Saturday, July 23, 2011

Egypt's Christians Work to Stop IslamicTakeover

By Dan Wooding
Founder of ASSIST Ministries

CAIRO, EGYPT (ANS) -- Egypt's Christians are working to stop an Islamic takeover of their country and pro-democracy supporters have launched a new campaign called Constitution First to slow the process.

Egyptian Christians protesting
This was revealed in a story by Gary Lane, CBN News Sr. International Correspondent, in a story that has just been released.
Lane began his report by saying that in Egypt, protestors are "once again in the streets calling for change." He said that they fear the revolution that toppled former President Hosni Mubarak has stalled and is in danger of being taken over by Islamists.

"It's good news to go to the streets again to protect their revolution. The Muslim Brotherhood and the military council [have] hijacked the revolution," said Magdy Khalil, spokesman for Coptic Solidarity.

Lane stated that Khalil and other Egyptians believe the ruling military council has made a political deal with radicals, moving Egypt toward an Islamic state no different than Mubarak's corrupt regime.

"They are looking to protect their positions, so who can accept this position? The Muslim Brotherhood, because the Muslim Brotherhood plans to control the whole of Egypt," Khalil explained.

He says the Brotherhood is ignoring high level corruption in exchange for power and control.
Supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood
take to the streets
"That's why Egypt's parliamentary elections were moving on a fast track. Originally planned for September, the military council now says elections will be delayed until November," said Lane.

"But some Christians and secularists still believe more time may be needed to overcome the political advantage of the better organized Muslim Brotherhood.

"If the election moves forward as planned, chances are the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist parties will win a majority of the seats in the parliament."

In response, he said, pro-democracy supporters have launched a new campaign called Constitution First to slow the process.

"Constitution First is like [a] model of the United States in 1787," Khalil said. "The Muslim brotherhood, salafists and the military council... they support elections first. Copts, liberal secularists, moderate people [and] moderate Muslims support constitution first."

Constitution First supporters feel if a parliamentary election is held first, the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist parties will write the constitution to include Sharia law, added Lane.

"I do think there's a majority of people in Egypt today that would like to have freedom and democracy and an open society who are opposed to Sharia law," Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., said.

"Fundamentally, they want to have a democracy, maybe not precisely the way that we have, but one," he added.
"And it's real dangerous if you rush in to this thing without having any standards and guidance... the Muslim Brotherhood could take over," he said.

Gary Lane reporting from Egypt
Lane declared that Egypt's Coptic Christians say a Muslim Brotherhood takeover would not be good for them.

"[It would be] a disaster not only for Christians in Egypt, but also for Israel, for the United States, for Europe," Khalil said. "For the whole West, for the human civilization, for the Western civilization."

"I think the Coptic Christians will be in a very difficult spot and much more difficult than if the Muslim Brotherhood took over than even under Mubarak," Rep. Wolf added.

And Coptic Christians, said Lane, have not fared well since Mubarak's departure.

"In the first 300 days after the Mubarak regime fell, Copts in Egypt -- the Christians in Egypt -- faced more than 60 attacks, including murders, the burning of churches," Khalil said.

And Christians are still waiting for a thorough investigation and prosecution of those responsible for a bombing at Saint Mark's church in Alexandria last year. The New Year's Day attack killed 23 people and injured 97 others.

Congressman Wolf said it's time the United States become an advocate for Egyptian Christians.
"I think there ought to be pressure on the leadership, members of Congress, and this administration to advocate and stand now with the persecuted," Wolf said.

"The Coptic Christians are really the leading point of the spear because if Egypt trends the other way, the impact that will have [is great]," he said.

Walid Phares
Lane then said that Middle East expert Walid Phares suggests the Obama administration should start talking to the right people. Earlier this summer, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced the U.S. would begin a dialogue with the Muslim Brotherhood.

"They have been arguing that the Muslim Brotherhood should be the partners of the West, knowing very well that the Muslim Brotherhood's aim, final goal is to establish an Islamic state like Iran, or like Sudan, or ultimately like the Taliban," Phares explained.

"So, we need to have a change of direction," he continued. "First, in Washington and in Brussels so that we can begin to partner with the right natural allies in the region."

