Wednesday, July 27, 2011

118. July Update; incl. Afghanistan, Ramadan, Tajikistan, UK.

Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin | RLPB 118 | Wed 27 Jul 2011

By Elizabeth Kendal

Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. (Matthew 18:18 ESV)

JULY 2011 UPDATE -- During July we prayed for . . .

BURMA (RLPB 115), where the predominantly devout Christian Kachin peoples of Kachin State in Burma's far north are fleeing the Burman-Buddhist junta as it seeks to advance its economic interests through the ethnic cleansing of the Kachin.

UPDATE: Despite all the efforts of the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), the Burmese military is reportedly closing in on the KIA stronghold of Laiza, where thousands of displaced Kachin are seeking refuge. A humanitarian crisis is unfolding on the Chinese border where up to 20,000 refugees are holed up without humanitarian aid. China is refusing entrance. There have been more reports of systematic rape and of villagers suspected of supporting the KIA being tortured, mutilated and even killed (see http://www.kachinwomen.org/ ). Please pray for the Kachin. May our Mighty God, 'Jehovah Jireh' (the Lord will provide), supply the churches with the aid they need to care for the refugees. And may our Mighty God, Yahweh Sabaoth (the Lord of Hosts / Commander of heaven's armies), rise up in defence of his people.


NIGERIA (RLPB 116), where Boko Haram terror is increasing. Al-Qaeda is backing Boko Haram with the aim of establishing a foothold in Nigeria that would facilitate operations in West Africa. Boko Haram has declared its intent to carry out a massive campaign of terror at the end of July to commemorate the 31 July 2009 death in custody of their founder and leader, Sheikh Mohammed Yusuf. They have declared Christians to be targets. There will be an extreme risk of terror on Sunday 31 July. Please pray for the Church in Nigeria.


SUDAN (RLPB 117), where the Sudan government, having rejected dual citizenship, has passed a law that strips South Sudanese of their Sudanese citizenship, leaving them without rights -- and largely without jobs. Meanwhile in South Kordofan, Sudan's only oil-producing state, there is satellite evidence of mass graves containing many thousands of corpses. This confirms eye-witness reports of mass killings and ethnic cleansing of African, predominantly Christian Nuba peoples by the Arab-Islamist regime in Khartoum and its allied Arab militias. Please pray for God to intervene in Sudan.


JULY 2011 ROUND-UP -- also this month . . .

* AFGHANISTAN: ANOTHER MARTYR

In early July WORLD Magazine received video pictures that reportedly showed the beheading of a convert to Christianity. In the video, Abdul Latif (in his 40s) is accused of apostasy and condemned to death by militants quoting passages from the Qur'an and Haddith (sayings of Mohammed). He is then pinned to the ground and beheaded to cries of 'Allahu Akhbar' (Allah is great). The killing comes as the Associated Press of Pakistan (APP) claims that 'Christian missionaries have stepped up their proselytising activities' ahead of the US withdrawal (APP 18 July). The Ulema Union of Afghanistan (UUA) has reportedly strongly condemned the missionary activities that the UUA claims are carried on 'using the cover' of humanitarian aid and 'under patronage provided by foreign forces'. The Taliban, which is ascendant in Afghanistan, recently punished an unco-operative policeman in Helmand Province by kidnapping and hanging his eight-year-old son. The Taliban has been intimidating police in Uruzgan Province and many are surrendering due to the terror. Pray for God's remnant in Afghanistan.


* PRAY FOR MUSLIMS DURING RAMADAN (STARTING 1 AUGUST)

'And they will do these things [persecute and kill you -- John 15:18ff] because they have not known the Father, nor me.' (John 16:3 ESV.) Muslims need Jesus Christ so they may have their sins forgiven and be saved. Persecuted minority Christians in Islamic States need Muslims to be saved and transformed so that persecution might cease. Pray for Muslims during Ramadan . 'For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.' (2 Corinthians 10:3,4 ESV)


* TAJIKISTAN: PARLIAMENT PASSES REPRESSIVE LAWS

On 21 July Tajikistan's Upper House of parliament passed the highly controversial and repressive Parental Responsibility Law. It also amended the Criminal Code to extend criminal punishment to those who organise or participate in 'unapproved gatherings' such as unsanctioned religious meetings. These were approved by the Lower House on 15 June. (RLPB 114.) The Parental Responsibility Law bans children under 18 from participating in the activities of religious organisations, with the exception of State-sanctioned 'religious education'. 'Specialists' will infiltrate religious groups to monitor them and parents will be held accountable. Furthermore, the law bans parents from sending their children abroad for study without the permission of an appropriate state agency. As one Protestant lamented, 'It will be against the law for children to be in church.' The Parental Responsibility Law will be enacted as soon as President Emomali Rahmon -- who proposed the law -- signs it into force. (Full report: Forum 18)


* UK: THE BATTLE FOR BRITAIN HEATS UP

The UK Islamic fundamentalist group, Muslims Against the Crusades (MAC) have declared their intention to enforce Sharia (Islamic) Law in the Yorkshire towns of Bradford and Dewsbury, and in East London's Tower Hamlets. (MAC was formerly Islam4UK and before that, al-Muhajiroun, changing their name each time they are banned.) As part of its 'Islamic Emirates Project', MAC has erected posters in various districts warning: 'You are entering a Shariah controlled zone -- Islamic rules enforced.' MAC's first target for Islamisation will be Waltham Forest. According to the MAC leader, Anjem Choudary, Sharia will be enforced by thousands of volunteer 'Sharia cops' or Islamic 'Guardian Angels'. MAC is planning an 'Islamic Emirates March' on Saturday 30 July from Leyton Underground Station to Walthamstow Central. MAC hopes this will be a catalyst for nationwide campaigns during Ramadan, which starts on 1 August. MAC's 'Islamic Emirates Project' comes straight after Baroness Cox's proposal for an Arbitration and Mediation Services (Equality) Bill that would criminalise any attempt to subjugate British law to another system. The battle has begun. Please pray for the UK, in particular for genuine Christian revival.