Praise and Prayer

Pray: Eritrea Jails Many Hundreds of Christians, Including 26 Pastors—At least 26 full-time Protestant pastors and Orthodox clergy are in jail currently in Eritrea, among a total of 1,778 Christians imprisoned, according to a report from Compass Direct. In addition to imprisoning the pastors, the government froze their personal bank accounts, and their family members are suffering to a great degree, according to one source. Pray Jesus will draw near to the imprisoned Christians, giving them a sense of His loving presence. Pray Christians around the world will respond bountifully to the needs of the prisoners' families.

Compass Direct via Voice of the Martyrs

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Praise: Zambia's "Call Boys" Find Innovative Ways to Spread the Gospel—The "call boys" of Zambia are young men who stand at bus stops helping load people into buses. Society views them as lower than prostitutes. Christian World Outreach (CWO) says these young people are now committing their lives to Jesus and are making incredible outreach decisions. CWO's Greg Yoder says it all started two years ago when he invited these young men to dinner which grew into a Bible study. "Many of them became Christians, and then it became a discipleship group with the young men. These are brand-new Christians who knew nothing of what Christ had done for them," he said. "Now they're saying, ‘We want to do ministry.' And they've actually started to have an outreach to street kids. They have suggested taking children into their homes and mentoring them and teaching them Bible stories." The young men are also sharing the gospel at bus stops where they work, and want to do more to tell people about Christ.

Mission Network News

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Praise: Families of Beheaded Indonesian Girls Forgive Killers—The three families who suffered the loss of their young daughters when they were brutally murdered are still in shock and grief over the horrible way they died. On October 29, a group of unidentified men wearing masks beheaded the girls with machetes as they walked to school. The father of one girl who survived the attacks believes that the girls were targeted because they defied Idul Fitre, an important Muslim holiday signifying the end of Ramadan when "there should be no school, but the Christian school is open." The deaths have brought unity to the Christian churches in Poso, and the lives of the girls have encouraged believers to be strong in the faith. Their parents have released forgiveness to the murderers of their daughters. They believe that it is God who will judge them. Markus Sambuwe, the father of one of the girls, remarked, "I am really angry, but the Holy Spirit touched my heart and changed me. I forgive them just as Jesus has forgiven my sins." The girls' pastor said, "We hope peace will come to Poso. Because of the three girls who were martyred, we are challenged, and our faith is put to a test like gold. But we become strong because of their example." While tensions remain high in Poso, Christians are, so far, responding in a spirit of forgiveness and restraint.

CBN News via Religion Today Summaries

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Pray: Saudi Teacher Sentenced to 750 Lashes for "Mocking Religion"—A court in Saudi Arabia sentenced a teacher to 40 months in jail and 750 lashes for "mocking religion" after he discussed the Bible and praised Jews, the Saudi newspaper, Al-Madina, reported Nov. 13. Secondary schoolteacher Mohammad al-Harbi was to be flogged in public after he was taken to court by his colleagues and students. He was charged with promoting a "dubious ideology, mocking religion, saying the Jews were right, discussing the gospel and preventing students from leaving class to wash for prayer." A U.S. State Department report criticized Saudi Arabia recently, saying religious freedoms "are denied to all but those who adhere to the state-sanctioned version of Sunni Islam." Harbi said he will appeal the verdict.

WorldWide Religious News/Reuters

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Praise & Pray: Chinese Christian Children Resist Government Pressure—Although China allows "belief" in a religion, the Chinese constitution does not guarantee the right to practice that religion. However, officials attempt to weaken children's faith by encouraging them to deny Jesus altogether. According to Open Doors, Public Security Bureau officers recently burst into a Sunday school room and herded 30 children into a van. Despite the scary situation, one child started singing. The van soon was filled with song. Upon arrival at the police station, the children marched bravely into the interrogation room still singing to the Lord. Threatened with having to write "I do not believe in Jesus" 100 times before they would be released, the children instead wrote: "I believe in Jesus today. I will believe in Jesus tomorrow. I will believe in Jesus forever!" Exasperated, officials called the children's parents, some of whom denied Christ. When a widowed believer came to pick up her twin sons, she refused to deny Jesus. The officers threatened her: "If you do not deny Jesus, we will not release your sons!" The widow replied, "Well, I guess you will just have to keep them, because without Jesus, there would be no way for me to take care of them!" With no avenues left open to them, the officials said, "Take your sons and go!" Give thanks and praise to God for the faithful witness of these children. Pray God will continue to strengthen them as they face the pressures of adulthood.

Religion Today via
Voice of the Martyrs

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