"We [Coptic Christians] are the real partner of the West," Khalil said. "We can create a bloc of secular Christians in Egypt and moderate Muslims."
Lane concluded by saying, "That's the hope and prayer of Egyptian Christians and secularists -- a political movement and pressure from the West to keep their democratic revolution moving forward."

Dan Wooding, 70, is an award winning British journalist now living in Southern California with his wife Norma, to whom he has been married for 48 years. They have two sons, Andrew and Peter, and six grandchildren who all live in the UK. He is the founder and international director of ASSIST (Aid to Special Saints in Strategic Times) and the ASSIST News Service (ANS) and was, for ten years, a commentator, on the UPI Radio Network in Washington, DC. He now hosts the weekly "Front Page Radio" show on KWVE in Southern California which is also carried throughout the United States. The program is also aired in Great Britain on Calvary Chapel Radio UK and also in Belize and South Africa. Besides this, Wooding is a host for His Channel Live, which is carried via the Internet to some 200 countries. You can follow Dan on Facebook under his name there or at ASSIST News Service. He is the author of some 44 books. Two of the latest include his autobiography, "From Tabloid to Truth", which is published by Theatron Books. To order a copy, press this link. Wooding, who was born in Nigeria of British missionary parents, has also recently released his first novel "Red Dagger" which is available this link.

Christians, Moderates Push Onward for Freedoms in Egypt

By Aidan Clay
Special to ASSIST News Service

CAIRO, EGYPT (ANS) -- Protestors numbering in the thousands are pushing onward in their 15th day of demonstrations in Tahrir Square in an ongoing bid for immediate transition to civilian rule.
A boy joins protestors in Egypt's revolution
Labeled the "days of warning," the protests that began July 8, 2011, condemn interim Prime Minister Essam Sharaf for failing to implement much needed reforms six months after his appointment by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF). The SCAF took control of the country after the 18-day revolution that ousted President Hosni Mubarak on February 11, 2011.

Most protestors believe the moment of opportunity to repeal Egypt's repressive laws will be lost once free elections are held, as Islamist-based parties are expected to take the majority seat in parliament.

While the SCAF has stated their support for free elections without military interference, protestors remain suspicious, viewing the SCAF as their final road block before their self-determination for a free society is fully realized.

"I'm not going to leave the square before I see the head of SCAF, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, cede power to a civilian presidential council that would rule Egypt during the current transitional period," protestor Ragi Eskandar told The Los Angeles Times.

Yet, for some, a government detached from military inference is unimaginable. "The president will likely come from the military institution," a Coptic protestor told ICC. "It has been this way since 1952. But what we want is a country like Turkey; for the military to protect a civilian country, but not have all the power."

Unlike Turkey, whose democracy has been agitated by tensions between a powerful secular military and Islamist-leaning politicians, Egypt's military is believed by many leftists and moderates to be backing the Muslim Brotherhood. "There's no doubt they're allied," said Coptic activist Wagih Yacoub. "If they weren't, than the military would be supporting the people's will to draft a new constitution before the parliamentary elections are held. Instead, there will be elections first so that the Muslim Brotherhood will have more leverage in developing an Islamist-leaning constitution."

"The Muslim Brotherhood is the primary party insisting that elections be held before the constitution is drafted," reiterated Coptic scholar Magdi Khalil. "Other parties support immediate constitutional reform. So why is it that the military council is stalling? The obvious answer is that there's a deal between the Brotherhood and the military."
Coptic Christians and Muslim moderates unite in Cairo's Tahrir Square in their 15th day of protests demanding a secular, not Islamist, based constitution, and a limitation on the military council's authority
Thousands of Coptic Christians are among those revolting alongside Muslim moderates and secularists in Tahrir Square. Perhaps more than other groups, however, Copts understand the peril minorities will face under an Islamist-based government. On at least three occasions in 2011, Islamist mobs killed nine or more Coptic Christians in religious based attacks on churches or protestors.

"Copts are protesting very loudly," said Wagih Yacoub. "Copts and moderates together; we all fear an Islamist constitution and an Islamic state. We are protesting for our freedoms - freedom from the military council and freedom from the Islamic agenda that the [Muslim] Brotherhood will use to dictate Egyptian law."

To ease the fears of moderates, the SCAF announced last week that it will set guidelines before the constitution is drafted to limit the influence of Islamists. 

However, moderates are not satisfied, viewing the military as dominating the process and granting themselves the authority to define the military's future role in Egypt.

