VOM Prayer Update – Morocco, Turkey, Kurdistan, & China

VOM-USA Prayer Update for March 16, 2012

The Voice of the Martyrs USA: www.persecution.com
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5–6

Morocco—Secret Christians Arrested
Source: VOM Contacts

Psalm 5:11–12
But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You;
Let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them;
Let those also who love Your name
Be joyful in You.
For You, O Lord, will bless the righteous;
With favor You will surround him as with a shield.

Police have arrested three secret Christians and apparently gained information about other secret believers in the country. On March 1, two young men were visiting with an older believer from another city in a public café when police arrested the three. The two young men were released later that night, but the older believer remains in custody. The families of the two young men were not aware of their sons’ conversion to Christianity, and one of the young men was expelled from his home when his family learned of his Christian faith. In addition to the three arrests, police visited the home of a Christian leader in Rabat, but the family did not let them in. Pray for these two young men as well as the older believer still in custody. Also pray for protection of those whose names have been provided to the police.

Turkey—Church Attacked Amid Increasing Harassment
Source: VOM Contacts

Acts 9:3–5
As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”
And he said, “Who are You, Lord?”
Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.”

A church in Turkey has experienced increased harassment in recent weeks, possibly as a result of the Quran burnings at an American military base in Afghanistan. On Sunday, March 4, police notified the pastor of Samsun Agape Church that someone had attacked the church building. The attacker kicked in the church door to get inside, where guests from Romania were staying. He also damaged the church sign before being detained by police and a neighbor. Several policemen were injured in a struggle with the attacker. Christians in Turkey are often perceived as traitors and supporters of the West. “These types of incidents discourage new believers and drive them to fear,” the pastor said. Pray for the protection of Turkish believers, and pray that those who persecute Christians might receive the truth in miraculous ways.

Kurdistan—Christian Teacher Killed by Student
Source: VOM Contacts, Kurdistan News Agency

Jeremiah 29:7
And seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captive, and pray to the Lord for it; for in its peace you will have peace.

A student at a private Christian school in Kurdistan shot to death his American teacher before killing himself. The incident has prompted the Ministry of Education to review the programs of private schools in the region. Bayar Sarwar, 18, shot 33-year-old American gym teacher Jeremiah Small four times on March 1 as he prayed before class. Although the motive for the shooting is unclear, the Kurdistan Teachers Union believes the student was agitated by the teacher’s promotion of Christianity. Without elaborating, police said only that there was some kind of issue between the student and teacher. Jeremiah Small was from Washington state. He was buried March 6, 2012, in Kurdistan. Please pray for his family and for peace in Kurdistan.

China
VOM Project

Pray for Pastor Yang Xuan and his wife, Yang Caizhen. VOM has provided emergency aid to their family since the house church leaders were arrested in November 2009. Yang Caizhen was released last year, but her husband remains in prison.

-posted by Tim A. Blankenship

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