Persecution and Prayer alert, Voice of the Martyrs
Islamic law implemented in Libya
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(Source: Australian Evangelical Alliance Religious Liberty Commission)
On October 24, National Transitional Council leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil declared Libya to be “liberated.” Operating free of any democratic constraints, Jalil also declared that the law against polygamy will be repealed, Islamic banking will be adopted, and Shariah (Islamic) Law will form the basis for all Libyan law.
As has happened in Iraq and Afghanistan, any concession to religious freedom will be rendered void by the supremacy of Shariah. Shariah law prohibits fitna (anything that could shake the faith of a Muslim), especially evangelism (Christian witness), blasphemy (criticizing Islam), and apostasy (leaving Islam).
Please pray for all Christians in Libya. Ask the Lord to protect them and make them courageous followers of Christ—for He did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline (2 Timothy 1:7). Pray for Mustafa Abdel Jalil and all those currently holding positions of authority. Pray that the Lord, in his good timing, will bring genuine religious freedom to this nation.
For more information on persecution in Libya, please visit the Libya Country Report.
Update: Iranian Christians continue to languish in prison
(Sources: Present Truth Ministries, Mohabat News)
Mehdi “Petros” Foroutan, 27, has been in prison since September 25. He is currently serving a one year sentence for crimes against national security (for more information, click here). He was charged with this “crime” because he was evangelizing to Muslims. On October 17, Petros was put into solitary confinement. Thankfully, he has since been returned to the general area of the prison. Petros and four other Christians were arrested back in April and charged with blasphemy against Islam. The judge ruled that they were not guilty, but the prosecutor has appealed this verdict. Therefore, Petros is still awaiting a second trial for blasphemy.
Meanwhile, the prison sentence of Behnam Irani, 41, an Iranian church leader, has been extended by five years. The extension of his one-year sentence for “propaganda against the regime” was issued on October 18, three days before his scheduled release from prison. Behnam was arrested in April 2010 following a raid on his home in Karaj where approximately 10 young men newly converted to Christianity had gathered for fellowship and Bible study (for more information, click here). According to local sources, there is concern that he may be charged with apostasy.
Please ask the Lord to comfort and strengthen these two men. Pray that Petros and Behnam will keep their eyes fixed on Jesus, persevere in their faith, and not grow weary or lose heart (Hebrews 10:32-39; 12:1-3). Ask the Lord to protect them while in prison and pray for their release. Pray also for the prison guards.
To compose letters of encouragement to Petros and Behnam in their own language, please visit www.PrisonerAlert.com. You can also download our Prisoners’ List and Letter-Writing Guide on our “Write Letters” page. To learn more about suffering Iranian believers, please visit the Iran Country Report.
Christian mother of five killed by soldiers in Nigeria
(Source: Compass Direct News)
Nigerian soldiers summoned to stop inter-religious fighting between Muslim and Christian youths shot and killed a Christian mother of five in the Yelwa area of Bauchi city, according to family and church sources. A Christian boy was also shot.
Soldiers were called to the area on October 20 to restore calm after fighting broke out at a high school soccer match and spread to other parts of the city. Other Muslims reportedly joined Muslim students from the school, attacking Christians and setting homes ablaze.
Three Muslim soldiers later shot Charity Augustine Agbo. Charity’s husband, Augustine, told reporters that the soldiers shot his wife after storming their house. “Three soldiers arrived ... with siren blaring, scaring us and forcing us to run into our houses,” he said. “When we all ran inside, we saw these three soldiers coming to our house; then we locked the outside gate, but the soldiers followed us and broke the glass door and forced the door open and shot my wife twice on the chest.” The circumstances leading to the shooting of the boy, who is unrelated to Charity, were not immediately known and his name has not been disclosed. At last report, he was recovering in hospital.
Please pray the Lord will bring about an end to the continuing violence in this area of Nigeria. Ask Him to comfort Augustine and his children. Pray the Lord will completely heal the young boy. Pray that the perpetrators will be brought to justice. Pray that they will also repent and believe.
Visit the Nigeria Country Report for more on Nigeria’s suffering believers.
Restrictive amendments proposed for uncensored religious literature in Azerbaijan
(Source: Forum 18 News Service)
Prison terms and hefty fines are set to be adopted by Azerbaijan’s parliament in mid-November for groups of people who produce or distribute religious literature without first submitting to compulsory state censorship. Those found guilty will be subject to prison terms of up to five years or maximum fines of nearly nine years’ official minimum wage.
The punishments are included in proposed amendments to the Criminal and Administrative Codes, which were prepared by the powerful Presidential Administration and approved by two parliamentary committees on October 28. Parliamentary officials said they are set to be adopted in one reading, likely on November 15.
Please pray the Lord will flood this nation with His Word and that the gospel will continue to spread in spite of these restrictions. Pray the Church in Azerbaijan will grow in number and in faithfulness. Pray the Lord will bless their efforts as they act as witnesses to Him. Pray that religious freedom will be respected in Azerbaijan.
Check out the Azerbaijan Country Report to learn more about persecution in Azerbaijan.