Maj. Gen. Mamdouh Shaheen, a key member of the military council who is leading the process of drafting the guidelines, said the country's next constitution should safeguard the SCAF against future presidents, The Associated Press reported. The military council's recent actions signify their push for complete independence in the new Egypt and their desire to hold authority to guarantee constitutional reforms. The military's unchallenged role opposes Coptic and moderate demands to move toward democratic rule lead by a civilian government.

Today in Tahrir Square, Copts and moderates find themselves in the middle of what they view as two evils. "The [Muslim] Brotherhood's policies are evident through its history and culture of oppressing non-Muslims and opposing western civilization and democracy," said Magdi Khalil. "At the same time, the military council is continuing the same discrimination toward religious minorities that we saw under Mubarak. Neither the Brotherhood or the military council is good for us."

Aidan Clay is the Middle East Regional Manager for International Christian Concern (ICC), a Washington, DC-based human rights organization that exists to help persecuted Christians worldwide by providing awareness, advocacy, and assistance ( Aidan is a graduate from Biola University. Prior to joining ICC, Aidan worked with Samaritan's Purse in South Sudan and has traveled extensively throughout the Middle East and Africa. He currently lives in Nairobi, Kenya. For more information, contact Aidan Clay at

Christian Teacher Reprimanded in UK for Explaining Religion

By Michael Ireland
Senior Correspondent, ASSIST News Service

UNITED KINGDOM (ANS) -- A Christian teacher in the UK has been ordered by her school not to talk about religion after answering a child's question about the Muslim faith.

According to Barnabas Aid ( ) the teacher was asked by a girl in her class whether the Christian God and the god of Islam were the same. The teacher, replying that they were not the same, was then asked to explain how they were different.

Barnabas Aid says that following the discussion, the department received a complaint from the Muslim parents of the girl.

The teacher told Operation Nehemiah, "[The department] handled the situation well and stated that the child had asked the question and I had answered truthfully without giving or intending any offence."

However, Barnabas Aid says in a media release that, since the complaint, the teacher has been asked by the school, where she has been working for seven years, not to talk about any religious matter with the children even if they ask a question. She has been ordered to ignore any question of that nature or change the subject immediately.

The teacher said, "I pointed out that Christianity was my life not my religion. It was a living relationship with my Lord. I live it daily. I now feel I am being watched. I have always shared my faith with the children I teach whenever they ask me a question on my life, why I pray and do what I do."

The identity of the teacher and school has been withheld from this article because the teacher is still working in the school.

** Michael Ireland is Senior Correspondent for ANS. He is an international British freelance journalist who was formerly a reporter with a London (United Kingdom) newspaper and has been a frequent contributor to UCB UK, a British Christian radio station. While in the UK, Michael traveled to Canada and the United States, Albania,Yugoslavia, Holland, Germany,and Czechoslovakia. He has reported for ANS from Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Israel, Jordan, China,and Russia. Michael's volunteer involvement with ASSIST News Service is a sponsored ministry department -- 'Michael Ireland Media Missionary' (MIMM) -- of A.C.T. International of P.O.Box 1649, Brentwood, TN 37024-1649, at: Artists in Christian Testimony (A.C.T.) International where you can donate online to support his stated mission of 'Truth Through Christian Journalism.' If you have a news or feature story idea for Michael, please contact him at: ANS Senior Reporter

Friday, July 22, 2011

Will The Arab Spring Spread?

Africa (MNN) ― "Arab Spring" is a term used to describe a wave of revolution across the Arab world that began in Tunisia in December 2010.

By July 2011, revolution included Egypt and Libya. Civil uprisings spread to Bahrain, Syria and Yemen, and protests captured Algeria, Iraq, Jordan, Morocco and Oman. There were reports of unrest in Kuwait, Lebanon, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, and parts of Sudan.

The big question now is: Will the "Arab Spring" turn into an "African Summer?" There have been protests in Burkina Faso, Senegal, Uganda, Nigeria, Malawi and South Africa, too.

Todd Nettleton with Voice of the Martyrs thinks a season of revolution is unlikely, noting that the root causes for the unrest between the Middle East and North Africa and what's going on in the Sub-Saharan part of the continent are a little different.

