IRAN: UPDATE– Iranian Christian Released from Prison – VOM Canada
Praise God! Ramtin Soodmand, an Iranian Christian who was arrested on charges of anti-government activity in late August, was released on bail on Oct. 22, VOM Canada reported. He has since been reunited with his wife and two children. The report indicated that he could still face formal charges and supporters are concerned for his safety. Ask God to protect Soodmand and his family. Pray God encourages believers to continue standing for righteousness in Iran.
CHINA: UPDATE–China Continues Harassing Pastor Zhang “Bike” Mingxuan’s Family – China Aid Association
Pastor Zhang “Bike” Mingxuan and his family continue to face pressure from China’s Public Security Bureau (PSB) officials, China Aid Association reported. Zhang Jian, Bike’s son who was brutally beaten by PSB officers on Oct. 16, was threatened with imprisonment unless he agreed to sign a document stating that his injuries were minor. Fearing separation from his wife and 1-year-old son, Jian consented. CAA added that Pastor Zhang, who had been missing since the attack on his son, contacted Jian by telephone on Oct. 22. He confirmed that he is being detained but was unable to give the details of his detention. Pastor Zhang's wife, Xie Fenglan, and sister have been placed under “soft detention” in a PSB-operated Beijing hotel. Their cell phones have been confiscated and their travel restricted. Pray for protection for this family and its release from PSB surveillance. Ask God to encourage Pastor Zhang and for believers in China to continue serving the Lord with courage.
ERITREA – Imprisoned Christian Dies, More Believers Arrested – VOM Canada
On Nov. 5, VOM Canada reported Teklesenbet Gebreab Kiflom, a member of the Full Gospel Church who was detained for nearly a year at the Wi'a Military Confinement Centre in Eritrea, died of malaria. The 36-year-old reportedly suffered harsh punishment by the military and was denied medical attention. Meanwhile, there have been reports that Eritrean authorities have arrested 65 believers belonging to house churches in recent weeks. Officials made the arrests in five different locations, working off a list of names that sources believe were provided by informants around the country. Pray for those mourning the loss of brother Teklesenbet. Pray for the release of imprisoned Christians. Ask God to work in the hearts of Eritrea's leaders.
INDIA – Priest Dies after Being Beaten by Hindu Extremists – VOM Sources
On Oct. 28, Father Bernard Digal 48, died after injuries he suffered in an attack by Hindu militants in Kandhamal, Orissa, in late August. Thousands of believers attended the funeral for the martyred priest on Oct. 31, commending his courage, his tireless commitment to working with persecuted Christians and his willingness to forgive those who brutally beat him. Thank the Lord for the life and work of Father Digal. Pray that those who mourn him will find strength and peace in Christ. Pray that God will embolden Christians in India to follow in his example of cross-bearing discipleship in an environment of opposition.