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PRISONERS OF FAITH~AUTUMN OF 2011~
3 years ago
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Remember the prisoners as if chained with them; Hebrews 13:3

PRISONERS~YEAR OF 2011~CHRISTIANS WHO ARE IN PRISON FOR THEIR FAITH!  
 


This post was modified from its original form on 04 Sep, 9:08
3 years ago
Update on Vahik Abrahamian

Pastor Vahik Abrahamian, an Armenian Christian, was arrested with his wife, Sonia Keshish Avanessian, on Saturday, Sept. 4 2010 in his home in Hamedan. The couple, along with two family friends, were held for 44 days in solitary confinement. All were subject to intensive interrogation and severe mental and psychological torture without the ability to contact family or friends. The others were eventually released, but Pastor Vahik was held for more than a year. He was released after family and friends raised the equivalent of about $10,000 for his bail.

More Info...

Vahik Abrahamian
3 years ago
Update on Pastor Wang Xiaoguang

Five leaders of the Linfen house church that was brutally destroyed two years ago have been released after serving two years in a labor camp. The Linfen case was one of the largest recent cases of religious persecution. On Sept. 13, 2009, 400 local police, government officials and hired thugs descended upon the church, demolished a new building and clashed with hundreds of Linfen church members. Dozens were severely beaten, and more than 30 were hospitalized with critical injuries. The five who were released were Gao Fuqin, Zhao Guoai, Yang Caizhen, Yang Hongzhen and Li Shuangpin. Five more remain in prison, including Wang Xiaoguang.

More Info...

Pastor Wang Xiaoguang
3 years ago
Update on Ilmurad Nurliev

Family and friends of Pastor Ilmurad were disappointed in late August when the president did not include the pastor in what has become an annual amnesty of prisoners. His wife, Maya, had especially hoped he would be freed. She is "so disappointed," a friend told Forum 18 News. "She sits at home and cries."

Family and friends were heartened, however, to hear that the pastor had finally been treated for his diabetes -- for the first time since his arrest a year ago.

Friends also said Maya has been able to visit her husband on approved visiting days.

Please continue to pray for Ilmurad's release and for comfort for his wife while he is in prison.

More Info...

Ilmurad Nurliev
3 years ago
Prayer Alert:
 
Iranian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani Facing Execution in Next 24 Hours 
Dear Donna Matthews,  

We are asking for your urgent prayer for Youcef Nadarkhani, an Iranian pastor who may be executed within the next 24 hours if he continues to refuse to recant his faith in court. 

 

Youcef is the pastor of a house church in Rasht, Iran, and was arrested in October 2009 for opposing the education practice that forces non-Muslim students to read the Quran in school. Youcef had argued that the Iranian constitution permits children to be raised in their parents' faith; however, for defying Iranian authorities, Youcef was charged with apostasy.

 

Iranian officials used pressure tactics during Youcef's imprisonment as an attempt to coerce him to renounce his Christian beliefs, which included arresting his wife and threatening to seize his children. Still, Youcef remained firm in his faith, refusing to deny the name of his Savior Jesus Christ.

 

On September 22, 2010, Youcef was issued the death sentence for his conversion to Christianity and for encouraging the conversions of other Muslims. Youcef appealed the decision to the Supreme Court of Iran, claiming he had never been a Muslim and therefore could not be found guilty of apostasy. However, a written verdict upholding the death penalty and ordering an investigation was handed down on June 12. A reexamination of the case to determine whether Nadarkhani will live or die began on Sunday and has continued for the past two days. Early this morning, Youcef refused to deny his faith for the fourth time in court. Technically, he must only be granted three opportunities to return to Islam before he can be executed for apostasy.

 

Throughout his imprisonment, Youcef has trusted in the Lord and has been a bold witness of the redeeming work of Christ in his life. Remember, Jesus did not merely warn His followers that they might be persecuted; He promised it, saying, "If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you... If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you," (John 15:18-20). 

 

Youcef has learned to delight in hardships and persecution for Christ's sake (2 Cor. 12:10). "Many attempt to flee from their spiritual tests... [but] no one will be victorious by escaping from them, but with patience and humility he will be able to overcome all the tests and gain victory," he wrote from Lakan Prison last June. "Although heaven and earth will fade, His word will still remain."

 

 

Sincerely in Christ,

 

Jeff King
President, ICC

International Christian Concern
2020 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
3 years ago

Algerian Christians are requesting our prayers on behalf of Siagh Krimo, an Algerian Christian who is scheduled to appear in court today to see if his five year prison sentence for blasphemy will be upheld. 