However, their teams can't rule out the possibility of similar-looking events. "I think it's a ‘domino effect' in that you look at the countries around you at what the people there have accomplished, or what they want to accomplish, and I think there's more of an inspiration than a ‘cause and effect.'"

Reports on the waves of protests and strikes in the Sub-Saharan region are readily available online. The global community is smaller than ever before. Nettleton says that means "they're happening where people see them. Obviously, one of the things that happens is that people are inspired to take action in their own country when they see those taking action in another country, bringing about what's perceived to be positive change."

Rising food prices, inflation, and unemployment have combined to threaten governments across the continent, adding to the instability of newly-formed administrations (Nigeria, Sudan, Guinea). Often, believers find themselves as scapegoats when such times arise. Nettleton says that while persecution CAN happen during transition, it's really not a secure time for anyone. "When there's chaos, that's bad for everybody. It's bad for believers, it's bad for non-believers. That's one effect. The other thing that can happen is that you can move to a government that is less open to religious freedom."

However, believers in the persecuted church have long handled difficult times as opportunities for Kingdom building. "As there is unrest, as there [are] people who are in the state of upheaval, there are some spiritual questions that get asked. That can really be a time where the church grows."

Even if the Sub-Saharan region dissolves into a frenzy of "African Summer," there is a church body that is supported by groups like Voice of the Martyrs. Nettleton urges prayer for protection, wisdom and boldness. "We can pray for them in their outreach efforts, and pray that they will represent Christ well, whatever is going on around them."

Iranian Christian Released from Solitary Confinement Following Large Bail

By Jeremy Reynalds
Senior Correspondent for ASSIST News Service

SURREY, ENGLAND (ANS) -- An Iranian Christian, was temporarily released from jail on July 9 after almost four months in solitary confinement, following the payment of a bail amount equivalent to £62,000.

Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) reported in a news release that according to the Iranian Mohabat News agency, Masoud Delijani, from Kermanshah in western Iran, was reportedly charged with crimes related to his Christian faith. They included hosting house-church meetings. Delijani is reported to be in poor physical health. A date for his court case has not been set.

CSW said Delijani was arrested by the Iranian Intelligence Ministry on March 17 2011, along with nine other house-church members who were gathered in a private home. During the raid, the security forces also confiscated a Christian painting, Bibles, DVDs and personal IDs. The group was taken to an unknown location, where members were subjected to harsh interrogation.

Seven members of the group were released the following day. CSW said that was after they had been photographed and finger-printed, and had signed a statement stating they would refrain from attending any Christian gatherings in the future.

Delijani, his wife Nahid Shirazi, and Meghdad Babakarami, all remained in custody. However, in mid-April, Shirazi and Babakarami were released after large bail payments of around £12,500 and £25,000 respectively were made on their behalf.

CSW said there is an increasing tendency on the part of Iranian judiciary to demand large amounts of bail for the temporary release of Christian detainees. Such payments place great strain on their families, friends and churches.

CSW commented that in addition to the mass arrests of house-church members, which have intensified over the past year, leading to greater fear and insecurity in the Christian community, this tactic appears to be designed to curb the economic capability of the Iranian Christian community.

CSW said most Christians who have been released on bail and are awaiting trial have had to make payments of between £10,000 and £40,000 prior to their release. However, others continue to be held without formal charges despite raising the required funds.

CSW said Elam Ministries reports that the equivalent of £120,000 was demanded as bail for Farshid Fathi, a Christian from Tehran who was arrested in Dec. 2010 and held in Evin Prison. In March 2011 his family raised the bail money, but the authorities refused to release him. Fathi remains in prison, but has still not been formally charged.

CSW's Advocacy Director Andrew Johnston said in a news release, "We welcome the news that Mr. Delijani is now reunited with his family. He and his family remain in our prayers as he recovers from the physical, psychological and emotional deprivations he suffered while in prison."

Johnston continued, "CSW deplores the exorbitant payments being demanded for the temporary release of detainees who have committed no crime, but are being held solely on account of their faith, and calls on the authorities to cease this practice. Many families have been forced to hand over the title deeds of their home to meet bail, leaving them in a vulnerable financial position."

CSW is a Christian organization working for religious freedom through advocacy and human rights, in the pursuit of justice.

