Yen, have been detained for over a month in undisclosed locations in Sudan without formal charges.
Pastor Michael and his wife had taken their son to Khartoum for medical attention, and the pastor was asked to give a sermon during his visit. After finishing his sermon on Sunday, 21 December, he was arrested by members of Sudan’s National Intelligence Security.
When Pastor Yen visited the Religious Affairs Office in Khartoum on 11 January to inquire about his colleague, he too was arrested. There is concern that both Pastor Michael and Pastor Yen are in danger of being tortured.
Source: Voice of the Martyrs USA
- Please pray that the Lord would make them strong to lovingly and boldly proclaim the Gospel even while being detained. Pray they will remain steadfast (1 Peter 5:8-10).
- Ask the Lord to grant protection to these men and their families; pray they will become more Christlike during this time of trial.
- Pray for their release and ask the Lord to move the authorities to seek justice and mercy.