July 2015 Prayer Watch: Pakistan – Asia Bibi receives stay of execution

“You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions.” – Hebrews 10:34

Pakistan

Aasiya Noreen, more commonly known as Asia Bibi, has received a stay of execution from the Pakistan Supreme Court. Accused in 2009 of making disrespectful remarks against the prophet Mohammed, she was handed a death sentence by a local court in 2010. The case has now reached the highest court of appeal in Pakistan.

The original claim of blasphemy surfaced after an argument occurred between Aasiya and two Muslim women she was working with. When Aasiya offered both the women water, they told her it wasHaram, or religiously forbidden, as she was a Christian. When told by her colleagues to convert, she refused and stated she was a Christian. It was from this that a claim was made against her stating that she had insulted Mohammed.

The blasphemy law in Pakistan carries a death sentence and was the first law of its kind anywhere in the world. The law itself is often misused as a means to settle arguments and has been abused by many to deal with undesirable minorities, like Christians.

While it is an answer to prayer that Aasiya Bibi has received this stay of execution, it is not a ruling on the case itself. A date is still yet to be set on her next hearing at which time her case will be reviewed. We must continue now to pray for Aasiya and her family as the ordeal continues.

Pray with us:

  • Pray for Aasiya as she remains in prison, whilst she is there her health and wellbeing are in jeopardy.
  • Pray for Aasiya’s family, her husband and daughters have received death threats and are suffering without her.
  • Pray that decision makers would come to know Christ as Saviour and Lord.
Source: Prayer Watch: Pakistan - Asia Bibi receives stay of execution

July 2015 Prayer Watch: China – Are we ready for freedom?

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…and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Prayer Watch: China

But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. – 2 Corinthians 12: 9-10

China

Open Doors has seen many answers to prayer over the years and the improving situation in China is one such example of this. In the 1980s, one believer, Zhong Hua*, distributed 800,000 bibles to churches, receiving them from Open Doors courier teams at different ports in China.

Zhong Hua recently told an Open Doors worker about his experience of distributing bibles in China. “Bible distribution was a risk-taking ministry in that generation. Sometimes, we simply asked overseas brothers and sisters to leave the bibles at a certain place.  We didn’t even meet each other for security reasons.”

However, things have changed since the intense persecution from the 80’s and 90’s, even with China still ranking 29 on the World Watch List, increasing availability of bibles in China has meant Zhong Hua is no longer engaged in bible distribution.

“The Chinese churches enjoy much more freedom to worship God and evangelize today. There is no need for delivering bibles from overseas. We now have a considerable degree of freedom, but are we ready for that freedom? Today, my business is successful. I am financially secure. I enjoy family life with my grandchildren. Though I still preach in local churches, I have to admit that I am not as passionate as  before.”

On hearing this, the Open Doors worker spoke to Zhong Hua about persecution of the church in other countries too. Never before has the church been in a position to engage with the persecuted church outside of China. Now it’s a possibility. The Open Doors worker asked, “We have initiated a new ministry focusing on these things. Would you like to join us?”

Zhong Hua agreed to join the upcoming ministry event of sharing the vision of serving the persecuted church. “When you talk about persecution in other countries, my heart beats very fast. I am touched by the vision of serving persecuted Christians worldwide.”

*Name changed for security reasons
Photo indicative only 

Pray with us:

  • Praise God for what He has done in China in the past few decades, bringing many thousands of people to faith in Jesus.
  • Pray for Christians in China who may have lost their zeal, ask God to grow their faith and passion for Him, and to share the Good News with others.

Join us and pray through Ramadan, you can get your free Pray Through Ramadan calendar here. Follow us on social media for prayer points too!

June 2015 Prayer Watch Open Doors: Ramadan – Pray for Christians and Muslims..

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Prayer Watch: RamadanWhich of these three do you think was a neighbour to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.– Luke 10:36-37

Ramadan

Every year for 30 days, Muslims around the world observe the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. During this time Muslims abstain from eating and drinking between daylight hours and encourage charitable giving as well as prayer.

Ramadan can often be a time of great difficulty for Christians living in Muslim majority countries, the pressure of hunger or thirst can lead many to frustration. Resentment can also often be driven by Christians not participating in fasting, as well as theological misunderstandings of the Christian faith. It is particularly important for Christians to show compassion and be wise in their actions at this time.

Despite this, Ramadan is a golden time for Christians to show love to their Muslim neighbours. A Christian leader in Egypt said, “During Ramadan, I pray a lot for Muslims, that in their fervent efforts to please Allah they may eventually find the way to the true God. I pray for them as they show sincere desire to get rid of their sins and heavy burdens, that they may have a personal encounter with Jesus and have eternal life.

As Muslims take the next 30 days to examine their lives and seek truth, join us in earnest prayer that the truth of Jesus may be revealed, “I pray for Muslims because I know my Father listens and that he is turning the hearts of many of them back to him.

Pray with us:

  • Pray for the Christians living in majority Muslim countries, pray God would provide wisdom to them at this time in both word and deed.
  • Pray for the protection of Christians living in these places, that God would be watching over them and that this Ramadan would be defined as a time of peace.
  • Pray for the many Muslims seeking truth, pray that the love of Christ would be revealed and many would come to know Him.

Join us and pray through Ramadan, you can get your free

 Pray Through Ramadan calendar here. 

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