Tuesday, November 27, 2012

RLPB 187. Nov Update, Incl. Egypt, Eritrea, Sudan and South Sudan, Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia, Zimbabwe

Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin | RLPB 187 | Wed 28 Nov 2012

By Elizabeth Kendal

'For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.' (Romans 8:38,39 ESV)

NOVEMBER 2012 UPDATE -- During November we prayed concerning . . . 

* EGYPT (RLPB 184), where Salafis (hard-line fundamentalist Muslims) are kidnapping Coptic girls for forced conversion and marriage to Muslims. Surely this is every Christian parent's and every Christian girl's worst nightmare. Please pray against this evil.

UPDATE: Morning Star News (MSN) reports on another trend of Islamic fundamentalist women wearing niqabs (a black face covering, with only a narrow slit for the eyes) attacking Coptic girls and women on trains. MSN knows of three incidents in the past month. In one attack, a 16-year-old Coptic girl was attacked on her way to school by two niqab-wearing women who cut off her hair. About a week later, a 13-year-old girl was attacked in the same way. Then on 10 November two of these women attacked Nareman Smoul (30) as she was travelling to collect her daughter from an evangelical school. After abusing her as an 'infidel', the Muslim women pushed Nareman to the floor, cut off her hair and then kicked her off the train causing her to break her arm. Of course the criminals cannot be identified because they were wearing niqabs.

* ERITREA (RLPB 185), after another Christian prisoner died in custody. We also prayed for Christians caught up in the refugee-trafficking crisis.

UPDATE: On 21 November Christian Solidarity Worldwide reported that Philemon Semere (22), an practising Christian Eritrean refugee, was abducted by traffickers in Sudan while en route to Israel. Philemon is being held by Bedouin traffickers in one of several purpose-built torture-extortion centres operating with impunity in the Sinai. He is being beaten and tortured by captors who are demanding US$25,000 ransom while threatening to take a kidney from him if the money is not forthcoming. According to CSW, 'When payments are not forthcoming, vital organs are illegally harvested in unhygienic conditions, generally resulting in the death of the person concerned.' Pray that Egypt will be forced to stamp out this obscene criminal activity. (Pray Isaiah 59:15b-19.)

* SUDAN (RLPB 186), where President Omar el-Bashir is waging a genocidal jihad against the predominantly Christian Africans (non-Arabs) of the 'new south' (Abyei, South Kordofan and Blue Nile). This obscene genocide, which employs aerial bombardment, ethnic cleansing, government-engineered famine and denial of humanitarian aid, attracts virtually no international attention. It is quite unbelievable that the international community can stand idly by while this Islamist and racist regime bombs and starves its citizens, killing tens of thousands and displacing hundreds of thousands.  Pray for God himself to intervene directly. (Pray Psalm 10.)

UPDATE: Between 20-22 November the Sudan Air Force bombed civilian targets in South Sudan's northern Bahr El Ghazal State, killing at least seven people. According to Persecution Project, 16 people were killed and many more were wounded. Sudan Tribune reports that thousands of terrified civilians have deserted their villages and are fleeing towards the state capital, Aweil. Whilst Khartoum denies bombing the South (witnessed by Reuters journalists) it has not responded to the South's accusation that Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) troops are massing along the border near Raja in Raja County in Western Bahr el Ghazal. The SAF may well be ethnically cleansing the area ahead of a military incursion aimed at capturing it. South Sudan's army is on high alert.

NOVEMBER 2012 ROUND-UP -- also this month . . .

* KENYA: TERROR ESCALATES

On Sunday 4 November Islamic militants launched a grenade at 10 am into the church in the Administrative Police compound in Garissa. The grenade hit Chaplain Julius Mukonzi in the head, exploding and killing him instantly. Eleven others were injured, three critically. Police suspect militants from Somalia's al-Shabaab are responsible. Morning Star News reports: 'The Garissa Pastors Fellowship released a statement saying that more than 20 Christians in the city have recently lost their lives to Islamic terrorist attacks.' On Sunday 18 November a bomb filled with ball-bearings exploded on a bus in Eastleigh, the commercial centre of Nairobi's ethnic Somali population, killing nine. Almost immediately ethnic Kenyans were rioting, attacking ethnic Somalis in the street, accusing them of being aligned with al-Shabaab. Security is deteriorating and tensions are soaring.

* NIGERIA

KADUNA: TWIN CHURCH BOMBING KILLS ELEVEN
On Sunday 25 November a bus and car drove into the Jaji military barracks in Kaduna, after convincing the guards they were conveying equipment to the church. The bus drove up to the wall of St Andrews Protestant Church and exploded just as the service was ending; there were no casualties. Ten minutes later, however, as worshippers gathered around the bombed-out bus, the car exploded nearby, killing at least 11 people (possibly as many as 20) with some 60 wounded. The church, which serves military personnel and their families as well as civilians in Jaji, is about 40km north of Kaduna City. Morning Star News adds that Rev. Titus Sambo and Israel Olaleye, both students at the Baptist Theological Seminary in Kaduna, were amongst those killed.

KANO: A MISPRONUNCIATION LEADS TO RIOTS
On 22 November an Igbo tailor working in the town of Bichi near Kano in the north, mispronounced the Hausa name for a popular garment. [Igbos are southerners and mostly Christian.] The Hausa [northern Muslims] who heard it were incensed and rioted claiming it was a blasphemy. The Igbo tailor was macheted to death and then seven churches, eight businesses and a house were torched.

* PAKISTAN: ACCUSED OF BLASPHEMY WHILE PREACHING

Morning Star News reported on 9 November that Karma Patras (55), an evangelist from Nankana District in Punjab Province, has been languishing in prison since his arrest on 13 October over a gospel message that offended Muslims. Patras was addressing a Christian funeral gathering when some Muslims in attendance objected to his reference to the sacrificial death of Christ. [Islam not only maintains that Jesus was not crucified, it states that Jesus, when he returns, will wage war against those who say he was.  Quran, Sura 4:157-159] Patras narrowly escaped being beaten but was arrested at his home later that day. A Muslim mob subsequently besieged the Sangla Hill Police Station, demanding that Patras be turned over to them so they could lynch him. However, Patras had already been transferred out of the area. Due to death threats, Patras' extended family, which includes many children, has been forced to flee.

* SOMALIA: YET ANOTHER MARTYR

On Friday 16 November Al-Shabaab militants publicly beheaded Farhan Haji Mose (25) after accusing him of being a spy and leaving Islam to embrace the 'foreign religion of Christianity'. According to Morning Star News, Mose had converted to Christianity in 2010 during time spent in Kenya. Pray for the church in Somalia.

*  ZIMBABWE: GOD BREAKS THROUGH

Harare's Anglicans returned to their churches on Sunday 25 November after the Supreme Court ruled that the excommunicated pro-Mugabe bishop Nolbert Kunonga, who had seized control of the properties by force some five years ago, must return the properties to the Anglican Church. Anglican spokesman Mr Precious Shumba said they had not met any resistance from most priests aligned to Kunonga. Some renegade priests even expressed repentance and have sought re-integration into the Anglican Church. This will require a process of truth, reconciliation, re-education and re-commitment. Kunonga had incurred bills amounting to some $300,000.  The legitimate Bishop of Harare, Bishop Chad Gandiya, praised God for this breakthrough.
Let us also give thanks!
For background, details and updates see:
'Zimbabwe: let justice roll on'
Religious Liberty Monitoring, 20 Nov 2012.