| Re: Sun. AM...7/17/17|
My Brothers and Sisters,
How much value do you give the name of Jesus? There is no other name greater. One name that unites us as a global family saved through His blood.
Below in the short video from Open Doors is the moving testimony of Susan from Uganda. I assure you this story is true.
" I cannot leave Jesus. I decided not to leave him because He has given me eternal life. And even if I died there I was sure I would go to him." From Susan
A brother once remarked to me that one hour spent in the presence of someone who has undergone persecution will expose the shallowness of our American faith. This has certainly been true watching the above video.
Please remember to keep our brothers and sisters in your prayers. Let us pray that their example will strengthen our faith as in the example of 14 year old Susan.
| 2017/7/16 4:17|
| Re: Sun. PM...7/16/17 |
Of the countries on this list, Eritrea is probably the least-known. Located on the eastern end of Africa, Eritreans fleeing their country has contributed greatly to the refugee crisis around the world. The Eritrean government is intolerant of dissent and free expression, and in 2007, deposed and replaced the Patriarch of the Eritrean Orthodox Church (EOC). The EOC has itself persecuted those who convert to evangelical or Pentecostal denominations and the government treatment of Christian prisoners has received international attention, with some being locked in shipping containers and dying.
How to pray: Pray for Eritrean refugees; that God would open up places for them to find shelter and rest. Pray for the corrupted EOC; that God would break the hearts of the leaders of this church and make it a bold force for peace. And pray that the communities of Christians suffering persecution from both the government and the EOC would have comfort, boldness and relief.
Below is a link to video of moving testimony of a sister from Eritrea.
| 2017/7/16 18:41|
| Re: Mon. AM...7/16/17|
Saudi Arabia is one of the wealthiest countries in the world and has established strong relationships with several key countries, especially the United States. It is also one of the worst countries in the world in its treatment of Christians. To be a Saudi citizen is to be a Muslim due to a tightly intertwined connection between their religious and social worlds. Because of this, there are no church buildings in Saudi Arabia and Christians have to practice their faith in strict secrecy.
There is a vibrant church in Saudi Arabia that meets underground. It has approximately 100,000 members.
Below is a link to a short video about a dear sister who was martyred in Saudi Arabia.
How to pray: One of the biggest enablers of the Saudi monarchy is its comfortable relationship with powerful governments. While the political and economic realities of this situation are complicated, pray that God would convict leaders around the world to demand Saudi Arabia exercise better human rights and religious freedom. Pray for comfort for Christians in the midst of persecution and boldness as they take the potentially life-threatening risk of sharing their faith with family and friends.
" I am a Christian even unto death." ... Last words of Fatima before she was martyred by her brother.
But the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church. Please pray that this will be the seed of a church in Saudi Arabia.
| 2017/7/17 8:07|
| Re: Mon. PM...7/17/17 |
World Watch Monitor
JULY 17, 2017
Why the Cuban Church is still under pressure
Cuba is one of the few remaining communist governments in the world. Ten years ago, the country’s ageing leader, Fidel Castro, was replaced by his brother, Raúl, but the government stayed essentially the same and desired changes did not take place, although there have been relaxed controls over some areas of life.
Cuba continues to isolate itself from the rest of the world and to function under totalitarian control. The “engines” of persecution of the Christian Church are communist and post-communist oppression. In recent years, a set of internal and external factors – whose scope and impact are not yet visible – bear the potential of bringing about a certain degree of political change.
Cuba, a communist state since the 1959 revolution, has seen very little change in its political system for decades. Ever since Fidel Castro took power, the country has been ruled by a typical communist regime – “an authoritarian brand of socialism”, as the Bertelsmann Transformation Index of 2012 describes it – where political rights and civil liberties are to a large extent restricted.
Accordingly, Cuba ranks as “Not Free” on the US’s Freedom House Index, indicating the undemocratic nature of the regime, with no separation of powers or guarantee for the rule of law. Also, issues such as press freedom and the basic human rights situation are below internationally accepted standards.
The succession of Fidel Castro by his brother in 2006 raised hopes that the country might move towards the implementation of some democratic reforms. But ten years later, this expectation has not been satisfied. Although Raúl has implemented certain cautious transitional reforms, the political system remains virtually unchanged and too much optimism is out of place.
“New Castro, Same Cuba”, wrote Human Rights Watch in a 2009 report, which has continued to report human rights violations in subsequent reports. Whether the coming years will bring more reforms in the political space will have to be seen, although US-based global intelligence company Stratfor in 2012 noted that “key reforms, such as making credit and private property available to individuals, are under way, and similar reforms, including attempts to loosen travel restrictions, can be expected in the next year”.
