Gao Zhisheng, a prominent lawyer who had his legal license suspended by Chinese authorities for representing religious rights, faced an attempt on his life January 17th. China Aid Association reported Gao was traveling in Beijing when a vehicle with an obscured license plate suddenly stopped in front of him. He narrowly missed hitting the vehicle, stopped and got out to investigate. The driver of the other car then attempted to run down Gao, but he was able to dodge out of the path of the vehicle. As the car sped away, the newspaper covering the license plate blew away and the plate number was reported. It is believed the driver was a security agent of the Chinese government. Throughout the incident, a military vehicle was observing nearby.
Pray Gao will continue to experience God´s protection even though his work angers those in authority. Pray Gao and his friends within the house churches will continue to share Christ with boldness and even share their faith with their persecutors. Pray with confidence for Chinese authorities, knowing God´s hand is not shortened that it cannot save.
On January 14th, approximately 40 Hindu militants opposed to a children´s home and school being constructed in the Northeastern Indian village of Tikri in Uttaranchal came to the construction site and threatened to kill the workers who were building the new facility. The workers all fled for their lives. Ashish Massey, head of the North India Evangelistic Association (NIEA) funding the project, has also been similarly threatened by the militants. Khumi Massey, a staff member of NIEA, reported some of the local villagers allegedly complained to the activists that the Christians had come to their village to convert them. In a separate incident in West Bengal, the Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority demolished a church building and orphanage on January 16th, despite on-going legal proceedings. According to Indian Express, the development authority claimed the buildings were impeding a planned road expansion. At the time of its destruction, the orphanage was home to 30 children and 20 women.
Pray those who are serving these little ones in the name of the Father will know His protection. Pray the displaced children and women in West Bengal will find housing even better housing than what they had before. Pray God will prove Himself strong on behalf of His children and many Hindus will find joy in Jesus as their Savior.
Hindu extremists attacked Christians in two incidents in Andhra Pradesh state on January 12th and 13th. Seven Christians, including two pastors, sustained injuries. In Nizamabad district on January 12th, a mob of about 100 extremists attacked a group of Christians led by the pastor of a Pentecostal church as they distributed Christian pamphlets near a bus stand. Police intervened before they could burn the pastor alive. On January 13th, in the same district, members of the Hindu extremist group Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh dragged five people from a 5-year-old girl´s birthday party and beat them. Among the victims was Pastor Nagani Swami David, who was kicked unconscious and left at a Hindu temple.
Pray God will comfort and heal those who were injured in these attacks. Pray the Christians will forgive their enemies and make Jesus´ love known among the Hindus. Pray God will work a miracle of His grace and power to stop these Hindu extremists from any further attacks on Christians.
Pray God will give His strength and courage to these believers as they continue to meet and willingly face the consequences. Pray Christians worldwide will offer fervent prayers to the Lord God on behalf of our brothers and sisters in Indonesia. Pray the Holy Spirit will move in power to bring Muslims to a saving knowledge of Christ.
An itinerant evangelist, pastor and father of four children, was brutally murdered in southern Laos the week before Christmas. The body of Aroun Voraphorn was found on December 23rd, abandoned on a jungle road near his home village of Huaysiat. His wife last heard from him on December 18th, when he told her by telephone he would arrive late for his youngest daughter´s birthday party as he was buying a birthday cake. Religious motives for the killing cannot be ruled out, as the evangelist had been imprisoned for his faith in 1996. At a funeral service on Christmas Eve, his wife Metta Voraphorn pleaded with Christians in Laos to continue preaching the gospel fearlessly, as her husband had done.
Pray God will comfort Vaoraphorn´s family with His special peace. Pray the murder of this innocent man will increase the zeal of his Christian friends to spread word of our God of peace. Pray the light of the Holy Spirit will overcome the spiritual darkness in Laos.
After becoming believers in Christ a few months ago, six families were verbally ordered by the local chief and police of the village to relocate to another village. They were told villagers did not want any Christians living in their village of Nongthorn, Lowngam district, Saravan province. In addition, several Lao Christian leaders and their wives are missing for no apparent reason. They have disappeared with no trace of their whereabouts.
Pray God will protect the harassed families and the missing Christian leaders with His strong arm. Pray He will strengthen them to stand fast in the faith. Pray the Lord will guide them and wherever they go their witness will be to His glory.
Pray as Christians in Uzbekistan live in the light of Christ they will see God defeat the plans of the enemy. Pray moderate Muslims will speak up against the violence of Islamic extremists. Pray God will give many Muslims dreams and visions that will open their hearts and minds to Jesus as their Savior.