For further information, visit

Jeremy Reynalds is Senior Correspondent for the ASSIST News Service, a freelance writer and also the founder and CEO of Joy Junction, New Mexico's largest emergency homeless shelter, He has a master's degree in communication from the University of New Mexico, and a Ph.D. in intercultural education from Biola University in Los Angeles. His newest book is "Homeless in the City."

Additional details on "Homeless in the City" are available at Reynalds lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico. For more information contact: Jeremy Reynalds

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Emotional Toll on Turkey Team Following Death Threats

Tensions rise as director of IN
 Network in Turkey is under
 government protection from terrorist

Turkey (MNN) ― Tensions are high for Christians in Turkey as the IN Networkdirector continues to be under guard and surveillance following death threats.

An assassination plot by the ultra-nationalist group Ergenekon to kill the IN Network Turkey director, as reported earlier in March. Since then, the government has stepped up measures to protect him.

Rody Rodeheaver with IN Network says, "Our staff person continues to have a bodyguard that goes with him everywhere. And there are other types of surveillance that the police are using to protect both him and his family."

Ergenekon is a group whose sole purpose is to prevent the government from entering into the European Union. The Turkish government applied for entrance in 1987 and became a candidate country in 1999. This terrorist group wants to prevent this process from going any further.

Rodeheaver states that the group hatched the assassination plot "in order to embarrass the Turkish government and impede their entry into the European Union."

While the government historically has been slow to bring justice, this case seems to have prompted more action on their part.
According to Rodeheaver, "This terrorist organization has been spotlighted by the government, and various members of that group have been arrested. Those members are in various levels of society, all the way from retired army generals to professors in universities to just the average person on the street."

With all the tension and persecution Christians receive in Turkey, this latest incident has members of IN Network a little on edge. The emotional toll on team members will not stop their ministry, but it does have an effect.

"You always have to ask the question, ‘What will happen if...?'" says Rodeheaver. "And being a Christian, I think that puts an extra edge on ministry and everything you do. They will continue to do their ministry, but the emotional impact of this can't be denied."

It makes for a confusing situation, since the government says they are committed to religious diversity. But the overarching mindset of society is this: if you are a Turk, then you are a Muslim. Rodeheaver states that Turks who go on to say they are Christians are often treated with suspicion and are seen as a threat. Unfortunately, often that suspicion turns into persecution.

Please pray that the threats on the director's life would leave. Pray for justice in the government as they handle cases of persecution in the church.

IN Network's mission to proclaim the name of Christ to the people of Turkey will not stop. If anything, the church grows and flourishes in times of trial and fire. And when the Gospel is being shared, not even threats or persecution or death itself can stop faithful followers of Christ.

South Sudan Becomes A Free Nation, but Tens of Thousands of Its People Remain Enslaved in The North

By Michael Ireland
Senior Correspondent, ASSIST News Service

BOSTON, MA (ANS) -- The Republic of South Sudan declared independence on July 9 and became the 193rd member of the United Nations a few days later.

But as the celebrations subside and the process of nation building begins, there is a stark reminder that this "national liberation" remains incomplete: tens of thousands Southern slaves remain in captivity in the North, according to one organization familiar with the situation in this newly-emerging nation.

"It is a sad irony," said Dr. Charles Jacobs, President of the American Anti-Slavery Group (AASG). "It was, after all, the enslavement of African villagers that animated and bolstered much of the rebellion in South Sudan. And it was reports of modern day human bondage in Africa's largest country that awoke Americans to the tragedy in Sudan."

"For over five decades the region's black Africans were oppressed, slaughtered and enslaved by the Northern rulers who aimed to destroy their cultural and ethnic identity," Jacobs said.

In a media release, AASG states the Southern rebellion against the Northern domination lasted half a century -- from 1955 until 2005, with only an eleven year break between 1972 and 1983.

AASG explained that in the brutal campaign to Arabize and Islamize the African Christian/traditionalist South, the leaders of the Arab Muslim North killed almost 3 million and ethnically cleansed 4 million more (nearly 80 percent of the population.)

"Slave raids were the terror weapon of choice of the Islamist regime in Khartoum," Jacobs said.
He added: "The classification of the conflict as a "holy war" -- a jihad against the Christian South and its allies in the Nuba Mountains -- legitimized in the eyes of many Northern Muslims the revival of the centuries-old practice of taking slaves as war booty."

