Wednesday, October 13, 2010

077. Updates: Algeria, India, Somalia, Indonesia

Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin | RLPB 077 | Wed 13 Oct 2010

Due to an urgent and time-consuming family health situation that has just arisen, Elizabeth Kendal, our regular religious liberty monitor, analyst and writer, has not been able to compile this week's Bulletin. An alternative contributor happened to be travelling internationally and likewise has been unable to assist.

We believe therefore what would be most helpful in these circumstances is to provide a reminder of situations we have prayed for, which have not gone away since the week we particularly highlighted them. Our sisters and brothers suffering for their faith in Christ will still value our continued support and remembrance in prayer before God's throne of grace.

Some more information and helpful links are also available on Elizabeth Kendal's blog 'Religious Liberty Monitoring'.


* ALGERIA (RLPB 076 | 06 Oct 2010 - Society Protests Islamisation as Christians Face Court)

It appears the trial of Pastor Yahou Mahmoud and three elders scheduled for 10 October has been postponed again - it had already been postponed twice. They are accused of 'practising non-Muslim worship without authorisation', even though their Protestant Church of Algeria is a nationally accredited denomination with 30,000 believers. Mahmoud is to be tried additionally on a charge of 'hosting a foreigner' - a French pastor. Algerian society generally is supporting Christians in these and other trials because of their concern about Islamists advancing Islamisation in Algeria. The country and its Church needs our prayers.

* INDIA (Included in RLPB 075 | 29 Sep 2010 - September Update; RLPB 062 | 30 Jun 2010 - June Update)

Hindu militants' repression and persecution of the Church in India continues to grow. Christian leaders - especially pastors - are constantly threatened and often spuriously detained and even imprisoned. Believers are attacked and churches and their Bibles, equipment and furniture are trashed. The Evangelical Fellowship of India has recorded 106 major incidents this year (up to August) - that's an average of three every week - in 16 States, including 37 in Karnataka.

* SOMALIA (RLPB 074 | 22 Sep 2010 - Islamic Terror Surges)

Having captured most of southern and central Somalia, Islamic jihadists are now fighting to control the capital Mogadishu. Al-Shabab, the most radical and aggressive of the insurgent groups, is systematically targeting the Church for elimination. Some 20 Christians, mostly church leaders, have been shot or beheaded by al-Shabab over the past two years. On 21 July al-Shabab militants shot dead long-time Christian, Osman Abdullah Fataho, in his home in front of his wife and children. Fataho was targeted because he was an apostate (convert from Islam) and active in Somalia's underground church. The jihadists abducted Fataho's family, later releasing his wife but keeping her four children aged 5 to 15 to be trained as jihadists. Please pray for this family and for the Church in Somalia.

(RLPB 073 | 13 Sep 2010 - Threat Level Rises; included in RLPB 070 | 25 Aug 2010 - August Update; RLPB 068 | 11 Aug 2010 - Worshippers Attacked; included in RLPB 066 | 28 Jul 2010 - July Update; RLPB 063 | 07 Jul 2010 - Jihad Threat Level High)

The threat level facing Christians in Bekasi Regency, West Java, has been rising continuously since 27 June when Bekasi's Islamic leaders publicly denounced 'Christianisation' of Bekasi (98 percent Muslim) and urged Bekasi Muslims to prepare for jihad. Christians have since been threatened with death and physically attacked during, or on their way to, worship, some so severely they have had to be hospitalised in a critical condition.