Praise and Prayer

Pray and Praise: Martyred Missionary's Widow Leaves India After 20 Years-Gladys Staines, widow of murdered Australian missionary Graham Staines, is leaving India after more than 20 years of ministry among leprosy patients in one of the country's poorest states. Her husband and two sons, Philip, 10, and Timothy, 8, were burned alive in their vehicle by a mob in India in 1999. Last year an Indian court sentenced one man to death and 12 others to life imprisonment over the killings. Staines said she is leaving India because she wants to spend more time with her 91-year-old father and her teenage daughter who wanted to study in an Australian university. "I feel totally exhausted. I need time to reflect," she told journalists. Staines said she would come back to visit and keep her work going. Last week she inaugurated a new 10-bed hospital named after her husband. She added that she held nothing against India. "I take back a lot of love from the people of this country," she said. Dara Singh, the man who was sentenced to death over the murders, is said to have led a militant campaign against Christians and Muslims. However an investigation has found no evidence that hard-line Hindu groups organized the grisly attack.

WorldWide Religious News/BBC via MissionNet

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Praise: Egyptian Christian Who Survived Torture Helps Persecuted Church-An Egyptian Christian brutally tortured for his faith by Egypt's military police is now a political refugee living in Canada who has used his freedom to start an international organization for persecuted Christians. Maged El Shafie, a 27-year-old law student who fled his native land in 1999, endured horrific physical abuse after the police discovered he started an underground Christian organization that eventually grew to thousands of people. "I was physically tortured for seven days because I wouldn't give the police the names of my Christian friends," El Shafie said. When he was under house arrest, one of his guards said that a court had secretly sentenced him to death on charges of trying to change Egypt's national religion. That night El Shafie fled the country. When he reached Israel, El Shafie changed his name to Mack Smith and immigrated to Toronto in February, 2002. El Shafie started One Free World International, a human-rights organization for persecuted Christians that broadcasts "River of Love," a weekly Arabic-language radio program. He said 425 Egyptian Muslims have come to the Lord through the program. One Free World is raising funds to buy farm machinery and other practical tools to send to persecuted Christians.

Religion Today/Charisma News Service via MissionNet

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Praise: Zambian Teens Bring Renewed Hope to Female Prisoners-Women are coming to Christ in a Zambian prison as a result of an outreach through Teen Missions International. Zambian young people from the ministry's Bible Missionary and Work Training Center are sharing God's Word with these needy women in a prison near Ndola. Ministry leaders say the prison population has swollen as refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo cross the nearby border into Zambia where they are often arrested as illegal immigrants. Three women came to Christ during the team's most recent monthly visit to the prison. The women are reportedly "very receptive" to God's Word, and even the commanding officer of both the men's and women's prison attended a recent presentation.

Mission Network News

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Pray: Hindu Extremists in India Continue to Hold Pastor's Wife Captive-Hindu extremists who kidnapped the wife of a Christian pastor in India six weeks ago were still [as of July 13] holding her captive. Local police officers have refused to make any attempt to find Manulaben Dinana, 23. They have also refused to question the kidnappers who were identified by eyewitnesses as members of a local group of Hindu extremists. Dinana is the wife of pastor Dharmesh Ninama, who himself has been assaulted twice by the same group-once in 2002 and again last year. Despite ongoing appeals to the director general of police, the State Human Rights Commission, and State Women's Commission, officials have taken no action. Meanwhile, Dinana remains in captivity and her husband fears for her life.

Religion Today/Compass via MissionNet

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