The Zhonmu City People´s Court sentenced Chinese house church pastor Zhang Rongliang to seven and a half years in prison on June 29. Zhang is a key leader of the China for Christ house church movement. He was arrested by Henan police and held without charges on December 1, 2004. Months later was he charged with “attaining a passport through cheating” and with “illegal border crossing.” Chinese authorities often deny passports to well-known house church leaders. Previously Zhang had been detained five times and spent a total of 12 years in prison for his religious activities. He also co-authored a joint house church “Confession of Faith.” Following his arrest, authorities confiscated Christian DVDs and other materials from Zhang´s house that allegedly linked him with foreign Christians. Contact with foreign co-religionists can constitute illegal activity in China. Pastor Zhang has five chronic diseases, including high blood pressure and severe diabetes, which were all acknowledged in an official hospital diagnosis in 2005. According to Chinese law, Pastor Zhang is qualified to ask for medical parole based on his health condition. Chen has appealed to human rights groups around the world to pay close attention to her husband´s case – and has asked the international Christian community to continue praying for her husband.
Pray God will give Pastor Zhang the physical and spiritual strength to endure. Pray that even now the Lord is preparing the hearts and minds of those with whom he will share the gospel while he is in prison. Pray the Holy Spirit will open the blinded eyes of the Chinese authorities so they can see Jesus.
Fuente:China Aid Association
On June 26, the Rev. Carlos Lamelas, pastor and former national president of the Church of God in Cuba, was unexpectedly freed from jail. Members of Lamelas´ extended family accompanied his wife, Uramis, and two daughters to the Villa Marita Detention Center in Havana last Monday for what they thought would be their weekly 15-minute visit with the jailed pastor. “It was a surprise indeed on Monday when we went for the visit,” Carlos Lamelas´ sister, Lourdes, informed friends in an e-mail. “They informed us that they had decided on a change in procedure and that the case was closed. He was free to go home.” Arrested on February 20, Lamelas spent more than four months in jail without being formally charged. In a phone conversation from his home in Havana following his exit from jail, Lamelas told a friend that authorities had granted him “provisional” release. Give thanks and praise to God for Pastor Lamelas´ unexpected release. Pray the Lord will make this “provisional” release permanent. Pray God will continue to grow His church in Cuba, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.
Fuente: Compass Direct
Christian believers and their pastor were attacked during a worship service in India last Sunday. While police looked on, about 20 people surrounded and then attacked worshipers at the Good Shepherd Community Church in the Indian Punjab on July 2. One man helping out at the church was seriously injured and was admitted to the hospital. The pastor filed a report with the police later. However, about 50 Sarpanch villagers, came to the hospital and threatened to kill the pastor if he didn´t leave. Then the villagers forcibly removed the pastor from the hospital. The pastor and his church members have faced persecution by the head of the village and his followers for a number of years. They have asked the pastor and his flock to leave the village, and threatened the pastor with “dire consequences” if doesn´t withdraw complaints he has lodged with authorities about prior incidents. The land on which the Good Shepherd Community Church sits was donated to the congregation in 2003. According to SVM, “The latest attack on the church took place in the presence of police personnel who were posted on the orders of the High Court for protection, as well as prevention of any untoward happening in the church premises. Sadly the police officials are allegedly siding with the attackers. They have sent false reports to the higher authorities and refused to lodge (a complaint). And none of the accused have been taken into custody and action initiated so far.”
Continue praying for Christians in India. Go before the throne with the certainty that those who come to Jesus will never be cast out. Pray our heavenly Father will protect all of His children in India.
Fuente: Salem Voice Ministries
Local church leaders said Muslim extremists overwhelmed police officers who were providing refuge for an unidentified Christian woman in Niger state on June 28. Extremists stoned and clubbed the woman to death for doing street evangelism. David Atabo of the Roman Catholic Church in Izom said he witnessed the killing of the woman. He said she had met a group of Muslim youths, shared the gospel with them and gave them tracts. When nearby Muslim elders learned that the woman had preached to the youths, they claimed she insulted the prophet of Islam, Muhammad, and ordered that she be killed. Police rescued her and took her into protective custody, but a mob stormed the police station. “The police, realizing that the Muslim crowd was overwhelming, smuggled the woman through a back door to escape with her, but the Muslims blocked all escape routes, and at this point the police abandoned the woman to save their lives,” Atabo said.
Pray our omnipotent Father will move in power to change the hearts of Muslim extremists in Nigeria. Pray Christians will continue bold and loving in sharing their faith. Pray God will use the martyrdom of this bold Christian woman for His ultimate and eternal glory.
Fuente: Compass Direct