AASG estimates that in slave raids on Southern villages, conducted by government-backed Arab militias known as murahaleen, hundreds of thousands of blacks, mostly women and children, were captured, transported to the North and enslaved.

The group says that since 1995, AASG's partner, Christian Solidarity International (CSI), has been working to free Sudan's slaves. The organization provides funds to the indigenous network of Africans and Arabs who cooperate on returning the captives. CSI's efforts resulted in the liberation of over 80,000 slaves.

The group goes on to say that in 2005, under guidance of the US Government, the North and the South signed a Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that ended the war and provided for Southern self-determination.

The CPA ended the slave raids, but left the fate of those already in bondage unresolved. According to the recent Congressional testimony of CSI's CEO Dr. John Eibner, approximately 35,000 are still serving their masters in parts of Southern Darfur and Kordofan.

In the week prior to the independence, CSI liberated 404 slaves.

"AASG is committed to continuing our partnership with CSI until the last slave in Sudan is returned home," said Jacobs.

To learn more about the work of AASG, contact them at:
American Anti-Slavery Group
198 Tremont Street, Suite 421
Boston, MA 02116

** Michael Ireland is Senior Correspondent for ANS. He is an international British freelance journalist who was formerly a reporter with a London (United Kingdom) newspaper and has been a frequent contributor to UCB UK, a British Christian radio station. While in the UK, Michael traveled to Canada and the United States, Albania,Yugoslavia, Holland, Germany,and Czechoslovakia. He has reported for ANS from Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Israel, Jordan, China,and Russia. Michael's volunteer involvement with ASSIST News Service is a sponsored ministry department -- 'Michael Ireland Media Missionary' (MIMM) -- of A.C.T. International of P.O.Box 1649, Brentwood, TN 37024-1649, at: Artists in Christian Testimony (A.C.T.) International where you can donate online to support his stated mission of 'Truth Through Christian Journalism.' If you have a news or feature story idea for Michael, please contact him at: ANS Senior Reporter

Persecuted Church News: Thirty Days of Prayer For the Persecuted During Ra...

Persecuted Church News: Thirty Days of Prayer For the Persecuted During Ra...: "Open Doors USA Offers Prayer Calendar to Use To Pray with Christians in Muslim-Dominated Countries For Immediate Release Emily Fuentes C..."

Thirty Days of Prayer For the Persecuted During Ramadan

Open Doors USA Offers Prayer Calendar to Use To Pray with Christians in Muslim-Dominated Countries

For Immediate Release
Emily Fuentes
Communications and Public Relations Coordinator
Open Doors USA
Tel: 949-413-6721

SANTA ANA, CA (ANS) -- With the start of the month-long Islamic fast called Ramadan that begins Aug. 1, Open Doors USA is launching a 30-day campaign urging Christians in the West to pray with persecuted believers in Muslim-dominated countries.

During August most Muslims will fast from dawn until dusk, seeking to shed their sins through acts of restraint. They believe this is a time of purification accomplished through good deeds and self-control.
To guide Christian’s prayers during Ramadan, Open Doors USA is offering a Ramadan Prayer Calendar. The calendar has multiple prayer points designed to help Christians pray with persecuted Christians around the world during the 30 days.

“Ramadan is a time when Christians are especially isolated in some Muslim-dominated countries,” says Open Doors USA President/CEO Dr. Carl Moeller. “This is why it is so important for us to unite in prayer with persecuted Christians throughout the world. I urge you to use the Open Doors resources to pray with our brothers and sisters.”

Eight of the top 10 countries on the Open Doors 2011 World Watch List of the worst persecutors of Christians have Islamic governments, while 38 of the top 50 on the list are Muslim-dominated societies. Those eight countries include Iran (2), Afghanistan (3), Saudi Arabia (4), Somalia (5), Maldives (6), Yemen (7), Iraq (8) and Uzbekistan (9).

Approximately seven months ago, protests for reforms began in the country of Tunisia. Egypt, Libya and Syria soon followed. The movement is called “Arab Spring.” Throughout these “Arab Spring” protests, some Christians in these countries have faced intensified persecution, especially in Egypt. The observance of Ramadan could increase pressure on believers.

Less than two weeks after the end of Ramadan, Sept. 11 will mark the 10-year anniversary of the Muslim terrorist attacks against America.

