When Vahik's wife, Sonia, was released from prison a few weeks ago, officials told her they would release her husband 10 days later. Unfortunately, that has not happened yet, and her husband remains in prison. Please continue to pray for Vahik and for his family.
We received a letter from Y Wo Nie's wife recently. She wrote, "Our family situation is very difficult. I don't have a job; some days I work as a day laborer and some days I'm unemployed. My youngest son is sickly."
She recently visited her husband in prison, who is ill. She said, "I'm worried for my husband but God gives me His comfort that He is always with us though we have to face sickness or hard situations; He will help me to overcome my hard times."
Please pray for their family.
Y Wo Nie
Arrested: November 2009
On Nov. 25, 2009, Yang Caizhen and four other Linfen-Fushan church leaders from Shanxi Province were sentenced to criminal detention for two to seven years, according to China Aid Association. The five church leaders were accused of "gathering people to disturb the public order," because they organized a prayer rally on Sept. 14, the day after 400 military police raided the church's grounds. During the raid, more than 30 believers were seriously wounded and 17 buildings were destroyed.More Info...
Three Iranian believers were set free Saturday, April 30, 2011 after 239 days in prison. A fourth, Pastor Vahik Abrahamian, who was arrested at the same time, remains in custody. On April 28, the three were taken before a judge and their lawyers were asked to present their cases. Unexpectedly, after the hearing they were set free!
The three are Arash Kermanjani, his wife Arezou Teimouri and Sonia Keshish-Avanesian wife of Pastor Vahik. Sonia does not know why her husband was not freed at the same time, and she is extremely worried about him.
Friends who have seen the released prisoners described them as very weak and thin. Please pray for Pastor Vahik, as he remains in prison.
More than a year has already passed since Christian human rights lawyer Gao, to disclose where he is being held, or even to say what his condition is. It even refuses to confirm to Gao's family members whether he is still alive. was last seen. On April 20, 2010, he disappeared once again into Chinese police custody. The Chinese government adamantly refuses to release any information about
Gao's wife and two children, whom ChinaAid helped to resettle in the United States, have been devastated both emotionally and spiritually. They cry out every day to have a word from or about their lost loved one, their devoted father and caring husband.
Note: This video is for private viewing only.
For the sake of Gao's family, we ask that you do not share it.
Following is an excerpt from a ChinaAid report posted on April 26, 2011, describing some of the horrific torture inflicted on Gao. [Warning - contains graphic details]
On April 19, 2011, officials from the Beijing headquarters of the Xinhua News Agency and the Propaganda Department of the Public Security Ministrys Political Department confirmed that one phase of Mr. Ai Weiweis tax evasion case had come to an end.
A Public Security Ministry official with a conscience revealed that during the interrogation Ai Weiwei was subjected to torture in order to extract a confession. He said that the Ai case was being jointly handled by the Economic Investigation Corps and the Domestic Security Corps of the Beijing .
Fu Zhenghua, the chief of the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau, instructed those handling the case to show Ai Weiwei the video of Gao Zhisheng being tortured, including shots of electric batons being inserted into Gaos anus and his blood, semen, feces, and urine spurting out. Fu Zhenghua also issued an order saying: Whatever methods were used on Gao Zhisheng, use the same ones to make Ai Weiwei give in.
After several consecutive days of torture, Ai Weiwei was finally compelled to sign a statement of confession, admitting to tax evasion. (Read more: Tortured by Police, Artist Ai Weiwei Confesses After Seeing Video of Gao Zhishengs Torture
Though this campaign for Gao's freedom has been a long one, we must not lose heart -- for how else can Gao's wife and children continue to hold on to their hope? Please encourage more of your friends to sign the FreeGao petition. We are planning a new initiative once we have collected 200,000 signatures.
Dear Donna Matthews,
The past thirty days have been days of highs and lows. After eight months of hard work in which we played a key role, Said Musa was released from prison in Afghanistan. Our work was noted in articles by the Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Fox News, and many others. Obviously a high!
Then on March 2, I was told that Shahbaz Bhatti, Pakistan's Federal Minister for Minorities, had been assassinated. Shahbaz had been a key friend of ICC. Before he was a bigwig, we had brought him to D.C. many times to talk to Congress and the
State Department about persecution in . I had known for years (as did he) that the Islamists would catch up with him eventually. Still, when the news came, it came with tears.
