LA NOTICIA EN OTRO IDIOMA
Abdul Rahman, who converted from Islam to Christianity and was prosecuted in a Kabul court, has been released. He could have been sentenced to death. Rahman was arrested last month after his family went to the police and accused him of becoming a Christian. Such a conversion violates the country´s Islamic laws. During the hearing, the defendant allegedly confessed he converted from Islam to Christianity 16 years ago when he was 25 and working as a medical aid worker for Afghan refugees in neighboring Pakistan. Afghanistan´s constitution is based on Shariah law, which states any Muslim who rejects their religion should be sentenced to death. The prosecutor, Abdul Wasi, said he had offered to drop the charges if Rahman changed his religion back to Islam, but the defendant refused. International publicity put pressure on the court to release him, but he will be in grave danger as long as he remains in the country. Muslim extremists view Rahman as an apostate who must be killed according to Islamic law.
Thank our merciful Lord that Rahman was released from custody. Pray God will protect him and provide a safe haven for him outside of Afghanistan. Pray the exceptional worldwide publicity covering this case will awaken the world to the true nature of Islam, and bring about a spiritual revival in Afghanistan.
Compass has confirmed the arrest of two other Afghan Christians. Another Afghan convert to Christianity was beaten severely outside his home by a group of six men who finally knocked him unconscious with a hard blow to his temple. He woke up in the hospital two hours later. “Our brother remains steadfast, despite the ostracism and beatings,” one of his friends said.
Pray international media will continue to publicize the persecution of Christians in Afghanistan and other countries. Pray God will protect and strengthen His faithful followers. Pray those who are suffering for their steadfast faith will bring forth a harvest of souls finding true peace in Jesus Christ.
CAA learned 24 house-church leaders are still missing following a police raid on a house-church leader´s meeting in Henan province. According to an eyewitness report, at noon on March 13th, a number of public security officials raided a house-church meeting at Wen county, Henan province. Eighty Chinese house-church leaders from different counties of Henan province were attending a co-workers´ meeting. All of the leaders were then taken into custody after the police searched their bodies and confiscated the cash on them. While 36 from Wen county were released within 24 hours, 24 of those from other counties are still missing. None of their whereabouts are known. Last week CAA also released a Defense Statement prepared by the defense lawyers of a controversial religious group leader, Xu Shuangfu. Xu Shuangfu stated he had sustained an extortion of confession by severe torture, including denial of sleep for long periods and pouring hot pepper, gasoline and ginger juice into his nostrils. He was hung for long periods with his armed stretched and bound, shocked with electricity applied to copper wires bound around his extremities and hit with clubs on a helmet worn on his head. After seven days and nights of severe torture, he finally confessed to the unsubstantiated charges of authorizing the killing of members of the Eastern Lightning sect.
Pray the 24 Christians still in custody will know the comfort of Jesus´ presence. Pray they will be released soon. Pray Xu Shuangfu will remember the apostle Peter and know Jesus´ love and forgiveness.
Pray our powerful, omnipotent God will protect all those who have chosen to believe in His Son. Pray the Holy Spirit will send a spirit of confusion among the Hindus attending the “reconversion” ceremonies. Pray Christians worldwide will join in fervent prayer that our one true God be glorified in this event.
The Rev. Tongkhojang Lunkim was released at 1:00 p.m., on Saturday (March 18th), after being held captive for two months by the Kuki Liberation Army (KLA) in Manipur state, northeast India. Before handing him over, the KLA forced Lunkim to apologize for and stop his alleged “anti-KLA activities.” The Rev. M. Haokhothong, Lunkim´s son-in-law, told Compass he was grateful for those who have prayed for the release. “I met Lunkim this evening in his home, but unfortunately he is too weak and unable to speak,” Haokhothong said. “He is on a glucose drip, and a nurse is attending him.” Lunkim–a missionary and human rights activist–was a key spokesman for the people of Manipur.
Give thanks to God for the release of Rev. Lunkim. Pray he will know the presence and healing power of Jesus as he recovers from the trauma of imprisonment. Pray God will give him supernatural peace of mind as he forgives his captors.
On March 11th, a Turkish Muslim shouting insults against Christianity pulled a long butcher knife on two priests and a group of teenagers at a Latin Catholic church in Mersin, threatening them and their families. In a 30-minute standoff in the town on the southern coast of Turkey, Erdal Gurel entered the parish convent of St. Antoine´s Catholic Church while 25 of the church´s young people were rehearsing for an Easter passion play. After threatening Hanri Leylek, a priest, with a knife, cursing Christianity and chasing the youths, the 19-year-old Gurel was apprehended by police. It was unclear, however, whether he remained in custody. In a country where media often portray the tiny Protestant community negatively, some news organizations here took notice when Muslims threatened Christians at a recent book fair last week. Normally, Turkish nationalists threatening to hang local Protestants for operating a Christian literature stall at the Bursa annual book fair wouldn´t have raised an eyebrow. But it wasn´t long before Turkish television video and newspaper commentary were running. Some of the commentary only further fanned anti-Christian sentiment.
Give thanks and praise to God that the threatened priest and teenagers weren´t harmed. Pray God will soften the heart of Erdal Gurel, bringing him to repentance and the desire for forgiveness by the blood of Jesus. Pray moderate Muslims in Turkey will not allow their country to be governed by Islamic extremists.