Praise and Prayer

Pray: Egyptian Christian Girls Tricked into Converting-Leaders of the Coptic Church in Egypt are expressing serious concerns over recent tactics exercised by militant Muslim shop owners to trick Coptic girls into signing official conversion documents. Reports from the American Coptic Association claim that when Coptic girls go to some of these stores, they are told that they have won a contest. In order to receive their prize, they need to go upstairs and sign a document confirming the receipt. Often they do not read carefully enough to realize that they are actually signing an official confirmation that they have converted to Islam. Those young women who resist have been accused of theft and strip-searched. There have also been several reports of rape and despite efforts by family members, the girls are not returned to their families.

As of the time of this report, police had done little in response, though the leader of the Coptic Church, Pope Shenouda III, has called on the authorities to "take a decisive position" on the situation.  The American Coptic Association has been gathering the names of the stores involved in this practice of exploiting young women in order to better publicize this atrocity. Pray that Egyptian authorities will take action against these forced "conversions" to Islam.  Pray for wisdom, strength and trust in God for the young women tricked into signing these papers.

Voice of the Martyrs, Canada via MissionNet

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Praise: 5,000 Receive Christ at South Africa Crusade-"Come on, Durban" was the theme of the Franklin Graham Festival in Durban, South Africa, in March. A total of more than 55,000 people heard Graham preach the gospel, with 5,000 responding to the appeal to receive Christ as their Savior. Christian unity was in full view during the course of the festival as the evangelist proclaimed the core of the Christian gospel, and Christians from many different churches worked together in a harmonious atmosphere. Similarly, racial harmony was evident as people from various ethnic groups worked and prayed side by side. The team also blended the wide array of talent and culture from the area.

Religious Media Agency via MissionNet

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Praise: "Elliott Project" Collected Health Kits for Iraqis-Named for International Mission Board workers Larry and Jean Elliott, who were killed in Iraq in March, the Elliott Project has been encouraging people in North Carolina to assemble health kits for families in the war-torn country. The project, sponsored by the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina and Medical Missions Response, has a goal of delivering 16,000 kits to Iraqi families and honoring the memory of a couple who gave their lives in an effort to make Iraq a better place. The Elliotts, of Cary, N.C., died March 15 when the vehicle they were riding in was ambushed in Mosul. Co-workers Karen Watson and David McDonnall also died, and Carrie McDonnall is recovering from serious injuries sustained in the attack. The group was in the northern Iraqi city to help with a water purification project. May 21 was the deadline for turning in kits to collection points in North Carolina.

Baptist Press

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Praise: Golfer Makes "Love Offering"-In what could be deemed a "love offering," a professional golfer and Christian has given his church his winnings from a tournament in which he confronted a heckler. Davis Love III donated $700,000 that he won at the Match Play Championships in Carlsbad, Calif., in late February to St. Simons Presbyterian Church in St. Simons Island, Ga. It was at this tournament where his confrontation with a heckling fan overshadowed his second-place finish. Tiger Woods finished first. The fan kept saying, "No Love!" as he prepared to play, and Love finally confronted him. He refused to resume the match until the culprit was identified and removed from the gallery. Love was heavily criticized for the way he handled the incident and wound up trying to defend the etiquette in golf. But after hearing sermons from two pastors, Love said, "It just seemed like the right thing to do." So he decided to give the money to St. Simon's $5 million, five-year building project.

Religion Today/Charisma News Service via MissionNet

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Pray: Elderly Chinese Christian Prisoner Crippled for Evangelizing-Chen Jingmao is a seventy-two year old South China Church leader, in prison since July, 2001, for his ministry, including the "active recruitment of evil cult members." The main evidence of his "crime" was sending his granddaughter for Sunday School Teacher's training. According to a March 29 report from China Aid, the imprisoned Chen was seriously beaten and crippled on February 6 as a punishment for leading fifty of his fellow inmates to faith in Jesus Christ. Both of his legs were broken and he must now be carried everywhere he goes. Pray for healing and strength for this elderly saint. Pray that his faith and love will continue to show to those around him. Concerned readers are encouraged to politely express your concerns for Chen by writing the prison authority at Section 3, Sanxia (Three-Gorge) Prison, Wanzhou, Chongqing City, 404023.  Letters of encouragement can also be sent to his relatives at Group 9, Gaofeng Village, Longjao Town, Yunyang County, Chongqing City, China.

Voice of the Martyrs, Canada via MissionNet

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