Praise and Pray: "Re-Educated" but Unrepentant—On September 25th, Chinese Christian Zhang Yi-nan was released from the Ping Ding Shan City Bailou Labor Camp in Henan Province, China. Zhang's wife, Ding Guizhen, and their son, Zhang Kairi, were waiting for him at the steel gate of the prison camp but were not immediately allowed to welcome him home. Zhang had completed two years of laojiao—"re-education through labor"—before being escorted out of the camp by 10 policemen. Instead of being taken immediately home, he was first taken to the Lushan County Police Station where he was "instructed" about what he should not tell or do following his release. Police reportedly told him that he was "very defiant," because he wouldn't admit his "mistakes"—choosing to be a Christian and to be a part of an unregistered house church. He was finally allowed to go home with his wife and son in the early afternoon. When he arrived home, one of his first activities was to watch the video documentary, The Cross: Jesus in China. Give joyful thanks to God for the release of our brother in Christ. Thank Him for Zhang's faithful, persevering witness to his Savior. Pray God will protect him and his family from officials who don't realize they are battling a Power much greater than they.
The Voice of the Martyrs
Praise: Former Headhunters Seek to Reach Violent Tribe for Christ—In May a young man named Cawe from the Waorani Tribe in Ecuador informed Dan Edwards, a Calvary Chapel Chino Valley missionary, that some of the Waorani Christians want to spread the gospel to a splinter group known as the Tagaeri. Members of the group have continued the revenge killings that were once prevalent among the Waorani. There will be a large celebration in January, 2006, to mark the 50th anniversary of the death of five missionaries who were killed by the Waorani Indians—then known as Aucas—in the jungles of Ecuador. This celebration is to commemorate what God has done in the lives of the Waorani and how He has used those faithful men to bring the gospel to their people. After this historic occasion concludes, Edwards and Cawe decided another one will commence: the mission to reach the Tagaeri. Jim Elliot, one of the five men who were killed, wrote, "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." Fifty years later that same sentiment has risen within the hearts of the Waorani. Now they desire to reach the Tagaeri, knowing full well that it may cost them their lives.
Assist News Service via MissionNet
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Praise: Wrongly Accused Christian Sunday School Teachers Organize Church Service in Prison—Three Indonesian Christian women, currently serving a three-year prison sentence in the Indramayu District of West Java, have started a church within the confines of their prison. Christian Freedom International President Jim Jacobson visited the three women in the Indramayu Prison. Incredibly, Dr. Rebekka Zakaria is currently allowed to lead a worship service on Sundays in a small outdoor courtyard area of the prison. About 35 people from her church are allowed to enter the prison each Sunday to participate. One male inmate recently converted to Christianity and attends the worship service, bringing the Christian inmate population to seven. CFI says the three women were imprisoned after having been wrongly convicted of "attempting to coerce children to change their religion" under the Indonesian "Child Protection Act." In reality, Rebekka, Eti, and Ratna allowed several Muslim children to attend their Sunday school program only after obtaining verbal consent from the Muslim students' guardians.
Assist News Service via Religion Today Summaries
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Pray: Malaysian Woman's Legal Right to Be a Christian to Be Decided by Sharia Court—Judges in Malaysia's Court of Appeal announced on September 19th that Lina Joy, a former Muslim who converted to Christianity in the late 1980s, must apply to a sharia court for permission to legally renounce Islam. The court claimed Joy, 41, was constitutionally free to practice the religion of her choice. However, the Muslim designation on her identity card prevents her from marrying a Christian and places other restrictions on her everyday life. Article 11 of the Malaysian Constitution gives every person the right to change his or her religion; but Article 3 declares Islam to be the official religion of the state. The dual court system in Malaysia also complicates matters. Pray God will give wisdom and strength to Lina Joy as she awaits the final decision concerning her legal right to be a Christian. Pray the Lord will soften the hearts of the sharia court judges to accept her conversion. Pray the light of Christ will shine into the spiritual darkness of Muslims everywhere.
Compass Direct via Religion Today Summaries