 

Krimo was arrested on April 14, 2011 and held for three days for giving a CD about Christianity to his neighbor. He was later summoned to the Criminal Court in the Djamel district of Oran on May 4 and charged with blasphemy. The court tried Krimo based solely on the neighbor's accusation that Krimo attempted to convert him to Christianity even though the neighbor himself failed to appear at the hearing. The prosecutor, losing his lone witness and the bulk of his evidence, reportedly asked the judge to have Krimo's sentence reduced to two years imprisonment. However, to the surprise of many, the judge sentenced Krimo beyond the prosecutor's recommendation, giving him a five year prison sentence, the maximum punishment one can receive for blasphemy.

 

Krimo's conviction was in accordance with Article 144 bis 2 of Algeria's Penal Code which criminalizes acts that "insult the prophet and any of the messengers of God, or denigrate the creed and precepts of Islam, whether by writing, drawing, declaration, or any other means."

 

"Brother Krimo is in stress and anxiety over his wife and their beautiful baby girl," an Algerian church leader and a friend of Krimo's told ICC. "Their whole life was turned upside down overnight just for preaching the gospel to a Muslim. But in all this, we are more than conquerors in Christ who is our hope and our strength. Psalms 135:6 says, 'All that the Lord wants, he does, in heaven and on earth, the seas and in the abyss.' They need prayer and support so they don't feel alone and abandoned."

 

Please pray:

 

  • For the judge to overturn the verdict of five years imprisonment previously given to brother Siagh Krimo.
  • For brother Siagh Krimo to trust and find courage in the Lord. Pray also that he will exemplify Christ and give God glory during the court hearing and after, despite the final verdict that is applied.
  • For brother Siagh Krimo's wife and child to trust that God will sustain them during this period of great trial.
  • For Algerian Christians not be intimidated or grow weary, but to continue to share the Gospel with courage and seek the Lord's guidance and grace daily. 

 

Sincerely in Christ,

 

Jeff King
President, ICC

International Christian Concern
2020 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, District of Columbia 20006
Phone: 1-800-422-5441
3 years ago
Update on Youcef Nadarkhani

VOM contacts report that Pastor Nadarkhani's verdict has been delayed again by the court in Gilan province. The reason for the delay, according to his attorney, is that they have referred the case to the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. It is highly unusual for the court to ask for the legal opinion of the Supreme Leader.

Please continue to pray for Youcef, his family and those supporting him.

Prisoner Alert users have reported receiving a letter from the Iranian government renouncing published news about Nadarkhani's case. This is positive! Your voices have been heard and the government of Iran feels the pressure. Please continue to stand with our brother.

More Info...

Youcef Nadarkhani
3 years ago
Update on Asia Bibi

A Pakistani newspaper reported Asia Bibi was "tortured" in prison last week, but her husband Ashiq says it's not true. Asia is detained in a special high security cell that only jail management can access.

A new female prison officer got angry with Asia, but others intervened before the officer could beat Asia. The woman was suspended for three months by jail management.

Through Ashiq, Asia said, "The jail management is good to me." One of the officers is particularly caring toward Asia.

Thank the Lord that he is caring for Asia, even in prison. Continue to ask for her release.

More Info...

Asia Bibi
3 years ago

Update - Imprisoned Pakistani Mother Allegedly Beaten
A female prison officer assigned to provide security for Asia Noreen Bibi beat her while other staff members looked on in silence. Asia Bibi is now being kept in a special high-security cell due to serious threats on her life.
Read More

3 years ago
Mehdi “Petros” Foroutan

Location: Iran (Islamic Republic of)
Arrested: September 2011

Mehdi "Petros" Foroutan, a 27-year-old pastor in Iran, was arrested in January 2010 and charged with crimes against national security and blasphemy against Islam. Although acquitted of the blasphemy charge and released on bail a month later, Pastor Foroutan was sentenced to one year in prison. Unlike most people who wait for an arrest warrant, Pastor Foroutan reported to prison on Sept. 25, 2011, to begin serving his sentence. Almost immediately, Pastor Foroutan was transferred to the area of the prison for recovering drug addicts in Shiraz.

More Info...
Prisoner Archives
3 years ago
Update on Zhang Rongliang

Zhang Rongliang, one of the most prominent house church leaders in China, was sentenced in 2006 to seven and a half years in prison for using an illegal passport. But even as Christians pressured communist leaders to release Rongliang, he was building a ministry inside the prison.

"I am happy that you and others tried to arrange for my release, but in one way, I am happy that you failed," Rongliang told a VOM contact. "You almost made a big mistake. If you had been successful, there would be no church in that prison today."

After his release on Aug. 31, Rongliang was immediately admitted to a hospital for 15 days. Doctors treated Rongliang's high blood pressure and diabetes.

More Info...