Indeed in September 2010, major economic reforms were launched, based on the Chinese model, implementing very limited liberalisation. These reforms included more self-employment – with some possibilities to develop small businesses, leasing of state land to private farmers and in general reducing the state’s economic role.
According to Bertelsmann, the growing influence of China in the country was one of the reasons behind these reforms.
The persecution of Christians, more severe decades ago, is slowly changing. While in the past it included beatings, imprisonment and sometimes murder, now it is generally more subtle. It continues in the form of harassment, strict surveillance and discrimination, including occasional imprisonment of leaders.
All Christians are monitored and all church services are infiltrated by spies. Christians are threatened and suffer discrimination in school and at work. The totalitarian regime allows no competitors of any kind. Pastors and Christians are sometimes pressured to stop evangelising and to limit their activities to their own church premises. Permission to print Christian literature locally is hard to obtain. Bibles, Bible study materials and Sunday school materials are in extremely short supply.
Everything is restricted. Existing seminaries and church buildings may be used, but new churches and seminaries cannot be built. Legal procedures are possible, but are excessively slow. Foreigners who enter the country can bring Bibles with them, but only a maximum of three Bibles. Mail can be sent, but only a maximum of two kilograms, and all mail is checked and censored. Christianity can be preached, and foreigners can even request a ‘religious visa’, but it is not possible to mention the human rights situation and politics. It is possible for Cubans to leave the country, but administrative processes are intentionally slow.
In Cuba, religious organisations are the only authorised assemblies. Interest groups, as such, do not exist, and are not allowed to exist. The only exception is the Roman Catholic Bishops’ Conference and, to a lesser extent, the Cuban Council of Churches. The Catholic Church is assuming a growing political role, and has large internal autonomy. Religious manifestations initiated by these organisations are being increasingly tolerated, opening a window of opportunity for social change through the activities of the Catholic Church. As there is no democratic pluralism, political change can only come from the Church. Raúl Castro’s effort to seek increased contact with the Catholic Church has strengthened its public role.
*Paul Groen is an analyst for Open Doors, a charity that supports Christians under pressure for their faith.
Please do keep these brothers and sisters in Cuba in your prayers.
| 2017/7/17 18:02|
| Re: Tues. AM...7/17/17|
My brothers and sisters,
Why do we pray for the persecuted Church?
••• We pray because their faithfulness inspires us.
••• We pray because we feel their pain.
••• We pray because scripture tells us to.
••• We pray because it strengthens the church.
••• We pray because we are one family, they are our brothers and sisters.
With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints,
Link to a short video below encourages us to pray for our persecuted family.
If you are so led by the Spirit please join us tonight as we lift up the persecuted church and call out for the global harvest of souls.
Time of call is.......
9 p.m. EST
8 p.m. CST
7 p.m. MST
6 p.m. PST
Call number and access code are.......
Lord willing, I look forward to praying with you tonight. But even if you cannot join us on tonight's call please do remember our persecuted family in your prayers.
Your brother in Christ,
| 2017/7/18 6:26|
| Re: Wed. AM...7/19/17|
"If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.
This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you.
Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.
1 Corithians 16:13-14
Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.
Yesterday I posted five reasons why we need to pray for the persecuted church. But I omitted the most important reason. We pray for our persecuted brethren because we love Christ and we love his people. Love should be our most compelling reason of why we obey God. Love should be our most compelling reason of why we pray for the persecuted church.
This day please keep our brothers and sisters who are in the shadow of the cross in your prayers. Let us pray for them out of hearts that are inspired by the love of the Holy Spirit.
Link to short video below that encourages us to pray for our persecuted family.
| 2017/7/19 7:45|
| Re: Wed. PM...7/19/17 |
... that if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord,"
A brother commenting on the Nigerian saints said these brothers and sisters may not be able to articulate the finer points of the Calvinist, Arminian debate. But when a jihadist comes to them with a machete and says repeat the Islamic shahada. But these saints respond and say "No Jesus is Lord". Suddenly the faith of the Nigerian saints becomes very deep.
A video below encourages us how to pray for the persecuted church.
| 2017/7/19 21:18|
| Re: Thurs...7/20/17|
You are invited to join us tomorrow, Thursday July 20, in a prayer call for the persecuted church.
