VOM Prayer Requests Syria, Uzbekistan, and Burma

VOM-USA Prayer Update for December 16, 2011

The Voice of the Martyrs USA: www.persecution.com

Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: “ Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” Luke 2:8–14

Syria—Regime Change Bad News for Christians
Sources: Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin, VOM Contacts

Romans 9:7–9
nor are they all children because they are the seed of Abraham; but, “In Isaac your seed shall be called.” That is, those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted as the seed. For this is the word of promise: “At this time I will come and Sarah shall have a son.”

A regime change in Syria would almost certainly have negative effects on Christians, according to observers of the country’s political situation. The Syrian uprising is “not about ‘democracy’ as the West knows it,” wrote Elisabeth Kendal in the Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin. “It is about restoring [Sunni Muslim domination], Arab hegemony and the Islamic order to Syria.” During the uprising, Syrian Christians have been forced from their homes and Christian businesses burned. Protestors at one event reportedly chanted, “The Alawites to the grave and the Christians to Beirut.” While VOM-supported evangelists have long faced harassment and other difficulties while sharing the gospel, many fear that a change in Syria’s leadership could raise anti-Christian persecution to levels seen in Iran. Please pray for the protection and perseverance of God’s children in Syria.

Uzbekistan—Christians Warned to Stop Evangelism
Source: Forum 18 News

Exodus 18:7–9
So Moses went out to meet his father-in-law, bowed down, and kissed him. And they asked each other about their well-being, and they went into the tent. And Moses told his father-in-law all that the LORD had done to Pharaoh and to the Egyptians for Israel’s sake, all the hardship that had come upon them on the way, and how the LORD had delivered them. Then Jethro rejoiced for all the good which the LORD had done for Israel, whom He had delivered out of the hand of the Egyptians.

Authorities in Angren, Uzbekistan, warned local churches in November to cease proselytism and missionary activities and to stop allowing children to participate in worship meetings. The deputy head of the administration delivered the warning to representatives of the Catholic, Russian Orthodox, Presbyterian, Seventh-Day Adventist and Baptist churches on Nov. 2. In addition to being warned about evangelistic work, the church representatives were asked for lists of their churches’ members. Area Christians said they will continue to teach their children about their faith. Pray for Christians in Uzbekistan, who face intense pressure from the government.

Burma (Myanmar)—More Violence Against Christian Minority
Sources: Compass Direct News, Kachin News Group

Psalm 149:6–9
Let the high praises of God be in their mouth,
And a two-edged sword in their hand,
To execute vengeance on the nations,
And punishments on the peoples;
To bind their kings with chains,
And their nobles with fetters of iron;
To execute on them the written judgment—
This honor have all His saints.

Praise the LORD!

Burmese government troops killed civilians, burned houses and arrested a Christian couple in the Christian-majority Kachin state recently. On Wednesday, Nov. 30, one woman was killed and six other villagers injured as soldiers fired four rounds of mortar shells toward civilians in the Tarlawgyi area. Government troops also burned down 10 homes in Nam Wai village and five more in neighboring Hpa Ke village. The attacks followed two explosions that occurred the previous night in the state’s capital, Myitkyina, in which one student died and another was injured. Local residents suspect that government agents planted the bombs. Two weeks earlier, on Nov. 13, a powerful explosion killed seven children and three displaced people and injured 16 other children at an orphanage in Myitkyina. Police arrested the Christian couple who run the orphanage in connection with the bombing, even though two of their sons and a grandson were among those killed. The attacks have left civilians in Kachin terrified. An estimated 90 percent of Kachin citizens are Christian. Pray that the government will respond to the needs of Christians in Burma.

-posted by Tim A. Blankenship

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