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Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin

February 19th, 2018
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This year the Religious liberty prayer Bulletin has alerted Christians to the sufferings of believers in places such as Nigeria, Burma,Uganda, Syria.They encourage us to forward this prayer bulletin widely, and for others to sign up to the Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin blog. “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” (James 5:16 NIV).

For the latest reports please click here.

Prayers

Bombing in Pakistan

December 19th, 2017
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 Prayer Alert

Injured worshippers being escorted from the Memorial Methodist Church in Quetta, Pakistan following the suicide bombing on Sunday (Source:Washington Post/A. Calvin/AFP/Getty Images)

On Sunday, 17 December, a suicide bomber targeted a Methodist Church in Quetta, Pakistan leaving nine dead and more than fifty injured.

According to reports, though two attackers targeted the Bethel Memorial Methodist Church only one managed to detonate his vest. The second attacker was killed by security forces. It is believed that more than 400 worshippers were attending the worship service during the time of the attack. A group affiliated to the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the incident.

“We condemn this inhuman attack in Quetta and call on the Pakistani government to take all steps necessary to provide adequate security to Christians during this Christmas season,” said Godfrey Yogarajah, the Deputy Secretary General of the World Evangelical Alliance. “We pray for God’s healing mercy upon those injured in the attack and God’s presence to be with those grieving the loss of loved ones,” he added.

Prayer points:

Pray that those perpetrating violence against Christians in Pakistan would experience a change of heart, repent, and turn to Jesus Christ
Pray for God’s healing upon those injured in the attack
Pray for God’s comfort upon families grieving the loss of loved ones
Pray that the Pakistani government would step up security measures for churches, ensuring the safety of Christians during the Christmas season

The World Evangelical Alliance Religious Liberty Commission (RLC)

 

News, Prayers

Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin | RLPB 432 | Wed 15 Nov 2017

November 15th, 2017
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For images and hyperlinks, visit http://rlprayerbulletin.blogspot.com  

CHINA: CHRISTIAN ADVOCATE CONFINED IN AN 'INFINITE DARKNESS'
	- the plight of Gao Zhisheng
by Elizabeth Kendal

In 2001, the Chinese Ministry of Justice officially recognised committed 
Christian human rights attorney, Gao Zhisheng, as 'one of China's top ten 
lawyers'. Eventually, however, Gao's ardent defence of the oppressed and 
persecuted, as well as open letters protesting Chinese Communist Party (CCP) 
policy and practice, saw him fall foul of the system. Stripped of his 
lawyer's licence, Gao was first imprisoned in 2006. Since then he has been in 
and out of prison, forcibly 'disappeared', beaten and brutally tortured, held 
for extended times in solitary confinement, isolated and denied access to 
medical care - all because he refuses to be silenced. In 2009, Gao's wife and 
children escaped to the US. Content in the knowledge that his family is safe, 
Gao has steadfastly refused to leave China; for he is convinced that God has 
called him to 'bear his cross' inside China.  

When Gao Zhisheng emerged from three years secret detention in August 2014, 
the internationally acclaimed human rights lawyer was a shadow of his former 
self; indeed many surmised he'd been 'utterly destroyed'. Clearly the CCP was 
sending a message: 'This is what happens when you criticise the CCP.' 
Doubtless the CCP assumed it had broken Gao and terrorised all rights 
advocates into silence. Doubtless China's rulers were 'testing the waters' to 
see how much violent repression the 'international community' would allow 
them. [Plenty, so it seems!]  

Subsequently placed under house arrest, isolated and denied access to medical 
care, Gao could have withered and died; but he did not. Like Samson, he 
recovered and re-focused. After years of secret detention, Gao threw his 
energy into secret writing. Defying serious health issues and intensive 
supervision, he was able to write both a memoir and a 40-page human rights 
report while working on a new constitution. Smuggled out of the country at 
great risk, Gao's secret writings have since been published. [See the RLPB 
blog for details and links.] Furthermore, Gao also communicated secretly. In 
an interview with the Chinese language New York-based New Tang Dynasty 
Television on 7 August, he criticised the CCP for its suffocating repression 
and brutal tyranny. Then, on 13 August, Gao 'disappeared'. [See RLPB 421, 
August Update, (Aug 2017).] 

On 3 November China Aid Association (CAA) revealed that Gao had escaped from 
his government minders with the assistance of two friends who had been 
desperate to get him medical care. Though they managed to evade the 
authorities for 23 days, the large contingent of officers deployed to find 
him eventually succeeded. Gao was quickly 'disappeared' into secret detention 
while his friends - Shao Zhongguo and Li Fawang - were both arrested. Whilst 
Shao has not been seen since, Li (a diabetic) has been released, albeit not 
before suffering a bout of cruel punishment. On 12 November Radio Free Asia 
(RFA) reported that the Gao Zhisheng Lawyers' Concern Group had managed to 
locate Gao. According to the group, Gao is being held in a secret prison in 
Shaanxi Province in solitary confinement, in total darkness and denied access 
to medical care. In a smuggled sound-bite delivered to RFA, Gao said the 
conditions are even worse than those he experienced in Shaya Prison, Xinjiang 
(2011-2014). He said he feels like he is confined in an 'infinite darkness'. 
His supporters fear for his life.   

As long-time religious liberty expert and advocate, Benedict Rogers, wrote 
recently in the Hong Kong Free Press (11 Novembers): 'Gao's work is a 
challenge to us all. It deserves to be read in the corridors of power. He has 
acted with extraordinary courage and is paying a very high price for his 
conscience. It is time for the rest of the world to rediscover its 
conscience, stand up to China and, at a minimum, demand Gao's release.'   


PRAY SPECIFICALLY THAT GOD WILL:

* intervene to ensure Gao's writings are not only spread and read far and 
wide, but that they will have the desired impact; may they facilitate change 
in China.  

* intervene to facilitate the release of Gao Zhishang and all China's abused 
and incarcerated human rights defenders.  

MAY OUR MERCIFUL GOD:

* pour out his Holy Spirit abundantly to comfort and sustain our brother Gao 
Zhisheng; may Gao rest in the assurance that nothing can separate him from 
the love of Christ Jesus who is all the while interceding on his behalf. 
[Read and pray Romans 8:31-39.]  

* May Gao's cell become a sanctuary - a place where God dwells (from Isaiah 
8: 11-15).

Prayers