Praise and Prayer

Praise and Pray: Message from Orissa: God Is in Control'-ASSIST News Service reports that Juria Bardhan, Gospel for Asia's state leader in Orissa, India, has seen dozens of churches burned to the ground recently. He has seen missionaries and Christians beaten and killed. But during all these horrific attacks, Juria has had one thought. "We know the Lord is in control," Juria said in an interview Sept. 11. Juria's comments may sound nave to Western ears, but to Christians in volatile parts of Asia, they ring true. They expect persecution rather than peace. They know that to follow Christ means choosing to bring more trouble into their lives. They also know that Christians standing strong in the face of such trials encourages others to follow Christ. "The encouraging thing is that the attackers themselves acknowledge that Orissa used to be only 2 percent Christian, and now it's 28 percent Christian," Juria said. "They don't understand that by doing this, the church will grow by leaps and bounds, and this will cause thousands to come to Christ."

Religion Today Summaries


Pray: Christians in Pakistani Village Threatened with Death, Expulsion-At least nine Pakistani Christians of Shantinagar, a Christian village in Punjab Province, have reportedly received letters threatening them with death or eviction from the area unless they convert to Islam, the Minorities Concern of Pakistan (MCP) has reported. Last year, some Christian residents of Charsadda, Mardan, and Peshawar in the conservative North West Frontier Province of Pakistan received letters threatening them to convert to Islam in 10 days or face death. The fresh letters, it said, did not mention any deadline

In 1997 the village was burnt and destroyed by a mob of about 2000 after Christians were allegedly accused of desecrating the Quran, the Muslim holy book.

The report said that in many cases, Christian, Hindu, and Sikh women have been kidnapped and forcibly married to Muslim men after conversion. Minority rights groups' estimate that around 600 people a year are forcibly converted to Islam.

ASSIST News Service via Institute on Religion and Public Policy News Update


Praise: Disabled California Woman Saved from Government-Sanctioned Starvation-Heart attack victim Janet Rivera, who, like Terri Schiavo, was denied food and water for 11 days in July, was saved from the specter of death by starvation Sept. 9, when her brother was named her permanent conservator.

The 46-year-old woman suffered a heart attack in 2006. According to Judge Debra Kazanjian, Rivera's husband, Jesus Rivera, relinquished custody as he was unable to provide for Rivera's medical care. When doctors indicated Rivera might never recover, the public guardian ordered her feeding tube removed. Public outcry ensued and Rivera's feeding tube was reinserted.


Pray: Vietnamese Christian Who Fled to Cambodia Repatriated, Arrested-An ethnic Degar (Montagnard) Christian who sought safety in a U.N. refugee camp in Cambodia was shipped back to Vietnam and put under house arrest, according to an Asia News story. The Montagnard Foundation is appealing to embassies and international agencies on behalf of Y Hning who was reportedly persecuted on ethnic and religious grounds. His family paid 100,000 dongs (US$6) for his release, but his house arrest was ordered anyway. Members of his family were also forced to "donate" the only animal they had left-a pig-for a local police department party. On Friday, Aug. 8, Y Hning was forced to sign a statement formally renouncing Christianity and agreeing to stop attending the Degar church. The Degars live in Vietnam's central highlands.

Assist News Service via HCJB Global NewsUpdate

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