Zhang Rongliang
3 years ago
Update on Pastor Wang Xiaoguang

Five leaders of the Linfen house church that was brutally destroyed two years ago have been released after serving two years in a labor camp. The Linfen case was one of the largest recent cases of religious persecution. On Sept. 13, 2009, 400 local police, government officials and hired thugs descended upon the church, demolished a new building and clashed with hundreds of Linfen church members. Dozens were severely beaten, and more than 30 were hospitalized with critical injuries. The five who were released were Gao Fuqin, Zhao Guoai, Yang Caizhen, Yang Hongzhen and Li Shuangpin. Five more remain in prison, including Wang Xiaoguang.

More Info...

Pastor Wang Xiaoguang
3 years ago

ICC Logo

 

Ruqqiya Bibi
 
Prayer Alert:
  
Pakistani Christian Woman Sentenced to
25 Years in Prison for "Defiling the Qur'an"

 
Dear Donna Matthews, 


We're asking for urgent prayer on behalf of Ruqqiya Bibi, a Pakistani Christian woman who was sentenced to 25 years in prison for "defiling the Qur'an" by touching it with unwashed hands. After eight months in prison, she is now applying to be freed on bail. 

 

We are hopeful that her appeal will be granted - her husband, Munir, who was also imprisoned for the same crime, was released on bail in December of last year.

 

Please pray:

  • For the judge to grant the bail to Ruqqiya during the hearing on November 10.
  • For the safety of Munir Masih. Though he has been freed on bail, he still faces vigilante attacks at the hands of radical Muslims.
  •  For the children of Ruqqiya and Munir to be comforted and strengthened by God as they witness the injustice suffered by their parents. 
  • For Pakistani Christians to continue in their faith in Christ as they face increasing persecution.   

 

Sincerely in Christ,

 

Jeff King
President, ICC

International Christian Concern
2020 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, District of Columbia 20006
Phone: 1-800-422-5441
3 years ago
Behnam Irani

Location: Iran (Islamic Republic of)
Arrested: May 2011

Behnam Irani, a 41-year-old pastor from Kraj, Iran, was convicted of crimes against national security in January 2011 and sentenced to one year in prison. After voluntarily surrendering to authorities on May 31 to begin his sentence, he learned that he would be forced to serve five years in connection with a previous conviction.

More Info...
Prisoner Archives
3 years ago
Update on Mehdi “Petros” Foroutan

Almost immediately after Mehdi "Petros" Foroutan reported to prison for his one-year sentence, authorities transferred him to the ward for recovering drug addicts. In October, one month after arriving at prison, Mehdi was put in solitary confinement. He was not allowed to make any phone calls, and his treatment in solitary was unknown.

Thankfully, he was moved out just a few days ago and is no longer in solitary confinement. Mehdi is in the general area of the prison.

Please pray for him. Diseases are easily transferred among the drug addicts, and Mehdi now lives among them. However, this circumstance is an opportunity for him, who can now witness to others in prison.

More Info...

Mehdi “Petros” Foroutan
3 years ago
Update on Youcef Nadarkhani

Youcef Nadarkhani, a 34-year-old pastor in Iran, was arrested in October 2009 after he protested a government policy that required school children, including his two sons, to study the Quran. Originally charged for protesting, Nadarkhani found himself on death row for apostasy.

Authorities at Lakan prison, where Youcef is imprisoned, have used various methods, including medication and threats, to convince him to convert back to Islam. Nadarkhani continues to refuse these efforts.

He now waits in prison as his case is re-examined. The local court in Gilan has referred Nadarkhani's case to the Supreme Leader of Iran, and they wait for his legal opinion before issuing a verdict.

More Info...

Youcef Nadarkhani
3 years ago
Iranian Pastor Still Awaits Decision on Death Sentence New Arrests Expected
Yousef Nadarkhani, sentenced to death a year ago after a court of appeals found him guilty of leaving Islam, is in deteriorating health. Yousef continues to face physical and psychological torture as authorities pressure him to recant his faith. Some sources indicate the court ruling could come the second half of December when another wave of arrests is expected. This is a favorite time for Iranian authorities to make the rounds at Christian house group meetings during Christmas celebrations.
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3 years ago

Pastor Ilmurad before his imprisonment in 2010
Pastor Ilmurad before his imprisonment in 2010

3 years ago

Urgent Prayer Request for Pastor Ilmurad to Receive Amnesty
On Dec 12th the Turkmenistan government (as it does every year at this time) will offer amnesty to several prisoners. Pastor Ilmurad, along with his family and friends, are praying that he will receive amnesty and be able to return home. In addition to praying for Pastor Ilmurad you can send letters of encouragement to him and his wife Maya.
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