April Praise and Prayer

Praise—1 Million Attend Palau Festival in Argentina: Near-record crowds for a public event came to the Monumento de los Españoles in Buenos Aires on the nights of Friday and Saturday, Jan. 31-Feb. 1, for the “Festival of Hope” featuring top Latin American Christian musicians and evangelist Luis Palau. A combined audience estimated by city officials at 1 million braved hot weather and the threat of severe thunderstorms to attend the festival.

It came at a time of great political and economic turmoil in the city of 13.5 million where unemployment, poverty and hunger are commonplace. Besides helping with the event, some 22,000 volunteers distributed food to 20,000 needy families and visited more than 3 million homes throughout the region. As Palau preached an evangelistic message of hope through faith in Jesus Christ, tens of thousands of first-time decisions and rededications to Christ were made.

Assist News Service via HCJB World Radio

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Pray—Court Orders Arrest of Christian Widow: A court in Jordan has ordered that a Christian widow should be arrested and her children taken from her to be raised as Muslims. The court order requires Siham Qandah to be imprisoned for 30 days unless she immediately surrenders her children to the care of her Muslim brother Abdullah al-Muhtadi to be raised as Muslims. Siham’s lawyers have appealed against the ruling, giving the family several weeks’ grace before the order can be enforced, while the court considers the appeal. Siham and her children Rawan (15) and Fadi (13) are currently living in hiding. There are no higher courts to which Siham can appeal and the family cannot leave the country as the children are known to immigration officials.

Barnabas via Religion Today Summaries

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Praise—A Palestinian kissed an Israeli tank: “Saed is a Palestinian, raised as a Muslim, and taught from early years to hate Jews,” reports Avi Mizrachi of the DUGIT mission agency in Israel. “Years ago, he saw a Palestinian terrorist building a bomb. The bomb exploded prematurely, killing the terrorist. Saed was shocked, and thought ‘God, there must be something more to life than killing.’ In 1996, he came to believe in Christ through some American Christians. He shared his new-found faith with his neighbors and family, and the news spread quickly in the village. One day, Palestinian policemen came and put him in jail in Schechem (Nablus). For two years he was in solitary confinement, praying every day that Israeli troops would come to free him. In 2002, his prayers were answered. When the Israelis entered the prison, the Palestinian police fled. When Saed and the other prisoners were released, the Israeli commander was astonished to see Saed walk up to the tank and kiss it.” Today, Saed, married with eight children, is a member of a Christian church and sells soap.

DUGIT, PO Box 1875, Silverdale, WA 98383, via FridayFax

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Pray—Viets to increase pressure on churches: According to a report received January 28 from Compass Direct, a resolution recently promulgated by the Central Committee of Vietnam’s Communist Party “to better control religion” has caused significant concern, particularly for the Protestant Christian minorities in the Central Highlands region. According to Compass sources, the resolution calls for the establishment of cells of Communist Party members within the six approved religious organizations. There is fear that this new initiative will cause problems for leaders in the Evangelical Church of Vietnam (South), which is officially recognized. There is even greater fear for groups such as the Protestant churches of the Montagnard and Hmong people. Continue to pray for Christians in Vietnam, as they face this increased government pressure.

MissionNet

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Pray—Just 1% of Australian Children in Sunday School: In 2000, just 200,000 out of 20 million Australian children attended Sunday school or a church-related activity. That is 1%. In 1937 1 million (11%) of 9 million Australian children attended. In response, denominational leaders and children’s ministries across Australia are supporting a “Year of the Child 2003” project that will try to win them back.

www.yearofthechild.org.au via HCJB World Radio

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