“It is vital that we pray for both Christians and Muslims during this anniversary,” says Michele Miller, Director of Open Doors Prayer Ministries. “Prayer has changed the hearts of millions, so it is also important to pray past the month of Ramadan.”

During Ramadan Open Doors USA will be sending out daily emails with a story from a Muslim-dominated country, prayer requests and a call to action. For instance, this is from Day 19 on the Ramadan Prayer Calendar: “For Takoosh, whose husband was killed by the Iranian government, Jesus’ command to love her enemies was impossible. Hatred filled her heart….and then she prayed. From the depths of her heart love poured out releasing forgiveness.”

To sign up for these resources and for more information on the campaign, visit the Open Doors USA website at .

An estimated 100 million Christians worldwide suffer interrogation, arrest and even death for their faith in Christ, with millions more facing discrimination and alienation. Open Doors supports and strengthens believers in the world's most difficult areas through Bible and Christian literature distribution, leadership training and assistance, Christian community development, prayer and presence ministry and advocacy on behalf of suffering believers. To partner with Open Doors USA, call toll free at 888-5-BIBLE-5 (888-524-2535) or go to our Website at

(For more information or to set up an interview, contact Emily Fuentes at 949-413-6721 or email
Now available “The Privilege of Persecution” by Dr. Carl A. Moeller & David W. Hegg
PO Box 27001
Santa Ana, CA 92799

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

For The Love of God: Orissa's New Homeowners Speak

For The Love of God: Orissa's New Homeowners Speak: "INDIA (ANS) -- The housewarming parties continue in Orissa, India, as Christians move into new homes constructed by Gospel for Asia to replace those burned down or otherwise destroyed during the horrific rampage targeting Christians in 2008. During the August, 2008, attacks, thousands of homes, churches and businesses owned by Christians were burned to the ground. Hundreds of people were attacked, beaten and even set on fire. Dozens were killed and hundreds still bear the scars on their bodies."

Man Has Beef with God

The people of Kanohraj* village wanted to kill Daruka for sharing God's love until a dead cow changed their minds.
The Gospel for Asia-supported missionary often encountered hostility from the villagers when he went out to share Christ, but he remained steadfast in prayer and fasting to see the village reached.
His faithfulness paid off when he met Santosh Singh, who owned a farm with many cows. Daruka shared the Gospel with him and gave him a tract called "Heart of Man." Santosh soaked in the message of salvation in Christ, and from then on he invited Daruka to visit his home every Tuesday to pray for him and his family.
As Santosh learned more about Jesus and listened to the Word of God, the Lord opened his heart to receive Him. But when a tragic incident happened to Santosh's livestock, he began to question his newfound faith.
One by one, an unexplained disease took the lives of the cows in his herd. When the last one died, a discouraged Santosh made up his mind to turn back to his traditional religion. But when Pastor Daruka heard about the situation, he knew God Almighty could change the circumstances. So he prayed for Santosh's dead cow.
Miraculously, the Lord brought the animal back to life! Seeing this miracle, Santosh's faith quickly deepened, and he decided to put his full trust in the Lord. His entire family came to know of God's saving grace as well.
Once the people of Kanohraj found out about the miracle of the resurrected cow, they no longer sought to kill Daruka. Instead Daruka's church began to grow, and his ministry continues to flourish under God's care.
*name of village has been changed for security purposes.

Providing for The Poor Wanderer

Refugee camps in Mozambique are
 overflowing with those fleeing from
 Somalia and Ethiopia. More aid is
 needed. (Photo courtesy of Food for
 the Hungry)

Mozambique (MNN) ― The crisis in refugee camps continues to grow as more and more Somali and Ethiopian refugees flee across northern Mozambique borders. Drought, war and persecution particularly have Somali and Ethiopian Christians running for their lives to safety.

The boats arriving on the shores of Mozambique are full of refugees who often come with nothing but the clothes on their backs. So far, the number of refugees needing humanitarian aid is estimated at 600 with the number still climbing.

Food for the Hungry (FH) has stepped up to help these refugees in Mozambique. FH is working with the Mozambique government and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Together, they are building an overflow refugee camp in the coastal town of Palma by setting up a kitchen station and clearing land.

This overflow camp is desperately needed since The Maratane Refugee Camp in Nampula already holds twice its normal amount. It went from 5,500 long-term refugees back in 2010, to over 10,000 today with the influx of asylum-seekers. So far, an additional 1,000 have been moved to the camp being constructed in Palma.