Time: 9:00 PM EST
8:00 PM CST
7:00 PM MST
6:00 PM PST
Call in number: 712 775-7035. Code: 281207#
Pay a Tax
Leave or die
ISIS actions are the strict interpretations of the Quran and their objective is to re-implement an Islamic Caliphate, The self proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, ISIS, got worldwide attention when they invaded Mosul, the biblical is Niniveh, and has been a home for Christians for more than 2000 years, ISIS went house to house, marking the house of Christians.
ISIS is proud of their inhuman persecution of Christians.
Beheadings – remember the picture if the kneeling men in orange jumpsuits to be killed
Burning alive and other forms of merciless execution
AS we are seeing now in the News, ISIS is being pushed out of Mosul. It is reasonable to assume that this will not be the end of ISIS, they will regroup and continue on their jihads.
· Please pray to the Lord that ISIS leaders and ISIS fighters will have divine encounters with Christ.
· Pry to the Lord that many ISIS leaders and ISIS fighters will be exposed to Christian broadcasts and through the internet.
· Pray for Christian believers to bring ISIS members to the saving faith.
· Pray for the ten thousands Christians who have been displaced from ISIS controlled areas. Pray that The Lord will meet their physical needs and pray that their relationship with Christ will grow going through this trial.
· Pray that the believers will forgive the Muslims who harmed them.
· Pray for the NGOs to meet the spiritual and physical needs, both in and out of ISIS controlled areas.
· Pray for the protection of the Christian workers, pastors and missionaries who minister in IRAQ and Syria.
· Pray to the Lord that He will derail current and future operations by ISIS , for dissent and infighting within ISIS that will make them ineffective.
· Pray to the Lord that ISIS movement will implode and disappear.
· Pray for new growth of Christian activities and church planting.
| 2017/7/20 8:49|
| Re: Thurs. PM...7/20/17|
Taken from an Open Doors video...
Pray with us.
If you pray for us you pray the wrong things.
You will pray that the church will be safe.
We do not pray these things.
We pray that when persecution comes.
When they threaten us.
When they kill us.
That until our last breath we will continue to cry out.
Jesus is Lord!
Link to a video below where she had to wrestle through the lordship of Jesus Christ. The story is true and not made up.
The mother and her husband and children were offered santuary. But they chose to stay and the live out the lordship of Jesus Christ. I do not know if the family still lives. At least I do not know if they are living this side of eternity.
May we pray with our persecuted brothers and sisters that they say Jesus is Lord. May they surrender to His Lordship. May we also surrender to His Lordship.
| 2017/7/20 17:00|
| Re: Thurs. PM...7/27/17 |
On a recent webinar I heard a brother from India say that pastors are treated like criminals. This reminded me of the statement by our brother, the Apostle Paul when he wrote in 2nd Timothy 1:8-9,
•••Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord or of me His prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God, for which I suffer hardship even to imprisonment as a criminal; but the word of God is not imprisoned.•••
The brother did go on to share that though there is persecution in India. And some of that persecution is quite extreme. The Church of the Lord Jesus Christ is growing.
Lord willing we will pray for India tonight on our prayer call. Below is a fact sheet from Open Doors with prayer points following.
Since May 2014, India has been governed by a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. As a result, radical Hinduism, which was already present under the previous government, has increased steadily. While the level of intolerance continues to increase, Christians are regularly attacked by radical Hindus. The level of impunity has gone up markedly, with communities of converts to Christianity from Hinduism bearing the brunt of the persecution. They are constantly under pressure to return to their old beliefs, and are often physically assaulted, sometimes killed. Protestant Christian communities are the second main target because of their involvement in outreach activities and conversions, and they also face regular attacks by radical Hindus.
To support persecuted Christians in India, Open Doors is on the ground providing training, discipleship, education, vital relief aid and more.
Prayer Points for India...
Pray for God’s provision for those evangelizing in states with anti-conversion laws.
Pray for Christian girls placed under house arrest by their families because of their faith.
Pray for Indian believers who experience both violent persecution and intense cultural pressure to return to Hinduism.
I might add that in 2014 after the election of the Hindu extremists to govern India. One of their leaders said that by December 21st 2021 Christianity would be eradicated from India. I think our Lord Jesus Christ has something to say on that matter.
••• "I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven." ••• Matthew 16:17-19
If you are so led please join our call tonight as we lift up the nation of India. We will also call out for the global Harvest of souls in that nation.
Time of tonight's call is.......
9 p.m. PST
8 p.m. CST
7 p.m. MST
6 p.m. PST
Call number and access code are.......
Lord willing, I look forward to praying with you you tonight.
Your brother in Christ,
| 2017/7/27 15:07|