Egyptian Couple Shot by Muslim Extremists Undaunted in Ministry
the afternoon of February 27, lay pastor Ephraim Shehata and his wife
Rasha Samir were ambushed on a desolate street by a group of Islamic
gunmen outside the village of Teleda in Upper Egypt. Both miraculously survived the attack.
The shooters have since been arrested and are in jail awaiting trial. However, despite suffering this trauma and left with debilitating injuries, Shehata is willing to drop all criminal charges against his attackers if the government will give him permission to construct a church building. According to Compass News Shehata has tried for the last 10 years to erect a Egypts State Security Investigations (SSI) agency have blocked his efforts. It is not allowed to build a church in Egypt, Shehata said. We cant build a house. We cant build a community center. And we cant build a church.
In Egypt constructing or even repairing a church building can only be done after a complex government approval process. By comparison, the construction of mosques is encouraged through a system of subsidies. Shehata, until the shooting, had all but given up on constructing the church building, but has since approached the State Security Investigations agency, saying that if he is allowed to build a church building, he will then take no part in the criminal persecution of the shooters.
for Christians, but local Muslims and
thank You for protecting Shehata and Samirs lives and ask that you
encourage Shehata as he remains steadfast and faithful in his desire to
build a church. We ask that his request would be granted so that many
can come and worship You. Thank you Father, we love You and give You
Praying with you,
The Prayer Force Team
June 17, 2010
Remember Your word to Your servant, in which You have made me hope. This is my comfort in my affliction, that Your promise gives me life. Psalm 119:49-50
Pastor in Kyrgyzstan Asks for Your Prayers
Ethnic unrest and violence, causing at least 124 deaths, have erupted in Osh, the second largest city in southern Kyrgyzstan. A pastor in Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, sent Open Doors a letter describing the situation in detail, There have been firefights, rapes, and murders. All the big shops and markets are either burned or plundered You are not allowed to leave the city. All who tried to escape from the city were stopped at the checkpoints. They order you to go back and fight on the side of your nationality.
Osh is near the border with Uzbekistan, and there is a sizable minority of Uzbeks living in Osh. Tens of thousands of Uzbek people are now fleeing the area and seeking refuge back in Uzbekistan. Although the source of the violence is unclear, tensions have been high in the area since the toppling of President Kurmanbek Bakiyev last April.
The pastor in
Bishkek writes in his letter of a local pastor in Osh who has been
taking great risks in protecting and transporting Christians and
missionaries who are trapped in the war zone. In the letter he asks for
our prayers, Please pray together with us for Pastor X and his team.
Also please pray for Christian women who have been hiding, that they
are able to get to a safe place. And what is most important - please
pray for peace!
Father, we pray fervently that You would put an end to the violence and unrest taking place in Osh, and replace it with complete peace and unity throughout the wider region. We ask that You would protect the Christians that are in life-threatening situations, and continue comforting them with Your Holy Spirit.
July 1, 2010
But the Lord God helps me, therefore I have not been disgraced; therefore I have set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame. Isaiah 50:7
Christian Professor in Pakistan Beaten for Refusing to Convert
The morning of June 14th, upon exiting his house on campus, Professor Samuel John was attacked and beaten by a mob of 20 to 25 Muslim students. When his wife realized what was happening, she ran to help him, but the students beat her as well. Both John and his wife were rushed to the hospital, with his injuries listed as critical. John later reported the matter to the dean of the Peshawar University College, but the official was unable to take any action because the Islamic student council is supported by political parties and powerful Islamic groups.
who is a father of four and has been teaching psychology for 12 years,
has subsequently faced various forms of harassment from different
Islamic student groups who have thrown stones at his home, sent
threatening letters, and have threatened his family over the phone. I
am still getting threats, the professor told Compass. They say,
Leave the university or accept Islam if you dont convert, we will
kill your family.
Father, we lift up Samuel John and his family to You, and ask that You would protect and encourage them as they face this awful persecution on the university campus. We pray for peace amongst the student groups, and for Pakistani Christians to continue to stand firm in their faith even in the face of opposition.