Refugees from Ethiopia and Somalia first started arriving in 2010 by boat, but the number of arrivals was not overwhelming. As long as the number of arrivals was around the number of departures, the camps could handle it.
But starting in 2011 when the worst drought in 60 years struck, that coupled with war and persecution led to a major movement of refugees fleeing Somalia and Ethiopia. To exert more control over the situation, the Mozambique government added restrictions on the movements of refugees outside the camps.

So far, Palma is still a temporary camp for overflow refugees. It is not ideal as the camp is near mosquito-infested swamps and lacks sanitary water. Food for the Hungry and the UNHCR are appealing for more aid including food, water, tents and sanitation.

Food for the Hungry exists to end physical and spiritual hungers in some of the most impoverished and critical areas of the world. The refugee camps in Mozambique easily fit the bill.

This pairing of humanitarian aid with evangelism encourages Christian refugees who have left everything they own. And it opens doors to minister the Gospel to the hurting and lost. Here is where the Christian community can step up and join the mission.

Please pray for refugees in the camps of Mozambique, that they would receive the aid they need and be able to work toward a better life. Pray also for perseverance for the church both in dangerous areas of persecution and in places of asylum. If you would like to have a hand in helping refugees both physically and spiritually, you can donate here.

Isaiah 58:6-7 says, “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?”

Christian News: Clubs Bring Hope into The Slums of India

Christian News: Clubs Bring Hope into The Slums of India: "India (MNN) ― India is home to one of the largest illiterate populations in the world. Nearly half of India's population--over 463 milli..."

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Persecuted Church News: Syrian Forces Massing for Another Crackdown

Persecuted Church News: Syrian Forces Massing for Another Crackdown: "Syria protests continue. (Photos by Zeinab Mohamed) Syria (MNN) ― Sectarian violence is on the rise throughout Syria, a troubling add..."

Syrian Forces Massing for Another Crackdown

Syria protests continue.
 (Photos by Zeinab Mohamed)

Syria (MNN) ― Sectarian violence is on the rise throughout Syria, a troubling addition to the tension-filled uprising.
The European Union is considering new sanctions to try to quell the brutality. However, over the weekend, the government massed troops for an apparent assault on a Sunni town near the Iraqi border.
The looming confrontation follows a bloody Friday in which Syrian security forces opened fire on large protests around the country. E3 Partners spokesman Tom Doyle says the latest threat of violence has disillusioned many Syrians. "They're seeing Muslims killing Muslims, and some of the Muslims are reaching out to believers saying, ‘We don't see this anger and hatred with you. We need your prayers. Can you talk to us?‘ And in some cases, Muslims have prayed to receive Christ."

Passions are high, and that can mean trouble for believers caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. "We do know of some Christians that have escaped from situations where there were riots against the government, and all of a sudden, the Christians were targeted." With a sectarian split between the government's Alawites and Sunnis and ethnic Kurdish protesters as one possible outcome, Gospel work has seen a slowdown. "[Christians] just are kind of staying low, at this point, to stay out of the fray. Even though this is against the government, it could easily turn on them at a moment's notice like it has in some other cities."

Many of E3's partners in the region have nowhere to go to escape from the upheaval. Doyle explains that "it's virtually all over Syria. We're hearing from national leaders [that] it's everywhere. They're in it. They're trying to be smart and careful, but yet they can't really go anywhere to escape from it. And so they are just praying that God uses them in the midst of the uncertainty and the violence."

There's also concern for the future of the Christian Community should President Bashar al-Assad's government fall from power. Dolye says, "There's no way to predict if this dictator was removed, who would be the next one...would he be any better, would he be any worse?" Already, believers have noted the involvement of Islamists like the Muslim Brotherhood.

Given this scenario, Syria's 1.4 million Christians could be facing the same position as Iraq's annihilated Christian community. Doyle asks us to "pray for the believers in Syria in above-ground churches and house churches and parachurch ministries that are there trying to bring Jesus in to this very dangerous and chaotic place."

Because Syria has been stable and calm for 30 years, the last four months have turned everything upside-down for believers. Doyle urges other Christians to "[pray] that they would remain bold during this time, filled with Christ's love and sharing wherever they go. In times of uncertainty, there's a high receptivity rate to the Gospel."