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English: Persecution of the Christians

English: Persecution of the Christians (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Recently I received the following email from:
Renewal Ministries Fellowship
www.renewal.asn.au
“…May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that You sent Me and have loved them…” (John 17:23)

According to the Open Doors 2013 World Watch List, Persecution of Christians in Africa increased immensely in 2012. Mali is a newcomer on the list and holds the seventh position. Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Niger also enter the list and Ethiopia is one of the strongest risers. This rise is due to the increasing influence of Islam, states Open Doors.

Of the African countries, Mali is the most noticeable newcomer on the list. The way the situation in Mali escalated after the March coup shocked Open Doors. “Mali used to be a model country. Although the situation in the North used to be a bit tense, Christians and even missionaries could be active. But now Christians are simply no longer allowed to be there. Hundreds of Christians have fled from the North.”

From: Global Action
I just came to know that, last Sunday , February 10th a group of Hindu Fanatics attacked the house church of R.D. Joshua from Uttar Pradesh Region. He was leading the Sunday worship service when the attackers came and accused him of converting people. They beat him badly and fractured his hand and threatened the believers to stop worshiping the “foreign God Jesus”. He is also banned from entering the village by the fundamentalist group. This group belongs to the higher caste Hindus that are politically influential. The local police has refused to lodge any complaint because this may cause even a stronger threat on his life! We are trying to help Pastor Joshua with the medical treatments but need your prayers as well. Please pray for his speedy recovery and complete restoration of strength.

This is very alarming but similar persecution is quite common. Please remember to pray for Pastor R.D. Joshua and our brothers and sisters in Northern India. Joshua is a GLOMOS graduate from the 2011 group. He is pastor of a church in and is leading quite a church movement there. He has 20 cell groups in different villages with 16 cell leaders. Just a couple of weeks back we did a “Blankets of Love” distribution in one of village churches under Pastor Joshua’s leadership. Pastor Joshua shared with us his vision to reach out to new villages and thanked us for providing the blankets which expressed the love of Jesus in a tangible way. No doubt the phenomenal growth of the local church has prompted the enemy to do these sort of things to dampen the spirit of the leaders like Pastor Joshua.

Please pray for:

The new believers in this house group church who are terrified to see the condition of their pastor;
The cell group leaders who also expect similar threat in some areas after last Sunday;
RD’s wife Mrs. Tara Joshua.;
Police to book the FIR about the incident and justice is done

KENYA — Pastor Killed by Gunmen
Gunmen attacked two Somali pastors on Thursday, Feb. 7, in Garissa, Kenya, wounding one and killing Pastor Abdi Welli. The pastors were leaving a bank when they were shot. Pastor Abdi leaves behind his wife, Helen, and three young sons. “He was a great, faithful believer who continued onward for the sake of the gospel in a very dangerous place,” said a VOM field worker. “Today, he gave his highest act of devotion to his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

Garissa is a violence-plagued city in northeastern Kenya, where Islamist terrorists have been targeting Christians and churches. Last July, terrorists killed 16 people in church bombings. Please pray for Pastor Abdi’s family and the other believers in this community, who are all affected by his death.

Here is the Open Doors 2013 World Watch List of countries where Christians are suffering the greatest persecution …
1. North Korea
2. Saudi Arabia
3. Afghanistan
4. Iraq
5. Somalia
6. Maldives
7. Mali
8. Iran
9. Yemen
10. Eritrea
11. Syria
12. Sudan
13. Nigeria
14. Pakistan
15. Ethiopia
16. Uzbekistan
17. Libya
18. Laos
19. Turkmenistan
20. Qatar
21. Vietnam
22. Oman
23. Mauritania
24. Tanzania
25. Egypt
26. United Arab Emirates
27. Brunei
28. Bhutan
29. Algeria
30. Tunisia
31. India
32. Myanmar
33. Kuwait
34. Jordan
35. Bahrain
36. Palestinian Territories
37. China
38. Azerbaijan
39. Morocco
40. Kenya
41. Comoros
42. Malaysia
43. Djibouti
44. Tajikistan
45. Indonesia
46. Colombia
47. Uganda
48. Kazakhstan
49. Kyrgyzstan
50. Niger

Countries on the World Watch List do not necessarily experience persecution throughout the country. Countries like China have areas where there is virtually no persecution and areas where there is persecution. However, in some countries like North Korea, there is persecution throughout the country.

In the WWL, persecution is defined as, “any hostility, experienced from the world, as a result of one’s identification with Christ. This can include hostile attitudes, words and actions towards Christians both from within and outside Christianity.”

It is illegal to be a Christian in North Korea and Christians are often sent to labour camps, where they are starved and beaten, or are killed if they are discovered. The conditions in this country have remained the worst in the world for Christians for the past 11 years.

The situation changed in Mali for the worse in 2012 following the capture of the northern part of the country by Tuareg separatists rebels and Islamists fighters and the proclamation of the creation of the independent state of Azawad in the north. Islamists soon established an Islamic state with a Sharia regime in the north. Christians were driven out and churches burnt. There is widespread concern Mali is becoming a jihadist hub.

Based on our media research, we can confirm 89 killings of Christians in Syria during our reporting period. With tens of thousands of Christians having fled the country, abductions, rapes, physical harm taking place, so that clearly explains the fact that Syria has risen so much in its ranking.

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While most of the Believers in America are free from persecution, it cannot last. Like the parable that Y’shua told of the Ten Virgins, we must be wise and prepare. We must also stand in prayer for Saints in countries that persecute them.

Lord Bless, Keep, Shine. . .