Yet, any pain we feel here in the West pales in comparison to the reality of the suffering of the actual persecuted. Read this quote from our article on China:
[Secret] police beat my mother, tearing her clothing and calling her a beast. Police beat me too; I was twelve years old. They arrested my father and charged him with inciting subversion. My mother tried to protect me from knowing what happened. But I knew enough. I knew that when my father came home to serve his suspended sentence, his skin had turned black. I knew that my father couldn't get out of bed in the morning without my mother's help. And I knew that my father was scared.
Chilling, isn't it? We can't even relate to it.
You know, many times we cannot prevent acts of persecution, but we can help heal the physical and spiritual wounds left behind. This is work that is close to the Lord's heart.
Can I ask you to get involved in work that God loves? Would you please give generously so that we can fight for, shout for and bandage the persecuted? We will use your entrusted gifts efficiently and effectively.
p.s. - we've changed the format of our e-newsletter, so I urge you to take a look! It's an easy to use, flip-page newsletter so you can view the electronic newsletter just like the printed version.
March 31st, 2011
"Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him." James 1:12
Two Christians Languish in Saudi Prison; another on Death Row
Yohan Nese and Vasantha Sekhar Vara, arrested after attending a , were sentenced to 45 days in prison 70 days later they are still incarcerated. Living in horrific conditions their pastor in India does not know how much longer they can endure. In a separate report Mussie Eyob, an Eritrean Christian preacher and evangelist, now sits on death row in the notorious Saudi Briman High Security
Location: Iran (Islamic Republic of)
Arrested: September 2010
Pastor Vahik Abrahamian and his wife Sonia Keshish-Avanesian were with their friends, Arash Kermanjani and his wife Arezo Teymouri, when all four were detained. The couples have been accused of various offenses, including propagating Christianity, opposing the Islamic Republic of Iran, and having contact with exiled opposition figures.More Info... Prisoner Archives
Father Nguyen, now 64, has warned that he will go on a hunger strike and refuse medical treatment if he is readmitted to jail on March 15, 2011. The pastor was sentenced to eight years in prison in 2007 for "damaging national security." He was released March 15, 2010 to undergo a year's medical treatment after suffering two serious strokes leaving him partially paralyzed.
Nguyen Van Ly previously served a total of 15 years in jail, including years in solitary confinement. While on medical leave, authorities have prevented the pastor from giving interviews or meeting other democracy activists.
Please pray authorities will not send the Father Nguyen back to prison. Ask for healing for him.
Father Nguyen Van Ly
Update on Kim Kyung Il
Kim Kyung Il has been in prison 10 years. Just a few days ago, VOM contacts received word that his sentence is expected to be commuted in March and he may be free in September. Normally this would be cause for rejoicing, but as soon as Kim Kyung Il is released he'll face deportation to North Korea. There, he will almost certainly be executed. Our contact writes, "The only hope he may have is a huge outpouring of public awareness on this issue, which might at least delay his execution once he's returned."
Friends are working frantically to help Kim Kyung Il, but it's not easy. Please pray with us for a solution, and take action by writing Chinese officials today.
Kim Kyung Il
January 27th, 2011
"If the Lord delights in a man's way, he makes his steps firm; though he stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand." Psalm 37: 23-24
Jailed Pakistani Mother Living in Constant Fear, Husband Says
Asia Noreen, sentenced to death on "blasphemy" charges, has lived in constant fear since the killing of Punjab Gov. Salman Taseer. "She knows the Muslims have announced a prize on her head and would go to any lengths to kill her," Noreen's husband, Ashiq Masih, told Compass. Masih said his wife is "very afraid."
Twenty-seven year old Seble Hagos Mebrahtu was arrested after being
caught reading her Bible in her bedroom. In a weakened condition
following two weeks of torture and harsh treatment, she died having been
denied medical care for malaria.
January 21, 2011 1:49 PM
This week we pay tribute to Mehari Gebreneguse Asgedom, an Eritrean
brother who died on January 16, 2009. Denied important medical treatment
while in prison, this faithful servant of Christ died for his love for
On Jan. 4, while quietly sharing an evening meal, a truckload of
district police officers with guns cocked and ready to shoot burst into
Pastor Wannas house shouting, Stop! Nobody move! They then forcibly
detained 11 Christians and charged them with conducting a secret
meeting without approval.
This post was modified from its original form on 24 Feb, 4:58
The case of Asia Noreen, the first Christian woman sentenced to death in on blasphemy charges, suffered a major setback when her most vocal supporter, the governor of Punjab Province, was gunned down by one of his police bodyguards this week.